On July 27 the first ever Ladies workshop was held at the Men’s Shed Vernon facility.  Ten ladies were selected randomly after numerous replies to a call out for participants on Facebook.  A safety brief and tour was given prior, explaining the layout of the woodshop and all members issued PPE.  The overall project was to build a 22″ long succulent planter, stain/paint/decorate , plant 4 succulents of their choosing and take home their creation.

The participants were broken up into pairs and 5 work stations were set up.  Station 1 , the ladies were shown how to operate a chop saw and each participant then proceeded to cut to measurement their 5 planter component pieces. Station 2, the ladies were then taught how to operate a pneumatic nailer and assembled their planters using brad nails, clamps and wood glue.  Station 3, the participants were then taught how to operate cordless palm sanders, belt sanders and explained varieties of grit papers. Station 4, the participants were taught all about cordless hand drills, pilot holes, types of wood/metal screw and their purposes, drill bits, screw head types and so on.  For a professional looking finish , corner brackets were affixed to their planters.  Station 5, the participants were taught different wood stains and chose the final colours of their projects.  Potting soil and a large variety of 6″ succulents were available for each final creation.  Many participants were asking if this could be a regular event and the interest to create a Women’s Shed Vernon was seeded .  Until next year…….

Synopsis: Overall, it was a hit.  The costs exceeded the grant, however MSV was donated left over stains, paints and sand papers.  I overbought succulents (50) but no one fought over them as there was plenty for everyone.  The stains were expenses and I would not stain them next time. The timeline was tight and I would add an extra hour and maybe a break.  The backgrounds of each participant varied considerably, making it a lot to take in for someone who never used tools to a cake walk for those that were familiar with woodworking.  I would pair a novice and skilled participant next time together. I enjoyed this NSG activity immensely and actually converted some MSV members into thinking that a Ladies Auxiliary chapter should be considered……

Thanks for letting me take part.

Project Leader: Pat Broschart

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