Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pwvaavvadints Vho Dieland

It's the most stubborn local patois to emulate. About no one ever gets the twang right, when they try it in the movies or on TV. It's slightly more Joisey than Bawstin, but it 'taint neither, really. I watch Outside Providence occasionally, just to see the dimbulb Alec Baldwin try it, over and over, and crash and burn.

Providence is the capital of the smallest state, with the biggest name, in the Union: The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. We walked one of the nicer streets in the capital plantation, Benefit Street, and took some pictures for benefit.

Actually not all that many bricks on display on Benefit Street; the street is too old and the houses from the 18th and first half of the 19th century are generally all clapboard. That last one's a bed and breakfast of some sort. I can highly recommend it, because I've never been there. I never can highly recommend any bed and breakfast I've ever actually stayed in, because it's like staying over other people's houses except you're not a guest and you have to give them money. But bed and breakfasts are better than hotels, which all look the same no matter how much they charge, so I don't like them either. In the one, they're pushing their way into the room at some ungodly hour to give you orange juice you don't like while you're standing in your man-pajamas, ie: underwear. In the other, the fire alarms actually work, but everyone in the place has the same attitude you have in a bad neighborhood in a city --don't make eye contact.

I stay home a lot.

But not today; we're wandering around. Benefit Street runs along the side of College Hill, and is nice and flat, but take a turn and it's San Francisco east, for a block or two, anyway.

These houses were being demolished back in the fifties, until someone started one of those groups that has the werewithal and the tongues to lick lots of stamps and envelopes and save things and cadge money from strangers and pass laws and do all that other mysterious stuff. It was still pretty seedy looking here and there back in the early seventies, and it's beginning to fray a little around the edges lately too, but Benefit Street still is one of the most pleasant places anywhere to walk with your honey and your male heirs.

More tomorrow.


paul a'barge said...

Off Topic:
I have a desktop on which I need to apply a finish. Would you use:
1) Tung Oil
2) Watco Danish Rubbing Oil
3) satin oil-based polyurethane

Pogo said...

1. I think Alec baldwin's approah is "something vaguely northeast".

2. I stayed in a neat little B&B (by myself, no less) attending a conference in Philadelphia in one of the oldest neighborhoods in the US.

You're right. It was like visitng distant relatives. But it beat the $5 coffee in the conference hotel. We even got along fine, at least I thought so.

3. Finish for a desktop? Try paint!

SippicanCottage said...

Hi paul-

The oil based poly is the most durable of those finishes. But it dries slowly. Consider waterborne finishes instead. They are thinner films, but apply easily and dry quickly making it easy to build coats quickly. They appear milky white in the can but dry clear. You can use a foam disposable applicator for a brushstroke free finish. No clean up either.

Ive used watco before, but it's the kind of finish you need to apply often, perhaps yearly, to anything that gets any use.

Same for tung oil. Watco doesn't say what kind of oil it uses, for all I know it's tung oil. The oils have a certain low lustre look and feel that some people associate with modern furniture styles. You can apply it with 0000 steel wool, rubbing it in to wood to get a smooth finish. Use paste wax on it when you're done.

What species of wood is it?

paul a'barge said...

Off Topic:
OK, I think the wood is mahogany, although its an old Lockheed workbench. It's too dark with too much chocolate to be oak.

I went to Home Depot and dang if they didn't have diddly squat in water-borne finishes... just the usual plastic-poly and all that Minwax junk.

Where do you go for your finishes?

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Paul- I use a lot of old fashioned things, some that I make myself.

This company is the shiznit: Target Coatings

You can use a Benjamin Moore product called "Stays Clear," too. You can find a Moore dealer most anywhere. Minwax makes something called "Polycrylic." It's OK in a pinch.

paul a'barge said...


I found this. This guy has me cranked up about using hand-cut shellac.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Paul- Shellac is interesting stuff. I use it daily.

It is made from the discarded husks of insects- the lac bug. these are dissolved in denatured alchohol, in varying strengths called "pound cuts" It's very labor intensive to "hand cut" shellac from lac flakes. you can buy four pound cut at home depot and thin it with denatured alcohol if you wish to make a thinner film.

Shellac can go bad after it's been dissolved for a year or so. Cans of "precut' (ie dissolved) shellac have a fresh sale date on them for this reason.

Shellac is not suitable for a table that gets any amount of use. If you put a wet glass down on it, or especially a hot wet glass, it immediately gets a white ring in the finish. Shellac is used for a tables that are for looking at, not eating, drinking, or working on.

It dries almost instantly. It is very hard for an amateur to get an attractive finish with it with a brush.

Shellacked Kipling Table

paul a'barge said...

OK, got it. Now, I'm all jacked up about the Target Coatings water-based shellac as an undercoat, followed by one of their other coatings as a topcoat... that's if one of their topcoat coatings is suitable for (ab)use. I read the "manual" on their website. Wow, talk about some knowledgeable folks out there ... Only downside, is that I'll have to get out my HVLP gun and learn to use it (yay)!

paul a'barge said...

Have you thought about PayPal on the furniture?

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Paul-

I use paypal as my service to accept credit cards on th efurniture website. They of course accept paypal; it's just not required the customer have a paypal account to use a credit card.

HVLP is the way to go. Those coatings apply beautifully by HVLP. You can also spray a thin coat of dewaxed shellac and then the oxford finish over it. One benefit of dewaxed shellac is that it sticks to almost anything, and almost anything sticks to it in turn. The topcoat protects it from water, alcohol and abrasion.

Old fashioned lacquer has something called "burn in." It sticks to the previous lacquer coat below it by partially fusing to it. The Oxford stuff at Target does that - that's rare for a water based product. If you spray on five thin coats, they burn in to one another like one coat. Very durable.