From journo to master craftswoman

Too scared to let your wife loose on your shed tools? Blokes at the Men’s Shed took a risk with Rexine Hawes for her Reporter Chal­lenge.

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

I like my fin­gers, and as a reporter, I tend to need them to write and type.

So I had im­ages of los­ing one or two, or be­ing ter­ri­bly in­jured in my lat­est Reporter Chal­lenge at the Mata­mata Men’s Shed.

The ex­tent of my DIY abil­i­ties is lim­ited to ham­mer­ing in a hook for a pic­ture frame.

So I was feel­ing very chal­lenged to start a wood­craft project. I am pleased to in­form, that hav­ing com­pleted my chal­lenge, I had no need of the first aid kit.

I was left in the very ca­pa­ble hands of Men’s Shed mem­bers David Brock­le­hurst and Ian Martin­dale, who had kindly of­fered, or were per­suaded, to teach me how to use the tools to make a wine and cheese pic­nic board.

Af­ter a very thor­ough health and safety pro­ce­dure, we got to work.

I re­ally proved my in­abil­ity in a man’s shed to Ian and David when I asked, do I use the ‘who­sawhat­sit’ and where do I find the ‘thing­ma­jig’.

And I was told to stop hold­ing the tools ‘‘like a girl’’.

For the first time ever, I used a jig-saw, ban-saw, cord­less drill, two dif­fer­ent sized elec­tric san­ders and a hand­held router.

And I think ev­ery­one was quite sur­prised my project ac­tu­ally looked ‘‘pretty good’’.

I must say that the blokes were very pa­tient with me and ex­tremely good teach­ers.

The mem­bers of the Men’s Shed are all re­tirees who love the ca­ma­raderie and hav­ing a feel­ing of pur­pose.

‘‘It also gives us time away from our wives, and them from us,’’ laughs David.

To pay the rent and util­i­ties Do you have a chal­lenge for our reporter? Send in your ideas and sug­ges­tions to Rexine Hawes, email: rexine.hawes@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz the blokes pro­vide restora­tions and take on small projects.

They only work out of the shed, they aren’t handy-men, who come to your house if you need some­thing fixed.

On Sat­ur­day, March 25, the Men’s Shed is hold­ing a garage sale, this is also to help meet op­er­a­tional costs and to make some space. Peo­ple will be able to buy some qual­ity used tools, re­stored fur­ni­ture pieces, wooden kids toys and other bits and pieces.

The blokes at the Men’s Shed wel­come vis­i­tors and will gladly show you around.

So con­sider them the next time to want a restora­tion or have an idea for a small project. These guys are very ex­pe­ri­enced and knowl­edge­able about their trade - and now I can cer­tainly at­test to that.

DEB HOP­KINS

Rexine Hawes is care­fully su­per­vised while she takes on a project at the Mata­mata Men’s Shed

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