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Strathalbyn Woodshed Committee

Elected Member Representative:  Councillor Ben Brazzalotto

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Opened in April 2018, the Strathalbyn Woodshed has the capacity to accommodate up to 25 people per session and is open on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

The Strathalbyn Woodshed has been operational since 2004 and serves as a community hub where participants can gather to share and learn new skills, pass on knowledge to others, or simply meet new people. It also operates as a ‘Men’s Shed’, providing a significant social, emotional and creative environment for retired men in the community. Women are also welcome to join and participate.

The Woodshed was originally conceived by then councillor Geoff Jarret as a place for children to learn woodworking skills under the Alexandrina council’s “Shared Skill” program, in November 2003, this was later extended to include CLASS (now CLA) and the high school. The initial facilities were very modest, being limited to simple hand tools only. With much hard work by Geoff to encourage local companies, service clubs and local people to donate both new and second hand equipment, activities were expanded to a woodwork based “men’s shed” in late 2004, and the “Strathalbyn Senior Woodwork Group” was born. In mid 2007, the Woodshed management was formalised under a Section 41 arrangement with council.

Exterior Image

The original shed was the old Strathalbyn School shed, but by 2008 activities and facilities had out grown this modest area, and permission was granted by council to expand into the adjacent council garage. This provided area for a modest tea room, and for splitting the work areas into a machinery/joinery area, and a wood craft area.

Over the following years, continued growth in both membership and equipment meant that activities had again outgrown this facility. The realisation that this site was in an inappropriate residential location, plus the desire by council to utilise the shed for other uses led to a decision to relocate Woodshed activities to an enlarged facility in a more appropriate area.

The larger work areas allowed for the installation of extra woodworking equipment in storage at various locations, and for much needed extra workbench space. An upgrade of dust collection facilities was carried out to improve the working environment. The workshop area is split into two main areas; a 12 metre x 9 metre machinery or joinery section with a panel saw, medium and large band saws, a compound mitre saw, thicknesser and buzzer, and table routers, and a 12 metre x 15 metre woodcraft section. This latter area houses eight wood lathes including a copying lathe and a large unit capable of 600mm diameter bowls or 2400mm long verandah posts, plus a variety of sanding machines, drill presses, small band saw, drop saw and scroll saws. Work benches and an assembly bench, plus a large variety of hand held power tools and accessories complete the woodcraft section equipment. 

Interior Image workshop image 

In designing the layout of the workshop and amenities areas, consideration was given to providing adequate spacing between machines and work areas with a logical layout, and to minimise the impact of noisy machines, particularly in the amenities area. Separate areas for dust collection equipment and timber and project storage have been provided as well. The amenities include a kitchenette/tea room, meeting room and toilets.

Woodshed members believe this facility will be one of the better equipped and laid out woodwork based men’s sheds in the country and will provide an interesting and productive environment for Strathalbyn’s retirees and others attracted to woodworking as a hobby.

Opening Times:

  May 2018

Contact Details:

May 2018

Strathalbyn Woodshed Committee Agendas 2018

Strathalbyn Woodshed Committee Minutes 2018