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Archive for November 2013

Pat Thorne Lumber named top independent dealer in US

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Pat Thorne Lumber of Chillicothe, Mo., was recently awarded the Independent Pro Dealer of the Year award for being the top independent lumber and buildings material dealer in the country, the Chillicothe News reports.

During the three-day ProDealer Industry Summit, held on Oct. 25 in Nashville, Tenn., the award was given to Pat Thorne Lumber for fitting the criteria of being a small, independent pro dealer that reflects the values of the lumber industry—customer service, community involvement and business best practices, according to Home Channel News. The news source sponsored the event alongside the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association.

“It’s something we never expected,” Co-Owner Pat Thorne told the Chillicothe News. “There’s approximately 7,500 independent lumber dealers in the U.S.,” he said. “To be picked out of that, I never dreamed of that. It’s the nicest honor that’s ever happened to me in business. We didn’t even know we were on the radar for that until they called and said ‘You’ve been chosen.’”

Co-Owner Susan Thorne told the Chillicothe News that they have three lumber yards, and that the people who work there are all pretty much a family.

“A lot of our employees have worked for us for many, many years,” Susan told the Chillicothe News. “It’s not just about Pat and I, it’s about all of us collectively doing this job together.”

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Written by cabinettrends

November 29, 2013 at 7:00 am

Lumber mills salvage burned logs from California Rim Fire

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A 400-square-mile fire in San Andreas, Calif., has left a slew of logs that can be salvaged by lumber mills in the region, The Record, Stockton reports.

But there are so many logs that it would take four to eight years to process them all, and the lumber mills only have about a year to do it. It won’t be until next summer that foresters will even be able to examine the burned timber strands and offer contracts that logging companies can bid on. Unfortunately, that means that the trees will have been dead for a full year, and forestry experts say the deterioration caused by moisture and insects means that the lumber is only usable for about two years after a fire.

Frustrated by the slow pace of logging, Congressman Tom McClintock, R-Granite Bay, has sponsored legislation that would waive environmental review of salvaged timber operations, The Record reports. The legislation passed in the House, but has yet to pass in the Senate.

Sadly, even if loggers had a full two years to cut the logs, there aren’t enough mills in the region to process that many trees.

Mark Pawlicki is the spokesman for Sierra Pacific Industries, which owns two mills in Tuolumne County. “You don’t build a mill just for a slug of timber coming from one event,” he told The Record. “What the industry needs is a consistent supply over many years. You don’t get that from a one-shot fire situation,” he said.

Stanislaus National Forest spokesman, Jerry Snyder, told The Record that rough estimates from foresters of the amount of lumber that will be salvaged from the Rim Fire are somewhere between 500 million and 1 billion board feet.

The SPI mills at Standard and Chinese Camp can process about 125 million board feet per year, Pawlicki told The Record. In theory, the salvaged logs could be sent out of the region to other SPI mills or mills operated by other companies. In practice, it creates more costs and may mean that a logging contract won’t pencil out. Stanislaus Forest officials have announced that they will assemble a 55-person team to visit the burned areas and plan salvage contracts. About two-thirds of the workers on that team will come from elsewhere in the National Forest system, Snyder told The Record.

Written by cabinettrends

November 29, 2013 at 7:00 am

Tri Pointe Homes joins Weyerhaeuser

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Tri Pointe Homes Inc. and Weyerhaeuser Co.s’ homebuilding business are combining in a deal worth $2.7 billion, ABC News reports.

Tri Pointe Homes said that the transaction will make it one of the 10 biggest U.S. homebuilders based on estimated combined equity market value.

Up to this point, Tri Pointe’s main focus has been on midrange to upscale single-family homes in major metropolitan areas in southern and northern California. Recently, Tri Pointe Homes added the Colorado market to its portfolio, but the company is looking to become a larger player in the sector as the housing market continues to improve, which is where Weyerhaeuser comes in.

“The combined company will be a strong standalone homebuilder, and the separation of our homebuilding division allows us to focus on driving performance in our forest products businesses to deliver further value to our shareholders,” Weyerhaeuser President and CEO Doyle Simons said in a statement.

Tri Pointe will remain headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and will expand its board from seven to nine members. The two companies will continue to operate separately until the transaction is complete. The deal is targeted to close by the end of the second quarter in 2014.

Written by cabinettrends

November 29, 2013 at 7:00 am

New OSHA database proposal opposed by industry

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OSHA announced a proposal to generate a public database of workplace injury and illness statistics, but industry officials have raised opposition, IndustryWeek reports.

Manufacturing industry officials and advocates are strongly criticizing the proposal, claiming the data would do little to improve workplace safety and could be used unfairly or misinterpreted and be detrimental to companies’ reputations.

OSHA chief David Michaels announced the proposal during a conference call with reporters, according to EHSToday saying the plan “does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer’s obligation to transmit these records to OSHA.”

The proposal would give employers, employees, the government and researchers “better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities,” Michaels said.

Among those who denounced the proposal was the National Association of Manufacturers. NAM’s director of labor and employment policy, Amanda Wood, said OSHA’s proposal “could lead to unfair characterizations for business by people who just see a statistic and don’t know the circumstances behind it.”

“Just because you have an injury, it does not mean there was employer fault,” Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Wall Street Journal. “Reporting the injury records does not tell the full story of the company.”

Written by cabinettrends

November 29, 2013 at 7:00 am

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Biesse America hosts 100 manufacturers at One2One event

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1311CMFbiesseopenhouse.jpg

Manufacturers viewed machine demonstrations at Biesse’s recent One2One event.

On November 7-8, Biesse America hosted more than 100 manufacturers from across the United States at the One2One event held at its Charlotte, N.C., facility.

A range of machines were under power, from the new Roxyl Edgebander with AirForce Hot Air Technology to the Rover BG 5 Axis machine for solid wood. Attendees were able to see a variety of innovative machines in one location.

Biesse was joined by 16 industry partners for demonstrations on software, tooling, dust collection, glue and banding, and finance assistance. Attendees saw demonstrations on a range of applications including nested-based cabinet manufacturing, machining of composites, fabricating and milling of solid wood, wood panels, glass cutting and shaping, as well as stone cutting and fabrication.

Written by cabinettrends

November 27, 2013 at 7:00 am

B.C. lumber industry not expected to satisfy U.S. demand

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Now that firms West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. and Canfor Corp. have planned to close sawmills in British Columbia, concerns have been raised about lumber output in the region and whether or not it can meet demand driven by the rebounding U.S. housing market, The Globe and Mail reports.

West Fraser will close its mill in Houston, B.C., by mid-2014, and Canfor plans to shut down its mill in Quesnel, B.C., next March. B.C. sawmills have been relying mainly on timber left over from the mountain pine beetle outbreak, and the two companies are competing in both markets while they are struggling to cope with limited timber supplies. But they have both agreed to exchange forest tenure rights so that West Fraser’s Quesnel mill and Canfor’s Houston mill will eventually grow healthier than it is today.

“There is only so much wood fiber out there,” CIBC World Markets Inc. analyst Mark Kennedy told The Globe and Mail. “West Fraser and Canfor basically recognized where they have a weak position, and they’re shoring up where they have a stronger position,” he said.

“They’re not closing the sawmills because they think they can have more pricing power. They’re doing it because they don’t have enough logs to feed them,” Kennedy said.

The shutdown of West Fraser’s Houston mill will affect 225 workers and Canfor’s Quesnel closing will affect 209 employees, according to The Globe and Mail. Quesnel staff will be offered positions elsewhere in the company, Canfor told The Globe and Mail, while West Fraser will help the Houston workers transfer to the firm’s other mills, where possible. The forecast for lumber output from B.C. this year is expected to be less than 12 billion board feet, down from the region’s peak of more than 15 billion in 2005. By the end of this decade, mills in the region will probably produce less than 10 billion board feet of lumber a year, as the focus shifts back to sourcing new log supplies that are undamaged by beetles. Kennedy told The Globe and Mail that he expects another four or five mills to close over the next four years or so, though he doesn’t envision additional closings in the area by West Fraser and Canfor in the foreseeable future.

Written by cabinettrends

November 27, 2013 at 7:00 am

States Industries reportedly lays off 10 percent of workforce

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States Industries reportedly laid off about 10 percent of its 331-person workforce on Nov. 11.

One of the laid-off employees, Damon Wilson, said he asked for a written layoff notice and received one that stated: “To whom it may concern, due to economic conditions on Nov. 11, 2013, there were curtailments made at States Industries. Unfortunately, Damon Wilson was one whose position was curtailed due to lack of work.”

Company President Mike Taylor was traveling and could not be reached for comment.

Wilson said he asked company representatives if the failure to secure steep anti-dumping tariffs on imported Chinese plywood was the reason for the layoffs and was told it was “part of the issue.”

The layoffs at States were unexpected by employees, who reportedly said they recently received raises and were told that States would be expanding production.

“Two or three weeks ago, we had a huge company meeting,” said Wilson, who was part of States’ “flex pool” – an in-house temporary pool – for the past three months. “They said things are looking up for the company, and everyone was getting a raise. My wage went from $9.80 to $13 an hour. They said the company is going to expand and go to 24 hours a day. They said there was an issue with a tariff, and if that went through, they would be able to expand and sell wood in the United States. Instead, it went the other way, and now China has the upper hand.”

Written by cabinettrends

November 27, 2013 at 7:00 am

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