Small Business Startup: Two Rivers Wood Works

Eric Purcell, owner of Two Rivers Wood Works.

BY: Holly Boname
    A passion for the outdoors and the knowledge passed down from a father, has led a Dexter man to begin a business built from passion.  

     Eric Purcell, owner of Two Rivers Wood Works, says he grew up with a hammer in hand as his father owned a construction business when he was a child.   

     “I’ve been doing woodworking for 30 to 40 years,” said Purcell. “My father owning his own business we all learned the skills needed for construction. After owning my own business for many years, I wanted to get back to the woodworking craft and bought a sawmill.”  

     For Purcell, it is about being connected to the land and the trees that he mills by hand, ages and then crafts into custom tables, chairs and cutting boards. Using primarily walnut, cherry and white oak trees his attention to detail is immaculate.   

     “The log goes on the sawmill and we slice it up into slices and then we stack it on what we call stickers. It air dries for a period of time, typically at least a year,” said Purcell. “Then I put it in my kiln to bring the humidity or the moisture content of the wood down to a furniture grade content. So, once you build something, it’s never going to shrink or expand; its there to stay.”  

     It’s that attention to the wood, details and aging process that separates Purcell’s products from those purchased at the store; they will last a lifetime he says. He also prides himself on working with customers to build them a custom piece that means something to the family or to that person.   

     “One thing I do a lot of is, people will bring me a tree or will have a certain tree on their property and they want something made from their own personal wood,” said Purcell.   

     Starting with a consultation, Purcell will speak with the customer to find out where the custom piece will be located in their home, the size and other specifications that the customer requires. From there, Purcell begins his specialty craft of working with the wood to find the best lines, colors and shapes. He says he loves doing custom work for customers and that his finished work can be found in many island and lake homes. Recently, his work was featured in NNY Living Magazine’s NNY Premier Properties.  

     For Purcell, it’s what he calls “from tree to table”; it’s about sustainability and an artisan skill that has been passed down to him from his life as a carpenter starting with his father.   

     If you are looking to view some of Purcell’s custom cutting boards, cheese boards and tables he says you can visit River Yoga, located in Clayton, where he has work on display.   

     “We are currently accepting custom orders,” said Purcell and that he hopes to continue to provide the best quality woodworks that he can to the north country.   

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