Menz Shed create handyman’s haven
Blenheim’s Menz Shed members are expanding their horizons.
Unshackled by the routine of day-today household chores, the small group of tinkerers have been hard at work building an engineering workshop at the Dillons Point Rd base.
The workshop, built plumb against the existing joinery shop, was officially opened in March by former Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman.
Blenheim’s Menz Shed chairman Dave Oliver says since then the members have been busy acquiring the necessary tools and machines.
They have also been erecting shelving, painting and generally making the workshop a purpose-built facility fit for any craftsman.
‘‘It’s taken us a long time to finalise everything since the official opening,’’ he says.
‘‘We’ve been painting the interior and raising funds to provide machinery.’’
A multi-functional welding machine has been donated to the group by Blenheim firm, Bearing and Accessory Centre.
The machine will be invaluable for any light engineering projects, from fix- ing bicycles to repairing small objects, Dave says.
‘‘We get a lot of broken items come in for repairs, such as letterboxes, mowers and bikes which we can now apply our skills for repairs.
‘‘The welder will also prove useful in helping members learning from others to improve their skill base.’’
The group will soon take possession of a used milling machine, and a router, and is on the lookout for more machinery to add to the workshop, he says.
Blenheim Menz Shed, one of four in the region, has been up and running since 2012 providing a handyman’s haven for hobbyists with time on their hands. The membership sits around 35. ‘‘We are here for men to learn new skills and to complete their own projects, big or small,’’ Dave says.
He joined the nationwide movement from word of mouth.
‘‘It provides a good space to improve the health and wellbeing of many men whose spouses have passed on, and find themselves alone.
‘‘There are a large number of members from all sorts of backgrounds and varying levels of practical skills.
‘‘The important part is that we all pro- vide encouragement to each other to make everyone feel welcome.’’
Among the community projects completed by the Menz Shed has been a green house for Rangitane iwi.
Blenheim Menz member Ian Clough has 58 years of engineering background to help improve the skill levels of fellow members.