Sippican Cottage



A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything


I’m currently beezy making twenty tables for a sale at Sippican Cottage Furniture. I’ve never made that many things at one time. If you want to be notified when they go on sale, (heavily discounted, natch) sign up for an email notification at the top of our home page there. We don’t flood your inbox if you do. It’s a once-in-a-while thing.

In the interim, I’ve still got one lovely Kipling Table left over from the last batch of stuff. It’s deuced handsome:

It’s solid Tiger Maple. It’s our Cinnamon color. Marked down to $199, which includes free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48. It’s 15″ square, about 28″ tall.

Did you know that Rudyard Kipling lived in Vermont for a while, amongst the sugar maples and Calvin Coolidge’s laconic relatives? Wrote the Jungle Book while he was there, if memory serves.  Ah, yes, Wikipedia’s on it:

A little maple began it, flaming blood-red of a sudden where he stood against the dark green of a pine-belt. Next morning there was an answering signal from the swamp where the sumacs grow. Three days later, the hill-sides as fast as the eye could range were afire, and the roads paved, with crimson and gold. Then a wet wind blew, and ruined all the uniforms of that gorgeous army; and the oaks, who had held themselves in reserve, buckled on their dull and bronzed cuirasses and stood it out stiffly to the last blown leaf, till nothing remained but pencil-shadings of bare boughs, and one could see into the most private heart of the woods.

That’s purty good writing. He might add up to something someday if he keeps it up.

Me? I’m angling to have: HE HAS POTENTIAL written on my gravestone.

5 Responses

  1. Make a note, sometime, on your finish. It's something many of us do even if we don't build furniture (especially for sale furniture). And, since we typically don't build units we can just toss out because the finish failed; well, it's important to get it right on the first try.

    I've experimented with oils, pastes, and even once tried one of those "all in one" things that stain and finish in one swipe.

    I've learned that "easy" is synonymous with "fail."

    For a long time I relied on an oil stain that was increasingly hard to find with a finish of poly that I wet sanded and loved to perfection with pumice & rottenstone.

    Then I tried water based aniline dye. When it dried I almost cried. The furniture pieces that I had babied to completion looked as though they were covered in dull flannel. Three years later I ventured to poly them and the result was stunning. Even on cherry, which blotches, it was great. The chatoyancy of the wood was fabulous. But now I hate the other pieces I've made over the years.

    And I don't blame you for not wanting to give secrets away but those maple tables are AWESOME! Not to mention maple. When I stain maple it looks like I tried to set it on fire.

    Brad Ervin

  2. Hi Leslie- I only send my tables to good homes. I'm like an orphanage for wayward trees. Glad you took some in.

    Hi Brad- Thanks for reading and commenting and for your kind words, but I must take issue with part of your comment. You've accused me of making tables with some sort of chatoyancy, but let me assure you, and the rest of the general public, that I'm generally sober throughout the work day, not chatoyance-faced at all.

  3. Gosh, you made me look it up! I was afraid I'd misappropriated the wrong word, which I can do quite nicely; and disastrously.

    I'll bet you shimmer and glimmer all day long.

    And, yes, those tables are gorgeous.


  4. By coincidence we were discussing renting Kiplings old home in Vermont for a future family holiday….may make it someday.

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