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Woodworking Warrior: Retired veteran Phil Merriam finds new passion

Phil Merriam, veteran and owner of Remington Way Woodworks, has found a renewed purpose in retirement with a custom woodworking business.

Phil Merriam, owner of Remington Way Woodworks, has turned what once was an enjoyable hobby into a lucrative small business. His projects span from unique wall art to vanities to built-in cabinetry. 

Merriam, retired veteran turned woodworker, hails from Massachusetts, where he was born and raised. He met his wife, Amber, in Tampa, FL, where he joined the military. He served in the U.S. Army from 1990 to 1994 and returned in 2006. During his tenure with the military, he went from Fort Drum in New York to Fort Campbell in Kentucky and served at every Army base in Georgia. He was deployed to Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

"I got to see the world that way," Merriam explains.

After over nearly three decades of service, he officially retired on January 1, 2024. He quickly took up woodworking as a way to fill his time. 

A cutting board that was part of Merriam's first commissioned project in early 2023

"I always had an interest in woodworking and was looking for something to do after I retired," Merriam says. "I started small, making little cutting boards and stuff like that and then it just grew really quickly into what's it's become."

Merriam and his wife relocated to Statesboro from Augusta to be closer to her job in Bryan County. They have been in the area for three years. 

Their son, Logan, helps out when Phil needs a "strong back and a trusted friend" to assist with one of his projects. Logan works for the Statesboro Fire Department and was a member of Recruit Class 2023-1.

Amber & Phil Merriam

Merriam has done some custom work for his neighbors and has built a clientele largely through word of mouth. Some of his projects are smaller, like a custom shoe rack or wall shelf, while others take up the entire wall of a home. He once made a barn door that was 8 feet tall! He also does refurbishments and updates on existing woodwork in homes. 

His wood of choice is walnut because of its ease of cutting, sanding, and finishing. Merriam has painted, stained, and waxed his myriad projects, but his inclination is minimalism.

"I prefer to leave wood in its natural state; it hurts my heart to paint wood," Merriam says.

Cabinetry keeps Merriam busy as the need for storage is a common request across the board. He just finished up a special project for a neighbor: a custom dog tag rack for the American Legion Post 90 here in Statesboro. It's a wall-mounted shelf made of stained poplar that features plexiglass doors for display.

Merriam working on the dog tag rack in his garage

No matter the job, Merriam says he is passionate about creating unique and beautiful woodworking pieces, always with an emphasis on quality and details.

"I'm a believer in the artistic process and enjoy collaborating with clients to create what they want," he says. "I've always admired the abilities of true craftsmen to bring ideas to life, and I aspire to do the same." 

Serving mostly Bulloch County, he hopes to branch out to surrounding counties, as well. In fact, he just started a cabinet project over in Guyton. He can be found on Instagram, Facebook, and on his newly developed website