Newsletter No. 34, July 2019

August 13, 2019
Monthly Newsletter

This newsletter starts with the sad news of two deaths of people who have been committed to the Shed at different stages and in different ways, but who were both key members in getting it up and running and making it work so well.

Cedric Cudby

Most of the current membership will not have known Cedric who died on June 9.

Because of that, it is even more important to acknowledge his passing. He was a founding member of the group who set the Shed up and was instrumental in the
early organisation.

Having been very much involved in building the Walter Nash Gymnasium as part of his basketball career, he proved to be a fount of knowledge on what was needed for
a Shed and who could help provide it.

He arranged for a friendly lawyer to set up the constitution for our Charitable Trust and his wisdom and common sense was a boon in the
early days of the Shed when we first started in the former Fiat garage site behind the Full of Beans café.
When the ‘going got tough’ when we were in the throes of getting grant funding to build the present Shed, I was extremely grateful for the support and encouragement of both
Cedric and his wife, Jessie.

It was in no small part that it was because of them, we got there in the end.

Tony Nesbitt

It is also very sad to report that Tony had a stroke and died in hospital on July 24.


He has been a staunch member of the Shed team for over ten years and had taken on the role of Safety Officer with enthusiasm and diligence.

His experience working in various industrial situations and knowledge of machinery meant he was very much the right man for the job and we appreciated that, even when he took us to task for doing something risky with one of the machines. Important overall was his commitment to the Shed and the fact that he was there several days a week, compared to the rest of us mere mortals.

This meant that he could kept a close eye on all of us. The fact that he could be a little gruff at times didn’t hurt with this duty either.

His other great asset was his wide knowledge of cabinet- making and carpentry which meant we could all go to him for advice which was willing given without any suggestion that we were getting in his way or asking stupid questions that anyone should know the answer to.

It intrigued me too, when I saw him dealing with a piece of wood that had no straight sides or right angles until I realised he was making another fitting for the boat on which he lived.

He was also responsible for donating the bench saw which is one of the hardest worked piece of equipment in the Shed and something we couldn’t have managed without.

Keeping the hand tools in good nick was also one of his quiet attributes. The pleasure I got from using one of the planes he had sharpened meant that my axiom of ‘never doing by hand
what you can get a motor to do’ no longer applied.

He will be greatly missed on all these counts and as someone who helped make the Shed function so well. Our sympathy, condolences and best wishes go to his three sons and
their families.

Subscriptions Due

The other item on my membership comments slot is that it is about time for your annual sub if you haven’t paid it yet.

There is a list on the table at the Shed which is more or less up to date on that and I am happy to deprive you of the massive $10 any time you like.

If you want to leave it in the jar, please leave a note as to who has paid so I can tick your name off and present you with a receipt.

For those of a forgetful disposition, such as myself, and who attend regularly, you may find it convenient to pay $100 into the bank account (38-9019-0685899-00) to cover the
sub and the $2 a week attendance fee.

Again, mention ‘sub’ and you name on the transaction records so I know what’s happening.

Membership List

The other column on that list on the Shed table is a request from me to help tidy up the membership list.

Currently I have about 220 names on my records, but probably something over 100 may not have visited us for a year or more!!

I am unable (and unwilling) to check on everyone, so if you know the status of anyone on the list, could you mark them down as ‘Y’ for still a member or ‘N’ for no longer a member.

I will take them off the membership list but leave them on the newsletter circulation list so that if we have made a mistake they can get back in touch with me.


How much wood can a wood-chuck chuck?

We are always going on about the projects that members of the Shed get up to and there is no belittling the great work that many of them do.

However, I would like to make a special mention of some members who quietly get on without any fuss and make the Shed function well.

This often means tidying up and clearly areas of accumulated rubbish that other lazy people couldn’t be bothered putting away properly.

This is a constant whine of mine, but when people complain of not enough room in the Shed, it is up to them to replace what they have used and not leave pieces of timber lying around for someone to trip over and stumble round.

This piece was not meant to go that way but I will leave it to stand.

What I really wanted to do was to eulogise some who put their time at the Shed into tidying up and making things more accessible and manageable for the rest of us.

Some of the more observant will have noticed a large area of concrete floor appearing by the entrance door near the drive.

This is due to the amazing efforts of Bert and later Max in re-stacking a pile of pine timber we were lucky enough to get from the Hutt Valley Horticultural Society. Full marks to them for the two mornings they spent doing that on your behalf and I suspect they won’t be too embarrassed if any of you say Thank You for their hard work.


The Regional Bowls Centre seem determined to keep us in work and recently asked us to make a couple of boxes for them, one to put score cards into and one for ‘comments’.

Both had to be lockable, match their standard décor of pine ply and be able to attach to the wall. Always up to the challenge, we came up with something that kept them happy but I couldn’t help thinking the second box really was for ‘complaints’ and wondered if it would be rude to make it bigger!

Explosive effort

Tony had an explosives expert drop in the other day with a request to make a coffee table out of a slice of tree trunk she had cut down from her neighbour’s property (all legit).

The variable thickness, holes and need for appropriately thick legs was quite a challenge but all came right and was much appreciated to the tune of a donation and biscuits.

Sadly, this turned out to be Tony’s last project at the Shed.

Spin the Wheel

Graham and his team have been working on the challenge of making a Raffle Wheel for the Naenae Pub.

The main ‘challenge’ part of the deal was to balance it well enough so that it didn’t end up with the same number(s) all the time.

There were of course suggestions that, associated with such inside knowledge, members could be on to a good thing!

Freed from such temptations and unresponsive to bribery, they removed a sheet of thickish ply from the piles we are always tripping over, cut out the required circle and trimmed it up with the well-known method of fixing the centre hole and turning it against the sanding wheel.

Some higher mathematics to work out 30 even divisions and placing dowel jointing pegs in place, two expensive bearings from Pete’s Emporium and here’s the result:

He was suitable proud of the job and it is good to know that on the last test run, the wheel stopped at number 13 – surely a lucky omen for anyone speculating on it in future.

Woops! Can you spot the numbers that have been repeated? All correct now.

Spiral Walking sticks

One of the current fashions that has taken off in a big way is making walking sticks. Not ordinary ones, but elaborately carved ones under the guidance of John Spittal.

Clearly his interest in such items harks back with his name to the 11th century Knights Hospitallier and the formation of ‘ospitales’.

The walking sticks are characterised by a spiral approach with a wide range of variations.

All comers are welcome to make one under John’s expert guidance and the results are spectacular.

The one Bruce made in the photo is his first effort which looks very professional and no doubt will follow him around for a long time to come.

Take a Seat

The Table/seats for the pop-up picnic area in central Hutt are coming along quite well.

They are a fairly big job in terms of space but we can cope with them as long as the weather is kind to us.

Of particular interest to me was the trip to Metal Art in Gracefield who are supplying the tops of the seat and table areas.

The sample we were given was a heavy length of 70 x 45 (3 x 2 for you oldies) which was obviously solid, durable plastic and good for the very long term.

Metal Art are the agents for this product in New Zealand and get it from a firm in Ballarat who are responsible for recycling plastics from Australia and also from New Zealand.

They have been recycling number 2, 4 and 5 plastics, but unfortunately NZ customers have not been buying back as much as we are sending over to them and they have had to stop stockpiling.

The product looks excellent and clearly much more durable than timber, even when treated, so why aren’t we using more of it?

Equally, why is it that we keep hearing about recycling problems and how it doesn’t work and not about what is actually happening?

I believe there is a company somewhere in the North Island, too coy to admit on their website where they actually are, that is starting to turn soft plastics into fence posts. That should be a good thing.

The Hutt Council returning officer was in touch asking if we could make a box for voting papers that he wanted to have at the Wellington railway station for people to use on their way past in the morning.

All things are considered to get people to vote and enhance our democracy. With this in mind we came up with that shown.

The request was for white but we used some thicker ply that was lying round for the top that had a black plastic surface and it didn’t like being painted. I’m sure the voting papers won’t mind.

Another challenging project was for Natalie who was wanting to make a custom-built bench for her jewellery-making activities. Happily she had a clear idea of what was needed and took to the task of making it with a little bit of help from Tony with gusto.

The resulting bench with drawers and precise height was beautifully constructed and finished and I’m sure she will have many happy hours of use out of it.

The only draw-back was her offer to provide cakes for morning tea every week until she was finished proved rather short-lived.

There was some discussion that we might sabotage some of her work on the days she wasn’t at the Shed but gentlemanly gallantry carried the day and our waist lines were not stretched.


On Saturday, June 22, the eastern Hutt Rotary organised a Heathy in the Hutt morning in the Foyer of the Walter Nash Sports Centre in Taita.

The aim was to inform people of activities that were going on in the Hutt Valley that contribute to the health of the community in a broad way.

Accordingly there were about twenty stalls focusing on specifically health things like blood pressure and screening programmes through to eating well, exercise and things like our Shed – just keeping them off the streets, active and out of mischief.

They also provided an excellent lunch of pumpkin soup and rolls followed by fruit from two large piles that seemed to keep growing every time I looked at them.

There was also entertainment which seemed ad hoc and casual, but enthusiastic.

From my perspective, the main thing we got out of it was the contacts that we renewed and made with other groups in the community.

Some of the contacts that we could benefit from were:
Earthlink who are into recycling in a big way. They could be invaluable to us by taking some of our excess power tools and either fixing them safely or dismantling them and recycling the separate parts efficiently.

Maureen from Taita College who is involved the Gateway programme there. This contact has already resulted in a young man coming along to work at the Shed.

Te Awakairangi Health who have a young enthusiastic team urging us to exercise and eat healthily which may not be your first port of call, but should apply to us all.

Dementia Wellington with information on a problem that more and more are getting to experience first hand.

Contact: 04 972 2595 or

On July 11, the Hutt Council held their award celebrations and presentations for voluntary groups throughout the Hutt City domain.

It was impressive just how many different organisations were represented, including on this occasion, the Naenae Menz Shed.

Clearly, our society owes much to all the voluntary work that goes on and the ones at the event are just the tip of the ice-berg as it were.

Some groups that we have had dealings with, hopefully positively, were featured including the Remakery who recycle materials and retrain people with a number of different skills, and the Naenae Nature Trust with their local focus on pest control and tree-planting.

Two other groups present that have asked if any of our members could volunteer for them too were Enliven Connect who want buddies for people with early dementia and Youth Inspire who need volunteers to help young people with their driving practice.

Opening Hours:

Monday – 1pm to 3.30 pm Supervisors: Michael Harrison, Dave Winthrop
Monday – 7 pm to 9 pm Supervisor: John Walkerdine, Sam Hillis
Tuesday – 9am to 12 noon Supervisor: Graham Eagles, Archie Kerr
Wednesday – 9am to 12 noon Supervisor: Neil Roulston, Graham Eagles
Thursday - 9am to 12 noon Supervisor: John Walkerdine, Archie Kerr
Friday – 9am to 12 noon Supervisor: John Spittal, Sam Hillis

Contact Details:

Archie Kerr Phone: 04 569 7069

Note: If anyone does not want to receive this Newsletter or finds the attachment too
big for their system, please let me know and I will remove you from the list.

Archie Kerr

Wood worker, Monthly Newsletter Epistle writer

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