02 June 2008

Go West

Pete and I went down to the CHT Hand Tools event at West Dean last Saturday...what a great day, even the weather smiled on us, which makes a change! The venue was really excellent and the range and quality of exhibitors was outstanding. I particularly wanted to buttonhole Michael Huntley, the new editor of F&C, who expressed some concern in the last issue about using internet forums. Michael is clearly trying to shift the emphasis of the mag from the 'hard-core' professional user image and combine it with a more user-friendly hobbyist or amateur approach, one that would appeal more to those sorts of makers (including me) who have 'shops in the garden or work from a garage...trouble is he's between a 'rock and a hard place' as the bean counters at GMC want more of the old style mag. What I was attempting to point out to him was that by registering on UKW he would then be able to indicate to the membership just how he plans to shift the mag forward and in that way might just be able to gain a few converts who would then take out a subscription. He also wants to improve the layout of F&C to make it much more like Fine Woodworking, so that pieces are presented in individual 'byte sized chunks' so making it easier for the reader.
Mike also said that he commutes from Warminster to Lewes each day and as such passes through Salisbury...his route takes him about 10 minutes from my door so it looks like an impending visit to my little 'shop is on the cards from the editor, can't be bad as they say.
I took along a bit of the 'Wood from Hell' fully expecting it to be untamable.
Wrong. The new LN demonstrator sorted it with a LA jack, very tight mouth and an EP of 62deg, so I think that I'll change the blade EP on my Veritas smoother and keep it for those gnarly bits of stuff that a BU plane throws it's hands up at! Suffice to say I was suitably impressed.
I also saw some rather nice Shapton ceramic stones...one was a grit of 30K, trouble was the price was £194 which was a little more that I would have been prepared to pay.
Also great to see Chris Knight and have a long chat about motorcycling, who passed on lots of good tips to my daughter Megs who's a bit of a rock-biker chickbabe!
Fantastic day out, roll on Westonbirt.

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