Striebig demonstrates the art of sawing at university
The University of Northampton is the latest in a growing roster of educational establishments to benefit from the introduction of a Striebig vertical panel saw.
Its Wood Shop within the School of The Arts recently installed a Striebig entry-level Compact 4164 and staff are delighted with the numerous improvements it’s delivering.
Richard Hawkes, the technical demonstrator for Woods, spends a lot of his time sizing sheet material into components wanted by students for their creations. This covers a variety of wood-based panels – mainly plywood, MDF and chipboard – as well as acrylics and the occasional sheet of Perspex.
“We used a small table saw for panel cutting before but it was not the easiest way to do things,” he said. “The panels, measuring 8ft x 4ft or 10ft x 5ft, needed a great deal of manhandling to push them through the saw blade. Now it’s a simple job to place a panel onto the Striebig, which avoids a great deal of bending and back twisting.”
As well as the important health and safety benefits of reduced manual handling, Richard Hawkes said the other main advantages of the Compact over the table saw were its accuracy and ease-of-use.
“The accuracy is brilliant,” he said. “The Striebig gives us a much cleaner and smoother cut every time, which shows in the students’ finished work when compared with components cut on the table saw.
“It’s also extremely quick to set up and easy and safe to operate, so I really can’t fault it. The day it was commissioned I had a lesson from the machine’s installer and was perfectly happy to begin using it right after he had gone. I had a big smile on my face that day.”
With a cutting range of 3100 x 1644mm (10 ft x 5 ft) and a maximum depth of cut of 60mm, the Compact 4164 guarantees impressive dust limit values of well below 1mg/m3.
Richard Hawkes said the strip cutter supplied as an option with the saw was ideal for making fast and accurate repeat cuts when small pieces needed to be sized.
As an example of the time saving being achieved, he recently had to cut 88 8ft x 4ft sheets of MDF into 8ft long narrow lengths for a student’s installation.
“We stacked the sheets five at a time on the Striebig,” he said. “I reckon that doing the job on the table saw would have taken about five times as long. With sawing speeded up like this, I can now spend far more time with students to talk about their requirements.”
Due to its versatility the saw is also in demand to size sheet materials for students taking Architecture and Product Design courses.
The decision to buy the Compact was made by Dr Richard Hollinshead, senior lecturer, Sculpture and Spatial Practice, who has had extensive experience of using a Striebig at other educational establishments. “I knew how good they are and was perfectly happy to specify one for our Wood Shop,” he said.
Models in the nine-strong Compact series offer a cutting range from 3100 x 1644 x 80mm to 5350 x 2200mm. There’s even an automated cut cycle version, the Compact AV, which makes them even more productive.
All Compact machines are based on a single, fully welded sawing frame to give decades of reliable service whilst maintaining cutting precision. They can be wall-mounted or freestanding and can cut practically all wood-based sheet materials as well as timber, plaster board, plastics, composites and aluminium panels.
The purchase was part of an investment programme in new equipment prior to the School of The Arts moving into the university’s new £330m Waterside Campus, which is due to open in 2018.
Striebig saws are available from sole UK sales agent, T.M. Machinery Sales. They will be exhibiting on Stand B610 at the W16 Joinery and Furniture Manufacturing show at the National Exhibition Centre in October.
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