Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Another month...

Further to Nick's comment in the comments box - "another month, another Alf tip in GWW". He's hit on a matter that is causing me some embarrassment. I was going to reply in the comments box, but it was getting too long and I don't want folks thinking I don't feel that embarrassment as I should...

Anyway, it's a total nightmare, isn't it? I sent in four all told IIRC (t'was a year ago after all) and they seem to be dishing them out one after the other. I got a letter the other day telling me I'd got a tip published again (but they didn't say that) and just knew there'd be a collective rolling of eyes! Dunno if you remember a character called Tony Evans who was very prolific in GWW a few years ago? It got to the stage where he had stuff, including tips, put in under variations of his name - "Tony Evans, Upton-by-Chester"; "A Evans, Chester"; "Anthony Evans, Upton" etc, and various permutations of same. Sometimes two tips in at one time under two names! I know how much it used to annoy me at the time, so I can well imagine I'm unwittingly creating similar exasperation... But s'not my fault, guv, honest.

Just to prove I'm not actually any kind of fountain of woodworking genius (like you needed proof ) you can play "spot the error" in these pics of chair progress. I've made some attempt at repair, but it's still visible if you look. What's worse is I managed to do it twice. To make one cock-up is careless; to make two identical cock-ups in the space of 10 minutes is criminally stupid. Still, at least it's at the back... Anyway, one half of the arm is sort of ready; the other still to do. It's crazy of course; I'm using a few hundred quid's worth of hand tools to do a job I could probably do quicker and arguably more accurately using 50 quid's worth of router and table. There's nowt so daft as neanderthals...


  1. There's nowt so daft as neanderthals... but the silence is golden.


  2. No whining router.


  3. What's daft is that somethin' spinnin' at 15,000 rpm (and all that is entailed in the physics of such a beast) costs so much less than a few bits of steel, brass, and wood.

    For the sake of an ignorant Colonist, what publication is "GWW"?

  4. Naturally I didn't actually mean the neanderthal daftness comment. I'd have just mucked it up more efficiently and less repairably with a screaming demon...

    Sorry, Jeff; that'd be Good Woodworking. For a brief moment they used to have something approaching a website, but all I can offer you now is their plea for your money:

  5. Oh,Alf, I knew you were jestin' about the Neanderthal comment. :-) There is a good point in there though. Of course it depends on what style of furniture one was building, but a pure hand tool approach with quality tools would probably be more expensive than what would be required to build the same furniture with mainly power tools.....unless one lives in England, where there can't be much more than a few hours separating old tool hades from old tool heaven. :-)

    And we Colonists do the same thing with "FWW", "PWW", etc. I wonder though what marketing genius decided to go with "Good" when "Fine" already existed.

  6. "To make one cock-up is careless; to make two identical cock-ups in the space of 10 minutes is criminally stupid."

    There is something to be said about consistency...

    It could be worse, couldn't it? I mean about the cost disparity vs. the benefits. If you didn't enjoy it despite the seeming shortcomings, that would be worse still.

    One of these days, maybe someone will entitle a magazine, "Good Enough Woodworking," or perhaps simply "Woodworking." Oops, that one is taken...

    Take care, Mike


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