Bespoke furniture maker, Churchill Brothers, has achieved all-round efficiency gains with the purchase of a Striebig Compact vertical panel saw.
It has replaced a sliding table version to create much-needed space in the cramped workshop, transforming sheet cutting into a one-man job. The family-run firm, which grew out of Leavenheath Joinery, makes made-to-measure domestic kitchens using traditional methods and the finest materials. Although designing, making and fitting quality kitchens is now the mainstay of the rural Suffolk business, it also turns out made-to-order windows, doors and staircases.
Striebig Compact replaces sliding table saw
The TRK 4164, the smallest vertical panel saw in the recently upgraded Compact series, has a maximum cut size of 3100 x 1644mm. It’s used to size MDF, plywood and blockboard panels, ranging in thickness from 6 to 24mm. It also has no difficulty in cutting through 40mm thick sections of Oak, Iroko or Maple that are used as kitchen worktops.
Delivering a cutting depth of 60mm, it has a digital measuring system accurate to 0.1 mm, delivering 100% cutting accuracy. It was supplied with an optional scribing saw so that it can also size veneered boards.
“Our old saw badly needed replacing, but I was not sure we had room in the workshop for a new sliding table model as it would take up so much space,” said Olly Churchill.
He learned about the vertical Striebig range from T.M. Machinery Sales, the exclusive UK agents, whose service arm maintains their sanding machine.
“I had not thought about buying a vertical saw until they suggested it, but after seeing a Striebig in action at our local B&Q store I was sold on the idea.”
The updated Compact series is designed for use with smaller panels, with models also available with maximum cut sizes of 4600 x 2070mm and 4600 x 2200mm.
With its combination of a totally re-designed control panel, saw head housing and saw head operating mechanism, the Compact is even easier to use than ever.
In particular, the addition of medium and small work piece supports extending along the full length of the machine makes it much simpler to saw small pieces.
In a major improvement to its environmental features, an additional TRK dust extraction point has been fitted within the horizontal cutting area. The highly efficient integral dust and chips extraction system ensures that dust levels are kept well below permitted European limits. The Compact can be wall-mounted or freestanding.
Useful accessories include an angle-cutting unit, a grooving accessory for composite panels and a strip-cutting gauge, either 400 or 600mm long, to rip cut thin pieces from the tops of panels.
“It works a treat and is totally accurate every time,” said Olly Churchill. “As the pieces it cuts are perfectly square, we no longer have to check them. There’s no more re-cutting or hand planing needed to get them right.
“It’s now a one man job to put the sheets on the saw’s frame. It used to take two men to manoeuvre them on to the sliding table saw’s bed, so we are saving on both time and effort.”
Having the Striebig has allowed them to create more room around existing machines. This has made the manufacturing operation far more efficient, with the added bonus of safer working.
Olly and his brother, Will, have ambitious plans to grow the kitchen side of the business still further. It includes moving into a brand new production unit and opening a showroom on the site.
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