December 17th, 2015
Barnshaw metal benders received a call this week from Santa who was looking to replace the runners on his sleigh and wanted to speak to the experts to choose a material to get just the right curve on the end of the runners.
Stuart Anderson, Sales Manager at Barnshaws explains, ‘I must admit we were surprised to get the call this close to Christmas, the sleigh runners have to cope with all sorts of terrain and Santa wanted to lighten the material as the sleigh is quite an old design using solid steel runners that have to be painted every year.
Our first thought was aluminium, since it is light and reasonably corrosion resistant, having done some stress analysis though we determined the loads were too high. Mild steel tube was out of the question as that was what we were replacing and the corrosion aspect meant lots of painting and maintenance still. He is quite forward thinking and after some discussion we decided on a silk finish thick-wall stainless steel tube.
Apparently the elves usually do the sleigh maintenance, but this has been a particularly busy year, so he needed to outsource the work. Contrary to popular belief Santa actually makes several trips to deliver all the presents and with even more children to see this year any weight saving he makes on the sleigh means more payload without putting extra burden on the reindeer, although, since they are magical they’d probably cope very well.
We sourced the stainless steel tube, made the precise bends to match Santa’s instructions and finished the ends for him, he’s quite good at drawing, but we used a more up to date method by scanning the angles in and using a CNC controlled cold metal bending machine to make sure both runners were perfectly matched. We then called Santa to inspect the work.
Santa said, “Ho ho ho” which we took to mean that he was extremely happy with the advice and the fast turnaround, especially this close to the big day.’
Merry Christmas and seasons greeting from everyone at Barnshaws, approved sleigh runner fabricators by appointment to Santa himself.