The Story of the Rusty Nail Woodshop…
I grew up in a small town called Upland, Indiana in a small housing addition called Lakeview, that’s where I learned to make things. There were lots of kids in our neighborhood and looking back now, it was a great place to grow up. I had a happy childhood! At times, we didn’t have a lot, but we always had enough and we had each other. Tree houses, go-carts, a baseball diamond, a bike trail, bike ramps, and a boat were some of the things we learned to make from scrape wood, metal, and rusty nails from around the neighborhood. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I can see where my creativity was first developed.
When I was young, my Dad took me to his uncle Harry’s woodshop on Washington Street and I thought, if I’m ever rich, I’ll have a woodshop like Harry’s. It was a garage filled with Craftsman power and hand tools. I really didn’t think that day would ever arrive, but it was fun to dream. During my Junior High and High School years, I enjoyed Art, Wood Shop, Drafting, Industrial Arts and Math classes, and I planned to be a Draftsman. Those plans changed when I decided to go to college, but I always wanted to have a woodshop.
Throughout the years, I collected hand and power tools and after a 35 year career in Sales, we decided to move back home to Indiana. While we lived in Minnesota, I turned our three car garage into a woodshop and joined the Minnesota Woodturners Association. I visited a lot of well-equipped shops and I had the privilege of teaching others how to turn. I’m not an expert woodworker but I hope to be someday. After we decided to move back home, we looked everywhere for the right house and couldn’t find one that met our criteria. Then one day, our Realtor in Upland called and said I found you the perfect house and it has a pole building for a shop. I sent my parents to look at the property and sure enough, we visited and bought it. I wasn’t rich, but I was back home and happy to find a property with a shop.
This was the beginning of the Rusty Nail Woodshop. I moved all of my tools into the pole building and in July it was so hot and humid that my tools started to rust. Even some of the new equipment started to rust and I had never had that problem before. I convinced my wife to convert the pole building into a wood shop with heating and air conditioning to save the tools. With our friends help, we converted the pole building into a woodshop. Now the Rusty Nail Woodshop is no longer rusty, and I’m having the time of my life.
The Lord has been very good to us and we give him all of the praise! Jesus was a Carpenter and our goal is to be like him.
Gary & Terrie James
Meet the Maker
“Tree houses, go-carts, a baseball diamond, a bike trail, bike ramps, and a boat were some of the things we learned to make from scrape wood, metal, and rusty nails from around the neighborhood. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I can see where my creativity was first developed.”