Comments 4 Comments

Rob Stoakley on blogging

The-Hand-Tool-bench-3Some weeks ago, when the Blog first got underway, I started by mentioning that blogging is a ‘funny old game’ and to a large extent, it certainly is the case as the writer has not the faintest, remotest inkling of whose computer it’s going to end up on or who eventually will read it. On a completely surreal note, we have it on good authority that Her Majesty the Queen used to service motor vehicles in her youth. If on the merest off-chance she fancied tinkering under the bonnet of a royal Bentley, the Axminster website and the Blog might well be the very first place that HM would look for the correct sized spanner!

Seriously though, unlike a literary book, where the author has very little chance of feedback (except that generated by reviewers), thanks to the wonders of t’interweb there’s an opportunity with a blog writer for an almost immediate discourse on the topic under discussion in that particular or any other posting.

The Blog was started very much as a ‘making’ blog, where projects, both simple and relatively complicated, would be built with the intention of engaging the readership so that they could hopefully use the information and techniques in their own work.  Naturally enough, Axminster tools and equipment will be promoted, but not to the exclusion of other products which might not be stocked or even made any more. As woodworkers and consumers, my guess is that we tend to ‘cherry pick’ from a number of our favourite suppliers so that our workshops end up as a fairly eclectic, unique mix of machinery and hand tools.

I didn’t realise until recently that in addition to making a comment or asking a question, anyone reading the Blog could post their own pictures in a reply…we at Axminster would love to see what the readership get up to in their own ‘shops.  Likewise, if there are any particular techniques or ‘how to’s’ that you’d like me to explore in more detail on the Blog, a comment or reply is the ideal way to set the process in motion.

North and south aspects of Rob's workshop
North and south aspects of Rob’s workshop

All sorts of techniques and woodworking practices will be shown, some of which you may agree with, some of which may be divisive but all of which ought to stimulate the ‘little grey cells’ into action and make your digits start to twitch over the keyboard to ask that ‘what, why or how’ question or even just to comment that you’ve never, ever, in all your born days, seen such a hideous, gurning mug shot on the Blog!

  • Michael Huntley

    Far too tidy! Probably unrepresentative of the average Ax blog reader’s workshop! Let’s see a bit of a mess and a few problems being sorted out…………..Give us jeopardy! That’s what the TV seems to think an audience wants.

  • Rob Stoakley

    So you want jeopardy Mike? Cast your peepers over the two images below for a proper bit of double jeopardy! The fist pic shows the top section of an Alan Peters style Japanese chest of drawers in American cherry, made entirely using dowels. There would have been a further four sections doweled onto it in sequence underneath.

    As you can see, there’s a panelled top (with matching panels from the same board) going down the sides all the way to the floor. However, when this was glued the other evening, the brain wasn’t fully engaged (not an unusual state) and I glued the lhs panel stiles upside down and the wrong way round! The panel is biscuited onto the frame and the stress caused the panel to ‘blow’ in the middle, resulting in a large crack. Not only that, but in the corner closest, the combined length of the dowel holes (because it was the wrong way round) was 2mm too short, with the result that the dowels exploded through the top of the panel like three bullets from an AK47.

    I managed to do a reasonable ‘fix’ (arrowed in the second pic) but it was still a bit of a ‘dogs dinner’ and that’s a mild understatement, so the only recourse was to turn it into bandsaw fodder.

    What’s really sad is that it isn’t the first time this has happened….

  • Alex Jeffries

    Here’s a suggestion Rob. Your advice to me on the “best” bevel angles on different steels would be useful to others, so might warrant discussion here. Also, I can attest as an eye witness that Rob’s workshop is that clean and organised.

    • Rob Stoakley

      Glad you enjoyed your morning in the workshop Alex and I was more than happy to do that little bit of machining for you. The idea of an AxBlog entry on different steels and their relative grinding and honing angles is a good one, so I’ll probably give that one a little thought and prepare a few graphics. May even include an easy way of making a ‘back bevel’ as well….

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