Watching the Masters at Work
by Becky VandenBerg
Like most everyone at Almost Heaven Saunas, Becky wears multiple hats, including customer service and marketing responsibilities. She works out of the corporate office in Michigan.
I recently made my first visit to our factory in West Virginia, and one thing that impressed itself upon me the most was how busy, busy, busy it was. To the uninitiated with a birds-eye view (i.e. me sitting up near the rafters surveying the production floor below), it all resembled something akin to a Where’s Waldo book – a Where’s Waldo book that smells like cut wood and sounds like buzzing blades and nail guns.
In one corner there’s a group of workers assembling the round ends for the barrel saunas, using this really cool cutting tool to make a perfectly round circumference. In the opposite corner there are a couple stands that look like really large easels, and that’s where the panel sections for the indoor saunas are put together. Down the middle of the manufacturing floor are a couple stations for cutting lumber staves to their appropriate sizes and notching them so that they’ll fit tightly around the pre-assembled barrel ends. Tucked off in a side room is where all the glass doors and windows are assembled, and there are a couple stations for putting the benches together too – one running parallel with the back wall and one tucked away next to the glass room.
Beneath this hive of activity is another room, and a very important one at that. On the lower level there are two machines used to plane the lumber needed upstairs. One machine runs the hemlock and fir for the indoor saunas, and the other machine runs the cedar used for the barrel saunas.
It can be a lot to take in, but it’s fun to watch. Towards the end of the day, a neat grouping of boxed and palletized saunas sit in one corner to the right of the loading dock, waiting for the trucks to come pick them up and haul them off across the country. And so it goes, day after day after day.
We’d like to invite you to take a behind-the-scenes look at our operation. If you’re ever in the neighborhood of Greenbrier County, West Virginia, feel free to look us up. We’re also proud of our recently-opened display showroom in Holland, Michigan at 588 E. 40th St. To get directions to either location, give us a call at 888.355.3050.