How we turn logs into wendy houses and garden sheds

You have seen all over our web site that we have a large facility. In this article we will show you what goes on there.

It all starts with logs

our wendy houses, garden sheds and dog kennels start with logs

Logs arriving ready to be made into your wendy house, garden shed or dog kennel

You cannot make good quality Wendy houses, garden sheds, kids play houses, dog houses, or kennels without good materials. The right grade and species of timber needs to be used for the right components. Without the right wood you have lost before you start.

It is such a crucial part of ensuring that you get the best possible unit that we do not trust it to anyone else.

Your unit’s timber is sourced whilst it is still growing. Using an extensive network of tree fellers we take advantage of the removal of unwanted trees and buy up all the suitable logs that we can.

We have been particularly busy of late buying up felled trees from the Southern slopes of Table Mountain. Table Mountain National Parks have been felling the old pine plantations above Constantia in order to return the slopes to their natural state. At first it seems like a bad thing to be felling trees but in this case it is essential. Our local species are not adapted to living in pine forests and so the plantations are actually tree filled deserts.

We also purchase Seligna and eucalyptus trees which are felled to make way for farming and development purposes. Again, these are introduced species that have a negative effect on the local balance of nature. They are tall trees that suck up a lot of water from the water table.

All three species are perfect for the different parts of a solid timber structure.

great wendy houses need quality timber- logs laid out for grading

logs being graded

The timber is delivered to our facility in log form. We prefer this because it allows us to use our experience to grade the logs correctly. For example, clean timber (with very few branches growing out of the trunk, meaning fewer knots) is required for frame components. The logs are laid out to allow them to season and at the same time we assign what they will be used for.

Cutting Components

When the logs are sufficiently seasoned we can start turning them into components. The first part of this process is done on our Bestbier log cutting machine. A log is placed within the frame and a large circular saw passes up and down the log, first cutting vertically and then horizontally. It cuts the individual boards that we will require.

wendy house and garden shed components being seasoned

from logs to components

The boards are then stacked for further seasoning. This is essential if you want a Wendy house or garden shed that doesn’t look like a crooked house out of a children’s story. Basically there is a lot of tension in a tree’s fibers. As the tree grows the fibers run in slightly different directions. In the tree it doesn’t really matter as the different tensions tend to cancel each other out. When a log is cut up into boards some of the tension is released, usually in an uneven fashion. By stacking the boards so that air can circulate around all sides, and with a degree of weight on top of the stack, the tension will settle down and the board has a better chance of staying straight. If this process is not followed the resulting boards stand a good chance of warping in some way or another, which if they have already being built into a structure will be catastrophic for that unit.

You need time and space to produce components yourself, something that not all manufacturers of Wendy Houses, garden sheds and dog kennels have. Which is why they buy components from a supplier. However, this means that they have very little control over the process and cannot guarantee the quality of the components that they use. We have the space and the resources to buy and store timber for as long as is required to make it perfect for use.

When we have the perfect timber for making our units we move into our factory and begin construction. Some components may require further milling. This is done on several industrial machines.

You’ve been framed!

wendy house and garden shed frames being constructed on a jig

Jig tables allow for quick and accurate assembly of frames

Once all the components are ready they are moved over to our industry leading construction facility. Our large facility means that we have the space to use specially devised jigs (a pre-made table that holds the components of a frame together while it is made) for the construction of our frames. Using jigs significantly reduces the time required to put a frame together and also ensures a higher accuracy and quality.

Working on purpose built stations, and having large production runs of units also means that we can invest in high quality production machinery. One example of this is the pneumatic nail guns that we use to put panels together. They are large, powerful units that can drive long nails through solid timber with such force that there is no splitting of wood, the nails are driven several mm below the surface making them less exposed.

Nailing with a hammer is slow and labourious meaning that less nails are likely to be driven in. The process also causes vibrations in the frame that can cause other nails to loosen. On top of this the wood around the nail tends to split and cause the nail to come loose over time.

wendy house and garden shed frames being oiled and left to dry

Finished frames are oiled and left to dry before further assembly

Having plenty of space in our factory means that we are not restricted to working on a few units at a time. There is no pressure on our construction system and we are therefore not tempted to cut corners.

One area where this is a particular advantage is in the pre-treatment of frames with penetrating oil. By oiling our frames before they are clad we ensure that your unit is fully protected. Further, by being able to lay the frames aside until the oil has had chance to fully penetrate the wood, we can ensure that all areas have been properly treated, allowing for further treatment if necessary.

Assembly

Wendy house and garden shed frames showing stud spacing

Frames awaiting cladding- note the spacing of the studs

Once all the frames of a unit are ready they are moved over to our prefabrication area where they are screwed together. We screw all our units together so that they are easier to break down and reassemble, no matter how many times it is necessary to do so. By preassembling units in our factory we can arrive on site sage in the knowledge that there will be no surprises like one frame being too big or small to fit to the rest. It also drastically reduces the time required to erect the structure, meaning less intrusion on you.

wendy house and garden sheds being constructed

All the stages in one shot- finished frames on the left are being clad on the right foreground before being assembled behind.

Once we are happy with the frame of the unit we can clad it with your choice of material.

Wendy houses, garden sheds and dog kennels are traditionally clad with pine boards, usually in an overlap style (boards placed horizontally with the one above overlapping the one underneath slightly).

These days pine boards are only one of several options for cladding timber frame structures. Nutec boards have been gaining in popularity for some time and are a step towards more long lasting units.

As with frame making our use of high powered pneumatic nail guns ensures a superior finish to the cladding boards.

Quality Control

Kids playhouse being finished off

Final assembly and then quality control- this is a kids play house

After cladding is complete the units go into quality control. Any defects, be they structural or cosmetic, that may have slipped through the normal quality checks at each stage of construction, are addressed now before the unit is shipped.

If our stringent quality requirements are met the unit is taken apart (remember those screws again) ready to be shipped to site where it can be fitted by our expert installers.

So size really does matter. The scale and scope of our operation mean two things, we can reduce production and installation times, and we can use a higher quality of timber without a significant increase in cost.

What that means for you is a better quality unit at a competitive rate.