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Archive for May 2015

Housing starts in U.S. surge to seven-year high

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New residential construction in the U.S. surged in April to the highest level in more than seven years, indicating the industry has moved beyond a weather-related soft patch to regain strength, Bloomberg Business reports.

Housing starts jumped 20.2 percent to a 1.14 million annualized rate, the most since November 2007, from a 944,000 pace in March, a Commerce Department report showed Tuesday in Washington. The median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 1.02 million. More permits, a proxy for future construction, were issued than at any time since June 2008.

An improving labor market and mortgage costs close to multiyear lows are reviving residential construction, a sign that the weakness in early 2015 was probably due to harsh winter weather. Builders including PulteGroup Inc. have said the spring selling season is off to a good start, and sentiment data for May showed developers are optimistic about the next six months.

“Housing demand is clearly picking up,” said David Sloan, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, whose estimate for the level of starts was the closest in the Bloomberg survey. “Housing should show quite strong momentum over the next few quarters. Permits also suggest solid underlying demand.”

Stocks Hover

Stocks hovered near records and yields on Treasury securities rose as the rebound in housing bolstered speculation the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates this year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell less than 0.1 percent to 2,128.18 at 10:12 a.m. in New York. The S&P Supercomposite Homebuilding Index climbed 0.8 percent. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.28 percent from 2.24 percent late on Monday.

See the full story and video here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-19/housing-starts-in-u-s-surge-to-seven-year-high-permits-climb

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May 29, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Rockler to support Minneapolis Maker Faire

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The company will focus on giving local middle school students hands-on experience with woodworking tools and machinery.

Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has announced its support of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker Faire on May 29-30 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The Maker Faire is a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness; a celebration of the maker movement.  It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. Attendees will find arts and crafts, science and engineering, food and music – all in a family-friendly, hands-on environment. On Friday, May 29, a special “Education Day” will reach over 1,000 middle school students from local schools.

“We’re truly thrilled to get involved with the Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker Faire,” says Scott Ekman, Rockler’s vice president of marketing. “We’re especially excited about ‘Education Day’ because we’ll be able to show kids who might not otherwise be exposed to woodworking, how to make some pretty cool things using wood.”

Rockler will host three hands-on learning stations on both days of the Faire:

  • Woodworking hand tool station: children and adults will be able to use various woodworking tools.
  • Turning station:  Rockler will provide lathes and instruction to both demonstrate and guide attendees.
  • CNC station:  kids can cut designs or simple patterns, and see their initials carved.

www.rockler.com

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May 29, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Rare Henry Clay Armoire donated to Louisiana State Museum

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New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques has donated the Henry Clay Rosedown Plantation Armoire to the Louisiana State Museum.

The unveiling of the armoire will be Tuesday, May 21, at 1:30 p.m., on the third floor of the Cabildo, on Jackson Square, in New Orleans. Speakers at the unveiling will include Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, owner of M.S. Rau Antiques Bill Rau, and Mark Tullos, Director of the Louisiana State Museum.

The Henry Clay Rosedown Plantation Armoire is an extremely rare and monumental Gothic Revival Rosewood “winged” armoire originally made by Crawford Riddell of Philadelphia for the White House (for the bedroom now known as the Lincoln Bedroom).

Crafted of a Brazilian rosewood (a species that is now extinct), the armoire is flanked by two gothic columns that open on the sides to hold clothes, hence the reference to a “winged” wardrobe. The center doors open to reveal more storage and an interior chest of drawers. Each section retains its original blue paint on the interior and the drawers are beautifully finished in Brazilian rosewood on the interior. The armoire is in excellent mint condition.

“The Henry Clay Armoire is probably one of the most important pieces of 19th century furniture in America,” said Mark Tullos, Director of the Louisiana State Museum. “We are grateful to Bill Rau and M.S. Rau Antiques for this very generous contribution and for helping to preserve this magnificent piece for future generations.”

The piece was commissioned by the supporters of Henry Clay during his bid for presidency in 1844. Though he fully expected to win the highly contested race, Clay lost the election to Democratic candidate James K. Polk.

Written by cabinettrends

May 29, 2015 at 7:00 am

Fox Valley Technical College to host woodworker recruitment discussion

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Fox Valley Technical College and the Architectural Woodwork Institute-Wisconsin Chapter (AWI-WI) will host a roundtable discussion about developing employable woodworkers on June 4 at 4:00pm.

This is an opportunity for all sectors of the woodworking industry to gather in one place and discuss options for developing an interest in this industry among young people.

Fox Valley says “We as an industry need to realize that we are not just competing with each other for jobs but, we are also competing with every other trade and career option for viable, trainable, valuable employees.”

The roundtable discussion will try and answer the following questions:

  • What can we do to recruit young people?
  • How do we convince parents that this industry is a first-choice career path?
  • How and when do we interact with K-12 education to promote this industry?
  • What incentives can we provide for young people to pursue this industry as a career?

This discussion is open to all segments of the woodworking industry as well as all vendors and educators related to the industry.

All are encouraged to attend.

Light refreshments will be provided by AWI-WI.  Please RSVP to Lorge@fvtc.edu by June 2.

The discussion will be held at Fox Valley Technical College, 3601 Oregon St., Oshkosh, Wisconsin Room 104.

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May 28, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Vecoplan names racecar sponsors

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Industrial shredding company Vecoplan is sponsoring the #0 car at the NASCAR Xfinity Hisense 300, May 23 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as previously announced. The #0 Vecoplan “Industrial Shredders” Camaro will be fielded by JD Motorsports and driven by Harrison Rhodes. The race is sponsored by Hisense USA Corp.

Vecoplan has also announced the sponsorship of Rhodes’ car has just been expanded.

According to Len Beusse, managing director and COO of Vecoplan, “It is our privilege to bestow honorary sponsorships of the “0” car to two of Vecoplan’s good customers, VLS Recovery Services LLC and Piranha Paper Shredding LLC. Not only will the car now bear the Vecoplan graphics, but the VLS and Piranha logos will be incorporated.  As a show of support, and to hopefully increase awareness and visibility of our customers’ respective missions, we decided to honor them with this recognition. The VLS folks will be on hand for the race”.

www.vecoplan.com

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May 28, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Customers can build their own designer furniture with OpenDesk

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With downloadable designer furniture plans available for download, customers can build their own furniture, or find the nearest manufacturing plant to do so.

OpenDesk is a portal that connects customers with local makers and distributes designer furniture plans online. Currently targeted toward office furnishings, the service offers savings for custom-made designer furniture by skipping shipping, marketing and other conventional overhead costs.

OpenDesk’s system also guarantees more benefits for designers, better control over manufacturing, faster deliveries and a less wasteful approach to furniture production.

With OpenDesk, customers are likely to spend 50 percent less compared to purchasing designer furniture from a store. Estimates for furnishing a startup office space runs at about $3,000 to $7,700 which means about a $500-$900 budget per head.

Many of OpenDesk’s furniture plans are available for download under Creative Commons licenses for people who would prefer to build their furniture from the ground up.

For those who don’t have the tools or the time, OpenDesk uses the customer’s location to map out the nearest manufacturing hub that can build the furniture items. The user can then send an enquiry for the pricing, customization, lead time directly to the local manufacturer.

Because of the made-to-order scheme, manufacturers may also have the ability to engrave company logos or whatever personal touches to the furniture for the customer. With manufacturing just around the corner, deliveries of the flat packs will be cheaper and burn less fuel making the process more environmentally-friendly.

OpenDesk has worked closely with Greenpeace to kit out its London headquarters. Storage facilities were also provided all in OpenDesk’s minimal wood block aesthetics. Aside from Greenpeace, OpenDesk has furnished the offices of Spark Venture’s accelerator hub The Garage among many other interesting startups.

OpenDesk supports an Open Making system where global collaboration is used to create better business. Designers are able to get global distribution for their creations, local CNC operators earn money and customers get great value designer furniture. The process is also less wasteful as each item is only made upon order.

For videos and pictures, check out the PSFK article here.

www.opendesk.cc

Written by cabinettrends

May 28, 2015 at 7:00 am

Chinese importers evade $9.2 million in duties owed to Stickley, Harden Furniture

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Importers of furniture from China have managed to evade $216 million in duties owed to U.S. manufacturers, Syracuse Media Group reports, including $9.2 million owed to Stickley and Harden Furniture in Central New York, according to New York’s two U.S. senators.

The U.S. assessed about $400 million in duties from 2005 to 2012 on wooden bedroom furniture from China after determining that it was sold for less than it cost to make, flooding the market with cheap furniture in an unfair trade practice known as “dumping.”

About $216 million of the $400 million in duties was due to be distributed to U.S. manufacturers affected by the dumping practice.

L. & J.G. Stickley Inc., based in Manlius, is owed $8 million in uncollected duties, and Harden Furniture Inc., in McConnellsville, Oneida County, is owed about $1.2 million.

But the duties remain unpaid, and U.S. Customs and Border Control officials have done little to collect the money, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said Monday.

“When it comes to collecting fines for illegal dumping of trade goods, like furniture, in ways that undermine American jobs in Upstate firms like Stickley Furniture and Harden Furniture, it seems there is no cop on the beat – and the CBP simply must do better,” Schumer said Monday.

Gillibrand said the senators “won’t permit illegal practices to continue at the expense of law abiding New Yorkers.”

The New York senators joined U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who represents a big furniture-manufacturing state, in asking Customs and Border Protection officials to explain why the duties remain uncollected, and what will be done in the future.

Senators and House members from Vermont, North Carolina and Virginia also signed a letter to CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. Among those who signed the letter was U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus, who represents the 24th Congressional District that is home to Stickley, and Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, whose 22nd District includes Harden Furniture.

The penalties on the Chinese bedroom furniture were imposed in 2005 after a complaint from American manufacturers, including Stickley and Harden.

The U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency, agreed in 2005 that the Chinese companies engaged in unfair trade practices that cost at least 35,000 American jobs. Duties of up to 198 percent were renewed in 2010.

See the original story here: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2015/05/chinese_importers_evade_92_million_in_duties_owed_to_stickley_harden_furniture.html

May 2015

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May 27, 2015 at 7:00 am

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