TALK about a tight fit. They managed to squeeze a new machine into an Aldershot joinery company's workshop last Tuesday - but it was an almighty struggle.

To make way for the Italian-made machine, Kestrel Joinery's workshop entrance had to be widened by removing the door frame and brickwork, and a staircase was taken out.

The floor also had to be strengthened with reinforced concrete to support the eight-ton computerised "Hobby Professional".

Getting the machine off the delivery lorry was a nightmare as well. To give the 56ft long vehicle room to manoeuvre, the top half of Elms Road - where the premises are situated - and the bottom half of Upper Elms Road were coned off.

Once the lorry was in position the technological piece of hardware, costing £140,000, was lifted by crane over a 6ft high wall into the firm's yard.

Then the lorry's cab unit, which had the crane on board, drove into the yard and helped shift the equipment into the workshop.

There was a collective sigh of relief when the 10ft tall machine was finally in position because there was less than a quarter-of-an-inch headroom to play with.

Dave Chappell, the company's marketing manager, said: "When we ordered the machine we didn't realise quite how big it was. It was completely dwarfed by the huge warehouse it was standing in. It was only when we started looking at the specifications that we realised what we had taken on."

But despite the massive upheaval, he and managing director Colin Dowell have no regrets about buying it.

It will speed up the production of doors, windows, staircases and other items at an amazing rate, and make the firm much more competitive.

Dave said: "There's one particular task involving the manufacture of staircases which will now take 90 minutes instead of a day and a quarter."