A good tinkerer never gives up!

Holz in Form Niedermeier Company, Germany
"If a workpiece is bigger than the carpenter's bench or round, keep away from it. It's not worth it," said grandfather Josef Niedermeier. Rupert Niedermeier did not follow his recommendation, and specialised in round wooden forms. His success proves that he made the right decision. The master carpenter and managing director of Holz in Form Niedermeier GmbH employs 20 people and manufactures wooden counters, desks and staircases for joiners, shop fitters, trade fair builders and interior fitters throughout Europe. Lamello's connectors are particularly helpful in his projects. In this interview, he explains exactly how he uses them and what he had to do with the Olympic Tower in Munich.

The P-System connectors have a low installation depth and are therefore optimal for workpieces with tight radii. As here with a wooden sphere with a diameter of 2 metres, made from over 380m² of oak veneer for a reception area (2020).

Lamello: Mr Niedermeier, despite your grandfather’s recommendation, you specialised in round workpieces. Why?

Together with my father, we worked in the workshop and offered classic carpentry. At the same time, though, we tinkered around with special, round forms. It was a lot of fun, and we became known for it among our carpenter colleagues. At the beginning of the 1990s, the idea came about to make the round workpieces our main business. Holz in Form Niedermeier GmbH was born out of this idea in 1999.


What has changed since then?

Customers' demands are becoming increasingly complex, and we take on new challenges every day to meet their wishes. This is incredibly exciting, and has led to many further developments. For example, we designed a special mould press for wooden boards. This allows us to shape the wood into almost any form. Today we can do things that weren't even conceivable three years ago.

The machines and connectors help us enormously in implementation, so much so that I'd put it this way: Lamello is standard equipment with us!
Rupert Niedermeier, Managing Director
Which machines play a role in your production process?

For many years, we have been working with 5-axis machines that we have configured for our needs. This allows us to implement more complex projects more efficiently. We also work with several Zeta P2 biscuit joiners and a Classic X biscuit joiner.

What has been your most elaborate project so far?

For the Olympic Tower in Munich, we produced an increasingly curved handrail for the stairs in the revolving restaurant. The customer wanted 9.5 metres of handrail as a single piece. It was so large that it had to be delivered by heavy transport. Once there, it wasn't clear at first how to get it up the tower. Fortunately, with the help of the transport lift, it worked out.

Your work requires creativity. What makes a good tinkerer?

A good tinkerer scrutinises everything and tests the physical limits. And they never give up! We were commissioned to develop headphone stands. We had a lot of ideas, but nothing worked. One of my employees said the project was now his baby, and got fully stuck in. He re-examined glue systems, machine settings and the flexibility of the wood. In the end, we created an incredibly fantastic result that we are very proud of.

We're looking forward to more exciting projects in the future as well. Thanks very much for the illuminating conversation!



When did you personally come into contact with Lamello for the first time?

As a young adult, I helped my father in the carpentry workshop. He was already working with Lamello machines at that time. Since we've been focusing entirely on round forms, the machines and connectors have been in use every day. Lamello has become indispensable not only with classic manual machines, but also with state-of-the-art CNC technology. The machines and connectors help us enormously in implementation, so much so that I'd put it this way: Lamello is standard equipment with us!

Why are these connectors particularly suitable for your work?

Especially for round wooden parts, the use of clamping tools is cumbersome. We can get around this with the Tenso connectors, as they enable quick fixing without the need for clamping tools. All of the other P-System connectors have a low installation depth as well, making them ideally suited for tight radii. The Clamex and the magnet-driven Invis connector are also easy to use and detachable. This makes assembly child's play for the customer as well. Another advantage is that we can work in the groove both on the CNC and with the manual machines. This offers a lot of flexibility in production.