From humble beginnings in 1989, deVOL has grown into a renowned, design-led manufacturer of bepsoke kitchens, interiors and bedrooms, all designed and built in Leicestershire.
The company is continually moving forward, as shown by its purchase of Cotes Mill, an historic 16th century water mill, which now boasts four floors of showrooms displaying not only the company’s four kitchen ranges but an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, gifts and unusual homewares all sourced and bought especially for Cotes Mill.
In 2013 bathroom cabinets were added to the company’s Shaker range, part of the continual process of designing new pieces to add to the company’s ranges.
In 2014 a showroom opened in Clerkenwell, London, and in 2015 the Sebastian Cox Kitchen was launched: a kitchen that utilises sustainable British timber combining good taste, modern innovation, traditional techniques and true inspiration.
Managing director, Robin McLellan, is always seeking that extra 1% of performance that will enhance the quality of the company’s offering. As part of this process, deVOL invested in a Kündig Premium-3 1100 RRP sander, delivered and commissioned in September 2015.
deVOL had already had a wide-belt sander, explains Robin, but it was a five-year-old twin belt sander which was second-hand when bought, and after a pass through the machine each component also needed to be sanded by hand. “The company is growing, we were up 48% last year, so we are continually trying to improve the quality of the product and make sure the processes are as efficient as possible.”
Robin continues: “In the search for a new sander, we worked through Markfield Woodworking Machinery (MWM), with whom we have a long standing relationship. We have bought a lot of machinery from them in the past, and they introduced us to Kündig Ltd and to the company’s Carl O’Meara.”
The Kündig sander was one of several that deVOL investigated, Carl says: “Robin went to see an example of one of our machines working locally to him at Wreak Valley Craftsmen (who have a Premium-2 1100 RE with vacuum belt) where I met him with our area representative, Mr Gavin Cooper of MWM, and we went through the machine and carried out various demonstrations using different grit configurations on a selection of kitchen doors and components brought by Robin for test purposes.
Following further trials using the demonstration machine at our works, Robin ordered a new Kündig Premium-3 1100 RRP sander.”
Robin says: “We tried a variety of machines, and the Kündig sander was the one we had the best experience with finishing-wise. We were aware of their reputation, and wanted to get the best machine on the market.
“The advantages of the Kündig were all very subtle things, and that is often the case with fine finishing. These subtleties become quite critical in creating a finish that is spot on compared to one that is 99% there. We just wanted to make sure we got the belt and braces right.”
Robin highlights as a particular advantage the fact that this is a three belt machine with a roller-roller-pad configuration, and credits this as one of the reasons that further hand finishing is no longer required.
The sander is used to sand doors, including maple doors, worktops and countertops, plywood carcass material – in fact, most things used in the kitchens and other furniture ranges will pass through the Kündig sander. “We require a particularly high finish on the doors, and the Kündig sander gives that,” says Robin.
Kündig’s Premium range is especially designed for the sanding and finishing of solid wood and panels, including veneers, and can be configured for lacquer sanding. The sanders are designed to be easy to operate, with a well-designed control panel. An often-quoted advantage is the fact that it is the sanding heads that rise and lower, rather than the workpiece. Kündig engineers design and manufacture the sanders in such a way that they should give reliable service for many years to come.
When asked if he would recommend the Kündig sander, Robin replies: “Yes, it is lovely.” He continues: “One of the big reasons for buying the machine was because we had worked through MWM previously and had a good relationship with Gavin. There is a lot of trust there, and in addition to our own assessment of the machine, Gavin’s recommendation was key. We received excellent service both from Carl O’Meara and from MWM.”
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