Tuesday, 29 December 2015

tauranga shed video

I spent a day wandering around the Tauranga Shed with my camera and talking with the members.

See the video at:

kawerau shed video

I enjoyed a day with the boys at the Kawerau Shed, during which a stray tomcat visited as he does on days the Shed opens. The cat's name is "Spray' as in "Spray and walk away"!

See the video at:

Friday, 16 October 2015

a visit to the keri keri shed

I am currently on a road trip north of Auckland.
During the week I visited the Keri Keri Men's Shed. Here is a video of my visit.


Friday, 4 September 2015

august video online

The August video for the Men's Shed North Shore, Auckland, NZ, is now online on my Shed youtube channel
Chris & Sephen troubleshooting

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

northcote library

On Monday a crew from the Shed spent the morning breaking out bricks to create spaces for two community garden planter-boxes at Northcote Library - it was hard yakka as they were well and truely cemented in!:


Winston takes a break


Dave W


Well-done all!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

making boewurst

John S, Waghi and Martin made some boewurst sausages for the Mens' Shed North Shore September BBQ. Watch the youtube video:

Friday, 7 August 2015

digging in the rain

We had good turn-out today at the Men's Shed North Shore, despite the rain, of volunteers to dig the trench for the underground electrical cabling - part of our engineering extension project.
Follow MSNS on facebook:

Martin & Brian

Frank swings a pick

Dave digs in

John, Roger, Dave, Ross, Len, Matthew, Brian

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

msns july video

Watch Men's Shed North Shore members at work thru July at a variety of personal and community projects in our shed in Glenfield, Auckland, New Zealand.


Monday, 20 July 2015

on sheds and health

In Australia there has been a considerable amount of research done into the health benefits of Men’s Sheds for members. Unfortunately to date little enquiry has been done in NZ relating to this field.
However, in my discussions with MSNS members several of them have told me of some of  their observations and positive experiences at our facility.

AT the Men's Shed North Shore we have some 100 members with a broad range of backgrounds, political views, worldviews, and ways of doing things. We all realize that to make the Shed work it is best for us to be tolerant of others and non-judgemental. This does not inhibit freedom of expression on issues, but conflict is not an issue - unlike in the workplace where egos and pressures can lead to strains which may incite aggression or even bullying.
“At the Shed I have found a  band of brothers” is how AB put it.

Jeff keeps mum!
 Not all Sheds are this harmonious. On my 2013 Lower North Island Shed Tour several Shed bosses told me that members had come to blows on occasion!
(see www.youtube.com/menssheds2000 for videos of the 13 Sheds I visited).

On Shed time - we are all now freed from the tyranny of the clock, which for many of us has ruled our lives: “Time is money” after-all, and profit is king. Members have said that they can now enjoy slowly and carefully working at a project, often learning as they go, instead of feeling stressed, cutting corners, and rushing things. For some, routines are hard to let go of, but at the Shed no-one watches the clock at lunch-break or smoko any longer.
“At work the pressures made time fly past. When at home alone after retirement, the days dragged and the nights were never-ending.” MN

Members agree that the Shed gives them something to look forward to and even the motivation to get out of bed for (especially on cold mornings), whilst being there amongst the sawdust and the iron filings is a most welcome relief from daytime TV or being dragged around the mall.
For many, the Shed is a welcome change from the family routine or tensions, while those who live alone can find company, and thus respite, from the isolation and even loneliness which can have such a negative effect on one’s mental health.
“Before joining the Shed I felt as if I was staring down the barrel of a gun” - CB

More wisdom from the Shed later....

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

capitalist society dehumanizes people

“Capitalist society can dehumanize people, as it only has an interest in their patterns of consumption”. In the modern world, people may increasingly be seen as commodities with production [& consumption] as the primary objectives of society”.

 Read more in my latest post on my retirement blog:


As always, Men's Sheds provide an opportunity for retired men to re-engage in a purposeful way with society and their community.

AT the Men's Shed North Shore, AK, NZ

Sunday, 12 July 2015

art from trash!

Bobby Hansson's Book "The Fine Art of the Tin Can" (in the Auckland library system) has some fantastic ideas for many fun and useful projects to make from old tin cans - with a minimum of tools.
Let me know how you go if you should be inspired to make anything!!

men at work no. 3 - roadworks, video

Last weekend the countractors resurfaced he roundabout in Browns Bay.
I was impressed by the "dance" of the machines.
Here is a short clip of the action:



Saturday, 11 July 2015

cope with retirement to survive

Derek Milne (“The Psychology of Retirement,”) discusses coping strategies in retirement - finding success or failure, hope...or hopelessness.
Read more on my retirement blog:
@ Men's Shed North Shore, Auckland NZ

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

a simple bird-feeder

Tony made some bird feeders for his back garden out of a few pieces of wood and some wire mesh.

Tony kindly supplied me with the details:

Materials for constructing a simple bird-feeder:

3-x 17mm x 17mm x 135 mm wood

2-x 125mm x 165mm galvanized 10mm square mesh

2-x 40mm galvanised jolt head nails

8-x 20mm staples

2-x 500mm x 6mm rope

1–x 120mm x 8mm doweling

Sunday, 21 June 2015

shared food

The boys at the Shed shared some food with me on Saturday -  Ben brought in a bootload of puha, Robin gave me a slice of his home-made fruit cake, and William gave me some curry and rice - courtesy of the Hare Krishnas next door to him.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Fun ideas for old tyres

Old car tyres can be put to fun, creative and colourful use with some simple cutting (use a sharp knife with water as lubricant) and a splash of paint.
Some of these designs may require the use of tyres without steel inserts.
See more clever ideas at:


new video

A couple of years ago I was down Taranaki way camping in the van, doing a bit of work here and there, fishing and hunting where I could, enjoying the occasional feast on roadkill - turkey, pheasant, and even a goat found recently hit on a narrow winding gravel road.

In the backblocks near the Wanganui River I got talking with a local bloke in a pub, who introduced me to another bloke who sized me up, bought me a beer and asked me if I wanted ten days work.
“Nothing much to it, mate. The missus’ sister is having a baby in Wellington, and she wants to be there with the family. We live on a family-owned sheep farm. Jude and I live in part of the old woolshed and run bees - pretty good manuka honey around here...I just need someone to keep an eye on the hives while we’re away, and feed the dogs....you can stay in our place...there’s a wood stove, a freezer full of goat, venison and pig...and a vege garden...bring your own beer though.
“Jude’s dad lives in the old farmhouse..he’s a decent character, and I mean character! Bruce his name is. Retired now, gun shearer in his day. Lots of good walks - marine fossils in the hills: shells, crays, Bruce reckons he’s found a fossilized croc. He’s always good for a yarn... talk your leg off....quotes the Bible a bit - nothing too serious....”

It turned out to be a pretty good gig. Everything was as he described, and the old boy was great company. Every afternoon he came over with his dogs, sheared a few sheep, and fell asleep for a while in an old armchair. When he awoke we sat in the open door of the shearing shed, cracked a few beers and looked out at the tea-trees, the bee hives, the hills, rolling clouds, the rusting bulldozer, thistles, gorse, and broken fences. In our silences the river rolled past behind the trees, the dogs snapped at flies, the smell of lanolin oozed from the wooden floor, while the tin walls cracked at intervals in the heat.

Here's a video of Bruce doing what Bruce does best: shearing a sheep:


Sunday, 7 June 2015

steam power at motat

MSNS member Roger Curl recently took a crate of our wood off-cuts to MOTAT where they were used to fire-up some of the steam engines.
Roger says: "MOTAT uses a large amount of firewood when lighting up the steam engines and boilers from cold. The boilers have to be brought up to temperature slowly so they are not stressed and damaged. Coal is added once the boiler has warmed up and starts producing steam.
"We have a running day on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Visitors can have free train and military rides at the MOTAT 2 site in Meola Rd."
See some video of steam engines in action:

Roger takes a break
See the MOTAT site for more information on their factuality and events www.motat.org.nz