The Woodworker cover image for May 2014Opportunities to learn are ever present in our lives, or at least always round the corner of semi-ignorance. It’s still both surprise and validation when unexpected information drops into the in-tray and immediately opens up a route into a new uncharted territory. Reading the review of Axminster’s new drill stand the other day – which will also take a Trend T4 router – turned out to be a good example in point.

It’s long been a dream of mine to own - or at least have unfettered access to - an overhead router. Anyone who has used one of these probably in a professional workshop situation will know just what a great machine it is, but for anyone else, just think difficult and repeat routing made five times easier.
Now, I don’t by any stretch of the imagination think that a drill stand will offer everything that an overhead router can, but I’m sure that there will be plenty of jobs that will be made easier, most of which are currently undiscovered. A new opportunity appends itself to the list...

World wide wood
Although I know, as well as anyone, that you can’t please all the people all of the time, it doesn’t stop me from continuing to try. To that end, I’m currently exploring an opportunity to run the occasional project from America in our pages. One of the best magazines there is Popular Woodworking, and if all goes well it should provide an interesting take on our craft.
In my limited experience of woodworking in the States, the only real differences are their timber species (although many of these will be familiar to UK woodworkers), some of their terminology (think of two countries divided by a common tongue), and of course, measurement systems.

This last one is likely to be a double- edged sword, as for most of us (and I’m definitely including myself here) the Imperial system remains a quaint but still useful method of communicating rough dimensions. For others, I suspect the intermittent inclusion of feet and inches in the magazine will bring a warm glow of pleasure to the metricated heart! Variety is a very good thing; as they say in France “La variété, c’est la vie, l’uniformité, c’est la mort.”

Happy - and safe - woodworking to us all