Lyons grows woodworking interest into side-business

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Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 10:22 am

Sturgis native Ken Lyons has called Onida home for the past fifteen years. For ten of those years, Ken has worked for Agar based construction business Hire-A-Husband. "I had construction training through my high school carpentry and woodworking classes," said Ken.

As a member of the Hire-A-Husband crew, Ken has worked a variety of construction jobs, but says he likes the controlled environment of inside work like woodworking.

"I started out woodworking in high school shop, and I’ve set up a little workshop for myself," said Ken. "I’ve always had woodworking in my blood. I’ve been doing woodworking since high school in my spare time, and I’m trying to get it going full-time now."

Along with his wife Becky, Ken started his K&B Custom Woodworking business. Cabinets, vanities and closet systems are among the custom woodworking projects Ken has done for his clients.

His biggest custom job to date grew out of a Hire-A-Husband construction project. "Hire-A-Husband was hired to do the restoration on a home in Pierre that had received water damage from a burst water pipe," said Ken. After the construction work was done, some custom built-ins needed rebuilding, and Ken took on the project.

"I redid the built-in closet system in the bedroom including doors and drawers, and in the bathroom, I rebuilt the vanity and the linen closet," said Ken.

Ken explains that cabinets purchased in big box stores are "one size fits all," while custom cabinets can be designed to fit a specific place. "If you have a very narrow spot for a cabinet, it needs to be custom made," said Ken. "Custom is more expensive, but if you want something for a specific area, you have to have it custom."

His favorite woodworking medium is oak. "What I prefer to work with is oak," said Ken. "That’s what I recommend to people. It stains good and works well."

Ken sees woodworking as "fine-tuning my carpentry skills to custom-make projects." He says that he enjoys carpentry, the "framing and so forth, but with the woodworking, I’m fine-tuning. It’s more precise."

K&B Custom Woodworking is still a side business that brings in extra cash, but Ken is working to grow the business. "I’m hoping to get more woodworking jobs," said Ken. "If my name gets out there that I do this stuff, maybe I can retire from the carpentry and just do woodworking."

K&B Custom Woodworking has already developed a name in the community for the custom cutting boards Ken makes. He says that as a gift, each of his custom clients receives one of his custom cutting boards.

"Everything in my own house, I’ve done myself," said Ken. "Ever since I graduated high school in 1978, I’ve been investing in the latest woodworking tools. I’ve had to enlarge my garage in order to have room for my woodworking. I love to do it"

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