Over the past two years that I have worked at Bramhall, I have had the pleasure of working alongside Clarence. He always has wisdom to bestow upon me every time that I am in his office and he truly is the quintessential renaissance man. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about one of his hobbies - other than engineering of course!
What got you interested in wood working? I took wood shop in junior high like all boys of my generation. I still go back there in my mind when I hear a power tool or smell fresh cut wood. I always wanted to make furniture or a larger craft, but lacked the time and the money for tools. As I got older and became an "empty nester," I had time to turn my attention to other things. That is when I decided to buy a table saw, I kept it in the box for a year. I was afraid to use it. You need to know what you are doing or you will hurt yourself, I'm still waiting on the more time and more money part though!
Is wood working something that relaxes you? I enjoy working in my woodshop. When I am out there working on a project I am often listening to the radio, working on a project and thinking about my family.
Where do you draw inspiration from to craft your projects? I used to read a lot of woodworking magazines, but as time has progressed I can find many ideas on the web.
Is there a particular item that you've made that really sticks with you? I really enjoyed making the mantle shelf for my daughter-in-law. I was tentative about cutting every piece of wood, afraid that I would make a mistake, but it all turned out ok.
Do you think that your engineering background plays a role in your expertise with wood working? Yes, seeing 3D objects and breaking it down to a plan and parts list is fun. I really haven't had time do what I would like to do...I have a million ideas in me, or I should say that I've borrowed from other real wood workers.