Tuesday, July 30, 2019
When Heiner Schäfers and Aron Keidel, two enthusiasts of wood and beautiful wood products, met at the master carpentry school in Germany, a brilliant idea was formed. They started working together 10 years ago and today they run a truly unique business in Recklinghausen in Germany.
“We run our business on the former colliery property, that was founded in 1883, where the coal was mined until the 1970s,” Heiner says. “Some buildings of the former colliery in Recklinghausen have already been demolished and others are still standing as a place for entrepreneurs and craftsmen to run their businesses”.
Aron and Heiner run three companies. Lehmundo, that is specialized in clay building restoration is mostly Aron's field of expertise. Schreinerei Schäfers is a joinery workshop that is mainly Heiner’s responsibility. Together they also run a shop called Naturalis, where they offer ecological building materials and natural tree products.
“We are not the kind of carpenters who like to produce on a large scale. Our favorite work is building with solid wood and creating an individual design. Wood feels good, it’s warm, every piece of it can be worked on individually and one must have a little feeling to work with it,” says Heiner.
People often stop by Naturalis to buy some natural wood, paint or building materials. Aron and Heiner talk to their clients a lot and discovered how many people would like to build something out of wood themselves. One day, they came up with an idea of organizing carpentry workshops.
“Right now, we teach our customers how to make furniture out of wood. They can make their own piece of furniture with their own design during the workshops. People are fascinated by this process, from cutting logs to the finished product,” Heiner recalls.
Aron and Heiner focus on quality at every stage of production. It’s very important for them to use the highest quality wood in their workshop. For years, they've been buying oak wood from a trusted supplier and cutting it to the required sizes on their dependable Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill. But over time, it got harder and harder to buy appropriate, correctly dried oak wood. They came up with the idea of buying logs straight from the forest and preparing the wood themselves.
“Because the LT40 was working great for us, we decided to get another Wood-Mizer sawmill. Half a year ago, we bought the WM1000 to cut logs ourselves”, said Aron. “We cut the log into boards and then store it for at least two to three years to dry naturally before it can become a table or stairs. Products made of wood prepared this way are extremely durable and serve for hundreds of years,” he adds.
They chose the Wood-Mizer WM1000 sawmill because of its large capacity. “With the WM1000 we can cut very big logs. The biggest log so far was 1,7 meters in diameter. It’s hardwood, so logs are not only big, but also really heavy, and often we need two tractors and to load it on the sawmill. However, the machine is so robust that it can easily handle such logs,” says Aron.
The logs are sometimes decades old. They often contain metal pieces inside, such as nails or missiles from the Second World War. Even that's not a big obstacle for the WM1000 sawmill.
“When a blade hits metal it does not break and allows me to finish the cut straight. Repairing and sharpening a blade is not expensive and changing it on the sawmill is easy and fast,” Aron says.
Aron also values the way that the sawmill is built. “Because you are moving with the head, you are really close to the cut all the time and are able to see and control the process of cutting. It’s very useful,” he says.
“Setting up the machine and training took two days. All we needed to do was provide the space. Technicians set up the machine here on site, leveled and adjusted it and taught us how to operate. It was very well-organized, and it was all included in the price. Wood-Mizer has once again confirmed the quality of its products and service,” Aron says.
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