South Otago Woodcraft
Our Club was started in the early 1990’s by a group of dedicated enthusiasts who had a shared passion for wood working. From such humble beginnings they were able to work towards purchasing an abandoned section in Balclutha for a nominal $1 and fund raising to build purpose built premises. To this were subsequently added additional storage buildings.
The Club aims to promote Community interest in all forms of Woodcraft and to be the centre of community focus in this area. We are very much involved in the life of the Community and are open to participation from all ages and abilities.
The building is located at 18 Crown Street, Balclutha and comprises a main work room, equipment store, smoko and toilet. A new extension has recently been completed which links the main work room to the larger of our timber stores and this area is now used for noisier equipment to make for a quieter environment. A large and small storage buildings provide the club with space to store seasoned timber in dry conditions. The Club has a respectable range of equipment including DVR lathes, table saw, band saws, chop and radial saws, sanding equipment, jig saws, planners and thicknesser. Over the years a substantial stock of various timbers have also been collected for members’ use.
On Saturday mornings the Club is open between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. and the time is devoted to training. Because this mainly appeals to younger members the time is also available for other members for whom a week day meeting is not convenient due to work commitments.
ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR
For several years the Club has organised an annual Arts and Crafts Fair in October which encourages both Crafts Groups as well as Individuals within the District to participate. Emphasis is placed upon demonstrating what can be done and the event provides an opportunity to sell our work and help raise funds to support Clubs. The cost of the event is underwritten by South Otago Woodcraft and these are met by Gold Coin donations on entry.
A & P SHOWS
The town holds an annual A & P show in a recently built leisure centre and the Club puts on a display of its work. This gives us an extra sales opportunity as well as keeping our name well known in the community.
Every year the Club looks for a vacant shop premise within which to hold our Christmas shop. Work made by members and either given to the Club or sold under commission help to raise funds to cover our overheads.
Having existed in the community for over 25 years locals know where we are and what we can do. This results in frequent requests for us to make special projects for people for all sorts of items that they cannot obtain elsewhere. Recent examples include converting a shopping carriage into an artist’s studio, a solidly built Macracarpa table and bench for a public area and a sales cart for a local charity.
BENEFITS OF BEING A MEMBER
Getting involved in Woodcraft can be an expensive business. Joining a Club gives members access to a wide range of tools and equipment as well as to the advice and guidance of more experienced members who have been there, done it and have T Shirts to prove it.
The Club also males available well seasoned timbers without which any prospective woodworker is dead in the water. Whilst rarer materials are subject to the Club’s discretion, most commonly available timbers are available without charge.
The Club aims to keep its members well informed via a monthly Newsletter and by holding regular meetings which are open to everyone.
The Club also provides a valuable social atmosphere for members both during our sessions, at ‘smoko’ and the mid-winter and Christmas get togethers.
GRADES AND COSTS OF MEMBERSHIP
There are three grades of Membership available, Full, Associate and Trainee. These are to reflect the abilities and experience of members as well as their ability to actively engage in the life of the Club. Some of our older members who can no longer perform woodcrafts still choose to support the Club and remain part of its fellowship.
Full Members pay $60 per annum subscription, Associates pay $50 and Trainess pay a mere $30. From these amounts $6 is paid per member to cover our membership of the National Association of Woodworkers. The NAW provides insurance cover for Clubs and their members as well as numerous other services and benefits. Click here to see NAW Website
WHERE TO FIND US
Club rooms are located at 18 Crown Street, Balclutha