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April 2022     Vol. 8
The Red Bench Women's Workshop Corporation
Monthly Newsletter
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In February, we launched our first group DIY project. But it wasn't enough! Quickly after, we had our second group DIY project in April as well as a welding workshop night in collaboration with the Canadian Welding Bureau. 

With both Mack and Jo in school full time, a lot of hard work went into making it all happen - after all, it is just the two of us. With these amazing accomplishments under our belts we look back on what we have done so far with happiness and pride.

It was also a big moment professionally and academically for Mack and Jo, who both finished off the semester and snagged dream jobs in industry. Jo finished her last semester ever of her undergraduate degree and will be throwing her graduate cap in the air in early summer!


On April 22, we were paid a visit by the executive director of the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB Group), Max Ceron. If you recognize the name, that is because Max has a podcast which we were featured on last year. Besides being an exec and podcast personality, Max is an avid welding educator with decades of industry experience as a welder himself.

Max gave a guest talk on welding joint types, which are the various configurations that metal can be positioned and welded at the interface. Of course, he peppered the talk with inspirational messages and a lot of good reasons to take on welding as a career and/or hobby. It made our hearts swell!

After the talk, we put on our welding gear and busted out the welders. All 8 participants tried their hand at welding a lap joint and fabricated their own keychains to take home. Max brought letter and number metalworking stamps so everyone could emboss a personal message on their keychains. On top of it all, he had a The Red Bench stamp made just for us. It was an incredible night we will never forget. 


Miller Electric Mfg. LLC generously donated welding helmets, jackets, and gloves to us in February. Miller is a household name in the welding industry and manufactures the finest welding equipment in the world. Their generosity didn't end - in April we received a donation of a brand spankin' new Millermatic 255.

This badass machine can not only do typical DC current welding processes like MIG and FCAW but also AC current welding, meaning that we can now add aluminium to the list of materials that can be welded in the shop. We can't wait to get it up an running and shoot some video to show you all what it is about. Needless to say, we are feeling the love.

Miller is a company that is dedicated to making the world a better place. They even pay their employees when they take time off to volunteer in their communities! This outstanding commitment to volunteerism and community improvement makes us proud to call Miller our sponsor.

Visit Miller's Website


You all know that we are no stranger to social media as we have been keeping the world in the know about The Red Bench on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for almost a year and a half. In March, we were invited to feature in a University of Alberta publication called Folio. Well, that article not only blew up but lead to a whirlwind of TV, radio, and magazine interviews by the CBC, CTV, and the University of Alberta Folio and Gateway magazines.

Check out the list below for links to all of our spiffy media coverage!


Take a look at how our first group DIY project finished up! Everyone had such a good time that we had to extend the five week project by one more week.

Week 4
We got down to it and started welding our tree trunks to their bases. What would a tree trunk be without bark-like texture? We let the creativity flow and added some texture by putting weld tacks over the trunks. The next step was welding the branches to the trunk. Our members were in the zone!

Week 5
So in the zone, in fact, that everyone wanted to come back for an extra work session to finish welding on their last branches and round the branch tips with the Dremel tool. The trees looked so good, we couldn't wait to get to The Powdermill to get them powder coated.

Week 6
During the week, Mack and Jo dropped the finished trees at The Powdermill, a local powder coating facility in Edmonton. On the day of the session, everyone met at The Powdermill shop space for a fantastic tour and detailed explanation of the powder coating process. At the end of the tour, our gracious hosts Erin, Dale, and Leah presented us with the coated trees. They looked so beautiful we couldn't stop admiring them! It was a great day and a great way to end our first project. 


Let's take a look at our ALCO Wall Hooks project!  This project, in contrast to the ALCO Jewelry Trees, gave our members a look into creating a piece that required precise measurement, symmetry, and structural integrity in the welds. We are so proud of the ladies that joined us for this project and SO impressed with how the hooks turned out! Photos below! 

Week 1 
The first week always starts with a complete shop orientation, health and safety training, and project introduction. Once we were geared up with our PPE, we moved on to the angle grinder with a safety training and demonstration. We believe that the best way to learn is to:

1. Be informed
2. To try it out!

Which is exactly what the group did. They were naturals on the angle grinder and we were so encouraged to see them embrace the tool as an integral part of the metalworking process. Oh, and they even cut the rebar sections for Week 2! 

Week 2 
After a safety training, the group practiced drilling into sections of steel to get a feel for how the tool reacts to such a strong material. Then, they split up into groups and began preparing the individual components of their wall hooks: measuring, cutting and grinding their backing plates, drilling all holes needed, and bending their rebar hooks. Everyone took charge of their design; bending their rebar into any shape depending on how they wanted their hook to look and function! 

Week 3
Hello, welding session! This week, we had a complete safety training, demonstration, and practice time on the MIG welder. We even had time to complete some of the plug welds that attach the rebar hook to the backing plate! These welds were critical as they are the anchoring points that manage the load of, let's say, a few heavy jackets on the hook for a long period of time. To create a strong weld, sufficient penetration of the molten weld metal into the base material (backing and rebar) is key. Of course, the ladies rocked it and made beautiful, full penetration welds! 

Week 4
To wrap up the project, the group finished plug welding the backing plate and decorative nuts on the ends of the rebar, angle grinded the welded surfaces flat, and finished the hook surface using the buffing wheel and Dremel tool. The finish left on the hooks after buffing was incredibly bright and shiny and made for a satisfying end to the project. We can't wait to see how these hooks look up on their walls, being a beautiful and functional piece made 100% by hand. We are so proud! 

Thank you to ALCO Gas & Oil Production Equipment Ltd. for sponsoring our fist two group DIY projects. For more information on ALCO Gas & Oil, visit their website using the button below.

Visit ALCO Gas & Oil's Website


Check out next issue for the answers (or you can email us for the answers sooner)!

esrabustt     pmaals     khobrcnew  

Last issue word scramble answers:

grinder    electrode    toolbox   


We seek to create a low-barrier, membership-based space for women to explore a skilled trade on their own terms by providing access to a fully-equipped workshop. The Red Bench will provide tools, hardware, and consumables for use as part of a membership agreement. The first iteration of the shop will offer members access to basic hand, power, and metalworking tools with a focus on welding

The Red Bench aims to become a community hub that shapes a more diverse culture in trades and technology. We have a practical goal and a community goal. The practical goal is to inspire women to develop confidence in their technical ability, work with tools, make or build things, and pursue a hobby or career in a skilled trade. The community goal is to bring women from all walks of life to one place where they can be themselves, make new friends, mentor or be mentored, and share ideas.

Thank you very much for reading! Tune in next month for more from us at The Red Bench.


Mack and Jolene

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