Woodies

Woodturner Dennis Donnelley.

By Margaret Maccoll

Each of the Cooroora Woodworkers Club’s 100 members has their own reason for being there but all agree that “it’s a terrific club.”

“It’s the company of the people. You’re always learning something,” Yugoslavia-born retired cabinet maker Simon Haricek, 86, said.

“One of the things I like about it is it provides for a lot of community members – it gives them a choice of something to do and somewhere to go,” club president John Cantwell said. Wood turner Dennis Donnelley added “a lot come along for coffee and a chat”.

Men and women aged from their 20s to 90s sign on to a six-day roster to use the club’s resources and engage in its companionable environment.

Wood carver Jeffrey Fraser creates spoons from sticks, each one a unique artwork.

Jim Pound spent many hours making a blanket box which he has donated to the club to be raffled at the show.

Members range in skill set from beginners to master craftsmen, the best in their fields. Since the clubs incorporation in 1989 members have made furniture for their houses, wooden toys, jewellery boxes and more than a few have renovated caravans.

Andy Esworthy describes it as “the greatest club I’ve ever been a member of”. “Everyone’s so welcoming, everyone’s willing to share information and help out,” he said. Andy’s muscular dystrophy prevents him from lifting heavy timbers and restricts his activities but “there’s always someone to help, without even asking”.

This weekend the club will host its annual Woodcraft Show to demonstrate woodworking skills and timber milling, showcase and sell their products and most importantly raise money to fund the club’s ongoing operation.

“It costs $32,000 just to stay open. We have to make additional funds to buy new machinery and for maintenance. We’re always trying to raise money,” John said.

The club’s workshop operates from a heritage-listed building in Cooroy’s Lowermill Precinct keeping alive what used to be the drying kilns of the old timber mill. A wide range of machinery including lathes, drop saws, table saws, planers, jointers and routers plus a myriad of hand-tools are available to members. The club’s milling team collects suitable logs from the district from residents who gift it or want it removed. They cut these into slabs, turning planks and lumber to sell to members of the club or public.

The Woodcraft Show will be held from 8.30am on 28 and 29 September at the Cooroy Memorial Hall. For more visit http://cooroorawoodworkersclub.com/

 

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