Since completing work on the Wadkin cross cut saw we’re beginning to wonder how we ever got by making workbenches without it. Despite it’s age it’s got to be the most dependable machine that we’ve ever owned and whatever we throw at it gets cut fast, clean and accurately every time. Besides the tenoner though the remainder of the Wadkin workshop is belt driven so whilst we know they’re all going to be equally as good as the cross cut there’s a far greater journey to go on before these are back in action.
Before we can make plans to set up the line shaft we have to be sure that we’re in the right location. Our current workshop is rented but does have the height required should we decide to install the shaft overhead (its original location was under the floor). Making such alterations to some else’s building feels like it could be a bad move though and besides this as the business gets busier year on year it’s likely we’ll have to think about moving at some point down the line to obtain more space and consider the possibility of taking on an employee.
It must be normal for a small business to get growing pains at some point and have to make difficult decisions about growing bigger and better or keeping everything manageable and familiar. When you’ve always been small and depended only on yourselves the possibility of having to look elsewhere for advice and support does seem all the more daunting. Our lives and business often merge in to one and we’ve always done things against the grain rather than finding the more obvious and easy route. Wild ideas are usually whirling around in our heads but we’d like to think we’re grounded and reserved enough to take things one step at a time so whilst it may seem a little crazy on the outside we will actually have thought through all angles and feel confident before charging forward.
Current crazy ideas:
- Buy 100 year old Wadkin line shaft machinery
- Buy the perfect barn to install newly restored line shaft machinery
- Open workshop to the public for living history days
- Continue building the finest traditional workbenches
We’ve kept the list short so you don’t get too perplexed – we could have gone on but then you might have thought we were just being silly.
Though the line shaft is still a fair way off we do plan to restore the machines themselves whenever time allows. Of course all of these plans require a great deal of money so we have had to make smaller plans that will help to get things in motion. We would certainly never bring out a charity box and start shaking but we are going to be adding a shop to the blog very soon. Apologies in advance if this seems a little commercial but we will keep it separate from the usual posts and we definitely won’t be selling any tat! There’s also a much larger plan to be put in to play but we’re keeping that one close to our chests for the time being.
Richard & Helen