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Archive for January 2009

Training next-generation woodworkers

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Madison Area Technical College students with their new SCMI CNC Shaper.

Madison Area Technical College students with their new SCMI CNC Shaper.

Even in a challenging economy, the wood industry is busy training its next generation.
SCM Group USA and Mini Max USA recently donated 16 pieces of machinery, valued at more than $76,000, to 15 wood-related education programs around the U.S.

The machine donations included shapers, bandsaws, table saws, jointers, planers and widebelt sanders. SCM and Mini Max gave the machines to WoodLINKS schools, secondary programs and a summer camp.
“Technical program funding is one of the first budget areas to be cut, consequently not allowing these programs to succeed with the proper tools,” said Thomas Tuck, marketing coordinator for SCM.
Some of the WoodLINKS schools that received donations:
Cedar Ridge High School
Harper Creek High School
Janesville High School
Madison Area Technical College
Mattamuskeet
High School
Michigan Career & Technical Institute
Theodore Roosevelt High School
All professional woodworkers have valuable skills and lessons to pass on. Consider apprenticing some high school or college students. Woodworkers unite!

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Written by cabinettrends

January 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Residential building, IBS attendance mirror downturn

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Residential building dropped 65 percent in December from a year ago, with $12.2 million in residential units under contract for construction in December 2008 compared to $34.8 million in December 2007.

Residential building dropped 65 percent in December from a year ago, with $12.2 million in residential units under contract for construction in December 2008 compared to $34.8 million in December 2007.

Residential building dropped 65 percent in December from a year ago, with $12.2 million in residential units under contract for construction in December 2008 compared to $34.8 million in December 2007, according to McGraw-Hill Construction.

Residential construction took a huge hit in 2008, down 37 percent from a year before, while non-residential construction actually went up 10 percent from 2007.
In the midst of the most severe housing downturn in recent memory, more than 60,000 builders and remodelers attended the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas Jan. 20-23.
Exhibitors noted the drop in attendance from more than 90,000 at the 2008 IBS, but said they were not surprised, given the economy. The show covered more than 850,000 square feet of space at the Las Vegas Convention Center, including outdoor displays of homes built on site.
“We’re in the midst of an industry crisis, yet our members are still busy gaining knowledge about new products and techniques, and networking and learning from each other,” NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder in Tulsa, Okla., observed. “I’m proud of the resilience of our members even as we work together to improve the market.”

 

Written by cabinettrends

January 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Fairytale wishes, magical dreams

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Samuelson Furniture donated 42 bedroom suites to Give Kids The World Village in Orlando.

Samuelson Furniture donated 42 bedroom suites to Give Kids The World Village in Orlando.

While most of us have caviar wishes and champagne dreams, sick children appreciate the simpler joys in life.

To help make their lives a little more magical, Samuelson Furniture donated 42 bedroom suites to Villas in the Fairy Tale Forest expansion project of Give Kids the World village. Give Kids The World (GKTW) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of children with life-threatening illness and their families with free visits to central Florida theme park attractions. The village gives children and their families an opportunity to escape doctor visits and hospital stays for a week of laughter and hope.
Located on a 70-acre resort, the organization recently expanded its accommodations by adding 42 whimsical new villas featuring a castles and cottages theme. The village welcomes more than 90,000 families per year from around the world.
With all the dour economic news of late, I’m glad woodworking companies are still supporting charitable causes.

Written by cabinettrends

January 23, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Simplify and analyze to improve your efficiency

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whiteboardWhen you look at your business ask yourself how many things you do on a daily basis that have little to do with what the customer wants.

For example, go through a typical sales process before you actually make a sale. Define the process in stages. Record the process and look for redundancy or flaws, and over time you will streamline the process.

Record the jobs you got and why you think you got them, but also record those that you did not get and why. Before long you will become smarter and use time more wisely. Eventually you may choose to disregard all those areas that bore no fruit.

With more time on hand you can look for more customers who suit what your business is about. Then you will have more business, and life will look good again.

Written by cabinettrends

January 20, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Guerrilla marketing 101

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Question: How do you get customers to see and experience your furniture or cabinetry in a non salesy setting?
Answer: Furnish a guest suite at a local bed and breakfast.
Thos. Moser has introduced a deluxe Moser Room at the Freeport, Maine’s Harraseeket Inn. The room features furniture from Thos. Moser as well as furnishings and accessories from other New England companies and artwork from several well-known Maine artists.
The collection of Thos. Moser furniture in the room is a mix of classic pieces and everything in the room is available for purchase with a complete portfolio available to guests.
What a great idea! This could work for almost any setting and is a smart way to show potential customers how great your products are.

Freeport, Maine’s Harraseeket Inn created a Thomas Moser suite featuring Moser pieces as well as artwork and accessories from New England artists. Everything in the suite is available for purchase.

Freeport, Maine’s Harraseeket Inn created a Thomas Moser suite featuring Moser pieces as well as artwork and accessories from New England artists. Everything in the suite is available for purchase.

Written by cabinettrends

January 16, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Save a trip to the ER

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Ever since SawStop showed its amazing emergency blade-stopping technology on a table saw with a hotdog, I’ve been intrigued and a little more than interested. SawStop’s technology senses flesh contact and stops the blade within 5 milliseconds, which is the difference between a tiny cut and losing fingers or a hand.

The manufacturer recently released a 10-inch contractor’s saw, which at first glance doesn’t look much different from similar saws on the market, but the closer you look the more you appreciate significant detailsSawStop 10-inch Contractor Saw that go beyond the safety system into precision, performance, fit and finish.

The saw comes with both a European-style riving knife and a saw guard system with splitter and anti-kickback fingers. You can change between the two systems very quickly depending on how you like to work and whether you need to make non-through cuts.

Less obvious is the sophisticated dust shroud that provides up to 99-percent efficient dust collection. That’s a huge improvement over typical open contractor saw configurations. There’s also a handy big red paddle to shut off the saw that can easily be activated with a knee, so no more floundering for the shut-off button.

Of course, even the safest tool is no good unless it performs. This saw does. Controls function smoothly and precisely. The fence system is excellent. Cuts are smooth and controlled to a degree beyond what you might expect from a typical contractor’s saw. For the small shop concerned about safety and value, this is definitely a saw to consider.

Written by cabinettrends

January 14, 2009 at 7:13 pm

KCMA updates standards

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How green is your cabinetry?

How green is your cabinetry?

The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) board of directors has approved new criteria for manufacturers and suppliers applying for Environmental Stewardship Program certification.
The changes include the adoption of California Air Resource Board (CARB) standards for composite wood products, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2009.
According to the association, it hopes the new standards will encourage further reduction of formaldehyde emission levels in cabinetry components, enhance existing air quality standards and decrease manufacturers’ and suppliers’ environmental footprint.
Points also now can be earned for the use of certified hardboard and softwood lumber, softwood plywood and hardwood plywood certified by a recognized sustainable forestry program.
ESP participants are required to have a written policy stating a manufacturer’s commitment to environmental quality. ESP-certified cabinets carry the ESP seal, located on the sink base cabinet of all certified brands.
For “green” customers this could become a powerful sales tool. Even though your state hasn’t adopted CARB, it’s more than likely coming. Get started now, so when CARB becomes a National law, you will have worked all the production bugs.

Written by cabinettrends

January 9, 2009 at 6:19 pm

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