A woodworking story from a far away land!

So I wanted to take a couple minutes to tell a little story. This story starts all the way back in 2003 in the far away land of Iraq. For our first 5 or 6 months we moved from place to place, sometimes sleeping in our trucks. At about the 7 month mark of the deployment we settled in a location and finally had some abandoned buildings to live in. Our standard of living was on the rise. One thing the Soldiers didn’t have was any furniture other than a cot. I was determined to change this. I managed to get a hold of a circular saw, a drill, a hammer, and some scrap wood. I ripped down 2 x 4s with the circular saw and built some basic shelves and nightstands. I just wanted to give these guys a little more feel of home. One Soldier looked at one of my projects and said “That is one ghetto piece of furniture”… at that moment Ghetto Furniture Inc was born. I spent the rest of that deployment making these small very basic pieces of furniture as time and wood allowed.

The story continues back in Iraq in 2005. I was back to my old stomping grounds for another year. This time the mission and resources were very different. What had not changed was the need for GFI. This time a couple of my friends joined me and we set out build. Projects ranged from office furniture and benches to framing out walls.

GFI version of “Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil”
Me and Shelf
Custom made benches

I also had a opportunity that year to serve as a trainer for the Iraqi Army. I not only taught them skills to help them defend their country, but also some skills to help improve it as well.

In the deployments to follow I would take every chance to put saw to wood. I think these opportunities not only allowed me to help raise the standard of living for my Soldiers but kept me focused and grounded. Woodworking is a lifesaver!

Whats this thing all about…

I guess a good place to start would be the beginning, but for the sake of time we will hold off on that for now. I am putting this blog together for a couple different reasons. The main reason is to pass on and share some of the lessons and experiences I face both in woodworking and home improvement projects. I haven’t really set any format or goals. I guess we will just have to see where it takes us. I’m sure I’ll end up telling some stories and sharing a little about me from time to time or maybe going over a technique or tool review.

So a little about me. I am married, live in NC and been in the Army for 19 years. I enjoy many things but running and woodworking are two of my favorites. My woodworking started off from simple home maintenance and improvement projects and just went from there. When my day job isn’t taking all my time I take on small commission woodworking and home improvement projects. I hope that Merzke Custom Woodworking will someday be more than a hobby.

I don’t have any corporate sponsors or any sponsors for that matter. Now if Grizzly would like to offer me a whole new lineup for my shop than maybe I’d be willing to talk. But for now I’ll just do without. I will never claim to be an expert or that I know everything (or anything). I hope to be able to share a little with all of you. But as they say, sharing is free… wanting something built comes with a fee.

So subscribe, like it, or whatever else is the hip thing to do these days. You can also check out https://www.facebook.com/MerzkeCustomWoodworking or http://lumberjocks.com/Mike_M .