Build a sturdy deck and you'll get years of enjoyment from it. The elements can be tough on a deck, so maintenance is key. Inspect it once or twice a year and make repairs as soon as you spot damage. This saves time and money in the long run.

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 miniatures.

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 artisan.

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!"