North Yorkshire Timber has bought two Striebig vertical panel saws for its new distribution centre and a new local branch in Northallerton. Their opening follows a disastrous fire that destroyed the heart of the company’s operations last October, and brings the number of Striebig saws at the independent timber merchants to four.

The fire totally destroyed a 38,000 sq ft building at its Northallerton headquarters. Inside were most of the timber stocks held for distribution to its branches and a well- equipped machine shop.

“We lost all our internal stock – everything except for the timber carcassing that was stored outside – together with all the production machinery in the mill, including a Striebig saw, and our fleet of delivery vehicles,” said Operations Director Mark Williams. The damage ran into several millions of pounds.

“The fire was a serious setback as we were well on target for a record turnover of £10 million for our 2003/04 financial year.”

Despite the problems caused by the fire the company is determined to increase turnover by 50% over the next five years. The business, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has a young and ambitious management team. The last few years have seen steady expansion, achieved through acquisitions and branch openings.

A business in Ripon was bought in 1992; the Richmond branch was set up in 1997, and an acquisition in Middlesborough took place a year later. In 2000 it established a presence in Sunderland through the acquisition of Joseph Thomson Timber, which has been in existence since 1845 and still trades under its original name.

The company serves customers from Newcastle in the North to Leeds in the South and has been extremely successful in facing up to competition from the national chains.

An extensive range of softwoods, hardwoods and sheet material is kept in stock. It recently expanded into the supply of hardwood flooring, doors, windows and fencing materials to meet the requirements of trade and domestic customers. It also benefits by having contracts to supply constructional and machined timber for one or two important niche markets in the UK and overseas.

North Yorkshire Timber's new Striebig Econom II vertical saw, shown with its extraction unit, is a real space saver.
North Yorkshire Timber’s new Striebig Econom II vertical saw, shown with its extraction unit, is a real space saver.

“Following the fire it has taken us several months to get back on an even keel again,” said Mr Williams. “We worked hard to ensure there was minimal disruption to our customers by pulling in stock from other branches and hiring delivery vehicles”

After deciding to split up the Northallerton operation the new 20,000 sq ft local branch, with covered storage space, opened at the end of February. A new 60,000 sq ft distribution centre in Brompton-on-Swale, near Catterick, that houses the newly equipped milling operation, will be fully operational by the end of March.

Striebig Vertical Panel Saws

A Striebig Econom II model has been bought for the new branch and a larger Standard II for the new mill, to replace the saw lost in the fire.

The company has two existing Striebig saws. An Econom II model, bought around 10 years ago for Northallerton is still going strong at Middlesborough, and a Compact TRK was installed in Sunderland as part of an ongoing development plan begun when the Joseph Thompson Timber operation was acquired.

They are used for panel sizing on hardwood, softwood, MDF and chipboard panels, ranging from 1220 x 2400mm up to 1830 x 3050mm.

Striebig Models

The Econom is a basic model offering high-precision cutting whilst the Compact series, with frame sizes starting at 10 ft x 5 ft, is ideal for smaller workshops or as a second machine in larger businesses. The mid-range Standard II comes in a choice of nine frame sizes, two frame types, two motor sizes and three extraction systems, amongst many other options.

Each machine is based on a single, fully welded sawing frame to give decades of reliable service whilst maintaining cutting precision.

“Being able to cut panels to the exact size required by customers adds value to our product offering,” said Mr Williams. “Striebig is our preferred vertical panel saw supplier. Each of our operations has its own cutting needs and size limitations and Striebig is able to fulfil all our size and throughput requirements.

“He said he had no hesitation in ordering the two latest saws.” I did make a price comparison but consider Striebig to be the very best there is. They are not the cheapest by far, but with their tough build, quality of cut and reliability they offer tremendous value for money.

“Mr Williams is delighted with the speedy service received from Striebig’s sole UK agents, T. M. Machinery Sales of Leicester, following the fire.” The saw was the very first piece of equipment we bought for our new Northallerton branch,” he said. “It was delivered and installed less than two weeks after we ordered it. This is the kind of service that makes me very happy, particularly after such a devastating setback.”

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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