Saturday, April 20, 2013

On the Road - Briggs Veneers

Following on from our last visit there, this time I remembered the camera! Briggs Veneers is, as the name suggests, a company that supplies sheets of timber veneer. Normally we buy veneer already glued up to a substrate (eg ply) but if you are going to curve it, then you need it loose before you wrap it around a jig and clamp it in place. 

So having been engaged by Architectus to provide two semi-circular lecterns for the Department of Finance in their new home at 1 Bligh Street, it was back to Briggs again to sift through the individual sheets of Tasmanian Oak veneer to find the few perfect sheets for this special commission.

Briggs has been around since 1908, and descendants of the original Mr Briggs are still involved in the company. They offer 140 different kinds of veneer from sustainably managed forests. Big thanks to the guys for letting me snoop around the shop floor and especially Greg for explaining how it all works.

Adam and Stu going through the Tassie Oak sheets

Rolling the selected sheets up 

Greg in front of the individual strips of timber after they have had the glue applied to their edges and before they are stuck together in the machine.

 Feeding the strips of timber into the machine where they are stuck together

 Close up of the same process, on a different machine

Once the individual strips have  been glued together to make the sheet then any gaps/imperfections are mended with timber flakes and a heat gun

Some of the machines have been in use for over 30 years. Mr Ruckle knows his stuff!