The Woodworker cover image for January 2016Welcome

There’s nothing like a bit of variety in life, and if you can get it in your working life as well then it’s a double bubble situation. I’m currently helping out on a roofing job; so far it’s been mostly inside in a dimly-lit squash court-sized attic and has involved a structural engineer’s report (aka a serving suggestion) and loads of 12mm birch ply. When the weather’s fine it’s great to be working up high, especially when it’s in the safety and relative comfort of a proper scaffold, complete with toe boards and everything.

It often takes another pair of eyes to make one see more clearly and, with a young helper along to assist with the final lift over the handrail, I was reminded of just how fun my working life is as we gazed upon a sunny Hove town hall and its environs. Sure, the physical exertion takes its toll, and sometimes there’s a bit of stress and worry associated, but these hindrances are to be expected and would likely be present in a wide number of alternative occupations, too. Anyone who has the pleasure of working with their hands on a daily basis will know that the trade-offs are more than worth it, and I’m including the financial slightly-empty pocket ones, too.

I’m sure I’m not alone here, but as the years go by I find myself attracted most strongly to jobs which offer a large amount of challenge and interest, even if it means stepping out of the comfort zone. That’s not to say I’m turning my nose up at all of those cushy, highly paid ones (if only they came along more often – or at all!), it’s that the satisfaction of successfully pulling off a difficult task is pretty much a reward in itself. And, as an unexpected side benefit, offers of similar work soon come in from other sources; whether by word of mouth or just people passing by.

Here at WW we also like to celebrate variety, and we’re all agreed that our chosen craft offers plenty of scope in this, both in method and execution. If you have completed a project recently and have maybe used a new technique or system, please don’t hesitate to tell us about it. We all enjoy seeing how the other bloke does the same job, and it’s a cert that we’ve all learned something from observing the often unorthodox approach that most of us will take at some point. And even if it’s of the ‘I’m not trying that again’ description, at least you’ll have saved the rest of us from going down the same bumpy road.

Mark Cass, Editor