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What started as a means to cope quickly turned into a passion for supporting the cause.

For many, the art of woodworking is usually nothing more than a hobby to pass the time. But for Shayne McGinty, owner of MCG Wood Works, creating beautiful home furnishings from raw materials is much more than just a leisurely activity.

After dedicating 25 years serving his country in the United States Marine Corps, Shayne took up woodworking and soon realized that his ‘hobby’ was helping him to overcome the struggles that many veterans face when transitioning from the military.

Using his bare hands to turn a piece of wood into a beautiful work of art was indirectly healing the scars hidden deep within that are a product of being a combat veteran. Shayne was inspired by his newfound approach to managing his life after the military and viewed it as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of his fellow veterans.

In August of 2018, determined to save others just like himself, Shayne formed MCG Wood Works as a way to employ veterans and equip them with the invaluable skills of woodworking to provide a stable foundation and support system as they overcome the obstacles they encounter every day while struggling to adjust to life after the military.

One fateful day in 2019, Kelly Watkins, a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force Reserve, was browsing Facebook for products & tooling he could tailor to his business and stumbled across a video from MCG Wood Works displaying their custom wooden flags.

With retirement only two years away, using skills he learned over the last 36 years as a machinist in the Air Force, Kelly had begun creating his own works of art such as plaques, trophies, firepits, and various home décor pieces for the possibility of a profitable post-retirement hobby.

Recognizing the log cabin in the video as the same one that sits in the town square in Benton, Louisiana, Kelly Googled ‘MCG Woodworks’ and learned that it was locally owned and operated by a Marine Corps Veteran in Bossier City. While browsing the products on MCG’s website, Kelly was convinced that the processes and equipment used by MCG to build the flags were similar to his own. Excited that he may have found someone locally, that shared his interests.

Kelly reached out to MCG via Facebook Messenger and received confirmation in a response from Shayne, the owner of MCG Woodworks, and invited Shayne to his metal shop. Accepting the invitation, the two soon realized their processes were nearly identical and, with no foresight as to what the future would hold,  shared a few tips and tricks of their perspective trades and would soon come to realize that their common interests extended far beyond wood and metalworking.

A couple of weeks later, Shayne reached out for advice on a design he was working on for a Louisiana State Trooper flag. Shayne is a master when designing and creating these amazing works of art, but even the most skilled craftsman will face a challenge from time to time. After a little brainstorming, Kelly came up with the design, and Shayne executed it. Before too long, the two were collaborating on multiple projects.

As their relationship grew, they began joking about the possibility of a partnership. What began as nothing more than playful banter between friends quickly shifted to what would become a successful business venture.

Although Kelly and his wife were in the early stages of creating a business model of their own to execute once Kelly was retired, they discussed and agreed that a joint venture with Shayne made sense. After all, there was no denying that Shayne & Kelly’s abilities as craftsmen combined with skill sets that complement the other would make for a seamless partnership, making it the best viable option.

Since Shayne had already established MCG Woodworks as a successful brand, rebranding wasn’t practical as it could hinder their efforts. The two agreed to expand on Shayne’s current brand by incorporating what Kelly brought to the business. And behold the birth of MCG Wood & Metal Works.

This business is not a ‘Woodworking Shop’ with a machinist or a ‘Machine Shop’ with a carpenter. It is MCG Wood & Metal Works.

When envisioning himself as a successful business owner long before meeting Shayne, Kelly’s goal was to create a business that provided more than just a job. His goal was to create purpose in the lives of others, to give them something to look forward to, and establish a sense of pride within themselves. And MCG Wood & Metal Works allows him to do just that.

The ongoing mission of MCG Wood & Metal Works is to save the heroes that have sacrificed so much for our great nation by introducing them to the art of wood & metalworking. By hiring veterans and equipping them with these invaluable skills, we are helping to provide a stable foundation and support system as they overcome the struggles they encounter every day while attempting to adjust to life after the military.

When you purchase one of our custom pieces, built with the blood, sweat, and tears of our team of patriots & veterans, you are enabling us to create an avenue for a veteran to find his purpose in life after the military and furthering our mission to reduce the number of veterans who resort to suicide as a means to heal the pain deep within.

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MCG Wood & Metal Works
Located in Benton, Louisiana
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