Administration and Maintenance



                           Brad Primeau                           



It just doesn't happen! It takes a cadre of volunteers to keep equipment and buildings operational so the membership can enjoy a club providing almost a half-million dollars worth of equipment in each shop, which is unmatched on the East coast. If it weren't for the departments dedicated volunteers and more importantly, the expertise they provide, the club could not, change that, would not operate. Blue and Yellow Badge members are not only there to help members throughout the day but also perform functions behind the scenes to ensure both shops including the buildings are open.


Members of the maintenance team work on Sundays and sometimes early Monday morning before either shop opens. So what do they do? At Rolling Acres the dust collection filters need to be cleaned once a week. The team arrives sometime at 6am Sunday and following a rotational cleaning schedule blow the sawdust out of the filters using compressed air. If you think its fun or anything to do with woodworking VOLUNTEER for the filter cleaning team. They always need help!

At Brownwood usually on Sunday as well, a team performs preventative maintenance on the equipment so its available during regular operating hours. Again, if you thing that’s fun or has anything to do with woodworking VOLUNTEER. You can help clean a planer cutting assembly, rotating and cleaning over 500 half-inch extremely sharp individual cutters and do it in a way that ensures everything is precisely placed and calibrated. Oh, protective gloves will be needed!


Many of the members who volunteer bring a level of technical expertise that would be cost prohibitive if the club had to pay for the services they willingly provide. Maintenance has members with electrical, mechanical, fabrication, electronic, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, painting, construction, and many other skills. Many retired from these trades and thankfully use them to keep the club operational. The department and club are lucky they want to do it.

A comment was made “why can’t the club just hire someone to fix this or that?” The first problem would be finding someone who knows how to fix woodworking equipment. Yes, electric drills, sanders, skill or jig saws and small electic tools or lights can be repaired but, other equipment on the floor is specialized and finding someone to repair the equipment is next to impossible.

More often than not the manufacturer only provides technical support over the phone. The days of onsite technical support are gone. Even online technical support is limited. As one vendor said when the team was repairing the Brownwood planer “I haven’t seen one of these (our planer). I’ll go to the warehouse to see if I can find one.” It may take the team longer but with ALL the combined know how they “getter done.”


So, what’s it take to keep the shops running? Let’s look at the number of hours that has been logged in by the team as Repair when they check in. Last year over 13,670 Repair hours were worked. So far this year almost 5000 hours have been worked! Imagine at $20 an hour what the cost would be. It can also be assumed that many forget to log in under the Repair category so its reasonable to add another 10% to these hours.

There are many days members are there to work on their own project but choose to wear their badges. It’s not an understatement to say the amount of time they spend on their project is minimal because of their willingness to help members while they are there.

We Need You!