Hi, I’m Chris

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    Chris Hawkins

    I’m, a former CIO and retired in my 40s – now in my 50s. I have a techie past but have not kept it up – so have a good generic understanding of technology but am not an expert (by a long way) in any field. I love all things Apple and keep up to date with their devices and technology. My main pastime is woodworking – which I’ve been doing for over 30 years – virtually full time for the past 10 years. I mainly build watch and jewellery boxes, jewellery cabinets and small furniture. I’m lucky enough to have a comprehensively equipped workshop with just about every woodworking tool and machine that exists :-). I do have a small 3018 CNC machine with both spindle and laser engraver, which I use very occasionally. Happy to help anyone with any woodworking queries.

    I am interested in 3D printing and did research it at one point, but the stumbling block was the software 3D design – everything I looked at seemed more complex than my patience could deal with. I met Mark at the meeting last evening and he pointed me at TinkerCAD which I plan to have a good look at – thanks, Mark! I’ve often thought about getting a bigger and more capable CNC machine, but I have literally exhausted all space! Having use of one at a club would be good. Otherwise, I would like to learn programming with Swift – not really sure if I’m up to it. The last time I did any serious programming was 6502 and Z80 machine code and a few of the high level languages of the day. It’s a different world now.

    Good to be here.

    Regards Chris


    It’s nice to have another woodworker on board, Chris. I had a spell making acoustic guitars full time, so I too have a lot of woodworking equipment. I needed to make a lot of jigs, fixtures and tooling and it was difficult to make accurate tooling, so I bought a Workbee CNC router. That led me to learning VCarve, which is quite easy to use for CAD and it has a very effective cutting simulator. I then bought a 3D printer and got into using Fusion 360. That is bamboozling to begin with as the menus and functionality are vast. However, much of those things go unused for basic models. Happy to take you through some of these programs if you have something you want to make and want to have a play on the Workbee.


    Hi Chris,

    Nice to meet you Thursday! I don’t know Swift but I do know how to learn to program and could probably pick it up quickly if you had a project in mind.

    I’m pretty good with Python, JavaScript, TypeScript, (React), & Rust now and I’m trying to learn a new language every year.

    If you’re an Apple fan have you read Build by Tony Fadell? I’m currently working through it.


    Chris Hawkins

    @ David, thank you – at some stage I’d like to take you up on the offers of Fusion and a play with the Workbee!

    @ James, thank you – I don’t have a project in mind, maybe that’s a problem in itself. If I set myself a goal I may have something to work towards. Kind of obvious if I think about it. I have found a YT tutorial series that I plan to work through. Can’t believe I’m retired but still don’t have time for everything.



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