Florian Nock, the young carpenter from Turbenthal in the Swiss Canton of Zurich, demonstrated his craftsmanship back in 2014, directly after his apprenticeship. He won the Swiss championships and then the silver medal two years later at the European championships. This earned him qualification for the WorldSkills 2017 in Abu Dhabi. The wish for more personal development, the hope of a podium place, the desire to travel and the curiosity as to what experiences he would gain during the competition and beforehand all proved to be enticing.
Florian Nock wanted to be one of the world's best – that meant hard training and little free time. In order to be able to prepare properly for the competition, he reduced his regular working hours at the carpenter's shop by as much as 50 percent for half a year. Once he had procured the tools and material, the order of the day was building as many handicraft skills as possible. He produced one workpiece after the other, continuously optimising the construction with his coach until they had designed a model together which combined as broad a range of skills as possible. It was to be modified at the WorldSkills in accordance with the set task. "My workpiece doesn't represent a typical job. It was intended to be constructed in as complicated a way as possible. You have to show what you are capable of", says Florian Nock. Consequently, the young carpenter's construction was made up of four individual sections: a joist frame with floor grid, seating, a bar table and a roof construction.
Special screws instead of run-of-the-mill
During the preparation stage, Florian Nock quickly became aware that he would not get very far with conventional screws. After all, the competition demanded excellent results – whether it be in the fastening of rafters or the floor grid and the scarphs. Specifically this meant: the assembly fittings were not allowed to be noticeable, had to provide a gap-free connection and, above all, take as little time as possible to complete. He consulted a Swiss carpenter who had finished second at the previous WorldSkills and he recommended HECO-Schrauben. Florian Nock also decided to work with screws from the HECO-UNIX product family. The variable thread pitch of the screw means that the components are pulled together during insertion. This enables a secure, seamless connection. In areas in which the fasteners were required to be largely invisible the carpenter used HECO-UNIX-top board and façade screws. Their particularly small, raised countersunk head means they are hardly noticeable; their full thread prevents the boards from creaking on the floor grid. Using these screws, the carpenter was sure that he would be able to satisfy the criteria of proper fastening and pleasant appearance. A further important requirement which Florian Nock had when it came to his screws was quick and simple workability. The HECO-UNIX-top gave him the advantage of being able to insert the screws without having to pre-drill the timber fixtures: the geometry of the "TOPIX" tip facilitates quick positioning and insertion without splitting the wood. Moreover, it has a high thread pitch and can therefore be inserted particularly quickly. "Compared to other fasteners, by using HECO screws, I was able to cut my working time in half – that was an important aspect on the way to possibly winning a medal", Florian Nock explains.
En route to the runner-up prize at the world championships
Some of the tools and machines were already on their way by sea to Abu Dhabi two months before the competition. At this time Florian Nock was training resolutely on the manufacture of different individual connections. In the process the aim was to gain as much experience as possible with all working steps and develop good time management. Nevertheless, the carpenter overran his time schedule on the first day of the competition in Abu Dhabi as a result of unforeseen difficulties: the timber provided was not properly planed in accordance with his demands, requiring a considerable amount of reworking. Florian Nock therefore rated the HECO-UNIX as follows: "Luckily the screw cancels out any remaining unevenness with its strong contraction effect when met with this challenge. This gave me a lot of benefit. The components needed to be fastened accurately to the exact millimetre!" On the following two days of competition, the carpenter was able to draw the construction plans for the remaining three modules quickly, and complete the construction of the seating, the table and the roof with a positive feeling. The many months of effort and intensive preparation had been worth it. The WorldSkills judging panel were highly satisfied and awarded Florian Nock second place in carpentry.