Meet Ben, one of Tait’s talented timber machinists. Ben proudly follows in the footsteps of three generations of makers and brings an eagle-eye for detail to each and every grain of timber passing through Tait’s factory. With a love-affair for making ingrained as a young boy, oftentimes he could be found tinkering away in either of his dad’s 3 sheds in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Ben even fondly remembers terrorising the neighbourhood on a go-kart he engineered and welded with his dad – complete with its own braking system and an old lawnmower engine. Having always worked with his hands in one form or another, Ben was a well-versed musician throughout most of his 20’s, later shifting his skillset to gaining a construction trade.
“I receive a lot of enjoyment from what I do, I love the products we make and the timbers we use. I’m a little bit pedantic when it comes to finishing the rocking rails of our Volley rocker, I sand them right back to the finest grit I possibly can. The difference isn’t visible to the eye, but for me, it’s about how the piece feels when you run your hands over it. That’s what you want to do when sitting in a piece of high-quality furniture, you want to run your hands over the entire piece. It’s that first impression when you touch it, of it being perfectly smooth. My OCD always gets the better of me in terms of finishing a product, it’s a real challenge for me to check it off the job list as done.”
“I sand them right back to the finest grit I possibly can. The difference isn’t visible to the eye, but for me, it’s about how the piece feels when you run your hands over it”
“Working with different timbers brings to light their own individual traits. Our Australian Spotted Gum is quite unique in that it produces a beautiful colour spectrum and gum vein between pieces, which I love. It requires some consideration when selecting which timber pieces which will sit side-by-side in the finished product – and also emphasises the fact that it is a natural material.”
“Our Accoya® is very lightweight and softer in comparison, while our Smoked Oak is quite dense due to its heat treatment, therefore both timbers bring about their own attributes when it comes to machining. It really comes down to understanding the nuances of each timber and working with it in a way that best showcases the personality of the piece. I really enjoy working with the Victorian Ash which we use in our Volley rocker rails. Each rail is laminated and then formed into a curve, it’s incredibly strong and a nice timber to sand and oil due to the beautiful depth of grain.”