Forget the North pole, Santa's helpers are at Redhead Men's Shed

Hundreds of Men's Shed 'elves' have spent months crafting stockpiles of traditional children's toys for the festive season.

Beds and high-chairs for dolls, wooden cars, trucks and planes, windmills and puzzles are among the perennial favourites, with many donated to local preschools and community groups.

Others are sold to help fund day-to-day operational costs.

Redhead Men's Shed has been a hive of activity in recent months, as more than 60 members saw, carve, whittle, glue, weld and polish creations that will make children's wishes come true on December 25.

President Ken Ferguson said making toys and other things for local preschools and charities was a tremendous source of satisfaction.

So too was simply getting together with men from all walks of life to do something productive.

"It's a way for blokes to get together and do things without necessarily going to the pub," Mr Ferguson said.

"We've got former business owners, coal miners, tradesmen ... you meet a whole range of people you'd never have met otherwise."

Most Men's Sheds sell wares direct from their premises, many of which are leased from Lake Macquarie City Council.

Redhead's is open four days a week, operating from the heritage-listed former Lambton Colliery building on Colliery Street.

Council's Manager Community Partnerships Andrew Bryant said Men's Sheds provided a valuable service to the community.

"They are a fantastic outlet for blokes to socialise, apply the skills they have and learn new skills as well," Mr Bryant said.

"But they're equally beneficial to the wider community, thanks to the many and varied projects Men's Sheds undertake to help preschools, charities, community organisations and families in need."