Craftys nominee Bill Claypool doesn’t exactly build furniture. “I don’t know if I would consider what I do as making furniture,” explains Claypool. “What I do us take old dead furniture and try to give it a new life.”

Claypool’s company, “Franken-Furniture Designs,” brings “old dead furniture back to life.” Here he answers questions about how he got started as a doctor to dead wood.

How did you begin rebuilding furniture?
I guess repurposing furniture became a focus when I saw a picture of a bench made from an old dresser. It’s so rewarding to see what I can come up with. We have a small group we call The Re-Purposers and are always sharing ideas and alerting each other where we can find new¬†projects!

Is repurposing furniture more interesting than building it?
Repurposing is a very interesting avenue to venture down, you’re only limited to your imagination and where you want to go with a project. I have several projects I think are very unique and get a lot of puzzled looks. I just love getting the projects across the finish line. I do have a problem always thinking I can do one more thing to make it better. My friends day I need to know when to stop.

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Since you’ve made both Coca-Cola and Pepsi furniture, which do you
prefer and why?

Honestly, I’ve always been a Coca Cola guy, but when I saw the Pepsi cooler I had to have it because they’re harder to find. As luck would have it, I found a second one and was able to make a fully functional one out of both machines. I was then left with an empty shell. I happened to see a Coke bench online and thought, “I can make one of those.”

The idea for the Coke Bar is a funny one. A good friend of mine asked if I wanted an old TV console, and not being one that likes cool old furniture thrown out, I said yes. I sat it in my garage and waited for inspiration. People laugh when I say that I just wait for a project to “talk to me.” Everyone was saying I should make a fish tank or a dog bed. I wanted to do something so out of the box it would blow people away!

One day I’m in the garage working on something else and looking at the TV and a light comes on. I had the countertop I hand-painted with Coca Cola several years ago when I had a Coke kitchen. I saved it after I redid my kitchen thinking I would use it someday. So I put the countertop on the TV and loved the look. Then inspiration came from my parents asking if I wanted an old mini-fridge that didn’t work. My mind immediately went to, can I fit a mini-fridge where the tube is? After a lot of measurements and hunting online for a red fridge I was off and running! As with any project, the dresser bench, the wine bar, Pepsi bench or the Coke bar, when you are making something that has never existed there are no blueprints to go by so it’s a lot of trial and error. But it’s always fun no matter how many times you have to take it apart and put it back together.

What’s the most unusual or fun makeovers you’ve done?
Probably the most unusual makeover would have to be my double-stacked end table, very unique and different. The most fun project hands down for now would have to be the Coke Bar, it was just so much fun to work on!

What makes a great craft?
To me what makes the best craft is how unusual the piece is that you find and where you can take it to make it your own style. I love furniture with crazy curves and different looks. But there are plain items that can be made into great projects.

The Home Decor / DIY category is sponsored by Deco Art.