May 272014

Some of the amazing Triton tools now powering the making of my hollow wood surfboards.

Triton Tools power up Burnett Wood Surfboards

This is a story about a man who asked a man about another man. The asked man phoned a third man that he knew, who just happened to be with the man that the first man was asking about. The two men spoke. They arranged to meet and the man drove in his car to go and see the man that he had been asking about.

Okay, the point I’m trying to make is that it might not have happened. Without a network of people who knew other people, with different timing and a whole range of other factors, if there had been a break in the chain above, perhaps things wouldn’t have come together like they did. I’m glad that they did.

After that initial meeting, the man went away. A while later, another man came along and had a look at my workshop and what I’m doing making hollow wood surfboards. He asked a few questions, went away and then a few weeks later another man arrived in a car packed with boxes, which he handed over to me.

Now, let me talk about tools for a paragraph. When I made my first surfboard, there wasn’t much to go with in the way of tools. No clamps, not much of a saw. A hammer and screwdriver, yes. But as it turns out those aren’t that useful for the fine art of making hollow wood surfboards. Towards the end of the first surfboard, I invested in my first power tool. It was a belt sander, loud and dusty and not long lasting. As my passion for wood surfboards took over, I began to invest in the best tools I could afford, slowly trying to build up what I had without breaking the bank. Wood surfboards are tough on power tools. Good tools are everything. And clamps. You can never have enough clamps.

Back to those boxes delivered to my workshop. Inside the boxes were the kind of tools one can only dream of. Distributed in South Africa by Vermont Sales, Triton Tools – the manufacturer of award-winning, precision power tools, workshop equipment and accessories – had seen fit to sponsor me with an absolutely epic selection of equipment.

It was a Friday and I spent the day unpacking boxes. All that was missing was a Christmas tree. There was a state-of-the-art router, a precision saw, a belt sander with variable speed control, a handheld belt sander, a handheld electric plane, a spindle sander, a Triton router table and a Triton work centre. There were also two Triton stands that are capable of holding just about anything from surfboards, to large pieces of wood, to smaller and more intricate workshop projects. And a dozen Bessey Kliklamps which the guys on my courses are going to love because they clamp with a single turn and release with a click. Great for gluing up rails.

Frankly, a month later, I’m still a little blown away. And I’m really grateful to the big guys at Vermont and Triton for stepping in and adding value to a small, craft-based business fueled by passion and love of the sea. Powered by my new range of tools, I know I’m going to be making some world class boards. The guys that make boards with me are also going to benefit from working with such great equipment.











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