Striebig: The King of Wall Saws
King Cabinet Makers prides itself on creating handcrafted, bespoke furniture for the high-end residential and commercial market. With demand for its custom-made designs growing, the East Sussex-based business, which creates anything from yacht interiors and campervan fit-outs to luxury kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, has invested in its first Striebig vertical panel saw to help it work efficiently with MDF, plywood and specialist veneer.
“We had been using a table saw to cut sheets to size but, when working with sheets as big as 3 x 2.10 metres, it was proving challenging,” begins Bruce Horne, a Cabinet Maker at King Cabinet Makers. “The cutting process always had to be a two-man job – one man had to hold the material in place and another had to operate the machine. When cutting, I’d often find myself standing two metres away, which made getting an accurate cut extremely difficult. The heavy material would also flex while it was being cut. This not only caused a lot of strain on the saw and the scoring blade but often resulted in the material bowing and the material being wasted. It was very clear we needed a vertical panel saw to simplify the process.”
The company’s directors knew this was a key investment and extensively researched several brands, both on paper and through demonstrations. It was the Striebig’s Swiss build quality and mechanical framework that really stood out for them. “We didn’t want a machine that needed compressed air to work efficiently. We also didn’t want lots of gadgets that we wouldn’t use or that might hinder us in the years to come,” admits Scott King, Managing Director of King Cabinet Makers. “We needed a vertical panel saw that could offer us exceptional accuracy, ease of use and durability. It also needed to minimise Health & Safety risks and reduce heavy lifting. We decided on the Striebig Compact as we could see it would be a game changer for us and we were right.”
Delivered and installed within eight weeks, the saw was immediately put to work. It was the saw’s cutting quality and time-saving credentials that were first noticed by the operators. Bruce says, “On our old table saw, it was hard to get a really clean cut and we’d spend a lot of our time neatening cuts, especially on designs that required melamine door fronts. You don’t want to see an edge or any breakout. It has to be perfect on the back and the front. In order to achieve this before, we had to cut the material on the table saw, move it onto a plane, pass it over the plane and then put an edge on it. Now, we simply need to cut it on the Striebig and the job is complete. We no longer need to spend time edging or planing individual pieces because the Striebig’s cut is clean and sharp every time.”
The saw’s scoring blade has also had a positive impact on the time it takes to complete each project: “As well as MDF, we often use specialist veneers and decorative laminate boards that require a scoring blade to avoid chips and breakouts. Even when we used the scoring blade on our old table saw, we still needed to dress cuts afterwards. The pressure and tension on the blade also meant that the blade would go blunt very quickly and we were all aware that the more we sharpened it, the more frequently the blade would need to be replaced. The Striebig’s scoring unit has eliminated the need to finish each cut by hand and, in five months, we’ve only had to sharpen the blade once, saving us time and money. It’s certainly a robust piece of kit.”
The Compact model also makes light work of cutting large sheet material to size. “Handling large sheets on a table saw was never easy. Now, thanks to the machine’s rollers, once the sheet has been placed on the saw, the cutting process can be completed by one person. The saw can quickly and easily cut boards over two metres high and three metres long. We also use a wide range of thicknesses on the saw, including a special light weight material for yacht interiors which is 45mm thick. The saw holds the material in place and cuts through this with ease. We also have the ability to run multiple sheets through the machine at one time if we need to.”
The Compact’s automatic saw plunge and withdrawal facility have also proved particularly useful. “It allows you to cut large sheets easily without having to consider the practical constraints of working with such large panels. The mirror at the top of the frame is also really useful and allows easy and accurate maneuvering of the head.
“It’s equally as good making smaller cuts,” says Bruce. “We do a lot of very small rips when creating frameworks for carcasses. These are normally only 50 or 60mm wide and we tend to need 100 or more at a time. Now we have the vertical panel saw, we no longer have to double check every piece to make sure it’s the right size or finished to a good standard. We simply set the machine up once and we know every cut will be accurate and every corner will be perfect. It’s also ideal for making styles and door rails because you know every component will be perfectly straight.”
Scott adds, “On top of all this, the service we have received from TM Machinery has been great and the engineers were thorough in their training. Once installed, they went through all the different cuts we could perform – including cross cuts and rips cuts – and showed us how to adjust, fix and maintain the machine. Knowing this, we will not only increase the life of the machine, we will save money in the long run. We couldn’t fault them and we know if we need them at any time, they will be there for us.
“For us, the Striebig Compact has offered us a faster, more efficient way of working with paneled products. Quality is always at the forefront of what we do and the introduction of the Striebig has allowed us to achieve fantastic results more quickly. Its flexibility and ability to work on a wide range of traditional and modern materials offers us more design scope, which means we’ll continue to benefit from this investment for years to come.”