Wheelchair woodworkers getting recognition

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Forum topic by lilredweldingrod posted 07-01-2011 03:01 AM 2399 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2496 posts in 3128 days

07-01-2011 03:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shop for the disabled handicapped shop design special work stations resource tip lathe planer drill press miter saw router jointer plane sander tablesaw

In the current issue of WOOD magazine, #206 September 2011, There is an article about a young Army flight Engineer by the name of Chuck Isaacson that was paralyzed from the chest down in 2007 in a helicopter crash.

If you don’t subscribe to WOOD and you are in a wheelchair, you might get some good ideas for your shop and tools as well. I noticed he has a General Access table saw and a lot of room to get around the shop with a handful of boards.

Check it out and I would like to hear your comments. Rand

41 replies so far

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Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3186 days

#1 posted 07-01-2011 04:03 AM

Some hobbies are just passed off as impossible by the handicapped.

There is a real need for people like you to help others out.

Might be a mission, Rand.

However, each of us has his limits. As I get older, I can’t do things other than work, and take care of family matters. Hobby stuff has to be without stress, or I can’t do it.

But the stuff you do is pretty impressive…....

.......if it fits…......


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3128 days

#2 posted 07-01-2011 07:02 AM

Jim, Impressive is the mini table you have come up with! If I ever find a space for one in my little shop, that is a very high priority.
I know a lot of people are acquainted with handicapped persons that would be very good with woodworking. I hope they will encourage them to at least try our hobby. And now that there are magazines featuring those of us in wheelchairs and showing what is possible, and people like David helping wheelchair bound ones like Arlin, maybe we have started something in a small way.
I am going to thank WOOD magazine for helping to get the word out.
And since I have your ear, than you for the detailed blog on the mini bench. Makes it much easier to plagiarizer your work. lol

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3137 days

#3 posted 07-01-2011 07:30 AM

I don´t suscribe on WOOD
but it was about time some magazin did take wheel users and other disabled serius
you and Jamie and others on LumberJock has shown us how little it takes and how easy it is
with a little help to start with …......... nearly everything is possiple

still remember the blind woodworker who has a full maschineoperated shop
but I can´t remember who mention it …....... I wish I cuold read that article
.... well maybee some of the others will bring it up toooo

sorry mate this time I can´t give you the feedback you asked for …. not even a sick joke :-(

take care

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2689 days

#4 posted 07-01-2011 07:44 AM

Very good article, it covers 6 pages in the Mag. I think, It is inspiring for any one. Just as you are ,Rand. I read an article ,some years ago ,in one of the magazines, of a blind man, that did some very nice work. There is another post about this here ,thanks Grizzly for stepping up—-Here is a link to the video of his shop tour

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View Rob200's profile


313 posts in 3191 days

#5 posted 07-01-2011 01:42 PM

I have not had time to read it yet just got the mail but it dose look like a good one to read need more call saw stop to get them to put a saw for the handicap

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

View helluvawreck's profile


31340 posts in 2888 days

#6 posted 07-01-2011 01:57 PM

Rand, I will definitely look at it and I really appreciate what you are trying to accomplish. God Bless

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3186 days

#7 posted 07-01-2011 04:28 PM

Thanks for checking out the minibench. It will be presented as a project when I get back, and get everything into it. After a little bit of use I should be able to comment more on some of the features. Usually when you do something like this, you know, kinda off the wall, wierd, something doesn’t work out. Plagarize away….(-:

This looks like a familiar group of faces here….........(-:

Probably just the same old group of LJ addicts I always see. Are we codependents?

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4119 days

#8 posted 07-01-2011 05:05 PM

I have to go find the magazine and read the article. I have tremendous respect for your drive to continue woodworking Rand and I have a strong appreciation for the challenges you face. I’ve pretty much been limited to a wheel chair since Feburary. Hopefully, I will be out of it in a month or two. It is amazing all of the challenges a person in a wheel chair has to face even to do ordinary things.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3128 days

#9 posted 07-01-2011 05:07 PM

Jim, no such luck, we’re full blown addicts. lol Besides, what wood we call it? Wood-a-non, nawh that sounds worse than wormy. lol Excuse me, I have to go sniff some wood.

Wayne, Sorry to here that you have to try my ride. I hope you are up and out of the butt bearing in a hurry. In the mean time, please be very careful in the shop. I assume your tools are the normal height and any reaching over them can get ugly in a hurry. (I’m working on getting momma to let me cut the kitchen stove down. I keep getting burned.) lol

Charles, We appreciate you for your help too. They don’t make them like you any more.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3607 days

#10 posted 07-01-2011 05:48 PM

Jim as you know I have some problems myself health wise .but do a little every so often very little most times.Then I read about a guy who taught woodturning and was totally blind he worked by feel .I amazed when I hear of as such spiritually strong people.,especially when I get a little depressed at my own situation.It makes me seem like well done by really.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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13754 posts in 4119 days

#11 posted 07-01-2011 05:59 PM

I’m completely out of my shop. It had a bunch of my daughters stuff and household stuff dropped in it and I need my leg to clean it out. I’ve been doing some carving and other thing to keep myself busy until I can get back in there.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View dbhost's profile


5723 posts in 3254 days

#12 posted 07-01-2011 06:03 PM

I don’t recall which forums he is on, but I believe Chuck is here. I have watched his posts as he built up his shop. He certainly does not let his injury slow him down, his creative mind and skills do him a great service.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3128 days

#13 posted 07-01-2011 06:15 PM

Alistair, Are you talking about George Wurtzel? Wood workers Journal also had an article on him in the current magazine. He has been a blind woodworker for 50 years and now teaches in Minneapolis at BLIND, Inc. And the Click Rule sounds like something we with sight could use too.
I’ll share a little trick I use when I get a case of the “Oh poor mes”. It is impossible for 99.9999999% of humans to think of two things at the same time. Focus your thoughts away from the dumps and go to the shop and concentrate on future changes to make you toy box more fun. Take notes, draw up sketches, take measurements, etc.
If you can not focus, leave the tools alone. Just dream. We never get hurt dreaming. Call a friend. You can not have a conversation and not have the pain or discomfort not diminish. This is 99% effective for me. Try it, and work at it and you will see.
How is Bronwen doing these days. I hope you are both in the pink. Our best to you, Rand

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3186 days

#14 posted 07-01-2011 06:36 PM

Alistair and All
We all just have to make do with what we have. I was moaning this morning, slept too well, which means I was in one position to long…...and then my body doesn’t want to get out of that position. Moans or not, Sherie says, something like, gosh Jim quit moaning. She never cuts me any slack. So I did all my stretching exercises, including a half hour of fast walking, which in my case is faster than many people can jog, and now I feel better. I can’t jog any more because of the position it puts my back into, but I can sprint quite well.

As I was fast walking, I passed the local retirement Inn, I think they call themselves. Really pretty upscale. A women was walking with her walker, a bag probably of breakfast pastries or some such, and the nearest store was a few blocks away, so she had been walking for some distance, for some time, pushing that walker on wheels. Total stranger, but in La Conner, pop 839, everyone acts as though they know everybody else, which is nearly true. So she calls out to me, “You are really getting your exercise this morning”, and I call back as I pass by, “I used to run, then I jogged, now I can only walk”. She calls back, “Remember the parade on this street this weekend!”. And by now well past her I call back “Thanks, have a good day”.

Simple interaction, between total strangers. What strikes me, and I said this somewhere else on this forum this week, is that our lives keep compressing as we age. It happens, it is inevitable. But I think we should fight it. That gal in the walker was forcing herself to keep moving.

I think that is part of what we have to do, make others realize that aging is inevitable, infirmities are inevitable, but to make the most out of life, we can’t give into it. That is a least part of the message, don’t give in, because you will have a lot more fun if you don’t.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3128 days

#15 posted 07-01-2011 06:52 PM

Hey db, I found him, he is sacadelic. He hasn’t posted in ome time though.

Jim, I second you on aging.

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