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Woodworking Blog: The Start of Stuff

Woodworking Blog
Rob looking rather glum having received his bus pass

Blogging – it’s a funny old game. You sit there, pecking away at the keys, perhaps a mug of steaming coffee by the side and a biscuit to munch on to give you a bit of inspiration, hoping against hope that the words will flow. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and those who’ve dipped a cursory eyeball into The Blokeblog will have a pretty clear idea of the way this new Axminster woodworking blog is going to develop.

Eventually, after all thoughts have been marshalled you hit ‘submit’ and it goes off into the wild blue yonder. From here you never really know who’s going to eventually find it and read, chortle or cry over the contents.

With any luck, those of you who do take the time and effort to read these literary meanderings will find some inspiration and amusement within. You may ultimately decide to get out into your own woodworking workshop and have a go at some of the stuff you’ll see appearing…at least that’s Plan A. As  we all know (and you’ll realise from my other woodworking blog) things never, ever go to plan. Therein lies the amusement – or tears, as the case may be.

A quick introduction

So who am I? My name is Rob Stoakley and for my sins, I was perhaps one of the last, old-fashioned, woodwork teachers at secondary level, with a sentence of twenty years at the chalk face. Some idea of my advancing decrepitude can be gained from the picture, as that’s a bus pass…

Thereafter, I worked in the MOD for the last decade of my working life. I then took early retirement a couple of years ago. For several years now I’ve been a regular contributor to Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine where you can read about some of my furniture projects.

During the course of these scribblings, you’ll see a lot of different processes involved in building the various pieces of furniture. There’ll be machine as well as hand tool work. For convenience, much of the equipment used (or a close equivalent) is available from Axminster. The equipment you see in the Axminster woodworking blog entries contain hyperlinks to take you to the relevant online page.

Woodworking Blog
A workshop complete with an array of tools


My Woodworking Workshop: A Swift Tour

A swift tour of the workshop is perhaps a suitable way to wrap up this first entry.

This is where all the fine, delicate stuff gets done. All the tools I need are positioned directly in front of me within easy reach. Shelves with consumables are to the left and power tools are stored to the right.

The ‘Northerly end’ view shows the sharpening bench to the left of the door. The pillar drill and lathe is visible to the right. In the foreground is the Assembly or Lay-up table (of which more later) and the Jet 260 planer thicknesser.

Woodworking Blog
A fully equipped workshop in all its glory

The other end of the workshop (South End) shows the metalwork corner in the left. You’ll also see the wood store on the right, behind the floor standing vacuum bag. You can see both of my bandsaws in this picture but there’s no table saw. I’ve owned two and have decided that for the type of work that I do, a table saw is unnecessary. Furthermore, it takes up a huge amount of space which is usually at a premium in a small workshop. This is a decision that causes many woodworkers a considerable amount of dilemma. That said, the decision ultimately depends on the workshop and how you work. You’ll also note that there’s no router table but a rather excellent UJK Technology cast iron version is expected shortly.

I hope you’ll find time to see the progress of the furniture projects to follow. A word of caution though – if you expect to see ‘shabby chic’, repro or chipboard DIY flat pack stuff you’ll need to click elsewhere…

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