So this is when I was finally able to quit my day job. I bought a house with a barn in the back. Relying solely on my income from Framebuilding I couldn’t afford to live in the house so I rented out the house and lived in the top floor of the barn above my shop. There was no running water or kitchen so I shared with the guys renting the house. It was tight but I really wanted to make this thing fly and was willing to do whatever it took. The summer of ‘98′ I broke my collar bone and a friend, Tony Smith started to give me a hand around the shop. Tony brought a bunch of technical expertise and machining skills and we soon decided to join forces and he became a partner in the business. The web was just starting to get rolling and I had a site pretty early on. This is the year I stumbled across an old Waterford alignment table in WI. I traded it for a frame and Tony along with our friend Eric Figura “The Big Fig” loaded up our buddy Jon Christopher’s old pickup and headed out to get it. Once we got it back to the shop we completely restored it. The table is easily my most prized Framebuilding tool.
It was also during this period that Business really started to build. The web was taking off and we were actually making a little money. A friend of mine was relocating a business that he had from a smaller shop to a larger shop. I took advantage of the chance and moved into his vacated shop. Wallace was the first “real” commercial location Strong Frames occupied and set me off on a path which, in looking back I can see wasn’t really all that thought out.