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Not everyone’s vision of a business is built around a piece of machinery more than 100 years old.

The finished product: jump rails from Canterbury Rails

The finished product: jump rails from Canterbury Rails

But Don Scott, of North Canterbury, has done just that – buying and setting up a giant British-made antique lathe to turn out horse jumping rails.

While the bones of the giant lathe are as they have been for more than a century, Don has made extensive modifications and re-powered the lathe to ensure that, despite its age, it turns out jump rails of the highest quality.

The rails are all carefully cut and machined to competition specifications – 4.2 metres long and 100 millimetres in diameter.

The lathe is shown at work in the video below.

The lathe is shown at work in the video below.

He uses only douglas fir, to ensure the finished rails are of a quality and strength that is unsurpassed.

“I experimented with pine, but the fir makes a far superior rail,” explains Don.

He has had inquiries from as far away as Britain,
and is still investigating the logistics of filling a container and getting them Europe-bound.

Don knows the importance of quality and knows exactly what kind of tree transforms into a quality rail.

His own block in North Loburn is home to more than 5000 immaculately manicured trees. Friends joke that he knows them all by name.

A batch of poles await their transformation into jump rails.

A batch of poles await their transformation into jump rails.

It is a postcard-perfect agri-forestry block. Don’s pines and macrocarpa are all carefully pruned to a height of six metres. All cut branches have been removed and grass grows between the trees, where sheep graze.

Turning jump rails on a lathe is a labour intensive process, but the team at Canterbury Rails has it down to a fine art.

If you’re tired of schooling with your horse over makeshift obstacles, or your old pine jump rails are just not up to it, contact Canterbury Rails.

Don stands behind every jump rail his business turns out.