Woodturning 1The Repair Shed is a Community Action Dacorum project. Hosted by Sunnyside Rural Trust at their Hemel Food Garden site in central Hemel Hempstead, it brings men aged 50+ together to stay healthier and happier for longer through making, mending and learning.

Having seen Project Manager Chris Lee’s presentation on The Repair Shed at the Connect Dacorum lunchtime meeting back in February, Martin Gomme of Hemel Cartridges decided to donate to the scheme a woodturning lathe that he no longer uses: the lathe needs some ‘tlc’ having not been used for several years and it would offer the chance for Repair Shed members to learn new skills and to make items to sell in support of the project – all three ‘mending’, ‘learning’ and ‘making’ boxes ticked!

As well as being a keen woodturner himself, Martin is also the Chairman of Herts & Beds Woodturners and he put together and presented an introductory woodturning course spread over three sessions covering personal safety, the use of tools and basic spindle and bowl turning. The club provided lathes, tools and perhaps most importantly, one-to-one supervision by experienced club members. The seven learners on the course attended all the sessions and they all went away with a piece of turning they made themselves – including a bud vase, a Japanese doll and garden dibbers.  

Thanks to members of Herts & Beds Woodturners, Sarah Luke from Herts County Council’s Creative Learning team and Emma Matthars at Hemel Food Garden for their help in making this a successful course.