Traditionally, woodshops have been the sanctuary as well as playing field of males nonetheless wood workers are no longer only the men. In Sun City Texas a number of ladies have in no way been frightened to pick up a saw or work a lathe. As a matter of fact, the brand new club president is a lady!
As with all newbies of the Sun City Texas Woodworkers Club, the women were required to take an orientation and basic safety education course, irregardless of their competency, prior to being allowed to operate in the woodshop. They are schooled regarding on every item of equipment, how it’s utilized and concentrates on basic safety. There is always a monitor on duty and a number of the club members are experienced persons who frequent the woodshop and are usually eager to provide assistance.
Many of the first projects for beginners are a cutting board, stools and toys. In fact many of the ladies are drawn to the Toys for Tots class which donates toys at Christmas to various organizations in the area. By the time the ladies complete a toy, they have used eight or nine of the large tools and learned a lot.
The woodshop members also develop one hundred fifty kits that children get to build at Camp Discovery, a week-long summer camp in Kerrville especially for young people dealing with cancer. The young people are able to construct a birdhouse or perhaps a stool and decorate the item along with the members’ help and also have a completely finished item to bring home.
The lady woodworkers have undertaken some creative projects such as lathing bowls out of scrap wood pieces that have been glued together and even teaching new classes such as box building or decorative design with burnishing.
On a yearly basis, the woodshop men and women give a large quanity of their completed products to be sold in the Sun City Crafts Fair. This is a very popular festival with folks coming from all over Texas to offer their hand crafted offerings. The money which the woodshop gets at the Crafts Fair goes straight into the Woodshop fund to pay for supply costs as well as other expenses, helps keep membership dues minimized and offers funds for non-profit goals.
The Sun City Texas Woodshop is a great place to “make sawdust” and make new friends with common woodworking interests. Any Sun City resident, man or woman, can join the Woodworkers Club. Membership dues cover all project supplies except for the wood. Wood costs are covered for members who are making items for charitable functions or the Crafts Fair.
The Woodworkers Club also offers a very active Special Interest Group (SIG) of wood carvers which meet up 2 times each week. A couple of people in this group are also females who have won honors for their creative carving work in regional events.
The Sun City Woodworkers Club occasionally receives telephone calls asking if they offer furniture repairs. There are several members who are willing to handle most repairs for Sun City residents only. They do not charge for these services, however, they do accept donations to the Club for their work. These donations are used to help fund the expenses of our annual Christmas Toys for Tots and Camp Discovery program.
Based on the last numbers, it appears that the club will definitely donate about one thousand wooden toy items for next Christmas to a number of community charities such as the Marine Corps Toys for Tots, the Caring Place, Georgetown Blue Santa, in addition to the Shriners’ Hospitals.
They also offer numerous products for sale at the Woodshop such as place card holders, wooden toys, step stools, plus Mah Jong chip stands. The profits given for these likewise goes to the Toys for Tots and the Camp Discovery programs.
The Woodshop Library has many resources for those wanting to learn more. There are books, videos and periodicals available to all members. The Club website has many more resources available such as podcasts of woodworking techniques, PowerPoint presentations that demonstrate the safe use of table saws, tips and tricks, links to online retailers, wood suppliers for cabinet making and specialty woods, class schedules for cabinet making, box making, picture framing, wood finishes and power tool classes.
Like the vast majority of Sun City Texas clubs, the Sun City Woodworkers is certainly an enthusiastic, fun group of people that organizes a variety of social gatherings all year round just so they can meet up and exchange stories and enjoy life. They enjoy Hot Dog Picnics, Fish Frys, a Hobo Soup Supper, and Chili Spuds.
The ladies who are now woodworking women say that the skills and friendships that they have developed are invaluable. They all have a new appreciation and understanding of woodworking skills. Now when something needs a repair, they have the ability to do it themselves and they recognize a quality job from service providers. Even if the ladies don’t know how to do something, someone at the Woodshop will!
Certainly, consider the multitude enriching opportunities for retirees as residents of Sun City Texas.