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Posts Tagged ‘Workshop’

This weekend saw the second guitar workshop I have run for my local Council.

We had about 30 people over the two days – all with very different levels of playing, experience, interests etc. All in all it seemed to go very well – here’s a quick shot of one of the written ‘Action Tasks’ in progress:

Acoustic Miscellany workshop, 22.3.2014

Acoustic Miscellany workshop, 22.3.2014

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This year the arts and leisure department of my local Council have commissioned me to run another guitar workshop (22nd /23rd March), under the aegis of Redbourn Folk Club, during the council’s ‘Music City’ week of cultural activities

A cut-down version of the one I did last year for them, it promised to be a fun couple of days… if anyone lives in the area and fancies coming, do get in touch – this year it’s completely free!

A flyer featuring the event can be downloaded from here, or more details on the week can be found here >>

Here is some blurb:

Acoustic Guitar Techniques workshop with Clive Batkin

A one day acoustic guitar taster workshop run by Clive Batkin in the Old School Room, behind the Hollybush pub, Church End, Redbourn, AL3 7DU*

The course will be run on each of the following days:
Saturday 22nd March: 10.30 – 4.30
Sunday 23rd March: 10.30 – 4.30

(Coffee and lunch are available from the bar at cost, but we recommend people bring their own as refreshments / food since the pub can be very busy (particularly at lunchtimes) and this impacts into the course time)

A one day course for beginners, intermediates and improvers to explore a wider range of acoustic guitar techniques. The course will focus on an overview of different techniques that can be applied to make your playing more interesting, help break out of ruts & plateaus in your practicing or move away from conventional ways of playing.

Everyone should have a basic grasp of their instrument. It is open to both plectrum and finger-style players** and does not require one to read music. The course may also be of interest to other stringed / fretted instruments such as mandolins / mandolas.

**Please note that although all the techniques covered can be played by finger-style players, the course does not focus on finger-picking techniques, patterns or ways of playing as specific topics.

Clive is an experienced player, perform and teacher, specialising in acoustic folk / roots music. As well as the acoustic guitar he also plays mandolin, the electric guitar and bass guitars, as well as home-made instruments such as his unique ‘harp guitar’.

Space is limited to 12 per day, so early booking is advised.

Please contact Clive directly with any queries, or to book a place on the course:
clive@cbatkin.plus.com
0777 1822414

* Please double check before coming on the course as the venue may be subject to change

See also: www.redbournfolkclub.org.uk

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Well, the votes are now in for Shed of the Year competition 2011 and, once again, I have not won. . .

Strangely however, I did come fifth in my category (Workshop shed) which is exactly the same place I came when I took part in the competition a couple of years ago!? Curiouser and curiouser!

Fifth again!

Fifth again!

A full list of the category winners and the runners-up can be seen here >>

Hey Ho, it’s not the winning but the taking part that matters!? (yeah, right!)…  Looking at who won my category however (the fantastic Songs From the Shed organisation) I guess I don’t feel too badly – its one of my favourite sites and I could never hope to compete with their readership (yet!)

Many thanks indeed to all of you out there who either voted for me or posted kind comments. Looks like I wont be having that winner’s party after all, but hopefully I’ll still be having lots of fun in The Shed for some time to come. . .

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So, this year I have decided to give another go at winning, or at least doing better than I did last time (coming a measly fifth in my category of workshop shed) in Shed of the Year competition!

I’ve been working long and hard lately, making several improvements and additions to Clivey’s Shed. . . mainly lots of new, custom-built storage, tidying and rationalising some of the numerous contents and, most importantly, fitting a self-made skylight for some much-needed natural light.

I made the roof window myself – and here’s how. . .

The skylight is made from an old sealed window unit I cut from a discarded aluminium back door. The sealed unit is made of two sides of glass, one clear and the other opaque/patterned, with a aluminium/rubber seal holding the two together.

original two-sided window unit

original two-sided window unit

I broke the patterned side with a hammer, carefully so as not to go right through and break the other side! This left a clear pane of glass, complete with the surround/seal. This needed a lot of cleaning up to remove old bits of rubber and some adhering bits of the opaque glass – bizarrely I found an old cheese / fruit knife the best for this and it rapidly stripped off any remaining debris.

cleaning up the remaining pane

cleaning up the remaining pane

Choosing where to put the skylight in the roof was easy – there was an ideal space right above the workbench, snugly between the roof joists. I marked out a square hole slightly smaller than the skylight in the roof ready for cutting out

site of the window

site of the window

Before I cut the boards, I held what was to become the waste square together with two strips of old shelf bracket, screwed into place into the wood. I did this was because I thought it would be good to keep this section as a blind/cover which could be fitted back into place if needed? (I am guessing that in the height of summer it could get pretty hot / blinding in there and the ability to mask off the window would be quite useful – the wooden cover might even act as a bit of added security if I went away for any period of time?).

old shelf supports screwed to roof square

old shelf supports screwed to roof square

Haing done this, I simply cut out the square with a handsaw and a jigsaw for tricky corners etc. The roof is made of tongue and groove boards with an outer covering of roofing felt, which needed a bit of cutting from the outside with a Stanley knife to remove cleanly.

Roof before the operation!

Roof before the operation!

The first cut!

The first cut!

The hole cut - just the roofing felt to go!

The hole cut - just the roofing felt to go!

The final hole from outside

The final hole from outside

I then simply masticced the glass unit in place on the outside of the roof (using waterproof sealant – £0.99 from the Pound Shop, what a marvellous place that is!!), but also secured it down to the roof with the use of four aluminium strips (one per side/edge of the unit) I adapted from old kitchen cupboard door pulls (there was a strip of ally that needed to be cut off with the angle grinder (left hand image in the second photo below) allowing the strip to be fitted flush to the edge of the indow (right hand image in the second photo below).

Window unit ready to go in!

Window unit ready to go in!

Aluminimun draw handles repurposed into window supports

Aluminimun draw handles repurposed into window supports

Everything was sealed at every step with more mastic – the edges and strips were given a  coat of gloss black paint afterwards just to help it blend into the roof.

Fitting the window in place

Fitting the window in place

So, not a bad mornings’ work if I say so myself – amazing what a bit of planning and forethought can achieve (not normally my strong point!).

Finished window!

Finished window!

There has so far been one heavy downpour of rain since I fitted the thing, and the whole construction seems surprisingly waterproof! There were a few drips from the top leading edge, but I think some sort of aluminum strip over the whole top edge may sort that and be generally advisable at some point (the whole roof needs work to be honest so I may try to do all these patches at the same time).

I am loving my new, well-lit, workspace and already I can feel the creative juices coming back to life! I actually have a second, much larger sealed unit that I may even put into the other side f the roof for even more light – I might see how this one stands up to a summer/winter before doing that!?

The view from inside!

The view from inside!

A well-lit bench!

A well-lit bench!

More photos of the improvements, and of the original look-shed can be seen on my ‘Clivey’s Shed’ page on Readers Shed’s.co.uk from Monday 16th – please vote for me in the public vote from Tuesday 17th May!!

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