Clive Stacey has loved woodworking since the age of 13, when he received his first woodworking tool. This life-long hobby finds its expression in Clive being chairman of the Witwatersrand Woodworking Association and in his sharing his passion with 40 Chartered guests at a winter Lifestyle Lunch at Chartered House.
Clive said that woodworking starts with wanting to create something: “You need a driver,” said Clive. For some, it is restoration of furniture; for others, it is carving, or cabinet-making, or model-making. “The possibilities are numerous,” Clive commented, “extending even to making doll’s houses and miniaturisation, a very active hobby in South Africa at the moment.”
Choosing your wood
Woods are divided into manufactured wood, such as plywood, and natural timber, like yellowwood or stinkwood. Imported woods are cherry, walnut, beech and maple. In addition, woods are categorised as hard woods and soft woods. According to Clive, “the crucial point is that you need to choose the wood that serves the purpose for which you want it. If you like the wood, and it works for you, use it.”
Clive himself prefers to use recovered wood for his projects, being convinced that it is a sin to cut down trees.
Clive cautioned his audience to be aware of noxious woods – wearing gloves and a mask when working with such woods is essential.
As far as the woodworking environment is concerned, it is noisy and dusty, with an abundance of splinters, cuts and abrasions. It is a solitary hobby: “It is you and the wood,” smiles Clive. “You don’t want interruptions, especially when you have power tools running! And I never work when I am tired or when I have had any alcohol whatsoever to drink.”
Tools to use
Tools are categorised as sharp and dangerous, or blunt and dangerous! Hammers, chisels, saws, drills are all able to cause damage.
“There are so many ways to spend your money,” laughs Clive. Books, magazines, catalogues and YouTube are all so useful, “The Flying Woodworker” being both intellectual and practical. “You also have other woodworkers and teachers,” says Clive. “The Club does not give lessons but does help people learn more about their hobby.”
Woodworking is like any hobby, Clive says. “It is challenging and you want to grow your skill. It’s a learning process: only in recent years have I had the courage to use more expensive woods like teak.”
Woodworking teaches us a lesson for a well-planned life: Measure twice, cut once. And finally, while designing and constructing are essential, it is finishing well that gives the work glamour … like a life well-lived. Clive Stacey is certainly testimony to life-long learning and being continuing to live out his passion.
We and the Chartered guests so enjoyed his presentation.