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Woodworker's tiny creations a throwback to New Brunswick's industrial past
GRAND BAY-WESTFIELD, N.B. -- From sawmills to skate factories, a New Brunswick man immortalizes some of the province's most iconic industries through the art of woodworking.
For the past five years or so, Charles Williams has been making models with a particular focus on iconic New Brunswick industries.
One of his creations is a small-scale wooden sawmill with intricate mechanisms that bring it to life.
"It gives you a better idea what had to be done to make the real one work," Williams said.
That includes the old Whelpley's skate factory on Long Reach, which he recreated using just a single picture to go by. "Everything is all built out of wood and they say it ran by steam, so I had to put a steam engine in it, and a few items that people would have used in those days to make that stuff," Williams said.
The finished skate factory replica is now on display at the Saint John Library on the city's west side.
Some others he's made include a replica of the sawmill at Kings Landing, which took about six months to complete. They are all on display at his home in Grand Bay-Westfield and are a testament to the skill he has with his hands and his attention to the tiniest of details.
"Maybe when I'm gone, these will be in museums someplace, or someplace where they can be seen by the younger people coming up and they'll know how people existed in those days and how they built things," Williams said.