Our wooden basins and bath tubs are some of the products that we are most proud of.
We spent many months researching joinery techniques, wood machining techniques, glues, finishes and other related subjects before we even started the design process. The basins all made from kiln dried Teak and Mahogany and are divided into three categories – turned, carved and assembled.
The turned basins are made with the stack laminating method, which means we build up various layers of rings until we have out turning “blank”. Each ring is made up of eight segments cut at accurate angles and glued into halves. These halves have their inner faces straightened and then glued again into rings. The bottom two layers are not actual rings but solid layers, allowing us to accurately turn the hole for the pipe fitting. We centre the rings on top of each other with a special jig and glue them in our presses using “marine grade” epoxy glue, which is a kind of epoxy that is much stronger than normal epoxies. We also mix in a special epoxy filler which is called “microballoons”, which turns the liquid epoxy into a paste which makes it more efficient and less wasteful. The making wooden bowls and basins by stack laminating is a time honored method that has been used for many generations, and we pride ourselves on the traditional and modern methods we use to make all our products.
Once the blank is complete, we fix it to our custom made bowl lathe, with which we can make bowls up to 1000mm in diameter. The outside is turned first, using our custom made tungsten tipped wood turning tools. We then flip the blank around and finish the inside, the outside and the design details of a particular model. Now the wood shavings really fly and this is where the craft and skill of our artisans really comes into play. It takes years of experience to wield the sharp tools against a rotating mass of Teak of Mahogany to produce the fantastic and elegant designs of our range.
The basins stay in the turner’s hands throughout the sanding process as well. Sanded down through the grits until they are super smooth and ready to go straight to the finishing department.
Our carved basins are made by a different laminating method. We cut the layers needed and after pre-cutting some of them to rough shape we glue them together using our marine grade epoxy. Once dry, we begin to shape the inside and outside. The bulk of the material removal is done with broad locally made carving gouges in the rough carving stage, and then we do the final shaping with power sanding machines.
We then thoroughly sand down through the grits by hand until the basin is super smooth, and we send it to the finishing department.
The assembled basins are made by machining components accurately with clever joinery. The standout feature of the assembled basins is the curved corner on the inside of all the joins. The basin panels mitre joints are strengthened by an internal spline, and a groove is cut from top to bottom near each corner to accept the corner pieces with their internal curve already cut into them. The floors are shaped to allow water to run out and fit into a groove of their own. Great skill is required to cut the components and glue all the pieces together into a single unit. Marine grade epoxy is used again here. After drying the glue is cleaned up and the basin is machine and hand sanded until super smooth for finishing.
Our Teak and Mahogany bathtubs symbolize the way we like to use traditional woodworking methods in our modern designs. This is illustrated by our use of fully hand cut dovetail joints in the assembly of our bathtubs. Our most popular tubs make use of angled dovetails which add one more level to the difficulty and the beauty. Careful preparation and marking out of the panels is the key to success here, along with some very careful saw and chisel work. The assembly of the panels is a one chance only deal. The joints have to go together perfectly the first time or the bathtub will be flawed, and they always do due to the care of our artisans. Once dry and cleaned up, the pre-shaped floor is inserted from the underside to sit on its leak proof rubber gasket. Finally, the foot or plinth is attached and the whole assembly is lovingly shaped and sanded down through the grits until it’s ready for our finishing department.
BASIN and BATHTUB FINISHING
This is where the magic really happens and the wood gets its special treatment and the wood comes alive. We use a very special finishing material on all our wooden bathroom products that makes the wood impervious to water. It is a kind of polyurethane lacquer that soaks right into the wood and forms a bond with it on a molecular level. We apply six coats of this finish, and with every coat the holes in the molecular matrix get filled up and moisture transfer into and out of the wood can no longer occur. This means that wood coated in this way is virtually waterproof and resists all regular soaps, shampoos and other products normally found in the bathroom. This finish is really allows us to do what we do with wood in the bathroom. Ten years ago a finish like this didn’t exist and so now we can do things with wood that we previously never thought was possible.
The only products that you have to be careful with are abrasive bathroom cleaners, caustic bathroom cleaners and hair dyes which may cause stains. To clean your basin or bathtub just use soap and water and a cloth or a sponge. If you have any areas that need extra cleaning, just use a plastic bristled scrubbing brush. Our wooden bathroom products will serve in the bathroom for many years, and they will take on a patina of their own as they age, but be assured that the reliability is guaranteed.