Local music recording studio built with ReStore materials

Photos and story by Danielle Anderson

What can you create with materials purchased from the ReStore? Anything you can dream up. Frank Henderson is proof of that. He spent the last four and a half years collecting recycled and second-hand materials to expand and transform the shop on his country property in the Hubbard/Aurora area into a high-quality music recording studio. 

“Almost everything here has some element of second-hand,” he said. “That’s really the only way we could afford to do it. I knew the material was out there. It would just take time to track it down.”

He started with a list of all the supplies needed and a budget. His thrifty nature and background in construction and carpentry would come in handy, as he did most of the work himself. That’s how the small metal building with a dirt floor became a working recording studio in high demand, complete with a stage, control room, lounge/bar, dressing room and more. 

“This is something I wanted to do 40 years ago but didn’t have the means to do it,” Frank said.

He spent about 15 years as a touring rock musician, traveling all over America and the Pacific Rim. The 67-year-old still plays today and has been working with the band Hipwaiters for the last 29 years. Since the pandemic hit, this is the longest he’s gone without playing live shows. 

With concerts cancelled, many musicians are looking for new ways to engage their fans, including live-streaming performances. Frank’s recording studio is setup for streaming (something he had planned to do long before the pandemic changed the industry). Now his phone is ringing off the hook with artists wanting to work/record in his studio, he said. 

Frank credits the Canby and Woodburn ReStores, where he purchased most of the materials and almost all of the furniture for the studio. Those materials include: sheetrock, trim, hardware, electrical boxes and covers, plumbing materials, paint, flooring and French Doors, among other items. He made frequent trips to both stores and would often photograph potential furniture purchases, allowing his wife to provide input. 

“This looks as good as any high-end look you can do and it was pennies on the dollar to do it,” he said. 

The lounge area of the studio is furnished with ReStore pieces, including couches, armchairs, rugs, table and chairs and a book shelf that he turned into a rack to store snare drums. 

Shopping at the ReStores is a win-win situation, said Frank, whose sister built her first home in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. It made his project possible and in turn his purchases are funding Habitat’s mission.

“I’m a person who believes that you got to raise all the boats,” he said. “That’s the way I see it. I’m not out for myself. I would love to see everyone do as well as I’m doing. I’m comfortable and I wish everyone around me was too.”