The first crucial step we were planning to take to kick off our arm wrestling table project was to get in touch with the SBFI staff and figure out if there could be a chance to join forces to clear up once and for all this unclear and contradictory situation: we needed to shed light on all those “gray areas” related to the technical design of the table, which forms the basis of the WAF regulations.
The Project Leader, Massimo De Pasquale, decided to trace back through the history of all the specification variations that occurred in the last 30 years by WAF, outlining the reasons and discrepancies that led to the current differences among the tables of various manufacturers (mainly due to different distances used in the side-pad pins and the lack of adequate specifications on the distances between the pegs).
He ultimately made himself fully available to WAF to convert and standardize all specifications: he correctly redefined all the points of origin of the official measurements and recreated the official technical drawings from scratch with a dedicated board, including an explanatory isometric, so that every detail and element of the table was consistent with itself and in relation to the other elements.
The entire effort was met with enthusiasm and gratitude by the SBFI board, which, after certification by Katia Crucitti, made it official.
For Massimo and Omega, it was a crucial result and a satisfaction that laid the foundation for the construction of the first table, designed, built, and certifiable based on the new technical drawings.
The more ambitious the project, the greater the difficulties to achieve it. Unfortunately, we realized this very quickly.
Massimo set to work to personally design every detail, creating a detailed technical drawing for each one with specified dimensions, materials, and the type of processing to be performed. An “immense” and meticulous job that he completed in record time thanks to his passion, or rather, obsession.
Given the ambition of the project, it was decided to custom-make everything without relying on existing components in the market. From the pegs to the bushings of the surface, everything was made starting from our original design.
We further fragmented the production chain, carefully selecting each supplier based on their technical capabilities and specifications so that each one was equipped to best handle a specific type of component and processing.
To ensure maximum precision, quality, and replicability of each individual part, every process had to be carried out with the best materials and the best industrial equipment to eliminate human error and, consequently, the possibility of errors and to push the precision of the couplings to the extreme, which had to be flawless both in assembly/disassembly (for example…screwing the legs onto the surface and base) and in use when coupling the pads on the surface.
The purely manual part had to be limited to the final touch related to the upholstery, where the skill of the craftsman would add an extra touch of quality, the real icing on the cake. Thus began the sampling phase of each individual component to carefully examine the quality of the workmanship and adherence to the design and assess the best possible supplier. This phase took several months to complete as the required tolerances, especially in wood processing, were at the limit of what was possible, and some suppliers even refused to take on the job.
During this phase, the project risked failing several times, but we never gave up: we continued confidently to seek the best partners available in the market for each process. The most critical phase was the wood processing as our goal was to eliminate maintenance on the table and prevent athletes from constantly adjusting the centering bushings under the surface.
To achieve this, it was necessary to use high-quality materials such as thick nautical-derived hardwoods that guaranteed absolute dimensional stability, combined with high-precision processing with numerical control machining centers that worked within a tenth of a millimeter, which in the wood industry is a skill possessed by few.
It was a phase that required a lot of energy and concentration on the goal to be achieved, but our perseverance allowed us to finally reach the completion of the first complete prototype of the table that we decided to call “ELITE”: simply a superior class table!
Ambitious project, don’t you think?