Administration and Maintenance



                           Brad Primeau                            Dave Adamovich

Greetings from your Blue and Yellow Badge Maintenance team! The number of members using both shops is slowly increasing. Our brothers and sisters from the North are returning as cooler weather creeps in. Speaking of the North there has been a noticeable uptick of members filling Santa’s wish lists from their families. Lathe work, laser etchings, CNC carvings, cutting boards you name it, VHC elf's are busy making presents so Santa can leave them to their families. The maintenance team always looks forward to the return of Blue and Yellow volunteers from the North and the additional help they provide is ALWAYS APPRECIATED!

Many of you have read the recent email the Maintenance Department sent out asking for Blue and Yellow Badge volunteers. If you are interested in helping please contact one of the POCs listed in the email. Without volunteers shop operations would be severely impacted. There are only a few cases where a repair or modification cannot be made by someone on the team. If someone or several members can’t ‘getter done’ one of them usually knows where they go to get something repaired or another VHC member who might know where to get it reparied. The Blue’s cannot be more appreciated for the work they do! It’s their early morning attention to detail and coordination with the Monitors that ‘kick starts’ the shops into full operation. They report for duty, perform a myriad of tasks and depart or in some cases work on their projects or ‘hang’ with a Yellow badge to learn what they do. Several have “transitioned” to the Yellow side and are providing Blue and Yellow support functions as needed. Several months ago Dan Botner agreed to be the Rolling Acres (RA) Maintenance Department’s Blue Badge Procedures Coordinator. It’s a LONG title for someone who has volunteered to standardize and work with the BBs on the way they should perform a LONG list of tasks. Dan has taken on a large task and needs the club’s support to make it happen.

It’s the end of the year and time for both shops to cleaned up or out in some cases. Once a year except for the time the shops were closed for COVID, the shops are blown down – dust is blown off ductwork, tops of cabinetry and other surfaces. After that happens, usually the next day, the equipment, work and office spaces, Crib, clamps, mats etc., and other spaces are vacuumed, wiped or washed down and small repairs are made if time allows. At the end of the day, floors are wet-mopped. In order to do the best job possible all members please note the following:


This year’s cleanup dates are: Brownwood – Blow down, November 21 (Monday COB) Cleaning, November 22 (Tuesday, Shop Closed) Rolling Acres – Blow down, December 16 (Friday COB) Cleaning, December 17 (Saturday, Shop Closed)

Occasionaly tools are broken or when a member first uses a tool something is broken is to be expected. The annual membership fee covers the cost of replacing or repairing these things. What is not covered is when a tool is intentionally stolen! A Dremel driver is missing from the RA tool Crib. The checkout box still has all the attachments but the Dremel driver is gone. Of course there is no indication that the last person who used it, which was several weeks ago, had anything to do with it missing. It was discovered by one of the Crib monitors checking out/inspecting the tool boxes for any discrepancies. It’s hard to misplace a major component or inadvertently put it in a tool bag. Club dues will be used to purchase another one but having to replace a tool that should last for several years before it is necessary is a waste of club resources!

Another problem that happens in both shops is having something brought back to the Crib or putting it back on the clamp rack broken and/or breaking something on a machine or finding one with a problem WITHOUT telling anyone. Mistakes do happen but not letting someone know creates a problem for the next person who wants to use it, delays part ordering because it has to be ‘discovered’ by someone else before it can be ordered and it’s just inconsiderate to other members.


What! Having a red light district isn’t the problem it’s members leaving equipment running and walking away with the red safety light still lit showing the machine is operating. Maybe the noise at Brownwood stops a person from hearing the machine run but being able to hear something run is not part of following the clubs shutdown procedures. Everyone needs to make sure the machine is off, guards are in place and it is PUT BACK in the standard configuration. But some may say it wasn’t that way when I started to use it or I found it that way. Oh well, keeping things together is the safe way to leave a machine and makes it easier to know when something is missing, broken or out of calibration.

To some it might be music that is the sound of a bandsaw cutting through a piece of wood because the user selected the correct blade size, used the correct pushing pressure and TURNING THE SAW OFF BEFORE THE BLADE IS BACKED OUT OF A CUT. Yes, shutting the saw off before backing it out of a cut is the VWC bandsaw procedure to follow. Leaving the saw running while backing out of a cut may be something that is done in other or home shops BUT it is not a sVWC procedure. One of the most frequent reasons a blade breaks is because of backing the blade out without shutting it off. So, a member can make bandsaw music or listen to @%&^*(*^$$#%*, which is the music you will hear from a maintenance person who has to change a broken blade.

Time to be blunt. It’s a member’s responsibility to clean their work space, clean an item that has been checked out of the Crib or clean the area behind equipment such as the miter saws. It is not the monitors job, although they do it, to clean up after a member who doesn't feel they they have to do it. It’s every members shop not just a members shop. Let’s keep it the best club dollar for dollar that money can can pay for.