VWA Blog

School updates and regular announcements

10 May 2023 VWA Updates

Wood Design Centre

Liam Thomas, our VWA workshop manager, has been overseeing and implementing various improvements within the Wood Design Centre over the past few months. Among the recent upgrades, the drill press received new quill bearings and two drive belts, while the Makita router on the router table was replaced with a Triton (1400w). In addition, the collect extender was swapped out with a new CMT extender, which now requires two spanners to change the cutting bit from above. All 204V appliances have been tagged and tested and the dust extractor has been serviced. Needless to say, the WDC is ready for term 2 classes!

VWA woodworking classes – Student projects

Take a look at some of the brilliant work being done by students enrolled in our woodworking classes. We have a wonderful group of teachers and assistants helping our students tackle some very advanced woodworking techniques and design challenges. Follow us as we follow them on their woodworking journey. 

Meet – Mark Brown

Mark has been working with VWA teacher, Alex Lesniowski, on a bent lamination wine rack made predominantly from two types of timber. The blonde timber, Maple, has been used for the carcass, while the contrasting warm tones of Myrtle have been used for the bent lamination shelves. The mitered corners on the carcass have been reinforced with Walnut splines, which were made from recycled scraps. To achieve the curved shelves, three thin strips of Myrtle were soaked in water and then clamped over a form to dry. Once dried, the three strips were glued and repressed back over the form. In this lesson, Alex and Mark are seen discussing the splines they could use to join the smaller segments of curved Myrtle shelving together.

Meet – Simon Hanh

For a first project Simon has set the benchmark high! He bought in drawing plans from a woodworking magazine, Fine Woodworking, which takes the maker through a range of advanced joinery techniques. In the framework, you can see a blend of traditional and modern techniques, including dovetail rails and mitred loose tenons. Simon is working with Blackwood timber for the frame and carcass, and  for the dovetail drawers, he has chosen a very rare and special piece of Huon pine.

Meet – Andrea Vecchi

Andrea is working on a shelving unit, which sounds simple but as we know never is!! Andrea is using a series of half laps in the frame which will act as shelf supports. There are many components and half laps involved, which require each joint to be fitted precisely with its original corresponding half lap. Here in this lesson VWA teacher and Artist in Residence, Isabel Avendano, is helping Andrea assess how much timber needs to be taken off for the half laps to fit perfectly. Both are getting up close to see if they have that perfect fit!

Follow Andrea Vecchi @andre.old

Meet – Chris Kelly

Chris, like many individuals who find themselves in high stress jobs, turned to woodworking classes at the VWA as a means of restoring some of that balance again. Chris has found that working with his hands provides him with a calming focus that he finds fulfilling and therapeutic. In his latest lesson, VWA teacher and Artist in Residence, Isabel Avendano, can be seen guiding Chris through the next steps of his Walnut tambour sideboard. With the carcass work sorted out, Chris has decided to make use of his offcuts and make a frame. Spotted with Assistant and Artist in Residence, Jessica Humpston, gluing up the frame.

Follow Chris Kelly @ckp82

Machine Room Booking

VWA members can book a place to use the machine room for timber machining on the first Sunday of every month from 1.00 – 4.00pm. The cost is $30 per hour.

If you missed this month, keep the 4th of June pencilled in for the next available session!

Machining is supervised by long standing woodworker and respected teacher Carl Lutz.

Members must have previous experience in using machinery and/or have undertaken at least one term of a Victorian School of Woodwork class or equivalent. Current students can also book the machine room at this time, but the classroom will not be available.

To book a spot, please fill out the form at:  https://vwa.org.au/membership/machine-room-booking/

Contact Us

Victorian Woodworkers Association (VWA)
Postal Address

42 Courtney St,
North Melbourne, VIC 3051
03 5776 2178

VWA Wood Design Centre and Workshop

5 Tyrone St,
North Melbourne, VIC 3051
View map



You can also get in contact using the form and we will make sure your message gets to the right person.

Contact form