Tenso Case Study: Northland Woodworks - Colonial Saw - Machinery, Sales & Service

Tenso Case Study: Northland Woodworks

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Quality woodworkers love a new challenge. This summer, Northland Woodworks of Blaine, MN supplied Sebastian Joe’s with a faux-waffle cone wall and other interior assemblies during a remodel.

The popular shop sells handcrafted ice cream and site-roasted coffee in the Lowry Hill neighborhood in Uptown Minneapolis. It also operates a store in the Linden Hills neighborhood. Matt Krig, co-operator of Northland, highlighted a hidden aspect of the project. He said Tenso self-clamping connectors by Lamello allowed his wood shop to more easily sell, test fit, map out and install the waffle cone wall.

“Tenso connectors allowed us to get in and out quickly by greatly reducing the amount of tools we needed on-site and limiting trips to the truck in a less-than-ideal parking situation,” Krig said. The original blueprints called for vertical seams on standard 4x8 sheets of plywood, but Matt Krig, owner of Northland Woodworks, knew that he needed to take a more creative approach.

There are a million ways to put it together” he said. “But how do you put it together in the shop, guarantee it is perfect, finish it all, and then install the job in the most efficient way possible?” Northland utilized a zig zag design for the panel joinery. “The panels are a waffle cone pattern, we could hide the seams better, and we didn’t even have to worry about the veneer being on the same plane.” Krig said. “We were able to run sample pieces on the CNC, connect them with the Zeta, and it really helped us sell the job. We were able to differentiate ourselves by doing that type of joinery. The architect was concerned about the joints on the panels and we were able to make them disappear.”

The wall panels are a rift sawn white oak veneer on a core made of Medex brand fiberboard by Roseburg. The satisfaction is evident, and the waffle cone wall has become a popular backdrop.

"The nice part about the joinery too is that it’s super consistent. By using the P-System in the zig zag, we didn’t have to spline or go along with the router and risk anything.” Krig also mentioned the ability to limit the use of bar clamps at the job site as an advantage. “We didn’t have to carry clamps in, which is probably one of the biggest complaints, putting dents in drywall or hitting the floors. A clamp falls over and dents one part of a sequence veneer job and you are starting over.”

Lamello’s P-System proved to be an integral part in making this a successful project. “It took fewer trips in and out, we were just going in and making the install. We are doing the money maker thing, instead of playing around with tools.” Krig said. “It allowed us to make panels as big as possible, done in fewer pieces, and that was the idea: to have as few seams as possible and to cover the wall as quickly as we could.”

And there was one other aspect about the job that Krig says can’t be overlooked. “The wow factor was worth something too, people underestimate that. Clients see these guys come in, do all these funky things on site and it’s not just about being efficient. It’s about impressing people at every step along the way.”

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