| The wonderful world of working with wood
When Stan Bradley retired, his main knowledge of wood came from
cutting sleepers and fenceposts. Now, he’s the craftsman responsible
for beautiful wooden objects from goblets and bowls to intricate
Testament to the popularity of the craft, there was standing room
only at the Bundaberg Woodworkers’ Guild annual wood and craft
expo on the weekend.
Many guild members discovered woodworking in their retirement, when
they found themselves with time and money to pursue the hobby.
That includes Stan “Curly” Bradley. After a life on
the land, cutting sleepers and the occasional foray into furniture
making, his wife gave him a woodworking lathe as a retirement gift.
He says while there are many woodworking tools available these days,
a lathe is still the most basic piece of machinery for a beginner
Then, you might like to branch out with a burning tool – the
heated instrument used to etch burnt designs on prepared wood –
or a scroll saw, used to make intricate fretwork designs.
If this is starting to sound like an expensive hobby, take heart
– thanks to networks like the Woodworkers’ Guild, the
equipment is easily available to all.
For $25 a year, you can become a member. Once you’ve joined,
you’re able to use the guild’s own machinery, and try
your hand at different techniques to find your niche.
Then there's the healthy competition. Take Curly's specialty, tiny
goblets with rings around the stems, all crafted from one piece
of wood. "Somebody made one with one ring, so I thought well, I
could do that," he says.
He calls the miniature vessels "Clayton's goblets" - "The drink
you have when you're not having a drink!"