Bruce Men’s Shed Spring Into Action

Photo: The bat boxes were a great learning experience on design and assembly.
Submitted by The Bruce Men’s Shed 

As spring arrives today (March 19) we are gearing up for outdoor activities and to that end we are building bat houses for our resident species, the little brown bat and the big brown bat.

Based on recommendations from Canadian bat specialist Karen Vanderwolf of the University of Waterloo, we designed and built a number of three-chamber houses that will be installed and monitored by Nature Conservancy Canada on properties on the Bruce Peninsula. We will also be making smaller versions that homeowners might want to purchase as well.

With so many skills within our group, we want to make a point of teaching while we gather to build these houses. We learned about operating a radial arm saw, a table saw, and using a table saw to run dado grooves in the wood. The dado slots make for a perfect fit. I’m sure that the bats will really love the boxes. 

Photo: Lee Brown with the prototype bat box.

We learned techniques for gluing up and nailing the boxes together using a pneumatic nailer. Lee Brown, who is a dynamo in the workshop, walked us through the steps from start to finish. Michael kindly let us use his workshop to do final assembly, in a warm space too!

Next month Bruce Men’s Shed will celebrate its first full year and we are planning a breakfast event to be held at the Lion’s Head Legion noted at the end of this article. At a kickoff breakfast in April last year we had 44 men come out. At that time we had about 15 members, and now almost a year later, we count more than 70 and over one third are regular attendees.

Our latest venture, cooking/baking classes led by Chris Koos got off to a soft start. Soft in that a few guys got together in test classes to make what Chris calls “breakfast boats” the first week and muffins and scones the next week. I can attest that they were delicious. 

Photo: Bruce Men’s Shed members preparing breakfast boats.

In preparation for our anniversary breakfast we will continue sampling recipes that we can duplicate the morning of the April meeting. 

In coincidental timing, a few of us attended a webinar hosted by Men’s Sheds Ontario, the topic was “Nutrition for Senior Men” which of course applies to all seniors.

Tuesday afternoons when the kitchen is available we will hold more cooking classes, contact us if you would like to join in!

• Weekly Meeting: Monday Morning Coffee from 9-11am, 

• Monthly Meeting: Third Saturday each month from 9-11am, at Legion 202 on highway 6 just north of Ferndale. Doors open at 8:30am.

For further information about the Men’s Shed movement and the Bruce Men’s Shed reach us at or call Gerry at (519) 793-3005 or check us out on FaceBook and YouTube.