Herm Finkbeiner Learning Center

NWA Shop Opens

On April 1st our NWA Shop on Railroad Avenue Reopens for Limited Activities

Increasing vaccination rates combined with reducing infection rates allow for the Railroad Avenue Shop to reopen for limited activities for SIGs. Group size will be limited to a maximum of 10 members, and masks and social distancing are still required. SIG members should contact their leaders to confirm if their group will be using the Shop during this time.

NWA maintains a fully fitted woodworking shop known as the “Herm Finkbeiner Learning Center” located at 97 Railroad Avenue, Albany, NY.

The shop is used for the various SIGs to meet as well as for classes taught by both members and instructors from outside the organization.  The best way to make use of the shop is to join one of the SIGs or to take a class.

The NWA has created a Re-opening Safety Plan. This plan outlines shop safety procedures that are now in effect.

Anyone entering the shop will be required to sign a Waiver of Liability. You can read, print and sign the waiver and bring it with you.

Shop Reopens August 4th 

Good News! NWA’s Board of Directors has endorsed the Reopening Plan developed by the LCOC and others for our Shop on Railroad Avenue. NWA’s website calendar now shows reopening  to begin on  Tuesday, August 4 at 9:00 AM with the Crafters as the first group to experience our new normal.

Note that the calendar includes one change from the Shop’s pre-COVID schedule, and that is that qualified Scrollers  now will need to come on Monday evenings during the Pen Turners’ activity session to use scrolling equipment.  [Thank you again, Pam Bucci, for agreeing to oversee scrolling activity.]

Everyone  entering the Shop will need to wear a face mask,  to self-declare that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and to sign an entrance logbook. [If you happen to forget to bring a face mask, a supply will be available.]

Because minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19 is important to all of us, I am going to repeat myself: 

Face masks must be worn at all times along with following social distancing practices as much as possible when you are inside the Shop.  

For example, members using work benches should work separately at a bench except when a member needs assistance with some aspect of a project.  

For turners, face masks must be worn in addition to face shields because face shields provide no filtering protection. [If Shop face shields are used, they must be cleaned and disinfected immediately after that use.]

In confined areas, e.g. the Machine Room, Sanding Room, and Meeting Room, maximum capacity signs have been posted.  

As part of NWA’s new normal, disinfectant stations for hand sanitizing have been set up around the Shop and can be used as often as a member wants.  

Food and drink has been removed from the Break Room, and the room will  be used only for hand washing. [Actually, hand washing now is considered more effective than using those rub-on hand sanitizers.]

Unfortunately, this also  means that snacks, lunches, drinks etc. should not be consumed inside the Shop  because that would require mask removal; and from what I have read, it seems that people tend to forget to recover their mouths and noses with their masks after indulging in their favorite indulgences.

Only one bathroom will be available to minimize cleaning chores.

At the end of each activity session each group has the responsibility to wipe down or spray specific items like faucets, light switches, door handles etc. with a disinfectant. Instructions identifying these items will be posted – No swobbing of the decks or scrubbing of bathroom fixtures, however,  is required.  SIG leaders or their delegates will be signing a logbook affirming that this has been done.

Remember, we are all in this together trying to keep the Shop safe for one another. View these next few weeks are a shakedown period.  Feel free to ask questions, and please do not hesitate to make  suggestions about improving policies or practices.  Keep a persevering spirit; and remember…

Stay safe, help others, and keep woodworking,
Irv Stephens