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

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 and poles for use in construction.

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 poles and 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 construction poles can be manufactured to up to 200 millimetres in diameter and up to 5.1 metres in length.

The construction poles are made from sustainably grown pinus radiata and treated to H5 standard for inground use. It is only the tops of trees that are selected for use.

Don uses only pine for his poles to ensure they are a quality product, with a strength that is unsurpassed.

He has had inquiries from as far away as Britain, and is 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 or pole. He has quite specific specifications for the raw logs, to ensure the resulting pole or rail is of the highest quality.

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

The finished product: jump rails from Canterbury Rails
The finished product: jump rails from Canterbury 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 logs on a lathe is a labour-intensive process, but the team at Canterbury Rails has it down to a fine art.

If you’re after a construction pole of the highest quality, or 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 turned piece of timber his business turns out.


Quality poles and piles for building and construction