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AT&M’s Kelly Baker was one of the four young professionals along with others from Panaz, Ercol and Blum chosen to attend a three-week pilot course run by The Furniture Makers’ Company this summer.
As part of an expanding education programme, The Furniture Makers’ Company has just finished a pilot course giving four of the brightest and best young talents in the furnishing industry an intensive three-week experience where they had a unique opportunity to learn about all aspects of the furnishing industry supply chain. Only The Furniture Makers’ Company (which is the furnishing industry’s charity), with its unique network of contacts, can provide such a course.
When the mast on the largest ever replica of a Viking long boat, Dragon Harald Fairhair, snapped while crossing the North Sea en route to Liverpool, Axminster Business Services Team literally ‘pushed the boat out’ to help.
Because the Norwegian company which built the boat is an existing customer of AT&M, Mark O’Halloran (Sales Manager) and Peter Bolton (Technical Field Sales) organised a Festool long bed planer (not normally stocked) to be sent across from Germany to the Warrington store and then delivered it personally so the boat could be repaired over the weekend.
Next time you are about to throw out an unwanted piece of furniture, ask yourself “can this be re-cycled?” And that’s exactly the question staff and volunteers at the Goldfinger Factory want us to ask ourselves.
Not far from Portobello Road, situated on the ground and first floors of the tower block Trellick Tower in North Kensington, you will find the Goldfinger Factory. Founder Oliver Waddington-Ball describes Goldfinger as “…essentially a collective. Goldfinger is an up-cycling, teaching and production hub, with all the facilities of a community centre built in.” Oliver goes on to explain that “The idea behind it is to reduce social exclusion and empower the community through teaching people to up-cycle, do building fit-outs downstairs and sell their product upstairs. And to use the events space and café which for the last two years have been boarded up. We sell designed products in a charity shop without the charity shop feel.” Continue reading →
With the support of NEF: The Innovation Institute, Axminster Tools & Machinery has just hosted a one day Innovative Skills Workshop Masterclass for FE college lecturers within engineering and technology disciplines. The day focused on demonstrations and use of CNC machinery, and how in simple terms these would aid the progress and development of engineering skills in an education environment.
The day began with an overview of NEF from Dr Sarah Peers, Director of Programmes, and how the organisation supports industry, government and education. Professor Sa’ad Medhat founded NEF in 2004 as New Engineering Foundation, a charity focusing on engineering in vocational training. Today NEF has broadened its activities as an independent foundation, professional body and “do” tank. One of its key objectives is to improve the provision of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) within education and to support innovation for growth. In so doing NEF works closely with many different companies in science and technology sectors including the nuclear industry. Continue reading →
A group of nine intrepid employees from Axminster Tools & Machinery will be rising to the challenge and flying high in early August when they take part in a skydive to raise funds for the company’s chosen charity for 2014, Hospiscare. The team’s target is £3,550, some of which will contribute towards the building of the charity’s new hospice centre in Honiton, Devon.
The jump will take place at 15,000 feet which is the maximum height someone can jump from without needing extra oxygen. Training for the event takes place on the morning before the jump and all nine will be jumping in tandem with a professional skydiver. Continue reading →
Axminster Skill Centre has just introduced a new woodturning course to its already diverse range of courses. The new two-day course during which students will learn to make a traditional German nutcracker will begin in October.
Nutcrackers have a long history and been produced in Germany for centuries. In recent times they have become popular on a more global scale and are often given as a present at Christmas. Whilst Christmas may seem a long way off at the moment, come October many of us will start to think about the looming festive season.
According to German folklore, the giving of a nutcracker will guard over the recipient and scare away any bad spirits. A fierce protector, the nutcracker will bare its teeth and act as the traditional messenger of good luck and goodwill. For this reason the nutcracker is often represented in the form of an authoritative character such as a soldier or king. Although originating from Germany, the nutcracker‘s popularity spread when American troops brought them back to the USA in the late 1940s after the war and subsequently they became popular here. Today wooden nutcrackers are more decorative than functional as the cracker mechanism is neither large nor strong enough to crack nuts.
On this new course, students will make a nutcracker from scratch which, depending on style, may consist of up to 13 pieces. The course, designed for all ability levels, incorporates very basic turning techniques but still covers all the main chisel types. As well as turning the main components, there will be use of the router and the opportunity to examine a simple router box construction. Students will look at paints, airbrushing and embellishment with the final finishing being done at home where paints and varnishes can dry. The course will also look at different timbers and why some would be used over others.
Course cost: £255 Dates: 20-21 October and 23-24 October 2014
For more information, visit www.axminsterskillcentre.co.uk
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 →
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