Not all teaching takes place in the College classrooms, and this was the case for a group of Carpentry and Joinery students, who recently visited a bespoke staircase manufacturer in East Lothian to learn about the construction methods used within the company.

The Carpentry and Joinery Advanced Craft class spent the day visiting Angus and Mack Ltd, a hardwood carpentry and design company, to help get a greater understanding of bespoke staircase construction, using both solid and veneered hardwood, and laminated ply components, all used in the manufacture of geometrical staircases.

The students were given demonstrations of the various techniques involved in making staircases, including the use of templates to shape the hardwood treads, and structural veneers applied to the curved built up ply stringers with the use of a vacuum bag. They also looked at the use of bendy plywood to construct risers for bullnose steps.

As well as the demonstrations, they were also given a tour of the factory woodyard and kiln drying area by Workshop Manager Robbie Reid, before moving on to look at the wide range of machinery used on current projects.

As part of their course, the students are undertaking stair construction, so this was an extremely useful and worthwhile visit, and the students will hope to take their newfound knowledge and apply this to their studies.

Curriculum Learning Manager Andy Winwood commented:

“Being part of the curriculum, this was an excellent opportunity for the students to widen their knowledge in staircase construction. It was great for them to see first-hand the processes and construction techniques used at Angus and Mack, and this will no doubt benefit their studies greatly. Speaking to the students, they spoke of the visit as being inspirational and most beneficial. We would like to thank Angus and Mack for the experience.”

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