Friday, August 7, 2009

TALAS Gets a Guillotine!

So the rumors are verified. TALAS does in fact have its own guillotine!

Nothing ever seems to move quickly, particularly not when you weigh 9,000lbs, but after much shopping around & research we have indeed found our perfect match...

Built some 50 years ago, this machine is still rock-solid (and we're not just referring to its sheer weight).
When researching a cutter, we were told that for the type of materials we we would be predominantly cutting (which is a very dense binders board) that we would want to find the oldest machine out there. While new machines come equipped with all sorts of snazzy bells and whistles, they're really meant to cut PAPER!
Clearly that wasn't going to fly with our needs... we would need something that was built tough enough to stand up to the materials that it would be cutting.

Enter the Seybold 10Z
...old enough to be well broken in, but still showing no signs of wear and tear!...

In anticipation of the machines arrival, we broke down pallet racks & cleared a wide open path for the riggers to bring in the machine onto the ground floor.

The tilt body truck arrived with their monstrous forklift (putting our wimpy forklift in comparison to complete shame) along with the cutter itself, and the riggers got right to work...

At first the forklift was used to pick up the cutter on the bed of the truck. The winch was connected, the truck was tilted back, and the 39,000lb package was slowly lowered with the winch down to the ground! From there it was pretty smooth sailing to its final resting place against the back wall of the building, and with minimal effort the riggers had it off the forklift, leveled out, and attached the side tables.

A few days later once we had an air compressor installed, a seperate team came back to outfit the machine with blades, cutting sticks, and other small parts. Now we were ready for the fun part: training! Most of the training resolves around how to change the blades and how to keep the machine properly lubricated. Most accidents actually happen when changing the blade, and even a dull blade will effortlessly remove fingers if one is not careful (yikes!).

Bottom line is we now have a guillotine,
& we
now offer cutting services of:
binders board, mat board, paper, mylar (polyester),
& just about all other paper and film based materials we sell.

Please inquire as to your needs!
As with any new toy, we're stoked at every opportunity to fire this bad-boy up!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

TALAS visits Brazil

As Talas shut their doors for the summer holidays, Marge & Jake took a trip down south of the equator to visit some of our customers & suppliers in Brazil.
Marge & Jake are lovers of all things South American, and were excited to see some of our supplies in use first hand!
First on the agenda was a visit to the National Library of Brazil in Rio. It was here that they finally put a face to the voice of Tatiana, the Chief Conservator at the library. She was very kind & welcoming and took the couple on an extensive tour of their facilities in addition to around the city of Rio.

Jake & Tatiana in Rio

After spending some time with Tatiana, it was on to the National Archives of Brazil! The archives have been in the process of moving to a new facility, and Marge & Jake were lucky enough to have a tour of both the old and the new! Once again, they were very impressed by the type of work being done in these facilities, and were welcomed ever so warmly.

Unfortunately for us, Marge & Jake prefer to treasure these expeditions without any sort of documentation, and as a result... there are no pictures to vouch for these visits!

On the contrary, this next visit was very well documented. This visit took place in a small city north of Rio. It was here where Marge & Jake visited with one of our South American vellum & parchment suppliers.
This small family run business (not too dissimilar fromTalas) took Marge & Jake through the whole process from preserved hide to finished parchment. The road to completion is a rather laborious one beginning with cleaning the skins, to the liming of the skins (to reduce the acidity from their preservation in various materials & thus to ensure their longevity), to the stretching & de-meating of the skins, and finally onto the drying and cutting stages.

Marge in the factory with J.J. (in the white shirt) & Pedro (in the green shirt).

Here Marge discusses the characteristics of the parchments with J.J. & Pedro. Dating back to her traditional training as a calligrapher & working on parchment, Marge is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to this medium.

The love for these materials is mutual and J.J. & Pedro seemed to have really enjoyed talking parchments with Marge during their visit.

After the visit, the four went for a lunch, the highlight of Jake's afternoon! Not that he's not interested in parchments himself... but he has a certain fondness, or rather obsession, for food exploration. That being said, J.J. & Pedro were thrilled to introduce Marge & Jake to the famous traditional dish of the region, which they all shared over lunch!

After their visits, Marge & Jake spent a few more days in Brazil exploring the country on their own before it was back to work in New York! One week never seems like long enough, does it?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

TALAS' New Home!

For those of you who have followed TALAS from location to location around Manhattan know that we have perpetually been on the hunt for bigger & better warehouses to best suit our needs as the company has continued to expand over the years.

While we loved our last location on 20th Street in Manhattan, it only took us 4 short years before the space was completely outgrown. After looking for a new space for our business in one of the outer boroughs of NYC for over 1 year, we found a building that fit the bill:

330 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn NY

The existing owner of the building ran a feather & down company: making custom pillows, blankets, and other items filled with feathers. Here, we'll help you imagine what this place looked like only a few months ago!

This lasted many months, and like most renovations, our moving date was postponed so many times that we're sure some of you began to question if this move was in fact a reality! Needless to say come April 2009 the building was ready, and we took the much anticipated leap across the East River to become true Brooklynites.

Then came the move...

"The Move" of epic proportions spanned 3 full weeks, and involved running four 26' trucks back and forth between two locations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

We started in the wee hours of the morning & worked through the night such to alleviate issues regarding monopolizing the freight elevator during peak hours & of course to dodge traffic...

On the intermediary days we spread our crew out on both fronts: 1 crew absorbed the inventory at the new location, and the 2nd crew continued to pack and break down the 20th Street location.

During the first week and a half we stayed operational, with the office staff taking orders and the warehouse staff juggling between packing up the "house" and packing orders.

Towards the end things starting getting chaotic... running nearly around the clock, taxing the old unreliable freight elevator on 20th Street, pallets nearly toppling over, and other fun stuff!

When the dust settled it felt as if we had moved mountains, and when you figure that we moved about 60 trucks worth of inventory, many would say we did!

Everyone literally got their hands dirty in all aspects of the move (see image to the right: case & point). For those of you who have never met this gentleman before, this is Jake Salik, the proud owner of TALAS for 17 years! We have yet to encounter a job Jake won't rise to the challenge of.

Needless to say, you should certainly come and pay us a visit at our new location in Brooklyn!

(take the L train from Manhattan to the "Graham Avenue" stop)