Inverclyde Woodturning Club was started in January 2017. At our first meeting, we had 25 prospective members, many of whom had no woodturning experience. Inverclyde Employment Trust had agreed to allow the use of their workshop and meeting rooms. Although the Trust was normally closed in the evening, the staff kindly agreed to have someone there on Wednesday evenings to allow us to meet. This meant that membership would not be restricted to the retired and unemployed.
The workshop facilities were for a working workshop, not for classes and with so many inexperienced turners this was going to cause some problems. The Trust Operations Manager put on a Craft Class and a Technology Class using the equipment they had. This allowed the woodturning to use a “hands on” approach in the club allowing members to learn for themselves with help from the experienced turners.
Once a month we have a demonstration by one of our more experienced members or on occasions an outside demonstrator and the other meetings we continue with the peer learning in the workshop where any of the less experienced members can get the help and advice they require. We had a large cupboard so that we could lock our equipment away. We carried on like this till March 2020 when the country went into Covid lockdown.
During lockdown several members kept in touch with each other weekly via Zoom and other methods. As things were improving in the country we started negotiating with the Trust for our own club room. They kindly offered 2 self contained rooms for our own use and we started on site meetings on the 15th August 2021.
We now Have 5 lathes and a Shopsmith Multi tool which is a Lathe, Bandsaw, Tablesaw and Disk sander all in one. This is on long term loan from one of our members These are all permanently set up so no trying to get them into the cupboard.
Numbers are slightly down from before lockdown but hopefully that will improve.