The Woodworker, cover image for August 2015Welcome

They say that change is the only certainty in life, and right now I’m in full agreement. Things at my Neon Saw workshop have been chugging along nicely for quite a while, rubbing shoulders with Roy, my landlord, as he tackles a wide variety of cars and vans in his rambling garage premises alongside. It turns out he’s finally calling it quits after many a long year, and a new team of motor engineers will soon be taking his place. I’ll miss being asked over to the ramp to help finesse a tricky gearbox into place or to pull a cable that’s out of arm’s reach, and as for helping push invariably large and heavy cars around the garage… that goes without saying! More importantly though I’ll miss Roy’s company; he’s one of the nicest blokes I’ve ever met. Fortunately he’s keeping part of the place for himself, including the double pit which resembles a ship’s deck with its hand-railing and anklehigh bulwarks all round. I reckon he’ll be back in more than he thinks. Like all of us who enjoy the working day, we like to keep busy and, if not actively employed that moment ourselves, we enjoy the spectacle and entertainment provided by those who are. And I bet I’m not alone in relishing the chance that a road crew or delivery team provides for occupational observation when on holiday abroad.

Other recent changes have been an increase in my drive to clear out some of the extraneous stuff from the workshop, and eventually to build some new benching along the North wall. There’s even talk of getting the roof fixed,and I suspect that, with the new tenants and all, it may finally come about.

This will mean the re-emergence of an important corner of the ‘shop, and hopefully the end to ‘bandsaw blotch roulette’, a game of chance which depends on a combination of the saw’s position (it’s mobile) and the vagaries of a complicated leak system which rarely drips in the same place twice. Does this sound familiar to any readers out there?

I’ve also got one of my college students working alongside me most days, and that’s something that really makes a difference. When you can rely upon someone to complete a task as instructed – and to find they’ve also managed to improve on your expectations – that’s a very nice thing to have. It also means I can get a bit more magazine work done, and I’m sure we all want that!

As ever, I’m always keen to hear about readers’ working lives past and present, and I hope to receive a few more contributions for the proposed reappearance of ‘Chips from the Chisel’. Do please drop me a line, any time.

Mark Cass, Editor