Ray Girling's Personal Page

Hi, I'm married, with one daughter, Julia. My wife, Jean, is a skilled hairdresser, dressmaker, quilter and artist. My interests include furniture making, computing, trout fishing, sailing, D.I.Y. photography and our two cats.

I've written a Web Page Tutorial to help you if you want to construct your own basic page, containing some useful links to resources, graphics, FTP programmes, Web editors and so on. Just click here to jump to the Tutorial. I hope that you find it useful - I wrote it to simplify making this sort of page!

My main interest now is woodworking. I have an excellent table saw, for which I've built a mobile base to enlarge its ripping capacity. Other woodworking tools I now have include a dedicated morticer, a Leigh dovetail jig with a complete set of templates (including Isoloc™ and finger joints), a Tormek sharpening system, five routers (an old ¼" Elu, a Trend and 3 beautiful ½" Tritons - one 3¼ HP (TRA001),  another 2¼ HP (MOF001) and the third a 1⅓HP (JOF001), a Lamello biscuit jointer, a Makita 150mm random orbital sander, a Makita professional (metal bodied) jigsaw, a Skil circular saw, a huge Jet 20" bandsaw, a Makita LS1013 sliding compound mitre saw, a Jet floor-standing drill press, a Jet oscillating bobbin sander, a 90 litre 2.5hp 142psi compressor, an air-driven brad nailer, De Vilbis spraying equipment and a large Hegner 40" woodworking lathe. 24 Bessey clamps are a real prized possession - they really are the best for a number of reasons and I just couldn't do without them.

Another hobby is computing of all types, which I've been doing since late 1989. I started with an "IBM compatible" 386SX PC, with a "huge" 47Mb hard drive that I thought then would last me my lifetime! My current machine is an iMac 27" Intel 5K Retina Screen with a 3TB Fusion Drive, plus 2 Blu-Ray burners, a quick colour flatbed scanner that also scans photographic negatives, fibre broadband for e-mail and Internet use, 17 USB3 ports, two colour printers - an OKI Colour Laser, an Epson R265 photographic (also prints CD/DVDs) and a monochrome Samsung laser printer.

When I started in 1989, having put the various hardware bits together and switched on, I didn't know what to do with the black screen, displaying only "C:\>" because, in those days, bundled, or pre-loaded software just didn't exist. Within six months I'd written a menu-driven database (using dBase 3+) which was used for my work. How software has advanced since is absolutely incredible.

There's not much I haven't tried to do with a computer and software, including editing video digitally, in real time, but it's still lots of fun as well as still being a challenge occasionally. Passing on what I've learned is good too. Jean now has her own iMac 21" computer, networked to mine through a Fibre Broadband NAT Router. Jean just loves the broadband access to the Internet and makes much use of it. A combined Epson scanner, copier and printer and a 5Mp Pentax digital camera completes her setup. For mobile use, I have a MacBook Pro 17" and an iPhone 6S Plus 128GB. Jean has a 13" MacBook Air and an iPhone 6 64GB.

A major interest over the years is photography. I take digital stills with a 10.2 megapixel Pentax K10D shooting RAW images, post-processed through SilkyPix 5 Pro on the iMac. I have a Sony  4K AX100 for high-definition video, also edited on the iMac with Final Cut Pro X.

One of my most regular pleasures is driving, in spite of the ever-increasing congestion we have to suffer, particularly in the South-East of England, M.25 Motorway, etc. I used to drive a Mitsubishi Galant GTi Four-Wheel-Drive Four-Wheel-Steer hatchback, which was extremely difficult to unstick! I had the car for six years and - apart from a better sound system - no "extras" were necessary.This was followed by a Skoda Octavia, then a Skoda Superb II, but I now drive a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate with a lot of toys and a Skoda Citigo Elegance with aircon, electric windows, heated seats, etc. for a runabout.

Whilst I used to do a lot of coarse fishing, I have now given up carrying around a trunk-full of gear in favour of fishing only for trout. Not only is the equipment minimal, but you get to eat the catch, which seems better than putting a stressed and exhausted fish back into the water, only for it to have to undergo the whole process again.

A recent project has been having the driveway replaced - more details here