Lee recently purchased a top-of-the line wood lathe which he uses to recreate hard-to-find spindles for broken table and chair legs.
The lathe gives him the ability to chisel intriquite patterns and carve replicas of antique furniture that normally would become unusable once a part was broken.
"I've always been passionate about woodworking," said Lee. "The work is tedious, but I love it and I want to spend the rest of my life doing what I want to do."
Not many people are offering the type of restoration services in which Lee specializes.
"No-strip" process less damaging to wood
His shop uses a "no-strip" process that is less damaging to the wood. That's very important to the customers who bring him valuable antiques or pieces with a lot of sentimental value.
Lee has been working with wood most of his life, and got really serious about restoring it after he was exposed to the skill in high school.
Although he's been doing this type of work as a hobby for more than 10 years, he never really thought he could make a living at it.
After ATR closed its doors in Danville more than two years ago, Lee decided he would not work in another factory, and would do whatever it took to turn his hobby into a new career.
He promised himself he would do the kind of work that makes him happy and also gives him the opportunity to make others happy, by making old things new and ugly things beautiful.
With the help and support of Vera Lee, his wife of more than 20 years, Lee is doing just that.
He took advantage of adult education programs
Lee knew he would need to brush up on some of the academic skills required to start and maintain a new business, so he began taking advantage of the programs offered through Lincoln County's adult education.
Lee brushed up on his math and typing and learned some new computer skills, including how to use the Internet.
Lee also joined the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, where he is working with director Andrea Miller, on ways to market his business and spread the word about the unique services he offers.
Lee has already invested a lot of time and money in his new business venture and says regardless of how successful he is, he's not planning to be here today, gone tomorrow like other people who have done this type of work.
"This is what I love to do, I only hope that I can do it for the rest of my life," said Lee.
Katherine Belcher is editor of The Interior-Journal in Stanford.