George Morgan is a true craftsman. He takes great pride in his work, chooses the best materials from local sources, prepares them with care and machines them with precision. His furniture and interior joinery work is bespoke and of exceptional quality.
On the one hand, George is a true traditionalist – he loves working with fine, local timbers that he kiln-dries himself and is wellversed in the art of furniture-making; but unlike many traditionalists, he’s very open to new technology, especially if it enables him to produce a better result and it provides a tangible commercial advantage. With Lamello he’s found both. “Lamello has always helped my business,” says George. “From the start, we’ve had the classic biscuit jointer. It’s great, 100% efficient, reliable – there’s nothing to beat biscuits for joining panels and solid woods. Everyone uses biscuits for standard panel location, but Lamello has brought out new products that go a lot further. One of the cleverest is the Clamex, and it’s really pushed our business to another level and given us a massive productivity benefit, especially in terms of speed of assembly.
“If we’re making fitted furniture and going to site, we can build everything up on a dry Clamex fixing in the workshop, knock it down, take it to site, put glue on and it’s perfect. Before, we used screws, which were fine in the workshop, but you can’t guarantee you’ll always be able to get the screws in when you are on site because you don’t always have the space. The ease of location and the efficiency that Clamex has given us on site is brilliant. It’s increased our profit because we’re on site less time, it’s given us guaranteed accuracy and it’s made things a lot more efficient. It’s changed the way we look at things. “The stairs we’re making have been fixed with Clamex. We would have had to glue up the panels square, then make the cut-outs to glue the treads, then glue them together. Now, with the Clamex we can cut everything out, blind fix it from underneath and be sure of a perfect joint because the pressure the fixing exerts across the joint is fantastic. It knocks days off a job like this and on some jobs we’ve saved a week or more.”
In an age when everybody wants to cut costs, it’s very easy to look at the cost of a fixing and justify not using it because it adds to the cost of the finished product. George is adamant, this isn’t the way to look at it: “If you use 20 fixings on a job that save you three or four days work, you don’t have to be a genius to work out it’s a good product and it’s going to save you money. The jointing machines are quite expensive but they’ve paid for themselves ten times over now. If you get a diamond blade it will cost more but it will last longer and you only need one blade for all the Clamex fittings. That’s great because it means you only need to take one hand tool with you on site. It makes things really quick and easy. You have to be bonkers if you’re a small workshop and you’re not using this system. It has changed the dynamic of our business completely.”
In addition to a Lamello Zeta P2 hand tool for cutting the T-slots needed for the Clamex, Tenso and Divario fittings George uses most, he’s also invested in three Profila air tools and equipped one with a 3mm radius tool, another with a 1mm radius and the third with a chamfer. “Lamello’s Profila air tool is like a little router that runs on compressed air,” he says. “It spins 3mm radiuses to little rebates and chamfers and it’s really light and easy to use and very quick. If you’re doing a finish on the outside of a board, you just pick one up and whiz it along. You can use them for trimming edge veneers, for flush trimming, etc. We leave them set up with the cutter and they’re a lot quicker than a normal hand router to use.”
George has also invested in several plastic Lamello cases to carry the hand tools and the various Lamello fittings he uses. “They’re great, especially on site,” he says. “They interlock with a T-lock so you can carry three or four at once. The ease of just taking them with you is great.” Back at the workshop, he unclips them and slides each one into a library close to the work benches. “I really like the Lamello ethos,” concludes George. “They’re very nice people, they’re very concerned and they think things through and really do care about the product. If you believe in them, it rubs off on your business. They’re a nice company to be involved with. They look after their workforce and they really look after their clients.”