I can't see a search button on this website that enables a search for a specific topic. There is much I would like to find out about but don't want to ask something that has been discussed before. Is there any way of searching the database?
In Advanced Search, you can choose to search just the text of the topic title, but that's not really a search by subject, just a search for the particular words used.
If you wanted to find posts about vices, for example, you'd miss posts headed "workholding options" or "old Record 52 versus new Irwin." You'd have no chance at all with threads just titled " help" or "newbie problem".
Some forum software allows users to tag their posts with what should be useful subject words, but that only works well if all posters join in.
Another idea, which I have seen elsewhere, is if some dedicated member has been in the habit of saving links to their favourite posts and then shares them publicly - but the effort of compiling such an index would be too great for almost everybody.
Something I'd recommend you try is searching the site externally. Google has an in-built feature for searching within a domain, it's in Advanced Search but you can access the feature directly from your browser's search bar by simply typing site: followed by the site address, and then as many search terms as you like.
So a full search might be site:ukworkshop.co.uk record woden parkinson "quick release"
I've searched UKW and many other fora this way for years after numerous comparative tests showed that it often gave better results. These days internal search works better than it once did and sometimes gives equivalent results, but it has two further advantages that sometimes make it unbeatable. It works even if the site's own search feature is down due to a technical glitch, and if the forum has any limits set on searching – e.g. number of searches allowed within X time, won't search for words that are too short or too common, you can only search if you're a member and logged in – it gets around those too.
Once you get used to this it can become your default way of looking within any site, I use nothing else any longer.