The Woodworker cover image for summer 13I'm sure I'm not the only woodworker to be called upon to perform an impromptu piece of domestic repair, often in what could be described as a less than perfect situation. It often seems to involve doors, chairs or windows; I’m frequently presented with a not entirely suitable item of ironmongery, or an ill-fitting decorative element that has been recklessly sourced by the well-intentioned householder, and expected to fix it.
Such is the lot of the stand-in handyman, and all we can do is make the best of the job with what's available on the day. My most recent experience of helping out was replacing a barrel catch, spindle and handles for a front door that had become jammed closed. With only a screwdriver to be found en maison, I was very glad – as always in these situations – to have my trusty Gerber multi-tool about my person. As nothing on the job quite lined up, I found myself 'chopping in' the catch with the penknife blade and moving the spindle hole with the saw attachment. Everything was fine in the end, but things would have been a whole lot easier with the right tools.
Doing our very best…
I guess that, like practical woodworking tasks, much in life is about matching up the right tools or skills to the job in hand, and doing the best you can in challenging conditions. Here at The Woodworker we’re rarely called upon to put together a fascinating article in a muddy field with only a ten-year-old mobile phone to compose it on, but I've no doubt we could manage it if we had to! In fact, I'd say we were fairly well equipped to craft a new issue of your favourite woodworking magazine every four weeks, both here at our palatial suite of offices, and out in the reality of my commercial workshop. Long may it continue!
…with your invaluable help
Unlike a sticking door that can be readily fixed, our magazine – and I'm including you, the reader, in that – is a work in progress, and one on which we welcome your opinions. Hopefully we're ticking the right boxes for the vast majority of woodworkers out there, but if you feel there is something you'd like to see or read about in the future, just drop me a line and I'll see what we can do. You can reach me anytime at