A Nice Day Out

by | Jun 12, 2014 | 11 comments

We had a very welcomed change of scene this Sunday, when we popped down to Leicestershire for a lovely small woodworking event. Richard ‘Monopod’ Arnold and his partner Kate, had devoted much of their time to making arrangements for the day, which was a great social get together for talking woodwork and fondling many tools. Better still, all money handed over was going to Macmillian Cancer Support.wooden planesThe event was hosted for members of the UK Workshop Forum, and keeping things small really did make it a haven for us woodworking nuts. Richard had generously provided a huge display of old wooden planes and tools, which we could scramble through and give a new home to anything we should take a fancy to. Along with reams of hand tools there were timber offcuts, veneers and ironmongery. Many visitors also brought along there own generous tool donations to add to the table, so I would be very surprised if anyone went away empty handed.

The small scale of the event made it a huge success, and it was nice to have a get together without thinking about selling workbenches. It was wonderful to see our old friends, Douglas and Jim (thanks again for your help with the Lineshaft workshop move!), and we got to hear more great stories from Bill Carter together with many new faces.
Richard Arnol Tool SlaeI had a few tools in mind to help get Helen set up with her own collection, and came back with a fantastic hoard! This was far better than buying old tools off Ebay. Having that chance to pick everything up allowed me to get a feel back from each tool, and there were a few unassuming items which I’m confident will be good, usable little gems. I’m actually quite envious of her new collection, but as she’ll show you soon, she now has a lot of cleaning up to do.

On a very sad note there was someone who was greatly missed. I had been looking forward to meeting Richard Tomes for the first time, but only a couple of weeks ago he tragically passed away. I’d had the pleasure of using and selling Richard’s wonderful holdfasts for the past few years, and it was clear that many others also had a great respect for him; in his work, his contributions and wonderful sense of humor. Tool displayFor me, this type of little event is what makes up the real lifeblood and community of craftspeople. Very humbling, very real, and delightful to think of the potential that all of those unwanted tools can now bring in the hands of their new users. So a big thank you to Monopod and Kate!

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About Richard Maguire

About Richard Maguire

As a professional hand tool woodworker, Richard found hand tools to be the far more efficient solution for a one man workshop. Richard runs 'The English Woodworker' as an online resource and video education for those looking for a fuss free approach to building fine furniture by hand. Learn More About Richard & The English Woodworker.


  1. Chris Buckingham,France

    Fantastic! I only wish I could get to these events, it is nice to see real tools being given a new lease of life, rather than being used as bookends?

  2. Ken

    So paradise dose exist. Great post and a great cause. Well done everyone 😉

  3. Jim Linn

    I always seem to find out about everything after they happen. How does one keep up with what’s on?

  4. douglas

    I assume Monopod harks back to ‘that’ leg vice? If not you will need to explain!
    Agreed, a fine day indeed.

  5. Paul Chapman

    Sounds like it was a great day. I had planned to attend but in the event other things had to take priority. Hope there’s another one some time.

  6. Kevin

    A nice event for a good cause, what more could you ask?

  7. Kate and Richard Arnold

    Hello to you both I am so glad you had a nice day we were so pleased that you could make it , glad you enjoyed it I hope that everyone who came found something interesting to buy or somebody interesting to talk to 🙂 The money has not all come in yet but so far we have raised over £1,100 so thank you so much for your contribution it made a big difference hope you both well from Richard and Kate Arnold long live the Monopod 🙂

  8. Pete Madock

    Richard I do wish the you and Helen had told us all about this little wood working do, As I for one, would have made the trek over from Cheshire to see for myself and offer my support.

    As it sounds like this little do, would have been just up my street,(if you see what I mean) as I find small woodworking get together s like the one you are telling us about can get very interesting.

    However, I’m please that you both had a good day.
    Regards and best wishes,

  9. Adam Riley

    I’ll second what has already been said.
    A great day.
    I do think though that you’ve rather undersold your involvement Richard.
    The wooden screws you brought along certainly disappeared in quick order.
    It was great to meet up with you and everyone else.
    Thanks for the words of encouragement, and good luck with your plans.

    Adam Riley

  10. Gary Cook

    Hi Richard

    I met you at the open day, it was a great day.

    I wanted to ask you about the shipping you mentioned to the US? I have a load of Record vises, see blog (www.hackneytools.com) and some guys i the US want two each. Do you have any idea how to ship these and who I should organise things with?

    Thanks Richard


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