Lee Neary began carving when he was a supervisor of construction projects. He traveled around the country building hospitals, hotels, etc. and on weekends would carve. He carved iron workers and concrete finishers, among others. He added a typical tradesman's saying, usually profane.
During a building project in Manhattan Lee took some pieces to the Museum of American Folk Art and they were well received. When a recession hit the construction industry he began carving full time, and never looked back.
At last count he had 185 sayings in his repertoire of what he calls "wise old sayings" and a cast of characters depicting people from all walks of life.