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Delaware Man Finds a Second Career Making Red Cedar Adirondack Chairs with Eureka Woodworks
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Ron Banks building chairs in his shop After an accident, Ron Banks found new life as a woodworker, producing high quality Adirondack chairs.

Three years ago, Ron Banks of Wilmington, Delaware, was a civil engineer in road construction. While living in hotel rooms, “all I had to do was read my woodworking magazines and watch TV.” Eight months later, a near-fatal motorcycle accident ended his road construction career.

Luckily for Ron, he’d seen a magazine ad for Eureka Woodworks and started a part-time woodworking business after calling Eureka and speaking with president Harry Wilk. After the accident, woodworking became his full-time job.

Harry provided instruction materials, ideas for marketing, templates and a jig for Adirondack furniture — the style Eureka has targeted for its producer partners.

Red cedar Adirondack restaurant furniture Ron has adapted Eureka Woodworks' Adirondack chairs to be used as restaurant's patio furniture with a lot of success.

Ron has since modified some of the styles to come up with his own line of furniture for restaurants and bars. Narrowing or removing the arm panels, for example, allows restaurants to get “more bellies up to the bar,” he said.

High Point, North Carolina Showroom Ron has a permanent showroom for his furniture in High Point, NC. “When the economy falls, people aren’t going away [on vacation]; they’re expanding their outdoor living spaces,” he said.

“We’ve gone, business-wise, from rags to riches,” Ron said. He and his wife, a 50 percent partner in Wooden It Be Nice Furniture, started out doing flea markets, progressed to home shows and opened a showroom in High Point, North Carolina, last fall.

“Our first few shows this year were record shows,” Ron says. Eventually, the Banks would like to open an additional shop in Houston, Texas. Monetarily, his new job in woodworking, compared to his previous career, “is not quite there yet, but it’s getting there...and it’s still really a lot of fun.”

Custom-built Adirondack Chairs Ron has moved from making traditional chairs to custom built models made from salvaged red cedar wood that was cut for projects, but never used.

To contact Ron, visit his site at www.woodenitbenicefurniture.com or call 302-368-9663. For more information on Eureka Woodworks, visit www.eureka-business.com or call 877-731-9303.

posted on August 1, 2009 by Joanna Takes
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