Finikiti Woodworks is a small business making all sorts of timber and timber related products as well as providing training to people wishing to learn about things wood!
Who are we and what do we do?
Finikiti Woodworks started a business in 2010 making small cottage type furnishings from South African pine and reclaimed Saligna and Oregon. Handyman services – repairs & maintenance – were provided to customers in Boksburg, Benoni, Brakpan and Kempton Park.
In 2012 the business relocated to premises in Benoni as a franchise license was purchased from Eureka Woodworks Inc. (of Dallas, Texas, USA) to manufacture their ‘Adirondack’ range of patio & garden furniture.
“This is the only franchise operation Eureka has in Africa and other than for another franchise in the West Indies, the approximately 500 other franchised businesses are all in the USA.”
Adirondack furniture is made from western red cedar timber (Thuja plicata) grown in well managed and sustainable forests in Canada. The pieces are fastened together with stainless steel hardware and imported polyurethane adhesive. Due to the poor rate of exchange (Rand to USA $), the cost of importing this timber has become prohibitive so alternative timbers have been sought.
We have found South African Saligna (Eucalyptus Saligna) an excellent alternative, possessing most of the properties western red cedar has – anti-fungal and anti insect infestation and attack! Finikiti Woodworks made the first batch of ‘Adirondack’ easy chairs in 2017 and has since supplied these to the Black Rhino Lodge in the Pilansberg Game Reserve.
The Adirondack range may also be made from red or white oak – a very hardy timber but also a very expensive alternative. Some chairs have been made from kiaat (or mukwa as we know it) a timber not as expensive as oak but also quite durable.
In terms of the franchise agreement and license granted, Finikiti Woodworks is required to adhere to methods and processes developed by Eureka to ensure that only the highest quality furniture pieces are made for sale.
Other products made by Finikiti Woodworks are manufactured primarily from SA pine, Saligna, and other indigenous timbers and on request, from exotic imported woods.
Although trained as a professional accountant with many years in private practice as well as service in the corporate scene, woodwork has always been a hobby and a passion.
Years earlier, while still living in Zambia, to furnish a school my wife and I started, I hand made school desks, chairs, benches, and other furnishings from pit sawn Mukwa (known in South African as kiaat). This was one of the only hardwoods available there suitable for making furniture – other timbers were too hard and brittle or just not available.
“I first became interested in woodwork as a youngster spending many hours in an uncle’s cabinet-making workshop – when it rained and fishing was out of the question!”
I continued with woodworking as a hobby when I moved to South Africa in 1984 and upon an early retirement decided to pursue the passion I had full time.
The producers of wood
Big or small these miracles of nature are amazing! They have great beauty as growing trees – their colours and hues changing with the seasons. Most produce amazing flowers – some produce fruit – some are homes to all sorts of creatures – all produce timber.
While some alternatives to wood exist, to a large extent we use wood (and will continue to do so for many years to come) as a source of food – for making paper – for providing heat – in buildings, in transport, in furniture, etc. No other natural product is so diverse!
We owe our lives to trees for they breathe in what we breathe out, and breathe out what we breathe in!