Based in Edenbridge, Oliver James Furniture designs and creates high quality bespoke furniture for the kitchen, bedroom or any room in the home and undertakes commissions typically all over London and across England’s home counties.

The company’s beautiful bespoke joinery is handmade and fully fitted, whether it’s a fitted contemporary kitchen or a free-standing period bookcase, the Oliver James Furniture team has the requisite bench skills to design practical, stylish and long-lastings solutions to its customers’ exacting requirements.

Oliver James Furniture’s managing director Gary Bishop says the company works closely with its clients to ensure each design is unique and reflects their individual style and personality. Each piece of furniture is hand-built by our craftsmen to exacting standards using only the finest quality materials.

The Alpha-Brush Inifity sander is robust, performs well and boasts a compact footprint

“Our stylish designs are tailor-made to suit customer’s tastes, needs and lifestyle, be that traditional or contemporary. We pride ourselves on meticulous attention to detail,” says Gary, “and all our furniture is made on site in our modern, well-equipped workshop using a combination of traditional bench skills and a range of classical machinery all finished to our trademark high standards.”

The Alpha-Brush Infinity sander significantly reduces the manual workload and achieves first-rate results

Until recently, the Edenbridge-based firm used a variety of sanding techniques to achieve the desired finish on cabinet doors, including time-consuming hand de-nibbing processing. Gary knew this was a situation which was important to be done well, but in doing so it tied up highly skilled craftsmen doing what is a fairly tedious and mundane task – a solution needed to be found to create a better efficiency whilst maintaining the company's high standards of finish.

Above: Gary rates the easy access for cleaning, maintenance and to change sanding media

Having seen a possible solution online, Gary reached out to Ian Brown, MD of Newark-based International Woodworking Machinery regarding an Alpha Brush Infinity Twin-headed sanding. Enquiries were made and it appeared that this was just what Oliver James Furniture was looking for. 

But before going any further, Ian Brown suggested Gary dispatched some of his door frames and cabinet doors to be tested on the Alpha-Brush showroom machine – as he hoped, the samples came back in perfect order. Taking that on trust, Gary placed the order for a 1000mm wide 2S version which features two sanding units: the first unit was fitted with twin-railed longitudinal flap heads, and the second had unit twin rows of orbital flap heads to deliver an optimal finish – perfect for Gary to more efficiently deliver the high quality finish his customers demand.

In terms of what this means for Oliver James Furniture, Gary says: “Before we got this Infinity sander, we had two guys spending a considerable amount of time on and off doing this laborious task by hand. With the Alpha-Brush machine it’s very simple to operate and maintain, and the work is done so much quicker.”

The Infinity machine is described as ‘the perfect solution for small- to medium-sized companies’ and is built with heavy duty frames, motors and components for years of demanding use. The Infinity  is available in three sizes – 600, 1000 and 1350mm wide – and can be supplied with one, two, three or four sanding stations.

The machines have separate adjustable speed control for each unit as well as for the conveyor. The height adjustment is achieved by turning a hand wheel is measured down to 0.1mm with electrical counters. The Alpha-Brush machines come as standard with 2.2 kW motors, but can be upgraded up to 11kW, depending on application. They also come fully prepared with a vacuum table outlet so an external vacuum fan can easily be connected. The two sanding units are easily accessible for maintenance, removal and storage as required.

Asked what he liked about the machine, Gary said: “It’s already making a big difference to our business – it’s robust, straightforward to operate and maintain and doesn’t take up much room in the workshop – couldn’t imagine being without it! I would have no hesitation in recommending the machine – and Ian’s team at IWM.”

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