Brettuns Village Trunks & Leather

Old Trunks, New Leather.  All from Maine.

July 27, 2006

It's the humidity that gets you, but you already knew that.  The most popular question upcountry lately is something along the lines of 'Wicked hot, ain't it?' which, as you, an educated Brettuns Village Newsletter reader, also already knew is just a subset of the age-old 'Hot enough for ya?' question that wins the Most Annoying prize.  I keep checking the weather map, hoping to see a high pressure system, but it looks toasty warm and damp for the foreseeable future.  Oh well.

Been spending time at camp when we can, and if you're new to this gobble-de-gook what we call a camp doesn't involve a tent or mosquito netting - the true definition of a camp in New England is, well, more or less it's the other house where you wish you could live full time, but it's up in the woods off a gravel road where FedEx doesn't like to go, not many jobs in the area, but there's the pond for swimming and fishing, and only a mile to the ice cream stand.  It's a trade-off, really, a place we get to as much as we can, to spend time with our two daughters (3 if you count That Dog), relax, and sleep that comfortable, deep, long sleep that you can only get at camp.  Except for those danged loons, out there sounding off in the middle of the night.  Sometimes it's great to hear them, other times you want to grab the root beer bottle off the night stand and pitch it toward the sound, but then you remember you'd tear a hole in the window screen if you tried it, and that would let in a nice new group of camp visitors, the buzzing kind, so you'd likely perish from blood loss before the eggs hit the pan next morning.  Roll over, back to sleep, loons making that sound so that you can just flat tell they're laughing about it.

At any rate, this humidity, or humdiddy Down East, is tough on those old trunks in your home.  Unprotected metal will rust a little more, wood swells, things creak and groan.  This is when you find out if that finish goop you put on it will do the job.  Most types of finish don't get too bothered by the changes, but some of the more rigid mixtures will crack here and there.  Varnishes, shellacs, and some older polyurethanes have the toughest time.  Tung oil does well, as do most modern paints and poly finishes.  Keep an eye on it - if you run the A/C this time of year it's best to keep the trunk right indoors.  Don't drag it out in the garden so you can sit on it while you pinch the suckers off the tomato plants.

Looking for a Louis Vuitton to fix up?  One of our good customers has one up for sale on his website - thought you might want to give it a look.  Auntie Em's - this is their business name - is a trunk restoration company based in Iowa.  How good are they?  Well, good enough to use our handles, so that ranks right up there, I think.  Here's a link to their page where you can see the Vuitton they have for sale:

and if that one gives you any trouble try this one:

Our Refinishing Department (Connie and Amanda, sometimes Mark, sometimes Matt, no sign of Pat) has been busy getting caught up on trunks that customers have shipped to us for the Grand Treatment.  We're trying hard to get the turn-around time on customers' trunks down to 8 weeks, and we're darned close.  I just mention that so that you know we haven't just been dog paddling in Brettuns Pond all summer.  A little swimming, but not too much.  If you've been thinking about sending your trunk to us, might be a good idea to catch us while we're in production mode.  It's a little tougher to stay excited about working in the shed when it's 14 below zero.  Inside.

Hope your summer is going well and that you've managed to catch at least one good trout for the table.  Can't beat it.

Brettuns Village Trunk Shop
Auburn, Maine