About Mike Tiplady
I Take Pride in Being a Craftsman
I love woodworking. I feel lucky to be able to make a living doing what I love, but the money is secondary to me. I want to be satisfied with the work I produce. I consider myself a craftsman first and a businessman second.
Even at Age 14, I Knew…
I always knew what I wanted to do. By the age of 14, I was apprenticed in a furniture store sanding and finishing furniture and learning how to repair it. Throughout my teens I had a summer job at cabinet shop in Poughkeepsie.
I learned everything I could about woodworking, reading magazines like Fine Woodworking and Fine Homebuilding in my spare time, doing projects for fun. I’m still reading and learning to this day, and still having fun.
What I Love About Woodworking
I love being able to take abstract ideas and turn them into tangible objects that are both useful and pleasing to look at. I get a lot of satisfaction being able to take raw lumber and turn it into a finished cabinet.
I also enjoy the challenges of having to solve various problems throughout the process. People often describe me as having a very calm demeanor. I’m not hot-headed. I’m a thinker and a planner. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with the solution to a problem.
Woodworking is rather personal for me because, in a way, the products I produce are extensions of myself. I think it’s the same way an artist must feel about their artwork, whether it be painting or music. Working with wood has allowed me to express myself in ways that would be difficult to do in words.
My Signature is Invisible
I want my work to be as flawless as I can make it. If that means an extra 15 minutes of prep work that no one will notice but me, I’ll take that extra time. I could probably make more money if I didn’t care about those details, but that’s not why I’m in this business. My standards are usually higher than those I’m working for. I obsess about the details that will never be seen. That’s my signature.
My Clients Are Clear About Why They Hire Me…
“Mike does a job once and does it right the first time.”
“I first met Mike when we worked together on a job at Vassar College. He made an impression on me… I could see that he had the patience to do quality work. I kept in touch with him, and now when I get jobs where I need serious carpenters, I call Mike. He’s able to do a job once and do it right the first time. So many guys go and do something 2 or 3 times, and have a pile of miscut wood stacked up next to them… but Mike is very intent and meticulous with his work.
I’ve been in the construction business forever. The majority of people in construction are in it by default. Mike’s in it by choice. He has a love for his work. That’s why I keep going back to him.”