LITTLE BRAK RIVER NEWS - Little Brak River resident, Larry D'Aguiar (64) spends his days in his workshop at home, creating beautiful chopping boards out of a combination of maple, walnut, cherry, mahogany, oak and padauk woods.
What makes Larry's work so unique are the patterns he works into the boards, with the different types of wood.
Larry and his wife, Marlene, who is a nursing sister, have been living in Little Brak since 2015. Although Marlene grew up in the area, the couple raised their children in Cape Town before they left for a nine year sailing trip on their own yacht. They then settled down in Little Brak River.
Just before lockdown, Larry attended a workshop at the George Woodworkers Club. "At the last meeting before lockdown a member brought in a patterned board. I have never seen something so beautiful. I spend six months researching the project and then started doing my own boards in lockdown. You have to really concentrate with these types of boards because if you don't your whole pattern is ruined."
Larry explains that on any plank you have a flat surface, an edge and an end. "All traditional butcher blocks use end grain, and I am concentrating on the end grain aspect, which is slightly more difficult."
Larry started doing woodwork as a young child and after his father passed away, he inherited some of his machines. He gets his wood from Knysna and some farms around that area. "Ultimately I am working on about three or four new designs and one has over a 120 different cuts. There is a lot of labour going in as I work with rough wood. It is quite a process and I had to buy a couple of extra machines."
It takes Larry about one week to finish four boards of the same design. "It is a proper working board and you can cut anything on it." He says he goes to his workshop mostly in the mornings when Marlene is working. "It keeps my head active, and I can't go about it half-halfheartedly."
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