New here, Howdy everyone!

  • 31 Jul 2017 11:04 PM
    Message # 5004771

    Howdy everyone!    Just came across this site and forum recently and figured i make a post and say hi and introduce myself.  

    Names Ryan,  im 33 and a US Navy veteran.

     I'm currently 70% disabled from things that happend during time i served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom back in 2004-2005.   Have had a really rough time readjusting to civilian life since I've been out...   been hard to find a way to feel productive and/or fit into society.   I have been recycling and repairing appliances and salvaging scrap metal for the past couple years to try to stay busy.  It has been nice,  but i have been searching for something more fulfilling.  A veteran friend of mine suggested checking out woodworking....  man he knows me well because i have always enjoyed designing and building things.... even attempted to go to college for 3D modeling upon exiting the military.  My grandfather was a carpenter and i received some of his old tools when he passed years back,  a few chisels,  some files,  a couple saws. Even picked up a couple old rusty bench planes from a Vietnam veteran friend of mine today who used to be a carpenter as well.   I have been slowly restoring them and learning about woodworking for the past few months.    This seems like exactly what i need.  I have developed a deep passion for this,  and cannot wait learn more and more.  I also look forward to hopefully getting to know some fellow veterans on here who share the same passion. 

    Take care everyone!

    -Ryan Mraz

    PS - i signed up for the wounded warriors workshop thing....  i would greatly appreciate any suggestions on the process or help with anything else i would need to submit to be considered.

    Last modified: 31 Jul 2017 11:04 PM | Ryan
  • 01 Aug 2017 11:47 PM
    Reply # 5007261 on 5004771


    Welcome to the world of woodworking and this forum.  I am an Army veteran with 60% most from OIF also.  I too enjoy rehabilitating old tools.  To me taking something that was designed to work well, did so for a long time, seemingly was allowed to rot, then being brought back to a serviceable state is very satisfying.  In my case the old tools are alot like us.  The process of bringing a tool back to life does the same for me.  Although my time in the shop working with whatever tool needs help is solitary, I share my success with my wife, then send the tool off to my daughter and son-in-law for sale through their auction house.  I dont include my time or materials in the cost of goods for resale.  I just sort of feel like my efforts are a large part of my healing process and obtain much joy in knowing the tool is ready to work and re-join the workforce.  I learn a great deal about how the tool should work and be set up.  Then there is the challenge of actually bringing the tool back up to standard or better.  Sometimes I keep the tool then learn to use them by watching videos like Rob's and practicing in my own little shop.  I have yet to actually build anything but it doesn't seem to matter, I enjoy the process and the small successes in seeing, feeling, and hearing the tool work the raw wood into something new.  Some of the techiques I have learned from videos I use on old furniture to rehabilitate them also.  It gives me the same satisfaction.  There is nothing better, in my world anyway, than to purchase a barn find table for $1, clean it up, do a few light repairs that are historically appropriate, then have that item sell for $70-200.  The profit directly helps my daughter's business, and the items enters a new phase in its life, hopefully for another 50-100 years.  I guess that is how I am leaving my mark in the world.  I hope you get the same enjoyment and healing out of woodworking that I do.


  • 02 Aug 2017 3:45 AM
    Reply # 5007388 on 5004771

    thanks for the reply Jim!   Ya know,   i never really made a connection between my love for finding something some would consider trash and restoring it,  to people like us and what we have went though...   but it makes total sense.  The feeling i get when completing such a task and having an item back in working order is amazing!  even more so when someone else shows interest in the item again because of my efforts to bring it back to life.   I look forward to a day,  hopefully not TO long from now,  when i will have a shop to work in and don't have to do this sitting in the Florida sun out front of my small crappy trailer i'm renting.... haha....   but for now this is doing just fine,  and i'm feeling happy and more fulfilled than i have been since....  hmm...  honestly i can't even remember a time when i felt so much like i was on the right path in my life.  And to think i have only just begun to scratch the surface...  feels good brother!  Also,  since reading your post,   i have been giving some thought on looking for old furniture to refurbish as well.  It seems like i would have a great time doing that just like i have everything else so far.    Welp,  off to bed for tonight,  got some hand plane parts soaking in a vinegar and salt solution that i cant wait to finish up tomorrow!   Take care brother.   hope to hear from ya again!  


    Last modified: 02 Aug 2017 3:47 AM | Ryan
  • 03 Aug 2017 1:06 AM
    Reply # 5009608 on 5004771

    Hi Ryan,

    I am in the same boat. 

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