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Swedish company Tormek, manufacturer of sharpening systems, recently travelled to the home of Glenn Lucas in County Carlow, Ireland to film this talented woodturner at his craft.
In this inspiring video, Glenn, who is well known for turning wooden bowls, talks about being introduced to woodworking as a boy. His grandfather and an old friend of the family, who came to live with them for ten years, showed him how to sharpen his tools and encouraged him to work with wood.
The film traces the story of how Glenn, who for many years has honed his skills as a freehand sharpener, first saw a Tormek being demonstrated in Germany and now uses Tormek when teaching his students to sharpen their tools. He demonstrates how to use Tormek and takes the viewer through the process of bowl making. Glenn’s work follows simple, classical shapes and everything he makes has a functional use.
“Sharpening tools has to be one of the most challenging aspects of woodturning. It has taken me many years as a professional turner to perfect the skills of freehand sharpening. Using a Tormek, I can now teach students within minutes to achieve the ultimate cutting edge in ten seconds. The tools last longer with no overheating. I would let anyone sharpen my tools on a Tormek” says Glenn. Continue reading →
Axminster Tools & Machinery are organising a major new woodturning event - Ready Steady Turn - at the store in Nuneaton. This will come as welcome news to all those who attended and enjoyed any of the company’s Strictly Woodturning events.
Anyone who visited Axminster’s main Tools & Machinery Exhibition a few years ago may remember the Ready Steady Turn woodturning competition. The name has been resurrected and the Nuneaton version will be run along similar lines. To give a flavour of the event, throughout the Friday and the first half of Saturday, professional turners will demonstrate their skills and unique styles of woodturning, explaining any useful tips, techniques and easier ways of achieving the desired result. Saturday afternoon will culminate in the pro-turners competing against each other and against the clock to win the Ready Steady Turn title.
The line-up for RST is impressive and includes Stuart King and Gary Rance (both winners of Strictly Woodturning), the hat man Andrew Hall, Phil Irons, Richard Findley and local turner Steve Heeley. Axminster’s Colwin Way will also be taking part. “We’re really looking forward to hosting such a major woodturning event in our store. It really will be an exciting couple of days for both customers and staff alike”, said Nuneaton store manager, John Flavell. Continue reading →
The team of six, which includes managing director Ian Styles, his nephew Tim and four others who really know their stuff, will be focusing on some of the best machines from the company’s Hobby and Trade ranges of machinery. The team will be showcasing and, in some cases, demonstrating bandsaws, scroll saws, a panel saw, table saw, combination machine and three lathes. The stand will also feature a range of woodturning accessories with particular emphasis on the Evolution chuck (now a year old), the new Clubman chucks and the even newer Evolution Series revolving centres.
Around 6,800 visitors enjoyed the "Harrogate Show", as it is affectionately known, in 2012. This is a show for all woodworkers and users of power tools, whether amateur or professional. It runs from Friday 22nd-24th November. Tickets can be bought and more information obtained at skpromotions.co.uk.
The Wednesday of National Customer Service Week (7-13 October) was all about recognising and rewarding excellence, and a number of awards were made.
The award of Customer Champion, based on both nominations and a panel of judges, went to Darren Peach, Specialist Sales Advisor. Darren was presented with a trophy and a gift card for £50. There were several runners-up: Georgina Burrough, Maddie Edwards, Eileen Palmer, Carly Forino and Kevin King - all received a certificate and a bag of sweets.
A second award of Customer Service Support Champion was presented to Joe Stork, Web Support Technician. To qualify for this award call centre staff only were able to put forward nominations from among staff in other departments. They would be nominating the person who assisted them most in providing customers with a high standard of service. The runner-up in this category was Ben Coath, Warehouse Team Leader. Joe received a £25 gift card and certificate and Ben, a certificate and bag of sweets. Continue reading →
One warm and sunny day back in June, twenty or so Axminster staff went up to River Cottage HQ to take part in and be filmed for an episode of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new series 'River Cottage To The Core'. In his own words, HF-W "…wants to sow the seeds of change and revolutionise the way we use fruit in Britain".
This episode, in which Hugh and his team conjure up several dishes featuring strawberries, kicks off the series on Wednesday 16th October at 8pm on Channel 4. Tune in and be entertained!
Wally Wilson, Export Sales Manager said, "It's great to talk to young people about new tools and techniques, as there are only a few future woodworkers in specialist colleges, such as Bridgwater. It's good to make the students aware and gain appreciation of the industry and encourage them to continue improving their skills."
Ben Braddick, a mature student from Taunton, who studies the Level 3 programme in Furniture Design and Manufacture said, "Veritas gave a fine demonstration of their new range of products and illustrated the meticulous research, skill and enthusiasm that goes into making tools that aim to make our workshop hours easier and more productive."
Steve Hopper, Programme Manager for Furniture said, "It was great that Vic and Wally were able to spare a day to visit us as part of their European tour demonstrating their innovative range of premium quality hand tools. Continue reading →
In today's competitive market place, customer service is more important than it has ever been to both the customer and the supplier. To demonstrate just how valuable and appreciated its customers and staff are, Axminster Tools & Machinery is getting fully involved in National Customer Service Week 7-11 October, a week full of activities being led and promoted by the Institute of Customer Service.
The aims of National Customer Service Week include engaging with both customers and employees to share best practice, recognise the efforts of those working in frontline customer service and show genuine care for customers. It is intended that the week will also raise awareness of the crucial role of customer service, boost morale and teamwork and show customers that organisations are committed to meeting and exceeding their expectations.
Leading up to this week both customers and staff are being encouraged to nominate their Customer Champion and say why they feel their nominee should receive this award. The result will be announced on Wednesday 9th October which, in the calendar of the week's events, is a day devoted to recognising excellence. Continue reading →
The rumours and speculation on some of the woodworking forums are true: Axminster Tools & Machinery is opening a new store in Basingstoke, and it will be holding its launch event on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October. Click here to find out more!
With 7,700 square feet of retail space, Basingstoke will be the first of the Axminster stores to open seven days a week in line with most other retail outlets in the area, recognising that many customers, due to their own work / life commitments, find it convenient to shop on a Sunday.
It will also be the first store to display the new company signage and trade under the name of Axminster Tools & Machinery. Continue reading →
Team Gestalt with their Big Pig brand came out on top achieving a higher level of sales and profit than rival Team Trafalgar. Both teams delivered their presentations in the boardroom at Axminster Tools & Machinery on Thursday (12th) evening and then met at 7.30am the following morning on Friday 13th when the results were announced. The reward for the winning team was a weekend with partners in London, while the losing team reconvened at the Station Café on Monday morning prior to spending the day cleaning the warehouse.
Having appointed their PMs (Project Managers) - Jade Keam for Gestalt and Alice Forino for Trafalgar - both teams worked hard with award winning sausage manufacturer, Complete Meats, throughout the week to produce and brand their sausages, put together a marketing plan and make sales. All this effort culminated on Thursday when both teams took a stall at Axminster Market to make sales to the general public. The challenge also caught the interest of BBC Spotlight South West who filmed and interviewed the teams in the market; the piece was later aired during the Spotlight programme on Thursday evening. Continue reading →
A challenge closely styled on the BBC’s Apprentice is taking place... Follow the Aspire Blog for the latest updates!
Eleven months ago Axminster Tools & Machinery created an 'Aspire' team - a group of ten individuals who were selected as potential leaders and have been undergoing management development. The culmination of the group's training is about to take place as they undertake a business related task.
Split into two competing teams called Trafalgar and Gestalt, the winners will be treated to a weekend in London with their partners, whilst the losers will meet at the Station Cafe and then clean the warehouse. Each team also has its own 'Nick Hewer' and 'Karen Brady' in the background, keeping an eye on how they are doing. Regular viewers of the Apprentice will appreciate the similarities. Continue reading →