Open Forum

Our weblog site is under construction and relies on the input from Members & Guests who wish to make a constructive input for our onward development. WordPress offers a wide and varied platform for social communications and the Webmaster invites any and all usable comment.



During the month of June, I experimented with the conversion of 150mm diameter stormwater pipe into 750mm cut lengths, with a lathed stopper cap made from recycled pine, retrieved from pallets and elsewhere. 35mm holes were holesawed into the base and the entire unit decorated with random art. This experiment continues with some highly pleasing results. The outcome, with the addition of red worms, has resulted in a working worm farm, ready for garden bed, or planter pot.

Author: Editor

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13 thoughts on “Open Forum”


    The adventurous notion (for a Men’s Shed) that an Arts & Crafts Centre should be developed has advanced to partial completion of our facility with the able assistance of 2 Members (Brian & Ian), who with myself have now experimented with various forms of “dirty pour” – using acrylic paints, acquired from various sources. Acrylics are water based, making the clean up quite simple and convenient, and the wet area at DMSI will eventually provide a centre for many forms of artworks interpretation. Members are encouraged to participate at any time, particularly by collecting unused paints whenever an opportunity arises. Quantities of samples are available from Suppliers, simply by asking the question and developing an association with a commercial vendor for collection. There are several paint shops in and around Dorrington. The Trade Paint Centre at Newmarket has already been approached and future arrangements made. Taubman’s in Alderley also.

  2. The Lions and Me
    by Secretary Len

    This is a true story, unlike the presentation I made to Garnet last week (more on this later).

    I knew nothing about VFL when PMG transferred me to Melbourne in 1971. I had to learn quickly because the smoko discussion on Monday morning was the footy (definitely not Rugby League I knew in QLD). Also plenty of discussion at APEX (which I had joined in Mackay the year before) and the Melbourne Apex Club met at the Carlton Football Club every 2nd Monday. So I took myself to a few games sometimes with Apexians and often we met at a Hotel near the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) – yes, I learned that “footy” took over the Cricket grounds during winter.

    In those days, there was much bigger crowds at games because it was mostly standing room only – and I found out that when you purchased a 6-pack of cans, then you could stand on those cans and see the footy better. While you stood on 5 cans, then you would be drinking the other one. Remember in those days, they were steel cans (not the flimsy aluminium cans) so empty cans could be used as well. Also remember, smoking was rife (not these days).

    The Victorian competition was 11 Melbourne Clubs and 1 from Geelong, and every Saturday afternoon there were 6 games starting on 6 different grounds all at 2.30pm. ABC radio was the go, and the ABC chief commentator would announce regularly that he would get scores from “around the grounds”.

    ABC commentators still go “around the grounds” but there is never more than 2 games at any time.

    After seeing games played at Victoria Park (the Pies home ground) and most of the other home grounds, I decided I had to pick a team, and that came down to a choice between Richmond and Melbourne (both used MCG as their home ground) and Fitzroy Lions who played at St Kilda. I don’t remember how I eliminated Melbourne, and I decided that the winner of the game at St Kilda between the Tigers and the Lions would be my team. So I followed Richmond Tigers from then on. The Lions will be a continuing story that I will come to in another episode of “The Lions and Me”.

    Future episode:
    How my story became a Love Story (may be censored).
    What happened to the Tigers.
    What happened to the Lions.
    Where does Garnet come into this story?


    The ongoing experimentation with stormwater pipe has produced an interesting result, not only for Stubby Dispensers, but now Worm Farms. Above are the results of applying the Dot Art painting concept to the exterior of the pipe, producing now an article for fund raising. Committee has sanctioned the production of 16 worm farms, and able assistance to apply random art is required. Generally John R and myself are beavering away with brush and paint each Friday. You’re welcome to join in.


      In the ambitious pursuit of variation to the norm, I wish to experiment with melting solid plastic bottle caps – safely – at 180C, The multi coloured, vari-sized caps on drink bottles, milk containers etc. can be formed like a bread dough, into 6mm thick sheets for insertion between scrap plywood when gluing up the blanks for lathing the Worm Farm stoppers. I’ll place a suitable receptacle at the Shed for deposits. Kindly rinse off any glug. Many thanks



    The notion of a Community Garden being developed on the 1200 m2 lower grassed area is gaining some momentum among Members. Certainly a vision for the future depending on many issues. However no fire without fuel. The science of hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics offers many opportunities, as does worm farming, barrel gardening, shaded gazebos, etc. The potential is enormous. I personally am in contact with some specialists in this area, and await future developments. To start with, we require an accurate scale plan of the target site, including 4WD/trailer one-way access and secure wrought iron gates. Also the application of a wall garden feature utilising the northern retaining wall. Open forum chaps.!! Derek L.


    Just yesterday, became engaged in a friendly conversation with a local lady, while jointly waiting for our spouses at Bernie Brae. The conversation drifted to house moving and subsequent garage clear outs, resulting in an offer for DMSI to inspect the garage contents in the New Year to acquire tools and timber. Also her spouse might be interested in our Shed. Just an example of the opportunity that exists out there in the public domain.


    Members who wish to have photos published on this page can simply email an image from a Smartphone, Tablet or another computer to the personal email with a description and name of Sender. The files are then processed (doctored for size, shape and exposure), changed to a .jpeg file (if not already done) and transferred into a WordPress Media bank for site insertion. Only takes a few minutes, but please ensure accurate descriptions.

    I’m still fiddling with photo placement into actual Comments, bear with me. All photos will appear in the Header section.

  7. Testing comment from another email address following invitation from DMSI. OK, now thoroughly tested in both directions. The Editors/Webmasters issue an invitation to a Member as a Contributor and that Member replies. From that point a Contributor can comment by logging in with the nominated email address as User Name followed by WordPress password. Comment always awaits moderation.


    I’m posting up an experimental Comment, to attempt pictorial input. This current WordPress option differs from those I’ve used previously and the editorial protocol has changed. Bear with me, Only the hotlinked caption so far, but I’m working on .jpeg file placement within the body of a Comment. See the Header photo and match up with the following comment. Continuing trials for .jpeg insertion are frustratingly denied, must be a changed editorial protocol. Note that I’ve added the intended photo at the header above.

    Kayak Building


      The header photo above shows how an inexpensive ($150 from Aldi) table saw can be modified with safety features, to manage large WRC planks (280mm x 90mm x 4800mm) ripped down to 19mm x 7mm strips for further processing. This method was adopted to facilitate a lone operator (as seen in the photo album) and to ensure accuracy of ripping. The venture was 100% successful, no accidents and no errors.


    In Dorrington Parish some ideas flow
    From the Old Blokes, with plenty of gusto
    So a Men’s Shed they set up
    And each Friday they get up
    And give it a good Aussie go-go.

    Down Dorrington way, a few Old Blokes
    Had ideas like the spread of some wheel spokes
    So their Men’s Shed they formed
    And quite soon they performed
    And the world very soon, knows their high hopes.


    For an initial period, I’ve offered my supportive help in getting the DMSI weblog site widely operational. The nature of the site is limited only by our imagination, and currently Readers will note that additional hotlink titles are appearing in the Header Bar (top of the page at view). Members need to familiarise themselves with the vocabulary of this medium. Your individual input is vital to our growth, so please indulge in wishful thought and suggestion as to what type and style of topic you wish to have at view.

    In particular, you’ll observe in the right hand column (STOP PRESS), which is denoted a “Widget” column, there is an item “Open Forum”, designed to accept general, fresh topical input. This Comment of mine is the first example of input. Over to Members to indulge.

    In this example, I’m logging in under a private Personal Memoirs weblog site to demonstrate how the partial lifetime Memoir of an individual can be recorded for posterity. Familes, particularly grandchildren and great grandchildren are today, more than ever aware of recorded family history. Any Member requiring support and assistance in recording Memoirs can find help here. Just ask. I’m happy to collaborate with you with text and photos to record your earlier years for younger generations to follow.

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