Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

So, This Was Christmas…

I hope everyone has enjoyed the Christmas break so far and that you’re all looking forward to 2010, as I am.

As we near the dawn of a brand new year, I thought I’d share with you some of the gifts I was grateful to receive on Christmas morning…

My main present [excluding the Nintendo Wii I have to share with my sister – yes, both parents still treat us like babies!!] was this DAB Digital Radio, which will hopefully give some companionship in my dark, lonely workshop. In fact, I’ve been using it today to keep up to date with the football scores Radio FiveLive [bloody Chelsea!!] and it is almost like having someone in the background of your workshop, despite the absence of a physical form… Both the sound quality and signal strength are very good. This model has also been finished with a ‘beech effect’ surround – it may be chipboard and I doubt it’s even real veneer but, it fits in with its surroundings nicely! I must remember to try and keep it dust free!

DAB Digital Radio for my Workshop.

Ignoring the radio, I didn’t really get anything which was significantly related to woodwork (you don’t ask, you don’t get!). A pair of steel-toe capped boots (Dickies – though, I can’t find a picture online, right now) and some new clothes (which will almost certainly become ‘work wear‘ before too long!)… It looks like I may have to buy the WorkSharp grinder myself after all (well, let’s be honest – I would never have been happy sharing that with my little sister!). A dastardly price-hike is also imminent with the VAT “increase” in a few days time… If I don’t buy it now – regardless of whether or not I should be spending that kind of money right now – I don’t expect to ever see it available at this price again in the UK.

A few days early, I did buy myself a few other ‘essential’ workshop purchases to take advantage of Workshop Heaven‘s free delivery offer in the run-up to the festivities…

Christmas Goodies from Workshop Heaven.

There is one item I’ve forgotten to include in this photo and that’s the Chattahoochee Carpenter’s pencil. Four painter’s pyramids, a magnetic bag for hanging metal tools and a British-made dovetail saw where you make your own handle, either from a supplied drawing or to your own design – more on this to come in a future post!

Elsewhere, I’ve finally moved my ‘odds’n’sodds‘ shelf so it is now beside the vertical wall pillar, which gives me more room for larger assemblies on the workbench top and also allows the fluorescent light to fall properly, where before I had to deal with an irritating shadow.

I've finally decided to conceed defeat and move the glue shelf!

But still, I thinking of fixing a sheet of MDF or chipboard (painted white) up there so I can hang some of my measuring and marking tools with a shallow profile (squares, rulers, etc. – less likely to interfere with work on the ‘bench). That may be where I decide to position the intriguing magnetic bar… Either that or, it may go in to a custom-built rack to store my ‘turning tools, which are unorganized to say the least.

Having missed the Christmas deadline, I now intend to fall back on to the flip-top dining table and get that one done before the new year rises – at the same time though, the temperature now seems to be falling again, which is largely why I fell behind schedule before! I’m also making some modifications to my bandsaw fence and have found a cure for poor dust extraction – details of which should follow in my next blog post, if you’ll allow me a couple of days!

Thank you for reading. 🙂


2 responses to “So, This Was Christmas…

  1. Oleg Karasev 02/01/2010 at 19:49

    Hi Olly.
    My name’s Oleg. I’m from Russia, I’m 40, and as you can see I know the language not so bad. Well I immigrated from USSR in 1991, couse I hated communists, so I went down to South Africa wich wasn’t so easy at the time, found some work and slowly worked myself up the woodworking skills. I’ve stopped on doing my own kitchens.In 2005 came back to Russia and found the country in very “good shape”.
    So now I’m doing kitchens here, but love to be doing antique reproductions, mostly
    in Empire style, it’s very reach, I like it. So now I’m sirfing the net to find some woodworkers-enthusiasts as myself. Thanx for reading, Olly. Reply if you interested. Kind regards, Oleg.

    • Olly Parry-Jones 02/01/2010 at 20:11

      Hi Oleg,

      Thank you for your message.

      I also notice that you’ve just registered on the UKworkshop forum – hopefully, we’ll get to see some photographs of your work in time! 😉

      There are plenty of other enthusiasts around from all over the world. I think you’re on to something good making and fitting kitchens – it is very difficult to make any kind of living from stand alone, one-off pieces of furniture.

      All the best,


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