Become a fan of h2g2
At odd times, whittling bits of firewood with a penknife – but really, It all began:
In the late 1960s, on leaving the RN and moving into a company house, with ever so little in the way of our own belongings. After a while an empty corner called to be filled and I set-to with a few tools and bits of wood and made a small stand with a parquet top. Not good but a matter of some small pride.
From there to marquetry and some satisfying, slowly improving work, first from bought kits then my own designs.
To a job in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and discovering the Grainger Market, in a corner of which was (still is?) a toolshop that dealt in edge tools and whose proprietor knew all about such things. With me browsing and being particularly attracted to a set of carving tools, he started a conversation which developed into "Don't buy a set. You won't use half of them for some time, if ever" . . . "look, I'll give you a special price on these two tools. Try them out – and come back for more when you know what you want (ahem, at proper prices). Use your ordinary chisels for flat work to begin with – just make sure they're really, properly sharp".
Which led to my small collection of ten tools and a few sharpening stones/slips. I think it was he that even gave me a scruffy old canvas toolroll to keep them in – and they still live in it.
Later, in the south of England, an old woodturning lathe for sale caught my eye and I was soon hooked. Practice, practice, practice and at first one or two, then a few more, decent-ish pieces.
After some more years, when preparing for retirement – and not actually in need of money at the time – I invested in a more modern, more capable lathe (but no, not the one I'd have preferred, sadly). See articles One Man's Woodcraft: The Lathe, also there's The Lathe Part II along with Tools
On retirement that machine was installed in a workshop shed at what was to be our last place of Residence. . . until we emigrated, that is. It's now installed in what was the second garage (we won't ever want two cars will we? Ha!).
After joining the local woodcraft club here and Graduating from a college course, I find myself being mentor to less experienced members. I think I can claim some expertise by now – but am not a real Expert (you should watch an expert at work!).
Over the years, in good times, I've built up a collection of woodworking tools and equipment.
After moving here, 3+ years ago, I'm still coming across stuff in the workshop that I don't immediately recognise – what on earth is that for? Hence, one of my favourite sayings – Who dies with most tools, wins – but then, seeing see some of these Kiwis' collections, I'm way behind.
Practise, practice, practise is all very well but your better work will require some thought, sketches and planning – do I do this bit first or that bit?
Aim for acceptable and you'll be disappointed. Aim for perfection and you might get acceptable.
Like any worthwhile hobby woodcraft is absorbing, requiring all the faculties that you happen to have at the time and will take the weight of the world off your shoulders – for a little while (but often).
There are a few more pictures here, as and when I find time to do a photo session, arrange them – and post 'em .Rod