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Now browsing: Hometown News > Opinion > Volusia County

Letter to the editor
Rating: 3.2 / 5 (10 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Mar 15 - 06:19

Local craftsman overcomes handicap to produce great work

Howard "Buster" Richards Jr. shows he is a determined man and a prime example of turning a handicap situation into a handy-capable one.

He does precision wood working with only one arm. "I have to stay busy, so I converted all my woodworking equipment into foot controls," Mr. Richards said.

The woodworking would be difficult for most men with two arms and two hands. Totally amazed, I watched him work as he manipulated tool and wood with only one hand to create the most intricate wood designs imaginable.

Mr. Richards explained the need for foot controls was brought about by a near critical accident on his drill press when a piece of wood he was drilling got caught and spun around nearly breaking his one and only good arm. Since then he has converted all machinery, except his belt sander, to foot controls in order to have immediate stop control. He humbly and proudly explained, that he only lost a few days recuperating before it was back to work again.

His determination to continue to do what he loves is stronger than his disability and loss of one arm. He continues to create woodcrafts that most able-bodied men could only dream of creating.

Mr. Richards retired to Florida from New Hampshire where he worked and learned his woodcraft. Now he has set up his wood shop inside an attached shed in Edgewater that is 10 feet by 25 feet. In the shed, he also crafts and creates the most beautiful clocks that are akin to something you would find in an "old country" Swiss clock makers shop. My favorite of the collection is the miniature grandfather's clock, fully working with pendulum swinging to the beat of time.

Other pieces of work include a unique piece he named "Father Time" that stands two feet high, suitable for display on anyone's living room coffee table or piano. His collection of fine wood crafts includes: wind up music boxes, jewelry boxes, intricate lace like table coasters and stationary clocks of all shapes and sizes. His inventory of fine crafted work has reached the limit of space, so he needs to sell some of his creations in order to keep working.

You can help to keep Mr. Richards creating and working by purchasing some of his inventory before it must go on sale at eBay. His personally stamped "signature collection" can be seen only by private showing. To get a private showing, call him at (386) 427-6677. You have got to see this collection of finely crafted wood creations; that are crafted by a disabled man with one arm, who is handy-capable and determined to continue his passion.

Larry Westley, Edgewater

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