The Guild holds an Annual Exhibition so that members can show their work to colleagues and the public. By subnitting their work to critical evaluation by professional judges, members are able to improve the disign, construction methods and finish of craftwork.
In early November 2017, Robin Cromer ran a terrific three-day course on making dovetail boxes using a Gifkin’s Jig on a router table. He was ably assisted by tutors Dave Callan and Rod Tier, who had generously brought along their own jigs and set-ups for the participants to use.
Robin had prepared detailed guidelines on the sequence of work to be undertaken and distributed them beforehand. On paper it looked pretty straightforward and one could envisage that it would easily be achieved in the three days of the course. It seemed like a cinch. However, in practice, there was much detail to absorb and key features to look out for. At times it seemed almost overwhelming. Even though we all were ‘switched on’, many of us overlooked what, in retrospect, were simple procedural details. Well, as they say, you learn best by making mistakes and I made many!
Robin and his team were extremely patient and responsive to our needs. They had plenty of handy tips on how to fix or work around problems and were always most encouraging. Glad to say, we were able to achieve good outcomes as ab initio box makers and many of us look forward to having another go. The course was inspiring, so much so that at the end there was a call to start a Box Making Special Interest Group (SIG) at the Guild. Such a SIG would do much to foster skills and enhance the overall wood craft experience of participating members. Robin worked hard to achieve the desired outcomes in the time available. It was most enjoyable and a credit to Robin and his team.
Some photographs from the course are shown below. Click on an image to enlarge and scroll through the gallery.