Karl Driesel of Kendall opens new woodworking site in his hometown
KENDALL – From his boyhood days at his father’s lumber business in Albion, Karl Driesel has loved wood.
He enjoys taken a rough piece of lumber and turning it into railings, mouldings, hardwood floorings, and other useful purposes.
“You can turn it into something beautiful with the right materials,” Driesel said Monday at Orleans Millworks.
Driesel, 30, has had a woodworking business since 2009. He was working out of his home until committing to building a new 5,884-square-foot shop and showroom at 1750 Kendall Rd. Construction started in February, and Driesel moved his business to the site in July.
It is a prominent building on Kendall’s main road. Driesel works with customers mainly between Buffalo and Rochester, serving residential, commercial, and wholesale markets often working directly with homeowners and contractors.
The site in Kendall proved ideally located between the two major markets, and Driesel also wanted to be be close to his house and help his hometown.
Driesel graduated from Morrisville State College, earning degrees in wood products technology and business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship.
For three years he was teaching at Morrisville, making a 2 ½-hour trip two to three times a week. He taught in the wood science department and showed students how to make cabinets.
Driesel last year decided to focus solely on his own business. He purchased Medina Millworks from the Graber family – Jerome, Matthew, Stephen and Phillip. That acquisition has boosted Driesel’s business, expanding his customer base and giving him more access to modern woodworking equipment.
“There is zero waste from the manufacturing process,” Driesel said. “Wood shavings are marketed as livestock bedding, and wood scraps become firewood.”
Driesel has one full-time employee. They can manufacture any profile of moulding. If they have a sample of wood, Orleans Millworks can find a match from 1,800 profiles in the business’s library, Driesel said.
Most of the lumber he uses comes from the northeastern U.S., but some species come from as far as Maine and Oregon, he said.
Driesel was an active Boy Scout and earned his Eagle rank, one of seven in the Driesel family to earn that distinction. On Monday, he welcomed a group of Scouts from Barre to see the wood shop. He demonstrated how rough lumber is turned into smooth baseboards. (Driesel’s uncle Karl Driesel is one of the leaders of the Scout troop in West Barre.)
Driesel’s father, the late Joe Driesel, also was an Eagle Scout. Karl keeps his father’s hammer in the shop “as a constant reminder that he is watching over always.” He also keeps a flag on the property in tribute to his father’s 23 years in the Army.
Driesel said he is committed long term to the business and appreciates the backing from the community.
“I would like to thank my family, friends, church, and community members who have worked tirelessly to help make this project a success, and the Town of Kendall for understanding my vision and for their unwavering support of local business,” he said.