Greetings From West Central Minnesota - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 07-17-2011, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Greetings From West Central Minnesota

Hi everyone! I am Mike and I am recently retired from the Marines after 21 years of active duty. I was a grunt (infantry) for my whole career and really enjoyed that time.

I've always been a tinkerer with wood and enjoy immensely the finishing aspects of a project. There's just something about bringing out the natural colors, grains, brilliance etc in the many species of wood. I consider myself an "experienced novice", knowing just enough to not cut my fingers completely off. Yep, last March, my table saw and I had a disagreement and it won the physical altercation that ensued.

Anyway, I have a 32' by 38', 3-car garage that had a little shop space in it when we bought the house. It's now mostly a storage area for tools and materiel. I am working on building a dual function space out of the 3d stall in my garage (parking and shop space), but I have some significant electrical issues to address as well as climate control issues; no heat in winter in MN tends to make the shop a bit unusable.

I was wounded in Iraq in 2005. The reason I mention it is my wife knew a guy in NC that made me a boat paddle with the Purple Heart Medal and an inscription engraved into it. The paddle is made of purple heart wood, which I had never even heard of before. I hope to find a niche making things for our military that speak to them in the same way this did for me. I'll be using primarily p.h. wood because I just love it, however, I am not a wood snob and will be using other species as well.

So that's it for me. Glad this forum is around and I hope to learn a lot from many of you.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Last edited by PurpleHeartJarHead; 07-17-2011 at 04:57 PM.
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post #2 of 27 Old 07-17-2011, 04:54 PM
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Welcome! And thank you for your service!


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OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #3 of 27 Old 07-17-2011, 06:59 PM
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Welcome and thank you for your service.

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post #4 of 27 Old 07-17-2011, 07:05 PM
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Welcome, and thank you!

You'll find lots of resources here, it's a great group of people.
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post #5 of 27 Old 07-17-2011, 07:41 PM
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post #6 of 27 Old 07-17-2011, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate everyone's gratitude toward my military service. I would just like to say, please...it was truly my honor, privilege and I believe, my duty to serve. I did nothing that warrants thanks or praise.

Those that deserve those accolades are my brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate price in enforcing America's foreign policy.

These days, I am just trying to live the life a normal guy, finish raising my kids and generally enjoy life and keep all of my fingers!

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
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post #7 of 27 Old 07-18-2011, 08:23 AM
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Welcome!You found a great site........mucho talent in here.BW

Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
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post #8 of 27 Old 07-18-2011, 04:55 PM
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Welcome Jar, friendly bunch here of young and old with a lot of experienced and knowledgable brains to pick.

Hope your off and running on some projects soon, we sure all love pictures!

I lived in MN for two winters... Yeah, your cold weather sucks!!!... please keep it all up there... I enjoy my sunny 60 deg winters just fine!

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #9 of 27 Old 07-18-2011, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post
Welcome Jar, friendly bunch here of young and old with a lot of experienced and knowledgable brains to pick.

Hope your off and running on some projects soon, we sure all love pictures!

I lived in MN for two winters... Yeah, your cold weather sucks!!!... please keep it all up there... I enjoy my sunny 60 deg winters just fine!

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
I grew up in MN and then spent 21+ years in the American southeast. I am not sure why I moved back here! It surely wasn't for the mild winters and low taxes! Must be the hunting and fishing and I suppose family too. But I will tell you, if my wife kicks me out, I'm gone, back to my real home in the Carolinas.

Folks up here just don't get grits, boiled peanuts and sweet tea! I really miss going out shrimping with a cast net too.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
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post #10 of 27 Old 07-18-2011, 08:13 PM
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Welcome to the site and thank you very much for your service.
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post #11 of 27 Old 07-19-2011, 05:09 AM
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Welcome and thank you for your bravery.
Hope you'll enjoy the forum.

Anyway, could I ask about your wound from Iraq? What happen there and how long did you take to heal?
It must be an interesting story.

My website :
Corner Shelf Shop
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post #12 of 27 Old 07-19-2011, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Welcome and thank you for your bravery.
Hope you'll enjoy the forum.

Anyway, could I ask about your wound from Iraq? What happen there and how long did you take to heal?
It must be an interesting story.
For future reference, particularly when dealing with vets face to face, that's a question you generally don't ask. It is painful stuff for many to talk about.

Having said that, I know I mentioned it first, but it wasn't for the purposes of discussing my wounds; it was more to share that even in some of our worst moments in life, some nice surprises can come out of that trauma, which may kind of aid in the healing process. Discovering a beautiful new material to work with and reconnecting with a long time "hobby" was/is my therapy.

I am not offended nor am I in any way chastising you for asking, so don't be "offended" at my explanation here. I just wanted you to know, and others too, as you are the second person to ask; it's just such a personal and emotional subject for many.

With that out of the way, I was hit by a lot of shrapnel from a fairly large mortar round at close range and my body was perforated from my neck to my knees. Healing is an on going process.

As I mentioned in another post, please, I do not deserve your accolades or thanks. There are so many family members of service men and women that gave up far more than I. Honor those members of our military and their families. Their wounds will never heal.

Thank you all, again, for your gratitude. However, I really would like to let this part of the conversation about me come to an end.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
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post #13 of 27 Old 07-19-2011, 11:00 AM
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Hi Mike welcome to the forum. Your comment above was very eloquent and makes perfect sense. That being said let's get down to the nitty-gritty: Tell us about your shop. A 32X38 garage sounds like Heaven!! We need a tour asap. You're going to have to work on that "no heat" problem. Insulation is the first priority if it's not already in place. What kind of electrical problems are you facing? There's no problem that can't be solved with ingenuity, perseverance, and MONEY. Don't worry, we're all here for you to help you spend your money! Welcome aboard !
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post #14 of 27 Old 07-19-2011, 12:11 PM
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Jar, sry for asking. Where I come from comparing scars is a past time... Needless to say yours sounds very traumatic and I do understand your position.

...your forum name pretty much invites the question.

Now we can all move on... :)

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #15 of 27 Old 07-19-2011, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Jar, sry for asking. Where I come from comparing scars is a past time... Needless to say yours sounds very traumatic and I do understand your position.

...your forum name pretty much invites the question.

Now we can all move on... :)

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
No problems at all. Like I said, I'm not offened or anything. I probably should have thought it out, the name thing, a little better.

Glad to be alive and here!

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Last edited by PurpleHeartJarHead; 07-20-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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post #16 of 27 Old 07-20-2011, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Tell us about your shop. A 32X38 garage sounds like Heaven!! We need a tour asap.
I'll get some pictures up this weekend.

Insulation is not a problem, that is already done. However, it's a garage, with two very large metal doors that are not quite "deep freeze" proof.

Electrical....ok. Well, first off, the power is run off the house main, not it's own separate panel as code says for a detached garage (according to my electrician neighbor). That said, there is a panel in the garage, so wiring up won't be that big of a deal. Anyway, I have but 5 circuits, one of which is an unusable 220v; two light circuits, (one of those is upstairs); two 110 circuits, (again one of those is upstairs).

I have a grand total of 80 amps. Next spring, I am working with my neighbor to bring 200 amp service to the garage, wiring it so I have plenty of power for heat service, new 220 service, and several circuits downstairs, each capable of 2-3 tools at load. I will at some point be putting in an 80 gallon compressor to run, well anything I want to off of air, and so will have a spot wired for that.

Additionally I am putting in a lighted horseshoe pit and a chicken coop which will be powered from the garage.

The upstairs is getting some work done, down the road 18-24 months, to become a dedicated finish room with HVLP, sub 5 micron air filtration, drying racks and some additional workspace.

Some will probably question the usefulness of having my finish area upstairs, but I don't do a lot of "big" stuff, so moving up and down is not a problem with the pieces I am making. If I need a bigger space because I move up to making large projects, I'll just have to convince the wife to let me build a dedicated shop......so I can save my self from the dreaded stairs.

I built a nice big and "tall" L-shaped bench, 42" high last fall. I'm not overly tall, but I have some back issues and prefer a higher bench than the typical 36-38" so I don't have to be bent over working on whatever.

My plans are ambitious and certainly costly. However, I am also pretty realistic and understand that it will take several years to transform my over-sized garage into a very functional woodworker's shop that also parks a car, a boat and a pickup.

Update: @JohnK007...I'm really glad your avatar is not the White Sox...I would have to completely ignore you as a Twins fan! Lol.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Last edited by PurpleHeartJarHead; 07-20-2011 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Additional Comment to Original Poster
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post #17 of 27 Old 07-20-2011, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleHeartJarHead View Post
Update: @JohnK007...I'm really glad your avatar is not the White Sox...I would have to completely ignore you as a Twins fan! Lol.
Yes, the Twinkies do seem to give the Southsiders fits. I think they are their main nemesis. Maybe Cleveland too. But no worries, I'm mainly a NL fan where REAL baseball is played!
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post #18 of 27 Old 07-20-2011, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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But no worries, I'm mainly a NL fan where REAL baseball is played!
Huh?!? How do you square that?

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
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post #19 of 27 Old 07-21-2011, 12:02 AM
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

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post #20 of 27 Old 07-21-2011, 10:43 PM
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Question Why 220V unusable?

"Anyway, I have but 5 circuits, one of which is an unusable 220v;"

Hi Jarhead! Welcome aboard from a newbie old ex-squid! I am curious... why is the 220V circuit considered unusable? If it is just because is it 220V, then you can still use it by splitting it in to two 110V circuits. Don't you just have to get 2 single pole breakers, and put one of the 220V hot legs to one and the other hot leg to the other breaker. Then wire a neutral from each one back to your neutral buss. Make sure you don't oversize the amps though. I am just getting started toward wood working, but I have had a little bit of experience with electricity in my time.

Fair Winds and Following Seas!
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