What’s that all about then? The general public may think that woodworkers are a bunch of bearded and smelly loners who spend all their spare time lurking suspiciously in mysterious structures at the bottom of the garden.  Society’s misfits who thrust strangely misshapen and damaged lumps of wood into unsuspecting friends and relative’s hands at Christmas whilst claiming “it’s a bit of Baltic Chestnut,” their eyes glaring madly and darting from side to side.  Well let me put the record straight, I don’t have a beard.

What I want to talk about here is the camaraderie amongst woodworkers that I don’t think exists within the ranks of let’s say, Formula 1 motor racing.  Or F1 to it’s friends.  The elitism just drips down from the top ranks down to those who will insist that Nigel Mansell attended their cousin’s stepfather’s sister’s wedding in 1983 and therefore that makes them best of buddies.  It’s just unpleasant to say the least.  Even in my beloved football the stench of elitism rises from the fans to the point of nausea and beyond.  The glory hunting Sky tv generation who have never known the adrenaline rush of a terrace surge.  I’m sure that woodworking has its elitist knobheads but they won’t be reading this.  No, they’ll be trying to surgically insert a hidden micro-tenon in to the top-secret-mortise-joint of a replica Henry VIII arse scratcher.  In Baltic Chestnut, of course.  Seriously though I have found such a willingness to share information, guidance and good humoured support from those I have encountered in my less than twenty years of woodworking that I can count several good friends among them.  For instance I am still in touch with the chap I bought my first Coronet lathe from and am going to visit him next week to inspect a Coronet Consort he has acquired.  He gave me first offer on it but I mistakenly thought that the saw table is smaller than that of the Major so regretfully had to turn it down.  But what a prime example with many attachments, I am going to take some photos for the site.  Just bring some buns, he said.  Then more recently I had an enquiry through the site from a chap in Hertfordshire who was trying to identify some Coronet parts he had stored for years and was now trying to shift them.  Having identified them, he then offered them to me for nothing to use in a project.  Apart from the scrap value you could probably have sold them through an auction site for a few pounds because the bits are so heavy it would cost a fortune to post them.  What an amazing offer but how could I collect?  I remembered my Auntie in nearby Hatfield, with the de Havilland connection and she kindly flew by and picked them up for me and delivered them to me last week when she visited Dorset.  Result.  What a great gesture from a fellow woodworker, wouldn’t happen in F1 or football.  Brian from Stevenage, I salute you.  Now I just have to shift my old Coronet Minor to make room for this new project.  Meanwhile back on www.craftycrafter.co.uk...

So there you have it, the spirit of woodworking.