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 4004 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


322 posts in 746 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


1604 posts in 834 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 (online now)

Monte Pittman

23943 posts in 1944 days

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

Welcome to Lumberjocks

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

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View diverlloyd's profile


1879 posts in 1463 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

194 posts in 2531 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


694 posts in 2473 days

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

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

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

View RTV's profile


56 posts in 120 days

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

Thank You all!

-- Ray Vanderpool

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8820 posts in 3034 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

6544 posts in 1934 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.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View HerbC's profile


1634 posts in 2465 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


8578 posts in 2057 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

3716 posts in 2167 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.

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


885 posts in 672 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",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

View sras's profile


4475 posts in 2735 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 1626 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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