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Graham Ball is the editor of Coombe Abbey Woodturners’ monthly newsletter and has kindly given us permission to print his article. Images are also courtesy of Graham Ball.
It is not very often that I have been able to just wander in and out of a major woodturning event without having to show a pass or some other kind of document to confirm that I have paid the entrance fee. But this was the case when Axminster Tools & Machinery put on the ‘10 Turners Turning’ event at their Nuneaton store on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd March. I will admit that I was only able to attend for a short time on the Friday, but I made the most of it on the Saturday.
Talk about popular, I found the parking to be the most difficult thing to do. Neighbouring businesses were getting a bit irate as people were using their customers’ parking bays. No one had ever seen anything like it before. On entering the building there was a definite buzz with all the turners hard at it, surrounded by people watching, learning and asking questions. If you wanted to see a piece being turned from start to finish then this was possible, but I elected to just wander from one turner to another and on doing so was accosted by woodturning friends who just wanted to chat with me. This suited me fine and I caught up with many people not only from Coombe Abbey Woodturners, but also those in many other clubs. Doing club demonstrations myself, it is surprising how many people come up to me to introduce themselves and thus starts a long conversation. Continue reading →
The "10 Turners Turning" event at Axminster’s Nuneaton store proved to be quite a crowd puller and those who visited the store over the two days were not disappointed. Keen turning enthusiasts came from various parts of the country for the event, some had even booked overnight accommodation so they could enjoy both days.
The Ready Steady Turn competition was also a big draw and saw each of the ten turners step up to the lathe with 20 minutes on the clock to produce something of their own choice. This was the part of the event during which they could show off, put out some banter or be humiliated, all with the aim of entertaining the audience. Each of the turners created something very different, ranging from Gary Rance’s pendants to Stuart King’s chess piece design and Andrew Hall’s decorated platter.
Favourite turner revealed...
Continue reading →
For a number of years Axminster Tools & Machinery (AT&M) has worked closely with Exeter College supporting and providing a variety of opportunities for apprentices at its main offices and manufacturing base in Axminster.
Recently (3-7 March 14) the Company took an active role in the College’s National Apprenticeship Week. As part of the week’s activity programme, three of AT&M’s apprentices took part in the “A Day in the Life” experience during which they spent a working day shadowing directors of the Company. The three apprentices involved were ICT apprentice Ben Vine who shadowed Sales Director, Alan Styles; Engineering apprentice Kieran Kerle who shadowed Resale Director, Martin Brown; and Servicing apprentice Ryan Moore who shadowed Marketing Director, Katina Styles. The apprentices were asked to give feedback as to how their day of shadowing went and had to ask their leader questions ranging from “What is the best part about your career?” to “In terms of your job responsibilities, what keeps you awake at night?” Continue reading →
Carvings entered into Exeter Woodcarvers’ autumn competition, sponsored by Axminster Tools & Machinery, are now on display at the store on Trafalgar Way in Axminster.
Karen Jales of Exeter Woodcarvers explained “About a year or so ago we started thinking about motivating and inspiring our club members with a competition. Last spring the first competition was launched. We decided to give any member who wanted to enter a block of wood, 8”x8”x1” in lime or sycamore, and leave the subject matter to their imagination. We split the entries into novice and experienced (categories) and offered a small prize for each class.”
As the entries for both categories came in, club members were impressed by the quality and diversity of the work produced. Each club member was given a vote to cast in both categories and a clear winner emerged in each. Continue reading →
At the ritzy DIY Week Awards Dinner recently held at the Ricoh Centre in Coventry, Axminster Tools & Machinery was recognised for its business excellence in the retail sector, winning the Gold award for ‘Retail Communicator of the Year’. AT&M also picked up a Silver award for ‘Tool Retailer of the Year’.
The event, attended by almost 300 people, brought together some of the biggest names in the industry to recognise and reward achievements in 15 categories, from Store Manager and Garden Retailer of the Year, to Power Tool and DIY Product of the Year. Host for the evening was comedian Ian Moore plus there was both music and entertainment from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. The event also presented an opportunity for guests to support the Rainy Day Trust charity.
A rare opportunity has arisen for Lie-Nielsen enthusiasts to see one of the company’s leading demonstrators in action. Deneb Puchalski, hand tool and sharpening expert, will be visiting the UK this spring. He will be making a whistle-stop tour of five Axminster stores during April.
These events will be open sessions enabling Lie-Nielsen fans to talk directly to one of the most highly respected demonstrators. Topics open for discussion will include sharpening and tool care and, in particular, how to get the best from these quality tools. Deneb tours North America demonstrating, and his passion and enthusiasm for the tools he works with are clear to all who have seen his demonstrations.
It has been 5 years since we opened our doors in High Wycombe and to celebrate we will be holding a ‘Big Interactive Tool’ weekend, with demonstrations going on throughout the day and experts on hand to offer tips and advice. There may even be opportunities to have a go yourself.
As always there will be a big selection of Paula‘s cakes to accompany the free tea and coffee…
Woodworkers at a New Forest training centre for adults with learning disabilities turned on their creative skills when an internationally acclaimed craftsman dropped in on a session to demonstrate just what a lathe can do.
Colwin Way, who has travelled the world showing and teaching his craft, visited students on the woodwork course at the Minstead Training Trust to officially hand over two new lathes to the centre which helps prepare adults with learning disabilities to achieve greater independence so they can lead meaningful lives.
“Learning how to work with wood using the lathes and other tools is a real confidence builder. Using the kit safely gives the students an outlet for their creativity. They start out on small projects like making pens or jewellery and can then move on to bigger and more difficult pieces,” said Colwin.
Axminster Tools & Machinery has added three new names to the line-up for the major woodturning event – 10 Turners Turning featuring Ready Steady Turn - at the store in Nuneaton in March. Mark Hancock, Stuart Mortimer and Mark Baker, editor of Woodturning magazine, will all be demonstrating at the event and taking part in the Ready Steady Turn competition.
The full line-up for this event is very impressive. As well as the names mentioned above, Stuart King and Gary Rance (both winners of Strictly Woodturning), the hat man Andrew Hall, Phil Irons, Richard Findley, local turner Steve Heeley and Axminster’s Colwin Way will also be part of the event. For full details go to axminster.co.uk/10turnersturning
There will be a wide range of Jet and Axminster lathes on display, including the Jet 4224B and Axminster’s Hobby and Trade ranges; this event will provide a good opportunity to see many different lathes in action together with the Evolution and Clubman chucks and the new Evolution Series of woodturning accessories.
Axminster Tools & Machinery (AT&M) recently became the 15th corporate member of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers of the City of London.
Directors Alan Styles, Michael Trimble and Martin Brown accepted membership and became Corporate Liverymen at a ceremony held in Furniture Makers’ Hall at Austin Friars in the City.
The main aim of the Furniture Makers’ Company is to promote and develop the British furniture industry. It achieves this by supporting training opportunities, charitable work and networking.
The Company comprises a community of like-minded people in the forefront of the industry. Other well known companies including Harrods, John Lewis, Homebase and B&Q are also corporate members. AT&M looks forward to supporting the Company of Furniture Makers with its endeavours.
For more information about the Company, visit www.furnituremkrs.co.uk.
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