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a personal view on axminster tool 2005

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engineer one

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hi guys, spent Friday at tool 2005, Exeter, my first visit, and thought might pass on a few comments.

this year i have been to 3 of the major exhibitions, Alexandra Palace,
Kempton Park, and now Tool 2005. I have to say they as exhibitions all
disappointed. not sure what i want but unless you are buying tools,
they were all not really places you could take swmb if she was not interested in tools and so on.

first complaint, signposting around was inadequate, only saw one or two on M5, and not a lot else. then of course, i was directed to the car parks at the back, bloody miles and little or no signage.

entry was fine, and then a quick look around so that i had seen what i was not specifically looking for, you never know what unusual things might catch your attention.

was not too impressed with the furniture displays, too much new and unusual designs. i know we have to be modern, but some looking back is valuable to the amateur also.

i had driven down from London, staying overnight in Southampton, so
had made a special effort, and obviously, my time was valuable.

since i knew Rob Lee was going to be there, i hoped to be able to talk to him, very interesting and useful, good to talk to a guy from a pretty big company who is interested in his employees welfare as well as the customer. thanks for spending the time, and being so honest and interesting Rob. I learnt lots about the philosophy of Lee Valley, and the way they look at tools to try to improve them. very useful to learn about
Rob's preferred way of using the various scrapers.

next visit was LN and some time with Tom LN. again useful and interesting.
wide ranging about various engineering topics as well as the way they relate to making this kind of equipment. nice screwdrivers too Tom, look forward to receiving them. the demo looked good and professional too.
nice to touch and feel such nice tools.

finally got a chance to talk with David Charlesworth. Somehow you kind of expect, from his writings, that he will be a bit intimidating, but to me at least, he was kindness itself, being both helpful, and a good listener.
it was good to debate various parts of sharpening with him and then to get the chance to actually try a properly cambered blade and see why David is so forceful about the idea. Now i understand. amazing what 5 minutes doing and watching does to your learning processess.

Thanks DC that was a real learning curve, but what was really nice was to have the conversation about flattening larger boards, and discovering that we both agree that often there is an advantage to combining man made boards and real wood for flatness, and then in addition, it is useful to use both machine methods and hand tools. it would be nice to use both properly.

something that we all agreed on was the problems learning to start out cutting and planing, because of the cost of new wood, and the problems with getting the correct results without lots of low cost practice. considering how much wood is thrown away every day from pallets to building work, re-cycling becomes more and more valuable for the learning process.
maybe you cannot make big things from this re-cycled material, but you can learn about sub-assemblies and wood movement and also about accurate hand and machine working.

so although overall the show did not light all my fires, it got me what i wanted, (an empty wallet :lol: #-o ,and that's just the petrol)

but i just feel there could have been more.
paul :wink:
 

MikeW

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but i just feel there could have been more
See, for me, I can buy tools anytime, anywhere. I wouldn't now ever go to a show for the tools.

But I would have relished the conversations and taken from them something that cannot be learnt from the companies themselves, emails, phone conversations or writings: something of the person(s).

At the show I attended a few weeks ago, I taught veneering for 3 days. It was a wonderful experience. Being able to see and talk to some of the others in their booths for the first time in 1 or 2 years was also a treat.

Oh, to touch the babbles is little fun--but a short-lived fun. "It," for me, is the conversations with other wood workers and certain of the merchants and demonstrators.

And if I had been able, would have given a lot to have been able to meet some of the forum members.

Take care, Mike
 

engineer one

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"It," for me, is the conversations with other wood workers and certain of the merchants and demonstrators.

mike you are right, it is nice to meet people,
but when you start out first time or again, it takes a bunch of courage to
talk to people. you do not want to seem dumb, nor rude.

since you were on a booth, your approach was different than that of the
paying guest.

whilst i certainly found the three people i made a beeline for very helpful and approachable, i just feel that if the whole event is more inviting, then
you feel more at ease, and the whole experience is better.

paul
and i even enjoyed the 5 hours driving. :lol:
 

bugbear

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not sure what i want but unless you are buying tools,
they were all not really places you could take swmb if she was not interested in tools and so on.
It's a tool show - not center parcs!

was not too impressed with the furniture displays, too much new and unusual designs. i know we have to be modern, but some looking back is valuable to the amateur also.
This merely reflects the entrants, not the organisers. If you want good examples of classic design I recommend either the National Trust or the V & A.

For me, one of the great avantages of a hands-on show is to hold and even use tools before buying, which is great in the era of mail-order.

BugBear
 

Alf

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I was wondering whether they could have a SWMBO creche; few seats, drinks machine etc, where SWMBOs could have a natter about the woodworking loonies they've saddled themselves with and exchange tips on "How to spot when the woodworker in your life has just spent a large amount of money on tools and it trying to break it to you gently" or "How to get the woodworker in your life to actually finish the project they promised 3 years ago" and so forth. I'm betting the number of SWMBOs wanting to attend would rocket... :lol:

Cheers, Alf

Who would probably pretend to be a SWMBO just for the chance of a sit down. :roll:
 

Adam

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Alf":1wzo23ks said:
I was wondering whether they could have a SWMBO creche; few seats, drinks machine etc, where SWMBOs could have a natter about the woodworking loonies they've saddled themselves with and exchange tips on "How to spot when the woodworker in your life has just spent a large amount of money on tools and it trying to break it to you gently" or "How to get the woodworker in your life to actually finish the project they promised 3 years ago" and so forth. I'm betting the number of SWMBOs wanting to attend would rocket... :lol:

Cheers, Alf

Who would probably pretend to be a SWMBO just for the chance of a sit down. :roll:
Good idea. I went in a shop with SWMBO and they had leather sofas and playstations and foot rests for boyfriends just next to the changing rooms so you could sit down and grunt occasionaly in a non-descript kind of way less you should approve/disapprove of something she likes.

Adam
 

Waka

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The only reason to take SWMBO along to a WW show is to keep ferrying the tools to the car and top up your wallet.

I've been trying of late to convince HID's not to open deliveries becasue her Christmas present might be in one of them, its not working, all I get is "why do you need that".
 

engineer one

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yes i know its not centre parcs but!!!!!!!!!

although we all want something to aspire to, when you look
at what most amateurs make it is rarely modern in design,
rather a copy of older things, therefore if we are to aspire it
is useful to see modern copies and understand how they are
made too. i wonder whether furniture contests have become
like concours in the car world where the cars don't drive, and never
get dirty because of the over cleaning and refurbishment.

how do they judge these contests, anyone know??

i found the food hall over crowded on the friday, but the
french stick was tasty although a little costly. still uk food from
caterers is expensive.

we all like to see and touch the tools and machines, and for
that i was impressed with the four people i really wanted to see.
nice to see and feel all LN planes etc. but for us older pippers there
was nowhere to sit and contemplate our navels, or our purchases.

will i go again, don't know, depends on how easily i can
convince my accountant that i need both time and space to
investigate other things.

paul :wink:
 

Adam

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engineer one":1udy9wbu said:
although we all want something to aspire to, when you look at what most amateurs make it is rarely modern in design,
rather a copy of older things, therefore if we are to aspire it is useful to see modern copies and understand how they are made too. paul :wink:
Funny, I like to see modern furniture, and very much doubt I'd make a "reproduction" item. If you look at the run away success of Ikea, I'd say it was becuase everything they make looks "modern". I enjoy seeing uptodate furniture designs at shows, it provides inspiration. I can visit a National Trust property to see older stuff that can still be quite amazing. I was looking at an oak chest and a table at a place recently and they were hundreds of years old and whilst the missus was telling me about the history of the items, I was sniffing about looking at the constructional aspects :oops:. Still, keeps us both happy!

Adam
 

gidon

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Adam":1zal4dzb said:
<snip> I can visit a National Trust property to see older stuff that can still be quite amazing. I was looking at an oak chest and a table at a place recently and they were hundreds of years old and whilst the missus was telling me about the history of the items, I was sniffing about looking at the constructional aspects :oops:. <snip>
But if you dare let any of the stewards even catch a glimpse of a camera you'll be in for it! Shame because I like some of the less ornate older stuff and find it very inspirational - and would like to get a few snaps to fuel my creativity :).

Cheers

Gidon
 

Adam

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You need to get a digi camera that you can use without a flash! Then they never notice!

Adam
 

Alf

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Adam":23l29odf said:
I can visit a National Trust property to see older stuff that can still be quite amazing. I was looking at an oak chest and a table at a place recently and they were hundreds of years old and whilst the missus was telling me about the history of the items, I was sniffing about looking at the constructional aspects :oops:.
Thank goodness it's not just me doing that...

Gidon":23l29odf said:
But if you dare let any of the stewards even catch a glimpse of a camera you'll be in for it! Shame because I like some of the less ornate older stuff and find it very inspirational - and would like to get a few snaps to fuel my creativity :).
Yeah, that bugs me too. I'd happily buy a few postcards of the furniture, but of course they never have any. The way the NT treats its furniture, at least here in the SouthWest, is a disgrace. It's interesting to see how the moulding on a clock case was built up, but I'd sooner not know simply because you can only see it because great drifts of the veneer are dropping off through neglect. :( One of these days I may be tempted to try flashing my life membership card at the steward and asking "pretty please?" and see if that works. They always simper at the the life members in a most sickening way. :roll:

But we had a topic round here someplace... Oh, yes, furniture styles. Hmm, off hand, apart from Shaker and Arts & Crafts stuff, I can't think of anything amongst the completed projects on this forum that's even remotely "period" furniture. Half the reason is probably because period styles don't lend themselves to housing DVD player and TV, coffee tables weren't invented yet, etc. :D Certainly you can throw large rocks and not risk hitting anything with a moulding of any sort on it, seems to me.

Cheers, Alf
 

gidon

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Adam":3v6kdhv9 said:
You need to get a digi camera that you can use without a flash! Then they never notice!
Well that was the most annoying part - I was trying out a new camera at the time with very good high ISO capabilities (a DSLR) - so told the steward I wouldn't be using the flash. But was told no photography of any kind :(. And believe me I've tried - but the stewards are like hawks!

Alf":3v6kdhv9 said:
Yeah, that bugs me too. I'd happily buy a few postcards of the furniture, but of course they never have any. The way the NT treats its furniture, at least here in the SouthWest, is a disgrace. It's interesting to see how the moulding on a clock case was built up, but I'd sooner not know simply because you can only see it because great drifts of the veneer are dropping off through neglect. One of these days I may be tempted to try flashing my life membership card at the steward and asking "pretty please?" and see if that works. They always simper at the the life members in a most sickening way.
Life membership hey? We get disappointed looks when we show our yearly membership cards! It seems their raison d'etre is to sell you membership to the NT - but once you have it you become a second class citizen!

Ah - one of my earlier projects was some reproduction furniture (Georgian) (done at an evening class led by a woodworker working at Titchmarsh and Goodwin in Ipswich). In fact it's one of their designs he kindly gave me some plans for. Having said that we don't really like the style (particuarly the hinges) and pretty much hide it under the stairs!



Cheers

Gidon
 

engineer one

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Ikea may be modern, and may be successful, but there in lies the problem.

its too cheap for a jobbing carpenter to compete with on price, and it
gives people the wrong idea about the value of woodwork.

also it is important to remember that Ikea survives by incentivising people
to change there stuff almost yearly.

and contrary to perceived wisdom, you can adopt older designs to
accommodate modern gadgets, just needs some thought processess.

but my complaint is that so much of the modern stuff seems to encompass a great deal more than woodworking and means much cannot be done in
one workshop by one man. modern production methods can be used to
make older designs modularly and still look good, and its still wood.
not combination of metalworking too, much as i trained in that.

so what did anyone else think of the show?????
paul ](*,)
 

trevtheturner

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When I go to a show one of the pleasures for me is the opportunity to look closely at the marvellous work that has generally gone into the exhibits on display, be they cabinet making, turning, carving, etc., and admiring all the skills that so many people have. Doesn't mean I like all the pieces I see, though, but I can still appreciate what has been done.

Gidon,

That's a very nicely made piece - far too good to hide under the stairs IMO. :wink:

Cheers,

Trev.[/b]
 

Alf

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gidon":ldokt9sw said:
Life membership hey?
Ach, it was a 21st birthday present. Periodically I consider returning the card in protest at whatever latest idiocity the NT has unleashed on the world, but it's too useful to be able to get someone else in on my membership. :oops:

gidon":ldokt9sw said:
We get disappointed looks when we show our yearly membership cards! It seems their raison d'etre is to sell you membership to the NT - but once you have it you become a second class citizen!
As a "lifer" I always get a broad smile and a virtual red carpet rolled out. Once I'm in though, normal service is resumed and I'm viewed with the usual suspicion reserved for everyone under 50 - I'm obviously up to no good. :roll:

gidon":ldokt9sw said:
Ah - one of my earlier projects was some reproduction furniture
Nicely made, but I can see why it'd not be to everyone's taste.

engineer one":ldokt9sw said:
incentivising
Sorry, Paul, I'm not sure I can talk to anyone who uses that kind of language in cold blood... :shock: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Pete W

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gidon":3ocf2qrt said:
we don't really like the style (particuarly the hinges) and pretty much hide it under the stairs!
Have to agree with Trev and Alf - nothing to be ashamed of there.

Surely you could replace the hinges and knobs to give it a more modern appearance without too much trouble. At worst, take the beading off the doors, or replace them altogether.

Sorry for the thread hijack, but I hate to see a nice piece victimised for a couple of ugly spots :)
 

Adam

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engineer one":hz57cysr said:
Ikea may be modern, and may be successful, but there in lies the problem.

its too cheap for a jobbing carpenter to compete with on price, and it
gives people the wrong idea about the value of woodwork.
I wan't saying it wasn't cheap, what I was trying to say is they are making the type of furniture that consumers want. You could easily argue they influence the consumer into buying what they are selling but look through the catalogue and they are using light coloured veneers - there is very little dark woods, they are not using ornate handles etc. They mix metal and "wood" on the same furniture.

As JasonBs work recently has shown, you can still acheive the same using top quality materials, excellent design and workmanship - and he's obviously found clients that are willing to pay.

engineer one":hz57cysr said:
also it is important to remember that Ikea survives by incentivising people to change there stuff almost yearly.
I agree totally, and thats the bit I find ironic. People who would never buy a "custom" made piece of furniture costing say, £1000 which lasts a lifetime, will pay £300 every five years to follow fashion, and end up paying more in the end. Maybe its just a symptom of modern life, people think furniture is disposable too. Its no different to any other area of life now, I can remember the brand manager of domestic products at Philips proudly telling me they had finally got people to think of kettles as a fashion item rather than a functional item and so they would replace them with fashions rather than wait for them to stop working.

and contrary to perceived wisdom, you can adopt older designs to
accommodate modern gadgets, just needs some thought processess.
I would have said a lot of the products on show there are adapted from older designs - surely there hasn't been that much change in product manufacturing processes in the last 50-100 years?

but my complaint is that so much of the modern stuff seems to encompass a great deal more than woodworking and means much cannot be done in one workshop by one man. modern production methods can be used to make older designs modularly and still look good, and its still wood. not combination of metalworking too, much as i trained in that.
so what did anyone else think of the show?????
paul ](*,)
Hmm, have a look through the completed projects forum here - nearly everyone is working out of small home workshops. You can always try a trade on bits you can't make yourself with someone in a model engineering club (for example), they make you some little "widgets" and you make a plinth for their latest model creation etc etc. Even on this forum you can ask for help and people have been amazingly kind with offering time and use of machines for a number of people that i know of!

Adam
 

bugbear

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. You can always try a trade on bits you can't make yourself with someone in a model engineering club (for example), they make you some little "widgets" and you make a plinth for their latest model creation etc etc.
At the risk of drifting gently to a new topic, I am continually stunned at model engineering shows.

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen wondrous models, embodying hundreds of man hours, stood on a piece of badly varnished, un-edged 3/4 ply, with a dymo-label stuck on, off centre and out of true.

Astonishing!

BugBear
 
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