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News - June 2020

By John Pegram (Secretary) Christchurch Men's Shed

Tuesday, 30 June 2020


Christchurch Men's Shed Contributor


Good News

It's great to be able to start with some good news. Yes, I know the pubs are opening on Saturday, but it's not that. The really good news is that we have made some progress towards our new shed at the School House. With prompting from Bob Mackinnon and Ian Hartnell, HRA's solicitors have finally produced a draft lease for review and comment. We are still a long way from the finishing line but at least things have started to move in the right direction.

Greystone's Work Party

Six of us reported for duty at Greystone's House last week to clear the building ready for the decorators. (It was difficult to recognise everyone due to their new lockdown hair styles!) We shifted the furniture, curtains, wall hangings, pictures, and clocks etc, permanently removed unwanted items such as the pigeon holes and speaker cabinets, shelves etc and filled the resulting screw holes. All done in record time and sustained only by tea and biscuits.

If anyone is interested, there are still several 8ft x 4ft tables available. The legs can easily be removed (1-bolt on each leg) for transport.

We opened the workshop and found that in our absence, the shelves in the back storeroom had collapsed - you can imagine the result. We did the only sensible thing and closed the door again quickly before running away! Something to look forward to when lockdown ends.....

Lockdown Projects

[Unfortunately, the website facilities do not allow me insert the pictures John provided for this section - RE]

Carvers & Whittlers: Len has carved a spoon with interlocking chain links for the handle and Jerry has found a new friend in Dave the Dolphin

Woodworkers: John Blakeman made this shelf unit for Mrs B's sewing room. Barry is currently finishing off a rather nice 3-legged table with a waney edge top and rustic legs harvested from a local wood. So if you see someone tearing round the village on a red scooter with a large saw in one hand, there is no need to panic - it is only Barry!

Tool Nerds: All the hours spent sharpening and honing chisels might have been wasted. Apparently what I really need is a blunt chisel. I have come across articles on the "blunt chisel technique" several times recently - the problem being that I could not bring myself to grind the edge off a perfectly good tool.

Having found the gnarliest, knackered chisel imaginable on the floor in the Greystone's workshop, I cut off the split end of the handle, re-shaped it, scraped off the obligatory white paint, rubbed it down and oiled it, polished the brass ferrule and finally burnished the blade. Only now I am back to square one with a rather nice Robert Sorby 1-inch firmer chisel that doesn't deserve the blunting treatment. But in the interests of scientific discovery and with gritted teeth, I went ahead and ground off the edge.

Does it work? - well used a bit like an engineer's scraper with the handle raised, it will produce a glass like finish over small areas where it might be difficult to use a plane and with none of the "filled in grain" appearance due to over enthusiastic sanding. Used flat it is probably good for removing old glue / varnish as there is no danger of "digging-in" and it will also work on end grain. Will it find a place in the go-to tool drawer or will it be relegated to the occasional pile? Not sure yet.

Council Interestet

(Councillor) Carole Gardiner called to see how we were getting on in these strange times and to ask if there was anything she could do to help out with Men's Shed.

Social Meeting?

With the lockdown starting to ease, I wondered if we could arrange a mini-meet for a lunchtime beer at Greystone's. While I am in no rush to visit a pub, I was thinking we could use the area outside Greystone's coffee lounge where we held the BBQ last year. It would be a case of bring your own beer / chair and maintain social distancing and we would probably have to limit the numbers attending on the day (and I would need to get permission from HCA). What do you think - any takers?

John Pegram

Christchurch Men's Shed

Contact Information

Robin Heels (Secretary)

  • 07547922246
Registered charity number 1175104

Find Christchurch Men's Shed

Greystones House, Waterford Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 5JL


Additional Information

Located in the Lower Hall of The Old School. The Old School is near Highcliffe Medical Centre and opposite Highcliffe Play Park by the pedestrian light controlled crossing.