I went to the European Woodworking Show in Essex today. It’s a great venue, with ancient timber barns and a walled garden. It’s a bit different from the usual type of woodworking show. There is less emphasis on machinery and more on hand tools and traditional crafts. I saw displays of blacksmithing and axe woodworking as well as woodcarving.
There are two kinds of woodworker – those who like machinery and those who like hand tools such as planes and travishers (those special planes for making chair seats). I’m a machine man myself. Turning is a hybrid in which the turner’s hand holds the cutting tool and the wood spins in a machine. So I was glad to see some turning-related stands. I chatted about ornamental turning with a gentleman on one of the stands. He had brought along some examples of turning, including a little decorated oval box. Also some of the equipment such as drills (which, in ornamental turning cut profiled shapes, not simple holes). They had the specialised sharpening kit needed, including a goniostat. I also saw a Magma Titan lathe, which looks a first class machine. Expensive, but I feel strangely compelled to buy one sometime.
I bought an old-fashioned carbon steel skew chisel for just £4. There was a big box of them, many years old, but unused. They are a victim of the takeover of high speed steel. I also bought a Tormek tool bar holder to fit to my high speed grinder. This will let me use the same gouge grinding jig on the Tormek and on the high speed machine.