The Cooroora Woodworkers Club is a not-for-profit organisation focused on sharing the enjoyment of working with wood. Our members include men and women of all ages and levels of woodworking experience, from total beginners to award-winning masters.
Our club has a friendly and supportive atmosphere, an extensive range of well-maintained woodworking equipment, and a strong emphasis on safety. In particular, we have an enviable woodwork training program in activities including woodturning, furniture building, box-making, carving, marquetry and general woodworking.
We also have a skilled team of members who mill rough logs into finished boards in a variety of species. Large timber slabs and milled boards are on sale to the public and offered at heavily discounted rates to club members.
As part of our club’s commitment to the wider community, we undertake a diverse range of activities to assist to other groups and organizations. For example, we make items for schools, aged-care facilities, disadvantaged families, the local botanical gardens and other community associations.
Above all, we love working with wood. Come and join us!
Visit Our Club
Our club welcomes visitors and anyone interested in timber whether it is the woodworking techniques or to see fine items made from different species of Australian timber. There are also many items for sale.
Opening hours are 9am – 12noon every day except Sundays and public holidays.
Our clubhouse, a heritage building is located in the Cooroy Lowermill Precinct. Our workshops are sited just next door in what used to be the drying kilns of the old timber mill. A wide range of machinery including lathes, drop saws, table saws, planers, jointers and routers plus a myriad of hand-tools are available to our members. In addition our milling team collects suitable logs from around the district and cuts these into slabs, turning blanks and lumber for use by our members.
The inaugural meeting of the Cooroora Woodworkers Club was held at the Tewantin Scout Den on 14/12/1988. Founding and first club President Ron Salmon, placed an advertisement in a local newspaper and attracted about fifteen interested “woodies”. Four of those foundation members are still club members. The club became incorporated on 8th of October 1989. Meetings were held at the Noosa Scout Den and later transferred to the Noosa High School where demonstrations were held from time to time.
After many years of discussions with Noosa council the club aquired a delapidated cottage which was then completely renovated by the club members. This cottage is now our clubhouse and is finally located at 8 Lower Mill Road, Cooroy. General club meetings take place every second Saturday of the month beginning at 9am. The club’s workshops are located next door in what used to be the drying kilns of the Cooroy sawmill.
Our current membership of over 100 members and includes men and women from all walks of life who share the common interest of woodworking.
Classes and demonstrations are regularly held for members who want to improve and expand their skills. A pleasing characteristic of our club is that members are always ready to help each other and pass on techniques and information.
The club is very community minded. We participate in the Lower Mill Place tourism initiative where our club house is open to visitors and members work is on display.
Cooroy’s Sawmill History
Cooroy was a logging centre before it was a township, with the firm Dath Henderson having large tracts of land east of Cooroy until resumed from the government in 1907 for closer settlement. This precipitated large scale logging in the time allowed before it took possession. Several sawmills were established to mill timber as the new selections were cleared. Fenwick Brothers and Morish established a mill on the western side of the town near the creek in 1908 trading as Canadian Saw Mills. In 1910 Clugston and Ireland built a sawmill where the Bowling club now stands. It was burnt down in December1914 but was rebuilt. A siding was provided to the mill in 1916 but it burnt down about 1928.
Other sawmillers included Sivyer and Dunbar from around 1921, W.H. Howard and E.N. Wheeldon 1923 and after the depression, E.H.Llewellyn, listed from 1934, which may be the same mill as Ford Brothers from 1941. Straker and Sons’ Cooroy sawmill, trading as the Cooroy Sawmilling Company from around 1944 .To counter shortages of log timber and safeguard their future, Wilkinsons of Yandina, Strakers of Cooroy and Cooran and Luttons of the Mary Valley joined together to form Northcoast Sawmills Pty Ltd at Cooroy in 1970. Together they established a new mill at Nandroya in 1972,with logs coming from a wide radius and incorporating modern equipment for efficiency. Northcoast Sawmills was acquired by Quintex in1980 and subsequently Boral which operated both the Cooroy and Nandroya plants. A fire on 2 May 1997 threatened the Cooroy mill but was confined to a small area leased for experimental product development.
The formation of Northcoast Sawmills was a natural development of the partial amalgamation in 1956 when the Cooroy Sawmilling Company of Cooran, Straker & Sons Cooran and J. Wilkinson & Sons of Yandina and Conondale jointly formed Kiln Dried Timbers Pty Ltd to erect four double kilns and new planing mills on an area of three acres at Cooroy. The kilns enabled the companies to market timber in southern states and western Queensland where naturally coastal dried timbers are not acceptable. Arthur Straker and Peter Wilkinson supervised the project, the site adjacent to the Cooroy sawmill.
In 2000 the Queensland Government closed the Cooroy mill in accordance with the Regional Forest Agreement.
The timber milling team’s equipment level is basic and consists on a trailer with an electric powered winch plus a few steel cables. Using this gear augmented by two lever bars, a chain saw and manpower the milling team has been harvesting logs from various properties throughout the Sunshine Coast for some years. Some of the logs have individually exceeded 1000kg.
At the milling site a Lucas sawmill is used to cut the logs into slabs or lumber prior to being set on pallets for drying. All the moving, lifting, carrying and stacking is done by manpower. The horizontal chain saw of the Lucas mill is powered by a petrol motor but the movement of the saw through the timber is by manpower. Recently a small tractor became available and has been modified to assist in handling logs and cut timber.
A stock of timber is available for purchases at the clubhouse, phone (07) 5442 6995 for more information.