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An affinity for trucks is the inspiration driving Garald Edwards' avocation. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Edwards shifts gears to woodsmith

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Retirement for Garald Edwards of Nevis simply meant a career change.

The lifelong trucker and mechanic actually retired his Skil saw and purchased some new woodworking tools six years ago.

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A new career was born.

Every Saturday Garald and sometimes wife Sharon set up at the Nevis Farmers Market and sell their wares.

The couple makes flower planters out of landscape timbers. Garald is the cutter. Sharon does much of the assembly.

They feature the usual garden critters like turtles and frogs, but he's launched into a transportation frenzy lately.

Blame it on reliving his youth.

"I kind of have a love of trucks," he laughed.

A miniature semi truck can hold - well - a truckload of flowers. It's a novelty even a non-trucker can appreciate.

Then there's the miniature farm tractor.

And the dump truck.

If he charged an hourly rate for his and Sharon's time, you couldn't afford his works. Instead he charges just enough to pay the cost of his materials and make a small profit.

It's not a business model that will make him a Fortune 500 company, but it's one that ensures happiness.

The couple's son inspired the "fleet" when he sent them a book of woodworking ideas.

The Edwards have been married 52 years. They have five children.

"I guess you'd say most of my life I was a truck driver," Garald said.

"Fifteen years ago we started remodeling the house and then we started making the planters a year and a half ago," he said, explaining the evolution from homebuilding to truck building.

He's found success selling them from home and began displaying his works at the Nevis Farmers Market Saturday mornings, where they've found a receptive audience.

He's making a rowboat and "if we get it to work, we're working on a frog and I have a pattern for a rattlesnake. I think it's really gonna be cute," he added.

Is there a market for rattlesnakes?

"I think it's gonna go," he said as Sharon laughed her head off.

He and his saw are churning out tractors, trucks and semis.

He quit truck driving in 1989 and spent 15 years at Lamb-Weston RDO as a maintenance worker. He retired for the second time six years ago.

He's always been a tinkerer but didn't really have time to devote to his craft.

"It was 10 years ago when I finally got some decent equipment to work with," he laughed.

"Before that I just had the skil saw and a hammer."

He can be reached 652-2051 or Saturdays in downtown Nevis.

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