Friday, 11 April 2008

We supply North Sails

As well as supplying the many other componants that go to make a boat,we can also supply North Sails with our boat kit orders,this is an agreement we have that allows us to supply to only those who have placed a boat kit order with us,large or small,we can supply your North Sails,either with the original order,or at a later stage when your boat kit is built and ready for the water.

Export is our business

We have continued to become ever aware that we are not quite as far from others than was once thought,on a global basis we are really quite central,early morning emails see enquiries from the east and as the day wears on, from the west,its not unusual to have us do quotes to three or four different countries in any one day,they can be from as small as an Optimist Dinghy to as large as a HD55 sailing catermaran,all are treated equally I might add.Packing became a big thing in our early years,reports of goods only just arriving in their best condition,soon had us reviewing and up grading our packing routine.We now tripple wrap all timber bundles of stringers and machined timbers,the plys and epoxies are crated and steel band strapped,this is not inexpensive but at least the order you place will arrive in good condition,either way we place insurance on each kit or order shipped,which we are proud to say is now to seventeen countries world wide.

Add ons to our kit orders

We have continued to supply extras to our normal CNC plywood and epoxy kits, ever since we built the very first two Didi Mini Transats ever launched.They became a full engineering package,complete with mast,sails,deck packages and keel and lead ballast sets too.We have the moulds to make the lead ballast to the Didi Minis plus the Didi 26 too,others on request.Packing and shipping has been a large part of what we do,its very important that what we sell we pack correctly,here we have a pair of Lead Ballast halves to a Didi Mini kit that we sent to New York,USA,inside the crate is some extra epoxy to finish the build.All such crates are steel straped and correctly banded for safety.

Owner builders

We have supplied kits to seventeen countries now and its true to say we hardly ever get to see what we supplied,finished and close enough to touch! Nick Fairly prooved the exception to this when he launched his Didi 34 'Nandi' last year.I was quite surprised to see him in Hout Bay harbour that afternoon,How did you do its so fast?' I asked him, 'It was your kit he replied',the standard of Nicks finish is just an eye opener,check it out if you can.

Kayak Cutting

Some folk may wonder what a CNC machine is,or indeed looks like,the three letters CNC stand for Computer Numerical Control by the way,this is a machine that in our case has three access controls,so it can move in many directions,even to do 3D work,such as in our Rudder and Foil cutting,the cutting table on the machine we use is 4mtr long by 2.1mtr wide,thats quite a large size and as we have a Supawood table below the panel being cut,we can cut right through the panel,giving a super neat and clean cut.

Fancy Shopfitter Works

We will take on just about any CNC work,given we either have your design in a compatable file,or we can take your basics and produce our own files to your approval,much of the Shopfitter work is on MDF (supawood) or Chipboards of various types.Signwork can also be cut into any workable panel,hard and softwoods included.

Foils and Rudder Shaping

Probably not well known is the fact that we have done many Rudders and Foils,either just the CNC shaping of the blanks,which are then supplied as extras with one of our kits,or as fully machined,shaped and glassed and ready for painting by the customer.This service saves a lot of time and maybe soul searching for those who feel they are not quite ready to shape such items.

Pint sized Landrover

This one was very different to our normal kits that float,we were asked to take a set of drawings and convert them to a reduced size Landrover.The drawings were already laid out for home construction and include the electrics to make the car move,its a 12volt battery and a Starter motor,simple stuff.As is the way we looked at the drawings supplied,we used our normal Finger Joints where ever we could,this speeds up the build process and also means you dont have to fiddle with all the wood cleats that are required otherwise?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Hard or Rigid Top Spray Dodger

Work started some weeks back on a new idea,we have to replace an existing cockpit spray dodger thats made out of canvas,with a stainless steel support frame,to be fair the canvas has done ok but at six years old,its past its best.

The brief to make the hard dodger,was that it must blend in with the boat it will be fastened to,so the windows take their form shape from the existing ones on the boat in question.Making this from scratch and on the boat seemed a long way about doing things,it also seemed like a good way of making it wrong? So we made a full size mock up in the factory,chopped and changed it,then took it to the boat for a quick fit.

Did I say quick? the half hour I expected it to take to scribe the plywoods lower edges to the cabin roof,soon became two and half hours work,the boats owners wife was there,she had her own ideas on what the new dodger was to look like,so we cut and chopped the demo unit some five times, only then were we allowed to take some pictures and I must say the lady was right ( its my wife by the way) We then took the much revised rig back to the workshops and re worked the windows to a new style and size,what we have now looks good and we will soon offer SPRAY DODGER KITS.........sounds easy,well it was the way we did it and I am really pleased we did it the long way.

The roof is pre glued and curved on a special CNC cut jig,we use three layers of 5mm Superform bendable plys,plus epoxy to glue that to bond as one unit,the roof panel sets over a weekend,we then remove it from the jig,take the jig apart and store untill the next order. The part the supports the roof is made from 15mm Ockume Marine Plywoods,the sections are precut to shape,even the window recceses are pre cut,we will offer toughened glass 6mm thick in either clear or a light smoke shade.

With the design now near complete and in the computer,we can resize what we have designed to be larger or smaller,so we can resize to fit most boats,sail or power,prices will come out in a short while.


Tuesday, 8 April 2008

None boat stuff

From time to time we are asked to re make the wood works to classic and historic cars,as we have the machinery and materials to do this and if time allows,we normally get invloved.This can be a simple as a re spray of the wood trims to Jaguar,Singer Chamois,Sunbeam,Truimph or Mercedes interiors,for this we use special UV stablised twin pack laquers and produce a really high gloss finish.

The most normal works we do, are wood parts to historic cars,MGs,Riley,Sunbeam,etc one such car was a 1934 Riley sports saloon,it was found bricked up in a Cape Town garage,complete but a mess,it needed a new White Ash timber frame work making.We did that part in due time,two months plus I seem to remember,the car then went off to an assembly specialist and is now complete and in Germany.

At this time we have a very original 1928 Sunbeam series 20, 3 ltr in our factory,the last three weeks have seen us making it new marine ply floors,plus a whole host of stablisation of its quite original timbers,we use epoxy to do this,its a clean method and easily soaks into loose joints making them sound once more,the car will soon be off to the motor trimmers for the next stage of its restoration,now into year eight I believe,while it was driven with a bare chassis in 2006,it has not driven on the road with its saloon body in fifty years!

Only yesterday I was contacted re a very sad looking 1911Sunbeam,its a chassis and a set of wheels,we think the engine and gearbox were close by,its been lying in the open this past couple of decades but given its close to 100 years old,maybe this is in order,watch this space for further news on this car.

Note,we now have expert advice that the rusting chassis in the picture may be a later model than the 1911 version,we will know more when we take the road trailer out and bring it back to the factory?

24,04,2008 its confirmed to be a 1922 Sunbeam 14hp chassis and is now cleared from the bush and loaded on a road trailer to Cape Town,a trip of some 2389 kms,


We also have a program to design and build,a Sports Tourer open top Sunbeam body on an existing circa 1928 Sunbeam 20 spare chasis,this will follow the lines of other similar period Sunbeams and Bentley sports,it will be a CNC cut plywood space frame construction,all scaled direct from pictures of original and existing cars,the body frame we produce can be either skinned in light alloy sheet or using our specialist water proof Superform exterior bendable plywoods,once on our computer the body will be available as one of our CNC kits for either proffesional or home assembly.

Watch this space or contact me for progress.

phone 021 5107206
Cape Town


A busy first quarter

We have seen a busy first three months,always nice to start the year well,so thanks for all of you who have supported us,its a nice thing to see the new customers and the return of previous ones.We even have one customer planing ahead,knowing we will soon see prices rise yet again,he paid for his six sheets of 6mm Deluxe Light Ply up front,as collection right now is not possible,as he is flat on his back after a back opperation! Mike get well soon please,your order is labled and in stock.

Enquiries continue to come in for the services of Digicut CNC services,who are now serving us from their own premises in Noordhoek,the problems of collection and delivery have been sorted out,our suppliers will deliver materials to them and as Digicut now have a long wheel base truck of their own ,most orders can be moved as required,you will be expected to pay a small fee for this of course.

Superform bendable plywoods are still opening new doors,we still find boat builders and shopfitters who have never seen it,yet we have been importing bendable plys for the better part of twenty years and its always a surprise to find those who know nothing about the product,you can find information on the Superform plys on our web site.Retail agencies are available.

Flexible veneers are an other quality product we have handled for many years too,nearly as long as the bending plys,the factory makes to our order,each batch is per customers requirements,flat cut,quarter cut and book matched panels are available,they have eighty wood species on file,they will also do orders as small as five sheets,delivery is by air,sheet sizes are the old 8'x4' (2240mm x 1220mm) the veneer is on a waterproof paper backer,with the veneer face pre sanded,all you do is apply it,either with contact of cold glue,depending on the job at hand? We do carry about ten species in stock at most times.

See you in the next news Blog,