Organ builder and repairer Ltd is achieving significant efficiency gains after investing in a Striebig Compact vertical panel saw.

It’s an example of a company within the highly traditional organ building industry combining craft skills with the benefits that can be gained from using the latest in woodworking technology.

The Liverpool-based small business, set up in 2001 by Gary Owens and his partner Carl McCain, carries out organ building and restoration work for churches, schools and private residences throughout the UK.

Amongst its current long-term contracts are the rebuilding of the organ at Giggleswick School, North Yorkshire, and the chapel organ at Liverpool Blue Coat School.

After outgrowing its first premises it moved into a larger 1,750 sq ft workshop in May this year and set up a woodworking machine shop.

Said Gary Owens: “We had a small circular saw and a band saw that we used for cutting wood. We realised we needed something more substantial that would last a long time if we were to improve our efficiency and keep up with all the work we were attracting.”

“I had seen a Striebig saw in action at a local B&Q store and it seemed a better way of cutting wood, as the blade moves through the wood instead of the panel through the blade.”

Striebig Compact sees significant efficiency gains

Its Compact TRK 4164 model was chosen for the already-cramped workshop because of its size, build quality, guaranteed precision, highly efficient extraction system and its ability to cut both horizontally and vertically with ease. It was supplied by Striebig’s’s sole UK agent, TM Machinery Sales of Leicester.

The Compact Series is the smallest within the Striebig range of vertical panel saws, but packs the same high performance as larger models. The 4164 measures 4.2m long, 2.3m high and a space- saving 1435mm from wall to front. It can size panels to a maximum of 3.1m x 1.6m and has a maximum depth of cut of 60mm

Bought primarily for cutting up timber to make pipe trays for transporting organ pipes from clients’ sites to the workshop and back again, they have since found a lot more uses for it.

It cuts 8ft x4ft panels of ply and other soft and hardwoods to the required sizes for pieces needed for the repair of organ cases and for the sound boards which the pipes sit on.

Said Mr Owens: “We are finding new uses for it all the time. We now plan to start using it to cut sections for the wooden wind chests and trunks that carry the wind to the sound boards, as well as the rectangular wooden replacement pipes that are needed for the Giggleswick School contract.”

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Gary Owens with Striebig Compact vertical panel saw at organ builder, Ltd.

The Compact gave a precise, crisp and clean cut every time, whether it’s cutting rough, sawn timber or sizing panels. “It’s a very versatile machine. We are able to cut everything on it, from four sheets of ply at a time to short pieces of timber. It has even been used to cut Perspex panels needed to make display units for a customer.”

Making the organ pipe cases and the other woodwork was previously put out to local contractors, so bringing it all-in house has made the operation much more efficient.

There are numerous benefits, said Mr Owens. “It speeds up the work as we no longer have to wait for sub-contractors to deliver and we can now also guarantee the quality of the woodwork as we do it all ourselves. It’s also very satisfying from an organ lover’s point of view to be able to carry out the entire job.”

The move is expected to translate into substantial cost savings running into thousands of pounds each year, in addition to considerable time savings, which will help the business keep its prices down. With the savings achieved they expect the saw to have paid for itself within two years.

“Not surprisingly, the TM representative who came to see us had never been to an organ maker’s before, and after asking all about our specific requirements he suggested the most suitable model for our needs,” said Mr Owens. “The saw is so simple to use and we like the high level of safety features which means it’s impossible to chop your finger off.”

He said that TM Machinery’s after-sales service was very responsive and they were quick to supply new blades whenever asked. “We must be one of the few organ builders in the country to have bought such a modern saw. It certainly impresses visiting clients when they come to look around.”

For further information contact Matt Pearce, Sales Director on 0116 271 7155 or email

Issued by Stephen Barry Publicity. Tel: 020 8341 6660. Email:

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