If Denmark’s Queen Margarethe were to direct her gaze upwards in Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen, she would see exquisitely designed and hand gilded cornices. These were produced by Pål Davidsson in Sweden, using a PH260 four-sided planer/moulder.
Pål took over his father’s joinery works in 2000, initially alongside his regular employment, and then on a full-time basis. He identified products that really struck a chord – deck tiles and other planed outdoor timber products made of Siberian larch.
He purchased a PH260 planer at just the right time, when larch was really making a breakthrough as an environmentally friendly alternative to pressure treatment.
“Customers were queuing up, almost tearing the timber out of the planer,” he remembers.
The joinery works is fully equipped with professional machines. The PH260 is used most of all, although there is also an MF30 milling machine. Pål calls this one the problem-solver: it is not used all that often, but does the jobs that the rest of the machines cannot manage.
Order from Denmark
But how do you win an order from Denmark’s equivalent of the National Board of Antiquities for mouldings to be installed in the royal Amalienborg Castle?
“I have a customer who often buys timber for his boat. He works in Denmark, and when they needed mouldings for the castle, he happened to think of me,” answers Pål.
The order proceeded in the usual fashion. Pål received test-pieces of the original gilt mouldings, ordered special blades, and calmly and carefully planed dense pine.
The quality demands are extremely stringent when wood mouldings are to be hand gilded with gold leaf. The surface has to be really smooth and the material of the very highest quality. It is not acceptable for the mouldings to warp or for the gilding to come loose after a few years.
But can such a simple and inexpensive planer as the PH260 really cope with such extreme quality requirements? The answer from Denmark is without hesitation ‘Yes’, where the gilt mouldings are now in place on the royal ceiling.