Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2000

This medic can fix your furniture

September 21, 2000

House calls may be a thing of the past for physicians, but Don Cook routinely visits residences to mend broken arms and legs.

The broken appendages Cook repairs are attached to chairs and tables not people. While he might have to tote a broken piece of furniture to his home shop for repair, less serious problems he sees as a Furniture Medic representative can be dealt with in the home, Cook said.

"Dings, dents, cigarette burns things of that nature I can do on site," he said. "It's for the convenience of the customer. If you have to take a piece of furniture somewhere to repair a little scratch, you're just going to live with it."

Cook has been in his "second career" for about six months. For 27 years before that, he was the head greens keeper at a number of area golf courses. Tired of worrying about the weather and managing crews, he began casting about for another way to make a living.

When he heard of the Furniture Medic opportunity, Cook became interested because of his longtime woodworking hobby.

"I came to it more out of necessity than a hobby," he said. "With five kids, I couldn't afford new furniture. If I wanted to keep things looking nice, I had to fix them myself."

To become a franchise owner, Cook had to add to his knowledge. He completed home study work through books and videos before attending Furniture Medic's Precision Repair and Refinishing Academy in Memphis, Tenn.

"I took the opportunity to do as much as I could," he said of his Memphis training. "I went on service calls with a local Furniture Medic representative. One weekend, we went to a doctor's office and repaired the furniture in the lobby. We made it all look good for when it opened Monday."

Cook learned to deal with the problems his customers commonly see, from a careless cigarette burn to dog-gnawed furniture.

If the putties, stains and strippers he gets from Furniture Medic can't fix the problem, Cook said he has sources for replacement parts.

To make his home visits cost effective, Cook encourages his customers to identify a number of items needing his attention. Stains take time to dry, he explained, and he can put that time to use by moving on to other projects.

They need not limit themselves to furniture. Cook said he could also stain woodwork, replace hinges and repair sticking drawers.

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