My woodworking was started through impecuniosity and the good fortune to have moved to Wiltshire in 1966 and to be adjacent to a saw-mill. This mill deserves mention as the machines were powered by 6” belts in wooden tunnels and driven by an enormous single cylinder engine that ran on kerosene! A real living museum piece that is alas no more.
As a just married poorly paid teacher I began making my own furniture using a Black and Decker drill attachment. A family friend had a shop in Wootten U Edge and he offerered to sell my stuff. At about this time the supplies officer at county hall began sending me lorry loads of redundant Primary School desks for nothing! Thus I was able to turn out pretty simple stuff at very low prices. I kept all the money in the business and soon had some very impressive tools. Fortunately the Craft Fairs started at about this time so a market place was available.
Reaching 50 I wangled early retirement to become a very happy full-time woodworker using only sustainable UK hardwoods. The demise of the Elm hit me hard as 75% of output then was in Elm. However English Oak has come my rescue but I still get the very occasional Elm from Scotland.
31 years on I am better at it and only use the best, mainly burred, UK hardwoods
Bill will be exhibiting at the Hyde End Craft Show