Recent projects undertaken by the Parramatta District Men’s Shed

Tiles in a Frame

Tiles in a Frame

Our shed were approached by NEXT SENSE asking if we could frame 13 individual tiles that children had created.
Our men set to work immediately and produced the above wall hanging frame, complete with French Cleat on the back to hang the frame.
Our men were so excited to see the finished product and realised that some of the tiles also had Braille on them ……


Activity Center

Activity Center

Our shed was approached to make an activity center for a family with a child of special needs. This child requires stimulation and interaction in ways that are difficult without Assistance.

One of our members took this on and came up with this amazing CREATIVE concept and design …..

Activity Centre

Lion’s Club Honour Board

Proud creator of Lion’s Honour Board

Lion’s Club Honour Board

Parramatta Lion’s club commissioned Parramatta District Men’s shed (PDMSInc) to build an honour Board that would look very similar to their existing Honour Board. The existing Board was almost full.

After some review of the requirements our shed identified on of members who had considerable skills at this type of project …. although it was may years since he had completed such work. With heart in mouth a quote was prepared and subsequently accepted by the Lion’s club ….. so the work started with many restless nights spent by our expert  ….. worrying if he could really do this. Our executive had great faith in our shed members ability and encouraged him to relax and build it ….

Framework begins

Accuracy was so important in this project with some very fine joint work involved. Our shed expert spent many hours practicing his joinery before the final cut …… He also built some “jigs” to help with the detailed routing required to create fluting in the pillars of the frame.

Detailed flutes and joinery



Once the frame was completed to satisfaction the infill panels had to be meticulously fitted ….. this required a great deal of patience and precision cutting …. this is where the shed “Festool” equipment came to the forefront. Vertical alignment of the infill panel patterns was also critical.

Infill panels

Alignment of in fill panels

Next was the final sanding and preparation for finishing …. this took many hours of careful hand sanding and finishing in as dust free an environment possible. Several coats of the finishing had to be applied to obtain the professional finish required.


Final Product

AND THEN AFTER ALMOST 12 MONTHS of part time work the final product was PROUDLY completed

Final Product and It’s very proud CREATOR

OUR SHED HAS SOME VERY TALENTED MEMBERS, and they love passing on their knowledge and helping other members improve their skills.

PDMSInc and PCC up-cycle project

It all starts here ….

Parramatta City Council (PCC) and Parramatta District Men’s Shed Inc. (PDMSInc) join forces to reduce LANDFILL:

Roadside collections

Roadside collections


Hard wood fencing – from local fencing contractors

PCC up-cycle project

PCC asked our shed if we would like to be involved in an environmental project to help Parramatta and prevent some landfill …. the initial plan was for Our shed, on council roadside collection days, to pick up usable re-recyclable wood and metal.

After several sessions of roadside collection it became evident that there was not a lot of material to collect …. some of the locals were beating us to it ….. so we made arrangements with some of the local fencing contractors to deliver to our shed old hardwood palings destined for the tip. So a benefit to the fencing contractor and to our project.

During the PDMSInc collection periods PCC discovered that Primary schools within the LGA were looking for garden type seating and potting benches for their garden areas.

So PDMSInc member Robert McKenzie went through a detailed design and approval phase with PCC to come up with the final products …. bench seats, potting table and mudpie kitchen. Robert made a proto-type and refined it once or twice to end up with FINAL PRODUCTS (get the plans for  potting-bench-final-design,   pdms-up-cycling-design-documents-garden-box-and-others ) HERE


Creating Bench seat frame


Stabilising Potting Bench


Mud-Pie Kitchen








Twelve months down the track from the start of the idea the products were delivered to 13 schools in the local area ….

pcc-upcycle-project-11 pcc-upcycle-project-12

Final product ready for delivery

Final product ready for delivery

Here are some of the happy recipients  ……. (to see all the schools visit our NEWS page)


Pendle Hill Primary School


Rydalmere Public School


Oatlands Public School

HMAS Parramatta standards

  Standards ready for delivery

HMAS Parramatta standards ….

Each standard to depict the life of each of the ships, was requested by Dave Shakespeare.

The idea was that 4 local Schools would join a parade for the remembrance ceremony of the sinking of HMAS Parramatta 11.

HMAS Parramatta Shields template

HMAS Parramatta Standard template


So our shed hit the action button, with one of our members (Torrie) coming up with a design and making a template.

Standard copying by router

Standard copying by router

One of our other members (Rob) then proceeded to copy the template by cutting out  two faces and an insert between the faces. This allowed for a laminated sheet to be slipped inside the standard, thus allowing the standard to used for any occasion by changing the insert.

HMAS Parramatta Shields-3



Using laminated printed sheet for insert

Using laminated printed sheet for insert


Finished product

Finished product



Complete with Bamboo handles and a template to help position and cut the inserts for future re-use of the standard.




Shields ready for delivery

Shields ready for delivery




Hand over to Dave Shakespeare and one of our members (John Cole who also served duty on one of the HMAS Parramatta’s) what a coincidence and what fun to see the smiles of appreciation  …..

Bottle Labeling Jigs

Mutli – label JIG developed by Michael Instance

Bottle Labeling Jigs:

The business adviser for our Men’s shed from ACRE CONSULTING Pty Ltd(CLICK on link) Ian McHugh requested our members to look at designing a device that could use a roll of labels and apply these to bottles as automatically as possible. This brief was then extended to a single label and a device to make it easier to peel the label backing papers

PDMS President, Kerry Boyce noted:

“We are set up to help our members and the community – this looked like a great opportunity of collaboration with a like-minded organisation”.


Mutli - label JIG developed by Michael Instance

Mutli – label JIG developed by Michael Instance

After a few weeks of design and testing, two PDMS members, Michael Instance and Rob McKenzie developed wine labeling jigs for labels on rolls and individual labels.

Michael Instance designed, built and road tested the muli-label “bottle labeling JIG” as seen in photograph at left. This took a couple of iterations before coming up with what our shed thinks is the PERFECT solution.

Michael’s JIG was also trialed on an experimental basis at BEEHIVE Industries co-operative, it proved so successful that orders were placed for some more.

Cutting device for label backing paper

Cutting device for label backing paper

Cutting device for label backing papers

  Cutting device for label backing papers

Robert McKenzie also a volunteer at our shed at this time was developing a device for cutting the backing paper on single labels as this was the in inhibitor to developing a labeling jig. Robert persevered and finally came up with an adjustable device which is shear simplicity but brilliant in operation …..





Micheal and Robert at Beehive Industires

  Micheal and Robert at Beehive Industires



Michael and Robert have made a couple of visits to the Beehive Industries co-operative to improve their designs and to train members and using the “JIGS.





In addition when Minister Ajaka visited our shed he saw these jigs as proto-types ….. and to the Minister’s joy, he also visited the Beehive Industries  (CLICK on link) only to see the “Jigs in action and saving so much time, and creating massive improvements to production.


What a great outcome for everyone !!!!!



Possum Box Presentation 2016-28

Possum Box Presentation 2016-3

  Terry Niperess instructing Boys how to assemble the Possum Box

TWENTY new homes for western Sydney’s injured or displaced brush-tail possums have been built by boys from Parramatta High School with the help from the Parramatta District Men’s Shed.

Boys (from Parramatta High School) were referred by Karabi youth center, teamed up with Parramatta District Men’s shed volunteers over a period of 10 one day sessions to construct the boxes. The boxes will be used by Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Services (WIRES) to re-home brush-tail possums from places like residential home roof cavities.

Boxes ready to be assembled

Boxes ready to be assembled

Lord Mayor Clr. Paul Garrad

Lord Mayor Clr. Paul Garrad

Following the successful construction of the Possum Boxes, a hand-over to WIRES was convened at the Parramatta High School.

The Lord Mayor officiated in presenting the boxes and outlined how a grant from Parramatta city council to Wires was the catalyst for this marvelous community collaboration project.

A thank you speech was also delivered by one of the boys. The speech was a credit to his education at Parramatta High School.

Certificates were then presented to each of the participating boys by Deborah Martin on behalf WIRES.

……. read more (from Parramatta Sun, Thursday 5th April 2016)

…… YouTube video ….Possum using the Box



Burl LogBURL Bowl creation:

PDMSInc was asked to take the BURL that was on the side of this tree log and make a ceremonial Bowl from it. One of the shed members cut the burl with a chain saw.


The center of the burl contained soil and decayed matter which was removed to allow access to the harder material


Starting the Burl BowlMatildas BURL Bowl-5

Matildas BURL Bowl-7

A base to sit the bowl in was also carved out. Both the Burl and base were carved using the “Arbotech” turbo-grinder and flexible sanding disks





Matildas BURL Bowl-12

Custom Computer table

Custom Table

Finished Table

This is the finished Custom Computer Table that our shed was commissioned to create. A lady approached our team at one of the Parramatta Farmer’s Markets and requested if our shed could convert a series of left over Jarrah parquetry pieces from her floor into a table …. and that is how it started.

Our team came up with a design which included a curved front and provide the client with a quote, which was subsequently accepted and work began.

Our client was thankfully not in a major rush and said we could take up to 4 months ….. we thought this was reasonable …..

The process involved our team learning a whole range of new skills and the input from one of our EXPERT members to construction methods and refining of the design proved in-valuable.

Creating table top

Creating table top

The slowest part of the whole job was actually working out how to and then building the table top from the supplied parquetry pieces. Each piece had to be squared all round, biscuit joints put in and then assembled and glued and clamped down firmly so as to provide a structurally solid and flat finish. This took over a month to do on it’s own. Our member had to develop jigs to keep everything true, consistant and accurate. It was very much a slow process done a row at a time. Everything was numbered as it was squared to ensure best fit and look.



Sanding Table Top

Sanding Table Top

We then used a Festool sander and outrigger to sand the top many many times starting with a 40 grit and eventually finishing with an 800 grit sand paper. This was a critical part of the process to ensure that the table top was perfectly flat, even and most importantly appealing. Dust was a problem so safety gear was always worn and we had overhead dust extraction sytems going the whole time.

Several coats of special finish were applied to complete the effect of beautiful natural timber grains.



Table Base

Table Base

While the table top was industriously being completed another team member embarked on building from the gound up, the base for the table top. This was also a major piece of carpentry work and many new jointing techniques were learnt along the way ….. more importantly the correct way to ensure that everything was square and in alignment. Mortice and Tennon joints were employed in the legs. The timber was then sanded to the same quality as the table top and then stained and varnished to provide a similar appearance to the table top.



Curved Jig

Curved Jig

One of the more interesting techniques that our shed members learnt was to bend timber into an accurate pre-defined arc. It required constructing a jig of the curavture required, cutting the timber into thin strips and then glueing them together strip by strip to form the required thickness and then applying the calmps to the jig to bend the timber into shape. It was then left for a week for the glue to dry and the timber to mould correctly. Then carefully and accurately fitted to the table base ….. and SURPISE … the table top fitted perfectly and was level and aligned …. the team was so thrilled at the result.



Happy Ending

Happy Ending



Our client was ECSTATIC when we delivered it to her home and placed it in it’s resting place …. Our client wishes to remain anonymous but we are sure you can tell who it is by the BIG smile of satisfaction on their face …. look out for them next time you are at Parramatta Centennary Square!!!!!!!