Award-winning kitchen company Chiselwood has boosted panel sizing efficiency by installing a Striebig Evolution vertical panel saw. It is delivering greater accuracy, a smoother cut, has eradicated damage to veneered panels and made sheet cutting a one-man job.
The Saxilby, Lincoln company, which operates at the top end of the market, has gained a well-deserved reputation for the design, manufacturer and installation of highly crafted bespoke kitchens.
Last year its design director and owner, Martin Holliday, received the prestigious National Kitchen Designer Award from Kitchen & Bathroom Designer magazine. In 1993 the business won the Daily Express Small Business of the Year award and it was picked as Lincolnshire Business of the Year in 2001. The successful business is housed in the restored 19 th Century former Fossdyke Brewery buildings alongside the Fossdyke Canal near Lincoln.
Its output spans the entire kitchen design spectrum, from traditional wooden, painted contemporary to cutting-edge designs using materials such as glass, concrete and steel. The average price of its kitchens is in the region of £30,000. Amongst recent contracts carried out was the design of five kitchens for English Heritage. They were for holiday flats in historic properties including Dover Castle, Osborne House, the former home of Queen Victoria on the Isle of Weight, and St Mawes Castle, Cornwall.
It also designs bedrooms, studies, bathrooms, dining rooms and libraries, and is receiving an increasing number of corporate commissions for boardrooms, offices and reception areas. Martin Holliday and his wife Mel, the managing director, run the company with a staff of 11. They consist of qualified cabinet makers, bench joiners and paint sprayers plus two on-site installers.
Striebig Evolution replaces out of date saw
The Striebig Evolution 4224, which has a maximum cut size of 3300 x 2240mm and a maximum depth of cut of 80mm, replaced an elderly dimension saw.
It represents the cutting edge in vertical panel saw technology. Advanced features that are optional extras in other saws are included as standard. They include a digital measuring system, accurate to 0.1 mm, and an adjustable precision display that can be set to an accuracy of 1.0, 0.5 or 0.1 mm, according to the thickness of the panels being sized.
It has a fully automatic roller locking function, an auxiliary stop section with its own tape measure, three additional auxiliary stops for repeat cuts and small work piece support, and automatic moving backing support.
A wide range of accessories is available to increase its productivity still further. One unique option is four-sided trimming, which enables the bottom trim cut to be carried out automatically without having to lift or turn the panel. Chiselwood use it mainly to size MDF and MFC panels, as well as 50mm thick solid wooden kitchen tops.
Said Mr Holliday: “We needed a modern saw to give us greater accuracy and make us more efficient. There was no space in the workshop for a table saw so we decided on a vertical model.
“We checked out most makes on the market and all the others seemed flimsy compared to the sturdy Striebig. It was not the cheapest, but we wanted something that would last for years. I have bought cheap before but it’s a false economy. The cost of the saw equalled the cost of employing someone for a year, but it will have paid for itself quite quickly.”
He said the design of the Striebig made it far safer than a table saw, where you have to push the sheets through the blade. “With the Striebig the blade, which is totally enclosed, moves through the sheets, so there is no danger to the operator.
“It has made us much more flexible. It has given us the accuracy needed in the mass production of components plus the ability to cut special sizes, which before we often had to send out. It’s also labour saving with sheet cutting now a one-man job.”
Added workshop foreman Carl Creasey: “We get total accuracy due to the saw’s digital readout. Everything now fits together first time where before you could be one inch out on a long run of units. It also gives a smoother cut with less sanding of the edges needed.” The Evolution was supplied with an optional scribing blade for use with veneered sheets.
Said Mr Creasey: “Before when we sized veneered boards we had to put a piece of MDF underneath to stop breakout, but we still had lots of split sheets. This is no longer an issue, and the all-round time savings are considerable.” The Evolution was supplied and installed by Striebig’s exclusive UK agents, T.M. Machinery Sales of Leicester.
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