My father was a certified welder who taught me to stick, gas, and TIG weld at a very young age. We had a small machine shop on the farm and dad also taught me how to run a 9" South Bend Lathe, which I now have in my shop. At age 9, I worked in the fields. At age 12, I swagged hydraulic lines on our harvester. I studied drafting, mechanics in motion, engine theory, and electronics in High School.
In the late 1980s, I went back to school at Harvard Ellis Tech, a FAA FAR Part 147 mechanic's school and earned my A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) mechanic's license. Harvard Ellis Tech is also a Part 145 repair station where students learn on operational aircraft, performing repairs, inspections, and modifications. I graduated in the top 5% of my class and went on to work for Delta Airlines, a commuter airline maintaining Saab SF340 B turboprops. From there I moved on to corporate aviation and worked on Canadair and Lear Jet products with Bombardier Aviation Services. This included overhauling hydraulic pumps, cylinders, and struts before becoming a "Return to Service Inspector."
I have retired from aviation and currently design and build prototype machinery for industry. I repair and overhaul all types of equipment from simple lawnmowers to industrial excavators, to complete tractor restoration. When a customer brings me a tractor to restore, I completely disassemble it to its component parts, repair, paint and restore it to its original condition.
I own a 1951 John Deere B and a 1938 John Deere unstyled A that I literally pulled from the weeds and completely restored them. My wife and I competed regularly in tractor pulls previously with the Western Massachusetts Tractor Pullers Association (WMTPA). We have now relocated to Ohio. I also own and have fully restored a 1952 John Deere MC.
This is how it all began. I just love this stuff.