The Woodworker cover image for October 2015


We’re all subject to the whims of others in this life, and never more so than when working for customers (or ‘clients’ as some of the more precious ones prefer to be known) in today’s whirlwind world. Loading the van up today for a final (and hopefully brief) visit to our latest job, I received a last-minute text alerting me to the fact that the decorators had painted the floor of the room concerned and, despite being booked in this morning, could we come tomorrow instead? There’s nothing to do in these situations but sigh a bit and start getting the kit back out again.

Good housekeeping
Fortunately there’s always something else to be getting on with, and, let’s face it, an extra day in the workshop is never a bad thing after all. As it turned out it gave me a chance for some (really) long overdue tidying and an opportunity to change the blade on the chop saw and to replace the missing wheel on the blade guard which had been threatening to become more than just a minor irritation. After a spot of quote preparation I was able to (finally) repair a Windsor armchair that had been knocking around for a few weeks and was in danger of losing a component or two if I didn’t finish the job.

Under the bench
It’s a commonplace that changed plans can often result in unforeseen benefits; it just shows the importance of remaining flexible at all times. As woodworkers we need to have a plan – or at least an objective – which can help steer us forwards, but it’s good to have an alternative should a hitch occur. I always advise my students to have an ‘under the bench’ project – something that can be worked on whenever there’s a delay or an unexpected bit of spare time. I tell them: just be careful to keep all the parts together and you’ll be fine.

Breaking news
Regular readers may recall a recent article on the WorldSkills competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil,to which the UK sent a representative team of hopeful woodworkers. I’ve just heard that things went very well for all concerned, with Edward Harringman winning the coveted Gold Medal in the Cabinetmaking discipline. I’ll write up the full story for the next issue, but in the meantime, we send a big and hearty congratulations to Edward and the rest of the team for flying the flag and doing a great job for all of us back here in Britain.

It’s goodbye from him…
There have been one or two changes here at The Woodworker recently. Mike Lawrence, stalwart Deputy Ed and former editor, is calling it a day, so it’ll be a case of steady as she goes until the new system beds in. He’ll be missed.
As ever, we continue to welcome your contributions to the magazine, so if there’s anything you’d like to see in print, please don’t hesitate to write in and we’llsee what can be done.