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February 2022     Vol. 7
The Red Bench Women's Workshop Corporation
Monthly Newsletter
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IT IS ALL HAPPENING!

With Christmas and New Years both enjoyed and now in the past, we look forward to the snow melting and the first buds breaking on the trees. Although it still seems so far away (some days more than others), we have The Red Bench to warm our hearts and keep us going.

So much has happened in the past two months that we can barely keep track of it all. From finally getting our first pieces of equipment in the shop, to a bombastic equipment drive that launched us from zero to a fully functioning workshop, and the start of our first group DIY project - the ALCO Jewelry Trees - we have a lot to be proud of. We couldn't have done it without your love and support, the heart of our community.

On top of everything, we won the American Welding Society's International Meritorious Certificate Award. The award is given to AWS members that have made significant contributions to the worldwide welding industry. We are very honored and humbled to receive it.


To update you on us, Jo is finishing off her final academic term with only 4 more weeks to go. Mack is still trucking though the semester and will start a new co-op work placement starting in May.  

THE ALCO JEWELRY TREES PROJECT BEGINS!

Nearly 20 months after we sat together on a sunny summers day and talked about creating a community shop space for women, our dream of bringing women together for a group DIY project came true. On February 20th, we started our very first group DIY project - the ALCO Jewelry Trees! 

Besides being an awesome, functional piece that showcases jewelry, the trees are the perfect exercise to develop crucial skills in shop safety and fabrication. Five lucky ladies join us for this project where they gain experience in design, steel cutting and grinding, welding, measuring, using PPE, and safe workshop practices.

The image above shows our participants after a successful first session where they designed their trees and worked out a list of materials and measurements. The creativity and innovation in their designs was astounding! We can't wait to show you the finished trees and the handiwork of these amazing women. For more information about the project, visit our webpage at theredbench.ca/projects.


Of course, we couldn't do it without ALCO Gas & Oil! Formed in 1972, ALCO Gas & Oil Production Equipment Ltd is a privately owned Canadian corporation that designs and manufactures gas and oil processing equipment for both the Canadian and International marketplace. ALCO Gas & Oil is our corporate sponsor and a massive proponent of women in industry. They are committed to increasing the number of women in welding and metalworking. 

THANK YOU ALCO GAS & OIL!

Visit ALCO Gas & Oil Website

MILLER ELECTRIC SPONSORSHIP

We are so excited to announce Miller Electric Mfg. LLC as the newest sponsor of The Red Bench! Miller is a top-notch, world-renowned welding company that supplies welding technology, PPE, knowledge, and expertise to many international markets. You have probably seen a Miller welder in a shop or on TV - their products are everywhere and for good reason! Miller makes some of the most well-made, dependable welding technology and products on the market. 

Thank you to Miller for supplying us with brand new welding PPE! Miller generously donated their top-of-the-line auto-darkening helmets, welding gloves, and welding jackets for members to use while in the shop. Miller is very committed to safe work practices through the development of their outstanding welding PPE, pictured in the image above. 

Miller is also committed to a safe, inclusive culture by promoting the work done by women and diverse people on their various social media channels. They often sponsor and support initiatives that make an impact on various communities around the world by getting more people into the welding trade.

THANK YOU MILLER!
Visit Miller's Website

A SMALL UPDATE ON OUR EQUIPMENT DRIVE

 

Remember that equipment drive we started in the last edition of the newsletter? Yeah, it absolutely blew up!

In the span of just two months, we went from a virtually empty shop to a fully functioning one. The outpouring of support for The Red Bench has been so encouraging and thank you to EVERYONE who has contributed! This goes for those who have made monetary donations, physical donations, reached out to us over email, and connected with us on our social media (our Linked In almost has 400 connections now!).

To summarize, thank you to: 

  • Canwe Solutions Ltd. for our safe space to operate in.
  • Miller Electric Ltd. for your sponsorship and PPE donation.
  • ALCO Gas & Oil Production Equipment Ltd. for your corporate sponsorship.
  • ALCO Inc. and Enerline Electrical for your generous donation of equipment, consumables, supplies, and electrical work.
  • CWB Group Edmonton Chapter for your donation of funds to purchase a brand new fume extractor. 
  • CWB Group for your donation of CWB swag and supplies.
  • Hobart Filler Metals for your donation of GMAW solid wire and SMAW electrodes.
  • Spectra Supply for your support and donation of women's work gloves.
  • The Powdermill for your support and collaboration for our first project.
  • The University of Alberta for your monetary donation.
  • NAIT for your equipment donation. 
  • AQT Water Management Inc. for your donation of PPE and safety supplies.
  • LJ Welding Automation for your donation of consumables and equipment. 
  • Tonya W., Ryan B., Blake B., Gloria B., Malcom, Tom J., Gary T., and Mark L. for your individual donations. 

Due to our hard work and awesome networking skills, we made these connections happen. We are so proud to say that The Red Bench is equipped enough to be fully operational and this wouldn't have been possible without all the wonderful people who have supported us throughout this process! We are excited to maintain these amazing connections for years to come and inspired by the love we have felt from our community. 

THE PROGRESS OF OUR FIRST GROUP DIY PROJECT

We just wanted to give you all a looking glass into how our first project has gone so far! Let's go through it.

Week 1
The ladies joined us in the shop for our project kickoff! We had our shop orientation and safety training, then moved on to the project introduction followed by a design period. Here, the ladies had the opportunity to create their own to-scale jewelry tree designs based on both practical and aesthetic factors while keeping in mind design constraints and the welding process to be used. Their designs were SO unique and well designed - it blew us away!


Week 2
This session was all about the angle grinder. We did a full safety instruction and training followed by tons of practice! Then, once the ladies were comfortable on the tool, they cut out their tree bases. They were relaxed, excited, and cut through the steel like butter! 
 

Week 3
The ladies measured out the rest their components (the individual tree branches) and cut them out of steel rod using the angle grinder. Now that they were feeling more comfortable and confident with the tool, the rest of the cutting and grinding was no problem at all! They rocked it!

We moved on to an introduction to GMAW or MIG welding, reviewing welding PPE and safe work procedures. From there, they all had an opportunity to jump on the torch and lay a bead or two! Everyone was an absolute natural and we are so excited to continue welding in our next session. 
 

Keep an eye out for weeks 4 and 5! 

WORD SCRAMBLE

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

rngdeir     eoeelrdtc     oxobolt  

Last issue word scramble answers:

regulator    brushes    soapstone   

WHAT IS THE RED BENCH?

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.

Sincerely,

Mack and Jolene

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