Mike Merzke enjoys woodworking. In fact, he admits that he doesn’t just enjoy it, he is “addicted to woodworking.” Perhaps it’s more of a healthy addiction, since it’s something that he hopes he can pursue it professionally once he finishes his service with the US Army in a few years.
Though he makes interesting videos, he foresees content creation as part of a woodworking business in the future, though not the main part of it. He adds that “I think it’s important to also show that as makers we can be a viable business in today’s market.” You can see more about his woodworking business on his website, Merzke Custom Woodworking, or even follow him on Twitter or Instagram.
As for what he actually makes, the video below shows what Mike would consider his favorite project so far (besides whatever project he’s currently working on). This American flag coin rack is meant to hold military challenge coins, which are traditionally given out by commanders for doing an excellent job on an assignment, or going above and beyond what is expected of someone. According to Merzke, this type of coin is also sometimes given out by police and fire departments, and even corporations in some instances.
The video is sped-up woodworking, with narration to tell you what is going on. The results, as you might suspect, are extremely good.
Though skilled at “hand woodworking,” Merzke lists his CNC router as the tool that he has the most fun with. Though he’s now upgraded to a 4’×4′ router, he previously had a smaller Shapeoko model shown below. Unlike many of us, he decided to make a beautiful wooden holder for it to hang on his wall. With a drawer for his computer and a mount for a flat screen monitor, it actually looks like it should be there, rather than something cobbled together out of a plastic storage rack (which is what I did with mine).
For a broader overview Merzke’s shop, he gives a tour of everything in the video below. Of particular note is his excellent workbench seen around the 2:00 mark. It’s based on Ron Paulk’s design, and modified to meet the needs of Merzke’s shop including quite a bit of storage space.
If you’d like to see more “Woodshop Confessions,” be sure to check out the channel and even subscribe. According to Merzke, he has several awesome projects on the horizon, but like many of us, his list of potential builds grows faster than his ability to keep up with them. He also encourages people to reach out if you have any questions or would like to talk shop.