Starting Over after 28 years #1: I'm starting over with a new learning curve after 28 years any sujestions would be appreciated

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Blog entry by RTV posted 12-28-2016 07:51 PM 4614 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I just got back into woodworking but I was never at the level I see on this site. Such excellent work! At age of 40 I was in a car accident and my neck was broken leaving me a C6-C7 Quadriplegic. With very limited use of my hands I was frighten of my tools and sold or gave away all my tools. My wife became interested in working with wood and as I bought tools the more I wanted to work in wood again. Most of the tools were too high for me to use. I started buying table top tools, Planner, Drill Press, sanders, and other battery powered tools. I can’t make big projects so I started making cheese cutters and cutting boards. I had to start learning all over again. Using the table saw was a nightmare. I would lose control just before the board would clear the blade and I’d eat the board but the Grr Ripper ended that problem. I can’t hold a conventional push sticks and tried most all of them. When ripping longer stock, not over 48”, I flip flop the board then run it through a jointer or my 12” Planner. I’m getting better and I feel useful again.

-- Ray Vanderpool

24 comments so far

View BulldogLouisiana's profile


326 posts in 1941 days

#1 posted 12-28-2016 07:57 PM

Hey man. This is some fantastic stuff! I find your story inspirational, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more projects.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

View Festus56's profile


4143 posts in 2029 days

#2 posted 12-28-2016 08:06 PM

Welcome to LJ’s. Glad you came and you have nice projects there. There is a lot of talent here and looking at your projects you have talent also. Great you are willing to overcome difficulties and go forward. My hat is off to you!!

-- Mark -- Really we're not crazy, just "Limited Editions" -- --

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30559 posts in 3139 days

#3 posted 12-28-2016 08:15 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks

Got questions, ask away. It’s all good here.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View diverlloyd's profile


3946 posts in 2658 days

#4 posted 12-28-2016 08:18 PM

Welcome to lumberjocks. Your work looks classy keep it up.

View Bob Kassmeyer's profile

Bob Kassmeyer

265 posts in 3726 days

#5 posted 12-28-2016 08:23 PM

Welcome to lumberjocks. Like what I see so far. There are some other folks on the site that have similar difficulties and do some great work. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

-- Bob Kassmeyer, Nebraska

View darinS's profile


719 posts in 3668 days

#6 posted 12-28-2016 08:23 PM

Great work! Welcome to LJs. Can’t wait to see more of your projects.

-- Rule 7 - Always be specific when you lie

View RTV's profile


106 posts in 1315 days

#7 posted 12-28-2016 08:28 PM

Thank You all!

-- Ray Vanderpool

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12214 posts in 4229 days

#8 posted 12-28-2016 08:28 PM

A hearty welcome to Lumberjocks. Your work is super. You are an inspiration.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9594 posts in 3129 days

#9 posted 12-28-2016 08:38 PM

Welcome aboard RTV. Your projects look good to me. But then again, I really like cheese :^)

Hope you are able to learn and grow here at LJs.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View HerbC's profile


1805 posts in 3660 days

#10 posted 12-28-2016 08:50 PM

Welcome to LJ RTV!

Your projects look pretty good to me.

Look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

I’m sure I don’t have to say it but…

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View theoldfart's profile


11778 posts in 3252 days

#11 posted 12-28-2016 09:45 PM

Good looking work RTV. Welcome to LJ’s.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4444 posts in 3362 days

#12 posted 12-28-2016 10:02 PM

Like you I had to learn life all over again after the bombing in the middle east.

Do what you can and then learn more about what you are doing by books and DVDs and YouTube.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 1867 days

#13 posted 12-28-2016 10:20 PM

Welcome ! I am glad to see that your getting back intowoodworking and gaining confidence as can be seen by your photos. And like Bulldog said, you are an inspiration and inspire us, Thanks for joining LJ’s

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View sras's profile


5533 posts in 3930 days

#14 posted 12-28-2016 10:29 PM

Welcome to LJ’s! I recall seeing some discussions here about wheelchair woodworking in the past. I can’t recall the poster’s name, but typing “wheelchair” in the search bar should give you some direction… I did find this forum thread that may be helpful.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View tandg96's profile


3 posts in 2821 days

#15 posted 12-28-2016 10:59 PM

Beautiful work! I am so inspired life deals sour lemons one makes great lemonade! Not to take away from your nice work but here is another inspiration of mine.

Again keep up the great work!

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