A Productive Lockdown

Gerrit BritsHome

Our Children, Graeme and Esti decided to make some major changes in their lives, to bid the corporate world good-bye and move down to Over the Mountain Guest Farm and start an Archery equipment factory. Graeme, being a mechanical Engineer that competed internationally in Archery competitions, started a few years ago to design and build better Recurve bows for the market. For the first three years he did it on a part-time basis from home, but then decided that the time had come to do it on a more professional basis.

The Carport – Day 1

We decided to convert our carport and workshop into the new factory and work started in all earnest in January 2020. While Esti and their two boys moved to Over the Mountain in January 2020, Graeme could only join them at the beginning of March. By this time, we had almost finished the shell of the factory.

The Structure of the Factory
Taking off the Roof

Shortly after we finished the roof Graeme was fortunate enough to find an excellent second-hand CNC Milling machine that would suit his needs perfectly. The only problem was that the machine weighed five and a half tons and stood taller than the roof of the factory. This meant that we would have to take the roof down and raise the walls, lower the machine in by crane and then close the roof back up again.

The 5.5 ton Milling Machine

What made matters more interesting was that this happened just as the COVID-19 pandemic struck and we went into lock-down. Fortunately, we had purchased much of the material for the roof and ceilings just before the lockdown and had some old building material and timber from the Eucalyptus trees that were cut down on our property.


For the first five weeks of the lock-down Graeme and I worked every day without any assistance to finish the factory. We repurposed much of the material we had in stock and managed to do most of the work without a visit to the hardware store.

The Fatory

Once we finished the building Graeme started to install the equipment. With an extremely limited budget some of the equipment had to be refurbished or built from scratch. We are confident that the factory will be fully functional by the end of September.

More about the bows in a later blog.