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Getting Crafty

Getting Crafty

If you are looking for a way of utilising the small pieces of special timber that you have collected over the years, consider the many and varied craft kits available in our catalogue. These precious pieces of wood are waiting to be converted into valued souvenirs, gifts or everyday utensils. The delight that a friend or family member gets from receiving a gift that you have made is immeasurable.

I like to explain to the recipient about the history of the wood and the making of the item. I have experienced this often when we have travelled overseas and presented wooden pens to various friends and relations. There is a genuine interest in the features of the wood and real delight that the item has been made especially for them.

I am sure that most woodworkers have a collection of wood offcuts that they store for some ‘special’ use. These wood pieces are too small for a major project, however they’re much too good to discard because many of them are rare species or hold some sentimental attachment. I think it goes even further than sentimentality, wood tells so many stories. There is the story of where the wood was acquired and its history - if it was saved from a tree that was removed from your own garden, a tree destroyed during one of our summer storms or a log found while travelling through some favourite part of the country. Through the making and giving of these small utilitarian items, these stories are told and the journeys remembered.

The stories of the wood unfold as you start to work with it. You see the colours and grain open up as you turn a piece on the lathe or cut a block on the band saw or table saw. Then the ultimate prize as you apply the preferred finish of oil, wax or varnish to bring the wood to life.

Many of the craft kits have design and assembly instructions or guidelines but there are plenty of opportunities for your own inventiveness and initiative. Not all the craft items need to be turned, several of the projects can have handles fitted that have been made by whittling or carving. Other materials that can be used are bone, acrylic or even stone.

Recently Doug Campbell from Kyogle and co-author of the wonderful book, Ramblings of The Timber Industry entertained us at the shop with wonderful stories about various timbers harvested from the Northern New South Wales region and also the many timber industry characters and incidents that he had come across.

He returned a couple of weeks later with a box of various timber offcuts for us to share. All the pieces had been marked with their common names and most with their botanical names. I have used some of this timber to make a few of the items featured in the photographs. A fine gesture by Doug and certainly appreciated.

Carbatec have a wide range of instructional books and DVDs on our website if you are looking for inspiration. There are topics such as woodturning, scrollsawing and pen making. There are also helpful tips and guides for selected projects in the Develop and Discover section of our website.

Click here to view Carbatec's range of craft accessories.