How it’s made
We work with super African hardwoods, mainly our favourite Zambezi Teak, that grow wild in natural forests all around us. We also find old growth plantations that have gone feral, and if we are very lucky come across some reclaimed timber from old bridges, railway lines, factories that were built in the early part of the 20th century or late 19th. These timbers have natural features such as knots, growth cracks, varied grain and colour, that give them great charm. Don’t worry about this natural character – we would never let them affect the integrity of an African Touch masterpiece!
Our craftsmen have been part of the team for over 20 years (they are all partners in the workshop) and together we have trained in traditional woodworking skills, and become experts in producing very accurate and strong wood to wood joints (even if we say so ourselves) such as mortice & tennon, dovetail & sliding dovetail, expanded tennon, half lap and so on. These joints, provided they are well constructed, provide the strongest possible wood furniture joints. The glues used are always tested to ensure that the bond is stronger than the timber used to make the joint.
Our timber is damn hard and durable (just pick up one of our Zambezi Teak products and this will be abundantly clear by the weight!) The upside is that the furniture will last forever if looked after, but the downside is that it is a real challenge to work. Through years of trial and error we have learned to handle it (our secrets – but we can tell you that all our tools are tipped in tungsten carbide just to be able to perfectly cut a joint or mould an edge).
African Touch products are made with solid hardwood throughout. No cheating with plywood or other travesties for hidden components such as drawer bases or backs of cabinets. No horrible veneers on manmade boards for us! Where fittings are used, such as hinges or drawer slide, only the best quality solid brass or stainless steel imported components will find their way into an African Touch product!
Finishing is another story. There is no substitute for elbow grease, but on timber this hard it takes a lot of time, care and hard slog. Because the timber is so hard, it is quite brittle and delicate corners, etc are prone to chipping. Hence the reason it will take several days to finish a piece, using increasingly fine sandpaper, until the perfect finish is achieved (particularly for our top of the range Victoria Falls Collection).
The Victoria Falls Collection is our premium range of tables, bedroom and office furniture. Here we display a few products but please do not hesitate to contact us for your bespoke requirements or for ideas and samples of other designs we have done in the past.