The man we woodworking journalists used to call the router guru, Ron Fox, has died at the age of 82. Ron took up routing in 1958 after taking early retirement from his role as a statistician for the Association of British Insurers. His daughter Julia recalled that he was very interested in mechanics so really liked the router as a tool and what it could do. She said that he went on a course to learn how to use it but found this “so diabolical” that he set about teaching himself. He then went on to set up courses in the workshop in the back garden of his home in Horsham, West Sussex. He combined this with another great love, writing, and wrote technical articles on routing in various woodworking magazines including The Router in which there was a piece by Ron in each issue from the first for approaching five years. More recently he had written for GW’s sister publication The Woodworker.
A very friendly man who knew his subject inside out, his family was enormously important to him, so it should not be surprising that those attending his courses – from deep-sea divers to surgeons according to Julia – would be invited into the house to construct a helicopter model or to join in with whatever was going on.
Always practical, he had always intended making his own coffin, with shelves, to serve as a storage chest in the workshop until he needed it. As a tribute to him, his family was taking on the project. Said Julia: “He will be buried in it. He would have thought there was something fundamentally wrong about a manufactured box. It will be like a pine chest, with rope handles and a domed lid, with routed twiddly bits, and will be called ‘The Original and Genuine Ron Fox Box’.”
He leaves his wife, four children and a grandson.
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