He's got mad skills when it comes to making furniture out of wine barrels and old wood that he finds or purchases for his creations.
It's something he does when he isn't meeting with insurance companies as the director of insurance relations for Cook's Collision.
Frank Quadrato has 37 years of experience in the collision repair industry in northern California. He credits much of what he learned about the industry to Peter Lock, the former head instructor at Contra Costa College, where he graduated in 1986. After working for several independent shops as a technician to learn every facet of the industry, Quadrato was hired by Cook's Collision nearly 20 years ago.
Seven years ago, Quadrato began building furniture and other items such as tables, fire pits, chairs and other items that are in high demand. But his first creation was something completely different.
"My son Chris (then 14) and I wanted to buy an old truck and restore it," Quadrato said. "To raise the money, we designed and manufactured what we called 'Dream Falls,’ a water feature made out of metal and slate. It was a nice father-and-son project and an opportunity to teach Chris how to weld. We built a few of them and took them to the Clayton Wine Festival, and they were a hit. We did it the following year and got enough money to buy the truck. After we restored it, I was looking around for other projects, and that's why I started making things out of wood."
To make the fire pits, Quadrato takes old wine barrels and re-purposes them. They've become a popular item and many of Quadrato's friends and associates now have them on their patios and in their backyards.
"I cut a hole in the barrel and put a fireplace insert in there and then make a small door for the gas hookup," he said. "Then, I take winery box tops and attach them in a ring around the outside of the fire pit. People who love wine really appreciate the skills and craftsmanship that go into these fire pits, and I think they also like the fact that I am taking these old barrels and making them useful again."