Wooden shutter maker

Making a Living

Located at 72 John Street and Stone Avenue, Campbellville, is Major’s Woodworking, a little workshop that specialises in the making of wooden shutters.
Courtney Wishart called ‘Major,’ 65, owner and manufacturer of those shutters said he has been making wooden shutters for about 10 years, but that there are not a lot of people who still make them or even use them.

Wishart said he learnt woodworking and window-making from his father in his teen years, but did not follow in his father’s footsteps until some years later.

He said he first tried his hand at vulcanising and diving before he eventually took over the job his father had once taught him.

“I love it,” says Wishart about what he does; “I love the putting together things with wood and so on.”

According to Wishart working with wood allows him to be more creative and appreciative of the finished product. “I think you can get better results, be more creative with wood,” he said when he compared his current job with his previous work.

But, making windows is a job that requires “patience,” he said, “and we must ensure that we have the right materials.”

To construct durable window shutters, it is best to use silverballi or determa wood. Both woods have a life-span of some 25 years once painted and cared for, Wishart explained, and further, determa wood is termite resistant, although there is some difficulty in getting it.

He said that the business has it’s “up and down.” On days when he has nothing to build or make, he services his machines. For days when he has bulk orders to complete, Wishart said he employs a few extra hands. Usually his brother would assist with the normal work.

Major’s Woodworking is open every day of the week. Wishart explained that he keeps the workshop open in the event that someone would have some little job that he can help them with.

Apart from making shutters, Wishart also makes fretwork, or what is also now called scrolls, fancy wood-cuts and cupboard doors, as well as hollow-block moulds. Some of his most notable work includes the shutters he made for Cara Lodge and the Georgetown Club he said.


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