Friday, March 18, 2011

"You can't get there from here"

Yesterday I made a big delivery to an Island in Maine. (When I post information or images from a customers house, I never mention names or exact places to protect the privacy of my customers.)  It sure is fun, though, to be able to see where my work is going. And it is rare that I can actually get a decent photo of the furniture in place. 

 The caretaker for the owner of the house arranged for the mail boat to meet me at the pier where the mailboat captain and the caretaker's son helped me load 10 Waltham chairs and a painted pencil post bed into the boat (a great old wooden boat).  Robert, the captain, let me know that the, boat, Sea Queen,  was built by the the boat owner's father many years before.  I appreciate fiberglass and steel but there is nothing like a wooden boat.
We made the two mile trip out to the island under clear skies, smooth water and 50 degree temps.  We hit it just right.  If we had planned this one day ahead or behind, it would have been raining.  And moving $12,000. worth of furniture in the rain would have been more than stressful.
Waltham chairs, wrapped and ready, aboard Sea Queen.
 At the island, the captain, Robert,  and I, (the only one's aboard as things are slow this time of year) were met by the caretaker Michael with two vans and a trailer to take all of the furniture to the client's house.   These islands in Maine are great places.  I spend so much time alone that I really feel drawn to these quiet places.   Maybe being the youngest of four has something to do with that.  But that again is another story.

Waltham chairs in place around the dining table.
Pencil Post bed in place. This bed was painted with oil based enamel paint instead of my usual milk paint. We tried for a white milk paint but you have to want a real antique look especially in the white ranges.  This light cream color worked well in an enamel as the house is full of this fresh paint look and it matches the tables and chest that they already had.

view from the island

After unwrapping and setting up the chairs and bed I was returned to the mainland by the caretaker, his son and a friend of theirs who was working on one of the island's 30- 40 houses.  The four of us and four man sized bags of packing blankets loaded into the pictured skiff for that trip.  It was a safe trip in a very beamy skiff over calm water,  but highly unusual for the Vermont furniture maker making a delivery
I had intended to stay on the coast for the night but all of the hotels were closed down for the off season.  So, I hit the road again and arrived home in the wee hours of the morning after 15 hours of driving.   My new, used Dodge Grand Caravan did a great job on the country roads that connect central Vermont to central Maine (you can get there but it ain't easy).  It got 22- 24 miles per gallon and I think I could have fit 12 or 14 chairs in it as well as the pencil post bed.   We furniture makers do learn how to pack a vehicle.
Enjoy the sun,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

This has been a very crazy winter as far as the snow goes. It just keeps coming. When the car needs a new muffler, it needs a new muffler, even during the snowstorm.  This is from one of the earlier storms.  The rest of these pictures are after our latest storm. The Big One.  It really was. Very heavy snow, a lot of it, and it came very quickly.  Some days, it has been hard to get anything done in the shop after hours of plowing with my 1956 Massey Ferguson farm tractor, and shoveling.  Well, the snow is pretty,  the skiing etc has been very good this year, and the kids have had lots of snow days.  At the beginning of February, I made the mistake of saying that winter must be almost over and it has not been that cold. soon after we had a string of deep cold and heavy snows.  I will keep my thoughts to myself next winter.   Happy Spring,  Tim
Yes, there is a car under there.
The path to the house just gets deeper and deeper.
Our kids, pretending that the picnic table is a ship in a sea of snow. (30" deep)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Get Cranky.

Once in a while there is a fun little project that opens up the mind.  While this table still needs it's glass top, I am very happy with how it looks so far considering it's obvious simplicity. Two slabs of wood with a crank shaft bolted in between.  I did this for my client who is the owner of a Mercedes dealership. I am assuming that the crank shaft is from a Mercedes.  Before it is all done, the crank shaft is going to get cleaned up and sent out to be plated so it will be nice and shiny.  How about a dining table made with the crankshaft of a truck or large marine engine?  You'd need a forklift to move it.  If anyone has other ideas of things with structural integrity that could become the spine of a table, let me know.