My model Jeep collection began to breed (at least that’s what I told my better half). What started out as a few Matchbox models in a shoe-box quickly grew to over three hundred models crammed into three display cabinets. I thought that one of the cabinets should be replaced with a longer, taller unit about 3.4m long and 1.7m tall along one wall of the room to properly display the collection.

Lionel is the Men’s Shed’s go-to man when taking on projects like this and is always in demand helping members with their projects or doing Shed jobs. Talking with him quickly determined that the unit would be too long, so he suggested it should be made as two twin cabinets. Lionel agreed to take the lead and assist with the project.

First up, Bill Ide volunteered to approach his trade contacts for them to supply timber pre-cut to our measurements at a discount. The project was under way!

Each side panel had to be drilled to accommodate adjustable shelf pegs. This sounded a daunting task until Lionel explained how to use a template, making the task simple and easy. Then he measured and marked the side panels so that holes for screwing on the top, middle and bottom panels could be drilled and countersunk, and the bottom corners notched to clear the skirting boards. After drilling, the timber had to be sanded and Robert advised about what piece of equipment was needed and how to operate it.

A project of this size soon attracted attention     and, as assembly of the first cabinet commenced, various guys gathered and watched Lionel display some tricks of his trade. Gary, Len and others helped with manual handling when the unit needed to be re-positioned during assembly.

When Lionel had to move on to other Shed projects, Les stepped up and finished the assembly job, and dressed any unevenness with a plane. Les then assembled the second cabinet with Merv acting as Tradesman’s Assistant. As the side panels had already been drilled and countersunk it was glue’n screw, staple the back on, then plane where necessary. Again, several guys pitched in with the manual-handling when necessary.

To get these huge cabinets out of the way of daily Shed activity and for safe keeping, they were transported to and from home several times, and each time Bill W and his trailer were pressed into service without complaint.

Back at the shed and Aaron sprayed each cabinet with three coats of sealer and two coats of clear finish during one Thursday morning session. They were left at the shed until the following Monday to allow the coating to properly harden prior to transporting home.

To complete the project the cabinets have glass sliding doors and seven glass shelves each, all supplied by a local glazer company, again with Bill Ide assisting.

This project could not have been done without the advice, help and skills provided by the members of the Men’s Shed, and the use of the Shed’s facilities. I cannot thank everyone enough. If I’ve missed out on mentioning anybody’s valued assistance I apologise. The cabinets look good in their room, and the model Jeep collection has ample room for future expansion, and to show off, with 2/3rds of the collection living in the new cabinets.

Each side panel had to be drilled to accommodate adjustable shelf pegs

assembly of the first cabinet commenced

Final adjustments of cabinet

Back at the shed and Aaron sprayed each cabinet with three coats of sealer and two coats of clear finish