A CUT ABOVE THE REST Longford Men’s Shed

There may have been moments of inspiration or hope on the ground at the Longford Men’s Shed but none more so than when Bob Thomas and Henry Dubbeld accepted the invitation by the Kingston Men’s Shed to attend their Open Day on 11 February this year.

The focus of this event for us was to view their Shed and to hear from Andrew Morgan, Managing Director of SFM Forest Products, speaking on the topic of HYDROWOOD. This was deeply interesting to both of us, who had seen and heard about it on TV.

The salvaging of previously unreachable Specialty Timber along with how this is technically done is an amazing concept brought into reality in Tasmania by some young technically minded executives who saw the potential and ran with it.

That done, we were set to see the results on the day where the plusses far outweighed the negatives as a very usable product.

What stirred Bob’s mind more was the percentage of the timbers that were not potentially, financially viable. Here we saw an opportunity to source some amazing timber which with some little discussion was made available to the Longford Shed to work with.

This is the point at which Bob’s inventive genius went to work in order to break these logs down to usable material rather than the firewood they were destined for. The design was simple and manageable within the

confines of our Shed Metalwork area. Overseen by Bob and our specialist troupe of retirees the process evolved as follows:

Obtain an old Bandsaw, cut the main arm and insert an extra length in between, get a bigger blade, a stronger motor with a variable speed switch, fix it into a frame that runs at right angles to the blade, provide an adjustable height mechanism, place the whole assembly onto a bed to allow the cutting frame to roll in a controlled direction, fit the log to the base frame, open the drip feed cooler tap, switch on the Slab Mill switch and gently introduce the saw to the log. That is the simple answer.

A $1500.00 grant was received to cover the cost of the materials and for a place to store it securely and we needed a new band saw anyway.

We plan to make the slabs available to other Sheds, so please line up to gain access to some of the most amazing recycled timber in Australia.

But, please don’t take my word for it, come and see it for yourselves, perhaps on the day of the TMSA Annual Meeting. Drop in at The Shed in Longford for an early cuppa and some industrial espionage.

Longford Mens Shed Slab Mill

Henry Dubbeld

President, Longford Men’s Shed

0418 565 153 – hwdubbeld@gmail.com