Tucked away around the corner from Tauranga Airport, the shrill of a saw slicing through wood can be heard as a team of silver-haired men create treasures and share their knowledge.

Welcome to the Tauranga Woodcrafters' Guild.

The guild consists of 85 people but has been attracting increasing interest from women and teenagers keen to explore ways to craft wood into puzzles, furniture, decorative items and art.

Chairman George Yardley said the group consisted of several factions specialising in different crafts included wood turning, wood carving and wooden toy making. The latter had been particularly popular when the guild hosted open workshops on weekends, he said.


"This is a group attracting a lot of interest. People come along ... we show them what to do, how to do it and give them some instruction. People want to come in and do their own thing but it's a great entree into the club."

The guild has been running since 1987 and members also share their skills with certain groups of school children with weekly sessions.

"We give them one-on-one tutoring and they look upon their tutors as pseudo grandfathers. They actually call them 'Granddad Mike', or 'Granddad Paul'," Yardley said.

"After the term, they go back and do better in their schoolwork and they have better confidence. The people that take that group, they are totally enthusiastic about what they do and the results it achieves."

Yardley said while members "all have their own home workshops" the guild's factions enjoyed coming together two to three times a month - sometimes to work on a project or to enjoy a demonstration pertaining to a particular craft. All up, the workshop is used three to five times a week.

The move into the new Cherokee Pl workshop a couple of years ago prompted an increase of numbers by 20 per cent and the guild has attracted five new members in the past month alone.

The new workshop was a move made possible by grants and fundraising, so when able, the guild gave back to the community as best it can. On top of helping schoolchildren, it also makes wig stands for the Look Good, Feel Better charity.

Membership starts from $60 a year but people are welcomed to enjoy a workshop or two as an introduction.

Anyone interested in exploring Tauranga Woodcrafters' Guild further can visit their website: http://taurangawoodcrafters.org.