Behind the Mask: Dan Cordell of Solid Manufacturing Co.

Like many makers in our community, what started as a hobby for Daniel and Alex grew into their full-time job as the founders of Solid Manufacturing Co. Today they create a line of classic, modern home furniture that is great for many uses and small spaces. We were able to spend a day in the workshop with Dan to watch his craftsmanship in action and learn more about how they grew a dream into their livelihood. 

Q: Tell us about your business.
A: My wife and I started Solid Manufacturing Company nine years ago. We design and manufacture a small collection of furniture here in Minneapolis. Our pieces are designed for smaller spaces and multiple uses. Our collection is designed to be both affordable and well-made. Furniture that is built to last a lifetime.

Q: What was the biggest moment for your company?
A: The moment this side hobby took a turn and became a business and full-time job for my wife and me.

Q: What do you love about creating furniture?
A: I love creating something from nothing. To be able to build furniture for our customers from wood is amazing. I also feel a strong connection with my dad, who taught me everything I know about woodworking starting at 3 years old. Now I am teaching my 2-year-old daughter how to hammer in nails.

Q: What part of your job requires wearing a mask?
A: All of my woodworking calls for a dust mask. Anything from ripping, working on the table saw, or hand sanding. Every part of my day calls for a dust mask. When I was younger I didn't necessarily always wear protection, but the older I've gotten, particularly having a child, I take wearing PPE anytime I'm cutting into wood much more seriously.

Q: Why do you like the RZ Mask?
A: The fit and seal of the RZ mask is incomparable to disposable masks. Having a beard makes finding a quality mask all the more difficult. The RZ mask fits comfortably, with just the single Velcro strap, it's easy to put on and take off.

Q: What are your top 5 tools?
A: The band saw is my all-time favorite tool. Others would include the drill press, table saw, orbital sander, and hand sander.

Q: If you had a daily mantra, what would it be?
A: Do it right or don’t do it at all. If you are going to do the work, you might as well do it correctly so it lasts forever. This includes all the material and methods I use to create each piece of furniture.

Click here to see more of their work and possibly snag a piece of Solid Manufacturing Co. craftsmanship for yourself!


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