My first time at the Mens’ Shed: Tobe Frank 58



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To be frank I’ve been trying a few new things lately. After all given that I’ve got six Saturday’s and a Sunday to deal with,  I’ve realised that there is only so much dribble I can read in the papers before I’ll start prematurely dribbling myself.

mens shed

I know it’s a bit cliche but I have signed up to a local men’s shed to try my hand at woodworking.  Now for those of you who know me well, I failed to inherit one ounce of my fathers chippie skill set.  I am not a chip off the master builder’s block. No siree.  I’m sure, on that front I am a great disappointment or source of terrific laughs.

I’m the one at Bunnings buying a 50 pack of nails just to hang one picture.  I’m the one who measures twice, marks the waste, cuts once and still manages to balls it up…back to Bunnings.

I’ve even installed one of those semi-circular door stops on the floor only for the door to float straight over the top of it!  Mind you it’s still there…it’s just a bit of floor bling now.

Fair dinkum a one armed man is handier than me.

But I’ve always liked the idea of trying to craft a wooden toy plane, a vintage car, a dolls house and maybe, just maybe, build a cubby-house castle for my granddaughters.

So anyway I rocked up for my first session with few expectations, a little bit of hope and a six pack of beer…which seemed wrong given the types of power tools I was hoping to fire up irrespective of said skill level.

The place was a hive of activity. Clearly some of these guys were master craftsmen.  Beautifully turned bowls and candelabras.  Barstools, poker tables and jewelry boxes.  Really really beautiful stuff.  Some of the guys spend hours just etching out a perfect mortise and tenon joint, then have another six of them to go.  I’m out of my league here.  I’ll be lucky to knock out a breadboard with square edges.   Maybe I’ll start with sweeping the floors.

But the great thing about it was these guys took me under their wing. They love what they do.  They have a skill they can and want to share and we’ve all got the time to do it.

As they said to me, “one cut, one joint (the woodworking kind), one skill, one beer at a time”

Apparently in no time I’ll be knocking out furniture the missus has nowhere to put but I’ll leave that decision to her.

Somehow I don’t think I’ll be reading too much of the paper for next little while.

image:  Mosman Council

Tobe Frank

Tobe Frank is a recently retired 62 year old gentleman with many views. He has grand ambitions for his retirement he just isn't sure what they are yet and is constantly looking around to find them. Tobe shares his views on Starts at Sixty regularly as one of our columnists.

  1. I passed the Men’s Shed in Katoomba the other day. Maybe I’ll go in next time after your experience

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