What’s your favorite tool to use?
My favorite tool is our trusty Random Orbital Sander. It is by far the tool I use the most. I have spent countless hours turning rough, chipped lumber into beautiful shelves, tables, and bookcases. I love transforming an “ugly” piece of lumber into a functioning piece of art!
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
When we first started Brandon Built I didn’t know the difference between a miter saw and a table saw. It’s honestly a miracle I still have all ten fingers! The journey has been one continuous learning experience different types of lumber, how to build an Etsy Shop, and grow our community outreach interacting with customers, and growing our community outreach organizing the shop, establish our processes and procedures, and ensuring quality products for our customers.
What do you love the most about Brandon Built?
Brandon Built has allowed me to be part of something bigger than myself. It has given me the opportunity to become a blessing to others with the blessings I’ve been given. When we receive a letter with a kids handwriting saying, “Thank You” it puts all the late nights in the shop in perspective. We started Brandon Built with the mission to build people up and seeing the impact it has had has been truly humbling.
Was there a project that started off terribly and ended up working out in the end?
Oh boy. There was a bench we were putting together for a customer but we the pipe would not fit through the hole. So to solve this problem I decided the best course action would be to bang it with a hammer until it when through. When in doubt just hit it with a hammer, right? Wrong. While the pipe made it through the hole I had smashed the end of the pipe so bad that a cap couldn’t be screwed on. So we had to hammer it back through the hole and use a new piece of pipe but this time using a mallet. Moral of the story: don’t use blunt force as your first option.
I grew up in Hastings, NE with my Mom and Dad (Lisa and Bob Mertens) and my two sisters (Claire Mertens and Stephanie Hackler). I attended Adams Centrals Jr./Sr/ High and then went to study at Hastings College. The summer I graduated I had a job lined up with a CPA firm in Omaha but felt led to move to Kearney to work Team Concepts, a Leadership/Team Building company.
I partnered with a close friend to purchase a “fixer-upper” that was initially just an investment property but fell in love with it and ended up buying it! Throughout the renovation process, I developed a love of building and working with my hands.
Follow along in my journey and feel free to contact me at any time.
Facebook: Isaac Mertens
Cell Phone: (402) 200-9225