The Woodworker cover image for March 2016Welcome

There are some jobs that seem as if they will never get done, and no matter how much work you do, the end seems as far away as ever. It might not come as any surprise to you the reader that I am involved in such a job right now. It was one of those ones which you take on in a single weak moment and regret for a great many weaker ones. It’s a restoration job and has involved a large amount of site work in a very exposed position, with only occasional relief in a dark gloomy interior.

Having been rained off yesterday (‘Hurricane Jonas’ I was informed by Tom my helper, doing his best to converse normally through chattering teeth and blue lips), I found myself an inside job today and watched wistfully as people strolled about under a blue sky in the golden sun the whole day long. But at least things aren’t dull when one is working outdoors, the uncertainty of the weather alone provides something bordering on excitement. It’s not uncommon to have tools and kit – including my step ladder – blown about and generally rained upon as you struggle to tighten the clamps up or something equally as imperative. And first thing in the morning, the sound of torrential rain on the bedroom window can spark a childish feeling of excitement for the unexpected day off school, and you find that you just have to give in and pull the covers up for another 10 minutes. It’s a wonder how anything gets built sometimes, but as long as you’ve not signed up to a penalty delay clause, then a few days extra on a job isn’t such a bad thing.

So, whether it’s in the (relative) warm and dry of the workshop or the character building challenges of an outdoor site in January, it’s all good fun and definitely helps to keep this woodworker from getting stale. And let’s not forget, freshness is the vital thing, whether naturally of mind and spirit or brought about by taking on a new type of work that has yet to be fully explored. Whatever it is, though, and before you start, just make sure that the end won’t be too far away…

Mark Cass, Editor