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From Farm To Table

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From Farm To Table

A look at our most recent take on a modern harvest table, using wood salvaged from a 150+ year old farmhouse and locally welded steel legs from Burke's Custom Metal Works:

All set up in this beautiful space overlooking the water.

All set up in this beautiful space overlooking the water.

Where Birdmouse tables come from lately.

Where Birdmouse tables come from lately.

After we pull the boards from the walls and floors of the farmhouse (pictured above), Lenny planes them to the same width, but leaves the original finish on one side. Each board is then sanded down while maintaining some of the colour and weathered look of the wood. I like to give it a spray with bleach and let it dry out for a few days in the studio before finishing. Fortunately the wood is quite protected and dry from this particular source, but it still feels better to bleach out any germies. After it is thoroughly dried, it is sealed on both sides with a water based polyurethane. We offer other finish options, but this one is low maintenance and durable. We will also use it, or epoxy, if there is any lead in that paint that is left on, it will keep it encapsulated and safe to use. The finish has a low sheen so that it looks rugged, but some light is reflected so that it still feels clean.

Drying out after a good sanding and scrubbing.

Drying out after a good sanding and scrubbing.

These boards are only grooved (as opposed to tongue and groove). The "tongues" were separate strips of wood inserted into each side-by-side grooved board. Lenny made new tongues to join the boards together as a tabletop.

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Looking right at home in its cottage. Our clients found these beautiful chairs on Kijiji to compliment it. We love how the matte black legs modernize the farmy top and carry over from the window muntins and the chairs add a touch of elegance. The table end caps are secured with gorgeous old screws salvaged from a late 1800s pump organ.

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Contact us to discuss a design for your own custom table from Birdmouse.

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Description of Authenticity

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Description of Authenticity

Over 125 years old.

Over 125 years old.

It is a great day at Birdmouse when we get the call to come and check out someone's ancient house that is about to be torn down. "See anything in here that would be useful to you?" 

Yes. Yes, we do.

We see panelled wood doors, wide, well worn floor boards. We see mantles, foot wide baseboards, stair treads - and we want it! Because we also see harvest tables, coffee tables, shelving, night stands, artwork!

The Master Suite.

The Master Suite.

In this particular house, all of the upstairs bedrooms had light fixtures - except the south facing master bedroom. There was a little window on an interior wall, however, that would let light in from the landing's fixture. It is hard not to think, in a room this old, how many tender words were spoken, or arguments contained, prayers whispered.

The Attic.

The Attic.

There is never enough time, energy, or space to collect all of the beautifully aged wood that we would like to reinvent. It is true, this house is not what it once was - under the weight of itself, the wind, the snow, and that ever persistent vagrant, water, working its way in. But we are grateful the owners saw the abundance of salvageable material within. We wish we could take more, alas we are only two and our workshop storage space only one. 

"New" Coffee Table using reclaimed floor boards.

"New" Coffee Table using reclaimed floor boards.

Thank you to our customers who appreciate this wood's story - with all of its little imperfections and character. We get to transform that old house into something useful and beautiful again. Every piece of furniture we design now comes with a "Description of Authenticity". This document outlines your piece's history, the conditions under which it was made, and any additional inspirations that went into the design.

History + Artistry Documented

History + Artistry Documented

As Lenny put it, "We are connecting people's stories." From the various residents of a 125+ year old house in Eastern Prince Edward Island to a home in Moncton, New Brunswick, as a coffee table that will be treasured for many more years to come. And then? Who knows what is next!

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