Restoring Australia’s Largest Copper and Brass Door with Haulotte Star 10

In this interview, Richard Jenkins, founder of Razoo Polishing, shares insights into their recent restoration project involving the largest copper and brass door in the southern hemisphere, highlighting the role of Haulotte’s Star 10 in their success.

Building a Network of Polishers Across Australia

Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins began Razoo Polishing in Melbourne with a vision to revive the art of metal polishing, an old-world artisan trade. “Razoo Polishing started off as just myself polishing brass and copper across the city of Melbourne, Australia. The Razoo uniform is deliberately styled to look like from the 1920/30s era, which always draws a crowd and was intended to create something memorable as it’s very much an old-world type of artisan trade,” Jenkins explains.

Recognizing a gap in the market for specialists in Architectural Metals, Jenkins founded Razoo to connect polishers and build a network that supports and trains the next generation. “There needed to be someone or some entity that could connect all these polishers together and build a network of polishers so they can work together and create opportunities for the next generation of polishers: that’s how Razoo was born,” he says.

QT Melbourne: A Strategic Restoration Project

QT Resorts, a renowned hotel brand in Australia, embarked on a project to restore the largest copper and brass door in the southern hemisphere at QT Melbourne. Jenkins describes the unique appeal of the site: “The QT Melbourne is a unique site, thanks to its massive copper façade with brass. It is actually the largest copper and brass door in the southern hemisphere.The goal was to restore the façade to its original look from 10 years ago and maintain its appeal.”

The task was entrusted to Brian James, a Razoo Network member known as « The Copper Doctor. » Jenkins highlights the challenges faced: “The challenge was maintaining consistent pressure on the wall at height. We used the Star 10 for its stable work platform, essential for the project’s success given the façade’s height of over eight meters.”

“Brian James and Paul Martini have done a phenomenal job in restoring the Copper and Brass to its original finish. They are a pleasure to work with and have taken meticulous care in their work. It is truly a specialist trade requiring the right mindset. I look forward to collaborating with them in the future”.

Inspiration Behind the Project

Razoo aims to lead in commercial projects involving architectural metals.Razoo is trying to be a leading commercial provider for any scale project across Australia, especially architectural metals, such as copper, brass, and bronze. Currently, there is a notable absence of commercial-level polishing and maintenance services for architectural metals in the country, presenting a significant opportunity for Razoo to fill this gap,” Jenkins notes.

Their successful work for the Sofitel Hotel paved the way for the QT Melbourne project. Jenkins elaborates, We organized all of the lifts, permits, consumables, council approvals, negotiated cost and so on, to make the project happen.”

The Haulotte Star 10: The Ideal Candidate for the Project

Initially considering a 9.7m scissor lift, Razoo switched to the Star 10 due to practical constraints. “We needed something that was going to be more agile, to get into a tight spot. The spot is quite difficult to get everything in, because once you get up to a certain height, there’s other pieces that you must avoid,” Jenkins says.

After consulting with his team, the decision was clear: “They all recommended to get the Star 10, so that’s what we went with. The main concern was applying pressure on a wall consistently, and from the team’s feedback Haulotte’s Star 10 was the best fit for the job.”

Jenkins praises the agility and flexibility of the Haulotte Star 10, which proved crucial for the project. “The fact that the Star 10 is very nimble and agile, and not having to do a full scaffolding setup are the main reasons that prompted our choice. A lot of projects that require facade maintenance or restoration, if it’s long term enough, make sense to do scaffolding. However, there are problems with scaffolding, such as the expense, the time is takes is a lot longer.”

He adds, “The Star 10 gave us the best of both worlds: we were able to get in, while maintaining a very minimal footprint for the business. The minimal downtime, practicality, lower cost, and optimal safety allowed us to keep a competitive economic stance and motivated our selection of the Star 10 as opposed to scaffolding.”

The Star 10 also met council requirements for minimal footpath space and attracted public interest. “It drew a lot of attention. A lot of people were coming over and asking questions about our work. The machine’s friendly appearance contrasted with more industrial scissor lifts, making it a practical and attractive choice.”

Future Projects for Razoo

Looking ahead, Razoo plans to continue using Haulotte equipment for its projects.As I was saying, aspects of the machines that are most appealing to Razoo is their agile and flexible aspect. Since we get a wide variety of different projects, we need things that are able to get into tight spaces as well as height,” Jenkins states.

Additionally, Razoo is launching a new online forum tailored to architectural metals and polishes, aiming for international collaboration. “We’ve already got the Architecture Institute here in Australia and the Engineers Australia interested. The idea is to try to get a cross collaboration internationally happening,” he reveals.

In summary, the use of Haulotte’s Star 10 has been pivotal in the successful restoration of Australia’s largest copper and brass door, showcasing Razoo Polishing’s commitment to excellence and innovation in architectural metal maintenance.

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