I do this for you
While other entrepreneurs are slowly thinking about retirement, Hans-Georg Kuhz is doing the opposite: the wood expert is founding a company. In his Thuringian workshop, he exclusively manufactures the wooden fronts for Relaxound sound boxes. With this, the long-time agent for woods once again entered uncharted territory. And to this day he is extraordinarily happy about it.
How did the cooperation start?
“One day I was standing in the car park in front of the Relaxound office and had a concept in my pocket. I wanted to use it to convince Dennis and Philipp (the two Relaxound founders),” Hans-Georg Kuhz recalls. “But actually it all started earlier … at first I only supplied the wood. These are wooden slats with a thickness of 3.5 millimetres, from which the design fronts of the sound boxes are made. The wood went through many hands until one front was finished. Then the question arose as to whether I could supply everything from a single source. That got everything rolling. I thought about what I could do myself, what machines I needed. I looked for suitable rooms for my wood workshop and calculated a unit price. Then I made a meeting appointment with Dennis and Philipp to present my concept to them. I wanted to convince them, show them: Hey, I’ll do it for you!”
How has production developed?
Mr Kuhz smiles. “I started as a one-man business. At least that was the plan. I am a trained model carpenter and have been working with wood all my life. I love wood. So I had the knowledge, but soon I had to look for reinforcements, there was always more to do. Currently I am supported by two experienced colleagues, and our workshop has grown from 65 to 180 square metres. We are a small woodworking shop that combines precise handwork with high-tech. We invest a lot in new precision machines. Our new lacquering line, for example, finishes the wooden design fronts of the soundboxes with a wafer-thin film of oil, which is then dried and UV-cured. This brings out the fine grain of the woods particularly well and keeps it beautiful for a long time.”
What is important to you in your work?
“Quality is the be-all and end-all for me. I buy the wood from family businesses in Bavaria. I have been working with many of them for decades. The sawmills have a long tradition, provide good jobs and deliver the best quality. Every log is from certified forestry that works regionally and sustainably. Processing this wood is simply fun. It is the basis for good craftsmanship. Gentle processing is just as important. With the new “Dark Oak” design fronts of the Birdybox, for example, we use only water vapour to elicit a warm tint from the oak wood. In a special steaming chamber, water vapour ensures a natural colouring right into the core. Unlike colouring stains, which only tint the surface, smell unpleasantly and stain. We have recommended the steam process. We are happy to make suggestions. Wood has so much potential. You just have to use it!”
What are your plans for the future?
“The first thing is to stay healthy, of course. New types of wood finishing are on the agenda: for the new Oceanbox, we proposed a maritime look, the wood should be reminiscent of old ship planks or driftwood. For this special vintage look, we tried out a lot in the workshop. Now we are about to go into production and I am looking forward to many new orders (laughs). Apart from that, sustainability plays a big role. We have a responsibility towards nature. For this reason, we want to get the most out of a plank of wood! After all, it takes around 50-60 years for a tree to mature. I think we still have many exciting ideas for the future. I am proud of our good cooperation over all these years, that is not a matter of course. I have put all my trust in Relaxound, we produce exclusively for this one company. Trust plays a big role there, otherwise it wouldn’t work at all.”
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