STATS SNAPSHOT MAY/JUNE 2013
The business side of woodworking
28 WOOD INDUSTRY
Muskoka Surfboard carves a new niche Wooden boat inspires a career
Compensation benefits: The risks of letting go
SKillS gAP Enterprising high-school teacher runs his classroom like a business
war m t h
a n d technology
Salice introduces tItanIUm. hinges with a rich, warm finish. The new TITANIUM, with it’s warm finish, integrates perfectly with today’s cabinetry. It is the perfect combination of warmth and modern functionality. When compared with the traditional blue or nickel-plated finishes, this rich hue is less invasive and has a muted sheen. TITANIUM is the ideal hinge for today’s darker interiors, but is also suitable for the lightest interiors. Plus, the corrosion strength is considerably increased when compared to the nickelplated finish. You can’t go wrong.
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Editor and Publisher
Dennis Furlan email@example.com Art Director
Lee Ann Knudsen firstname.lastname@example.org Graphics
nsGraphic Design email@example.com
The business side of woodworking
May/June 2013 Vol. 9, No. 3
Omni Data Services
Wood Industry is published six times annually, Jan./Feb., Mar./Apr., May/ June, July/Aug., Sept./Oct. and Nov./Dec., for the secondary wood products manufacturing and marketing industries in Canada.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Published by W.I. Media Inc. Box 84 Cheltenham Caledon, ON L7C 3L7 © 2013 by W.I. Media Inc. All rights reserved. W. I. Media Inc. and Wood Industry disclaim any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect to the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. The opinions of the columnists and writers are their own and are in no way influenced by or representative of the opinions of Wood Industry or W.I. Media Inc.
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High-school teacher means business
A cabinet-making program is making waves for lifting kids out of poverty by applying a business model to education, training and job placement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Keeping track of the industry
The start of an ongoing snapshot of our industry as we provide the latest and most relevant statistics to assess where we’ve been, and where we’re headed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The power of believing
The Muskoka Surfboard Company of Baysville, Ont., is part of a broader diversification approach that has allowed for survival and growth during tough times. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WOOD Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Filings . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Letters . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Design . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
New products . . . 23 Bullets . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Events . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Advertisers . . . . . 30
WOOD INDUSTRY 3
From the editor
Success, on your terms I
n our most recent Readers’ Survey, 56 percent of the respondents self-identified as “owners.” Words mean things, and this one is worth looking at. A president is not necessarily an owner. Neither is a c.e.o. or general manager necessarily an owner. An owner may be all the above, but only an owner can be an owner. All the “how-to” books today remind agents and interests to approach the “c-level” executives. C-level means chief, like chief executive officer or chief financial officer. However, it goes without saying you can dump every C if you can get to the owner. Kerry Knudsen The owner is a C-Plus. A president is something else. For the sake of argument, let’s say it’s the president of a European exporter, and he’s in charge of Canada. Therefore, he is in charge of all of Canada, but he gets his paycheque from Europe. This is not as odd as it seems. I have been pointing out that European kitchen cabinet companies are advertising in Canada’s leading design magazines for years. Two of note are Poggenpohl (German) and Scavolini (Italian). First, we need to recognize that these foreign entrees into Canada are your direct competitors and offer nothing of substance that Canadians can’t offer. A European cabinet versus a Canadian cabinet is basically a box with a door. Better yet, it’s a box with a door and a lot of union, government and association stamps on it. Poggenpohl and Scavolini are getting market response, or they would quit marketing. Advertising works. Well, sort of. See, a president of Canada for a Euro corporation has a different view of marketing than does a Canadian owner. The Canadian is accountable for his results. The president is playing with a budget. The Canadian has to keep score with dollars, while the president can move his goals. Instead of approaching the market
4 WOOD INDUSTRY
with a program, he can use marketing money to sponsor this, support that and get elected, nominated or awarded, all of which have currency back home, but no sales. He can also hold the budget, show black on a quarterly report and pocket a bonus. Let’s say a Canadian owner gets a “deal” from a lowend marketer that promises to cut rates, give free in-content promotion and provide a kick-back. He gets no sales because the market already knows those tricks, refuses to respond and the owner loses his money. In the same situation, the president gets to tell Europe there are no sales because Canada stinks, he came in under budget and gets to send copies of the promotions with his picture and quotes back to Europe. Unfortunately, the president’s company loses, the market loses, and the sector loses, while the agents win. I am not trying to pick on Europeans. It’s an example. I just got irked at seeing $15,000 more wood-industry marketing in one issue of Azure than most owners in our sector spend in a year. The same could be true of Americans, Asians or Africans. The point is that a president can have a fancy title, a fancy car, fancy shoes and make more than you do, but he is playing with somebody else’s money and a different set of rules. He does not speak your language. Canadian wood-products manufacturers tend to be small companies with one director. Here, the disadvantage is multiplied, because competing c-levels can invoke rules and processes that put small companies at a disadvantage. Former U.S. Democrat Senator and former Presidential Candidate George McGovern famously tried to run a bed-and-breakfast in his retirement. It didn’t work, he said, because of government regulation. Is all lost? Not a bit. However, marketing is not the same for everybody. Some people can take big risks with other people’s money and gamble on fads. Lots of recently employed salesmen are pushing them. For business owners in Canada, it’s not that complicated. Identify your market. Choose a supplier that can get an actual response. Work with people that share your values and understand your goals. Make a suitable plan, and then stick with it. Poggenpohl, Siematic and Scavolini are not here to help you. They are here to eat your lunch. If you would like to respond to this or any item in Wood Industry, you can either contact me directly, or you can visit www.woodindustry.ca.
S L L I K S Filling the
Dean Mattson is director of the cabinet-making program at North Salem High School in Salem, Ore. He had helped one of his students, a Hispanic girl he calls Mary, complete a class project: a very small table that measured 16-inches by 16-inches by 16-inches. She told him it was the perfect dining room table. He said, “For your dolls?” She said no; that it was for herself and her little brothers and sisters to eat on in the back seat of the car — where they were living. Needless to say, that moment left an indelible impression on Mattson, the 58-year-old teacher and winner of this year’s WMIA Wooden Globe Award for Educator of the Year in Phoenix, Ariz. During his acceptance speech at the recent Wood Industry Conference (WIC), his recounting the story of Mary also left an indelible impression on the audience, as there was barely a dry eye in the room during the speech. Mattson likes to use a personal passion of his as an example of how he reaches out to kids like Mary. He ex-
A unique progrAm gives hope to industry, And spirit
INDUSTRY MAY/JUNE may/june2013 2013 6 WOOD INDUSTRY
plains, “I like to use the metaphor of fly fishing, where you throw a bunch of artificial flies on the water and see which one will make the fish strike. Well, the wood is like the fly and the fish are the students.” In Mary’s case, wood served as a way of raising her grades, her self-esteem, as well as her lot in life. She has gone on to become a secretary who can now afford an apartment for her family. For other kids in the program, wood has also served as a path from failure and poverty to success and achievement. According to Mattson, his cabinet-making program has a 100-percent success rate.
The high-school students flanking teacher Dean Mattson (top right) are trained to a standard sought by the industry. According to one employer, the failure rate with new hires went from 98-percent wth off-the-street workers to 50-percent with Mattson’s graduates.
“What we have done here is essentially turn a traditional model of education on its head,” says Mattson. “We are using a cabinet-making program — I don’t like the term wood shop — to draw students into the class. So, this course is a core program, while English and math are the electives. “So, what our program does is essentially instil in the students the need to learn concepts found in those other courses. They are drawn by working with wood, where they learn about things like geometry. They then realize they need to know more about these concepts, as well as how to read and write well, in order to succeed in the workforce. So they become motivated to take English and math, and to succeed in doing so.” To say the program has been a success would be an overwhelming understatement. It has more than 400 students this year, with 500 on the waiting list. The program is set to expand next term so it can accommodate them all. Such companies as Custom Source Woodworking in Olympia, Wash., can’t hire enough of these grads, and states like North Carolina and Florida are inquiring about adopting the program themselves. The Wall Street Journal is set to write a piece on Mattson’s program with the title: “A new model of education for America.”
this high-school program as though it were a business. I started treating the students like I would my customers. In turn, I instilled skills in them that were in demand in the workforce. Things started turning around after that.” For Mattson, he was charged with the job of running a wood-industry program, but he did not survey the institutions for candidates looking for wood-industry careers. He found students that needed to survive. “Twenty percent of my students,” he says, “live in cars.” A similar program, WoodLinks, which started in Canada, has had the enthusiastic support of the industry, but remains challenged by finding candidates. Another program in the States, the Wood Career Alliance, includes many of the WoodLinks protocols, but includes standards testing that provides students with a “passport” certifying competence in each of several skills. Wood Career Alliance is merging with WoodLinks USA, and on July 31, WoodLinks will cease to exist.
“i decided to run this high-school progrAm As though it were A business.”
It wasn’t always this way at North Salem High School. Mattson describes the situation when he first got there: “Unfortunately, the wood program here was a perfect example of what’s happening across North America. Once a beloved teacher leaves, the program does, too. In our case, it was a man named David Anderson, who taught the course for 30 years. After he left, the program was in real jeopardy. “So, when I was hired,” Mattson says, “I saw a real desperate situation. None of the kids wanted to take the course. They didn’t see anything in it for them. I knew I had to do something. It was really a matter of personal survival for me. If things didn’t change, I probably would have been out of a job.” So Mattson resorted to what he knew, which is business. He describes his background as one involving extensive experience in corporate America, including the growing — from the ground up — of his own cabinet-manufacturing company. As he describes it, “I decided to run
One fundamental difference between the facility-to-student approach and Mattson’s student-to-facility idea may be Mattson’s idea of meeting the demands of the “customers” — or students — which, Mattson says, is another example of turning the traditional approach of education on its head. According to Mattson, “I started asking these students what they wanted out of the course, and the standard answer was that they wanted to make a good living after school. So that’s exactly what we have provided for them.” This raises an interesting question: Why aren’t enough students across the continent making a good living after leaving school? We have been promoting the value of skills for years, and the so-called skills gap is one of the most-discussed phenomena in the wood trades on both sides of the border. According to Mattson, the prevailing model is in need of some fixing. As Mattson bluntly puts it, “There is just too much of an emphasis on going to university. I don’t have a college degree, yet here I am engaging in a leading-edge approach to education. My students are ready to earn a living the moment they graduate from our program. We’re adapting to the reality that’s out there. There is a demand for skilled and motivated workers and woodworkers, and we’re doing all we can to try and meet that demand.” This is in contrast to the traditional approach. While INDUSTRY 7 WOODINDUSTRY WOOD
Mattson uses cabinet making as a way of introducing his students to concepts they would avoid learning in other courses, such as geometry and arithmetic. A video of the program, titled CabMak_Master, has been uploaded to YouTube by Charles McNary.
Mattson applies a business-like model to match students with employers, most schools appear trapped in methods that don’t meet today’s realities. Says Mattson, “Just look at the results. Students are lining up to graduate from a program, and employers are lining up to hire them. Unfortunately, that’s not happening in enough school districts today.” While the North Salem cabinet-making program has drawn much interest and praise, it has also predictably come up against its share of scepticism. As Mattson describes it, “Even the local people here weren’t convinced at first. Some educators had their doubts, and local businesses were reluctant to hire our grads.” Yet success breeds success. At North Salem High School, that success has led to a complete turnaround in public perception, which Mattson believes can be replicated across the continent. He adds, “I think we really need to shake things up. There is no reason why a program like ours can’t succeed anywhere in America or Canada. It’s simple, it can be tweaked, and it works.” Speaking of Canada, there has been no shortage of discussion about the so-called skills gap. In fact, the news
has been filled lately with stories related to the topic. The federal government is introducing a program that will give employers thousands of taxpayer dollars to train skilled workers. The temporary foreign workers program is under fire for allegedly taking jobs away from Canadians. And on and on it goes. Editor’s Note: Wood Industry requested information of Canada’s WoodLinks program, which is managed by the Wood Manufacturing Council, but the information was not provided by press time. Comment on this story at www.woodindustry.ca
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Filings WOOD Tooling takeover
NAP Gladu, a tooling company headquartered in Jasper, Ind., has completed its acquisition of BC Saw of Toronto, Ont., a maker and seller of carbide and metal saws, various tool-
ing solutions, and routers. According to Doug Reid, co-owner of BC Saw, “BC Saw has developed a very strong core business in the Ontario market that will benefit from greater product offering, advanced custom tool-
The world came to Germany
The show says this is a new record. Given historical trends, there is no doubt that a significant amount of these visitors to Hannover were Canadian. In total, 90,000 people from 100 A highly visible international contingent was countries attended Ligna and had access present at Interzum from the very start. to 124,000 square metres of space filled by 1,637 exhibitors from 46 countries. A more compact layout is being cited as contributing to the success of the show as attendees welcomed shorter walking distances between areas of interest. Along with North Americans, Russians flocked to Ligna in greater numbers than before. Over in Cologne, Interzum is also Leading-edge technology was a reporting a significantly enhanced much-discussed topic at this year’s presence from abroad. Blum’s c.e.o., Hubert Schwarz, cites “the excelLigna. lent visitor frequency and the great More people from around the world potential of international visitors came to Germany this year to learn from all over the world whom we about wood. That’s what both Lig- were able to welcome to our stand na and Interzum are saying about on the very first day,” as an example their recently completed wood-in- of the foreign presence at this year’s dustry tradeshow spectacles. show. A broad range of exhibitors According to Ligna, over 40 from all parts of the globe were also percent of the show’s visitors came on hand for the show: 1,512 in total. from abroad, which is an increase One of this year’s highlights was from 2011. Of particular note is the the Best of the Best awards ceremo52-percent surge in attendance from ny in which 500 guests were in attenNorth America, which came to a dance to recognize excellence among total of more than 3,000 attendees. the industry’s manufacturers.
10 WOOD INDUSTRY
design capabilities and investment support provided by Nap Gladu.” NAP Gladu is owned by New-Yorkbased equity firm Tenex Capital Management.
Kitchen cabinets and other manufactured wood products were on full display at this year’s version of the National Home Show in Toronto, Ont. Kitchens were specifically part of the show’s theme, which attracted a number of interested customers. According to Enzo D’Alessandro of Accuwrap/SouthBrook Cabinetry in Woodbridge, Ont., “I can’t believe the number of leads we’ve received at this show. It might even be too many, but it’s a problem I’ll take any day.” Other wood-products manufacturers were also very busy in their booths tending to customers. Such exhibitors included Muti Kitchen & Bath of Woodbridge, Ont., Amish Furniture of Pickering, Ont., Jeevana Furniture Finishing in Toronto, Ont., and Evertsen Brothers, a Peterborough, Ont.-based manufacturer of wood countertops, butcher blocks and cutting boards.
The Canadian government has introduced a measure designed to address the long-recognized skills gap in this country. The Canada Job Grant, which businesses can apply for if they plan to train Canadians for an existing or better job, will provide $5,000 per trained person. This amount must be matched by the employer as well as the province or territory, which comes to a total of $15,000 per person. The government is providing $300 million to fund the program, which is expected to help train 130,000 people every year.
ada and the U.S. The company plans to celebrate its 75th at a couple of these offices with open houses in the branches at Delta, B.C., on June 11 – 12, and at Dieppe, N.B., on June 6 – 7. The anniversary will also be the company’s primary focus at the WMS tradeshow in Mississauga, Ont., which runs Oct. 24 – 26 at the International Centre.
Skills-gap evolution The Akhurst showroom on West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver, B.C., circa 1955.
Canada’s wood industry has seen its share of change, challenges, consolidations and turnover for the last 75 years, yet not too many companies can say they’ve been there and done that for the duration — except at least one, perhaps. Akhurst Machinery of Delta, B.C., was founded in 1938 by William (W.A) Akhurst and is still an independently-owned and family-run distributor of industrial equipment for Canada’s secondary wood sector, with offices across Can-
WoodLinks USA and the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA) have announced an agreement to merge their organizations. As of July 1, all WoodLinks USA members will be allowed to become education members of the WCA.
WoodLinks USA will officially dissolve on July 31. The WCA’s credentialing program was created in 2011 and, according to the organization, is rapidly being adopted as the standard for training and evaluating personnel in the wood industry. The merger finalizes a partnership formed between the two organizations in 2010, and furthers the WCA’s formation of an educational arm to develop new recruits at the secondary and postsecondary levels. WoodLinks USA was formed in 1999 and its name was licensed out of Canada’s own WoodLinks program, which is run by the Wood Manufacturing Council. The licensing agreement and accompanying fees will end as the result of the new merger.
A helping hand
Wickham Hardwood Flooring of Wickham, Que., is the recipient of $1 million in financial assistance from the government of Canada. The funding, which the government describes as repayable financial contribution, will
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All-in on tradeshows
Onex, a Canadian-based equity firm, has acquired Nielsen Expositions, a large operator of over 65 businessto-business tradeshows in the U.S., including K/BIS and the Hospitality and Design Expo (HD Expo). The purchase is worth $950 million. According to a joint statement, Nielsen brings brand strength to the acquisition as well high renewal rates in the U.S. tradeshow market, while Onex
12 WOOD INDUSTRY
has a track record of similar acquisitions and will provide for a seamless transition moving forward.
A show of technical support
IMA/Schelling has made Westeck Innovation its accredited service centre for British Columbia. Westeck i s o w n e d a n d o p e r a t e d b y Kevin Goldman, who has over 23 years of experience in the wood-industry machinery industry, and has been servicing IMA Kevin Goldman and Schelling equipment in B.C. for almost a decade. Murat Dogan, IMA/Schelling Canada’s
president, says the service centre will combine a local technician’s presence with the full support of IMA/Schelling North America’s resources and services.
In on the action
The Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association (CKCA) has decided to join other housing-industry events and colocate its National Forum in Las Vegas, Nev., for the winter of 2014. The Forum will be held in conjunction with the city’s Design and Construction Week, which will include the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (K/BIS), and the International Builders’ Show (IBS). Surfaces, a flooringindustry tradeshow, will join the fray in 2015. CKCA’s National Forum was held in Winnipeg, Man., for 2013 during a cold winter week. The association has yet to finalize dates and venue for the upcoming 2014 event.
Sizing the cabinet industry
The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA), which is comprised of resi-
dential and commercial cabinetmakers from Canada and the United States, has released the results of its 2013 Benchmark Survey. The survey asked both members and non-members various questions concerning the state of the industry. Among the findings were: 67.4 percent of respondents see growth for 2013, with just over half, 54.7 percent, reporting higher sales in 2012; 61.8 experienced sales growth in 2012 of over 10 percent, while 22.5 percent saw growth of over 20 percent. About two-thirds of the survey takers, or 67.9 percent, were shops with revenues of less than $1 million, and about half, or 46.8 percent, have shops that are less than 5,000 square feet in size.
Ingesting food, ideas and more
Richelieu will be holding its Trends for 2014 event at its location in Mississauga, Ont., on June 6. The company is hosting the event for its customers, as well as the design and architectural communities, in order
to discover new products and trends from Europe and around the world. Seminars will be held on various topics, including closets, lighting, sliding doors, Blum dynamic space and finishing. Food and drinks will be provided throughout the day.
A license to drill
Vecoplan, a manufacturer of machinery for processing wood, scrap and waste, has hired Greg Shaffer as its senior service technician. Greg Shaffer Shafferâ€™s responsibilities will include the installation and start-up of individual machines and complete systems, as well as the maintenance and servicing of existing equipment in the field. Shaffer is a licensed mechanic and electrician with over 28 years of experience, including the last 10
years as owner of his own electrical and mechanical-services company, Mountain Air Services.
U.S housing profits
The National Traders Association has issued a number of reports indicating that companies tied to the housing market are poised to profit from a housing boom. For example, Home Depot, the largest home-improvement retailer in North America, has posted five-percent growth in consolidated sales for stores open more than a year, as well as a twopercent growth in customer transactions, and has announced the hiring of 80,000 seasonal workers this year â€” 14 percent more than last year. Another example, hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators, has seen a stock-price rise of 237 percent since January, 2012, and had third-quarter 2012 earnings rise by 77 percent.
Italy: steady as she goes
Italyâ€™s wood-industry machinery manufacturing association, Acimall,
BOOTH #7630 www.woodindustry.ca
WOOD INDUSTRY 13
Filings WOOD is making news on a couple of fronts. First, the association is reporting better-than-expected exports in the sector, while the domestic industry is still struggling. Machinery exports for 2012 were at 1.153 billion euros — down only 3.7 percent from 2011. An 8.0 percent reduction was expected, given the recent turmoil in Italy’s economy. The top-three buyers of Italian wood machinery in 2012 were Germany, France and Russia. Sales to Canada dropped 11.5 percent for the year to 13 million euros. Yet Acimall cites Canada’s longstanding and profitable relationship with Italian companies in the sector as a reason for future optimism. Acimall has also announced the signing of an agreement to have Xylexpo, Italy’s biennial exhibition of
wood technology and furniture-industry supplies, stay in its traditional venue at the Milan Fairgrounds in Rho, Italy. The agreement covers the next two shows in 2014 and 2016, with an option for 2018. Continuity, Milan’s central location in Italy and advanced transportation infrastructure, were all cited as reasons to stay the course with the show.
March permits include strike evasion
According to Statistics Canada, contractors took out building permits worth $6.5 billion in March, up 8.6 percent from February and the third consecutive monthly advance. This was well ahead of the 0.9 percent increase predicted by industry experts.
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The largest increase was in the value of non-residential permits, which rose 19.0 percent to $2.8 billion, largely in the important institutional and commercial sectors. This represents a second consecutive monthly gain. In the residential sector, the value of permits increased 1.7 percent to $3.6 billion. Despite this growth, residential construction intentions remained on a downward trend that started in mid-2012. The increase in March was attributable to building permits for multi-family dwellings. Inside sources tell Wood Industry that builders, not wanting exposure to unfulfilled commitments in the face of a strike, pulled back on permit applications in the months before March and April anticipating labour unrest as contract talks began. With new, multi-year contracts freshly inked, expectations are for a substantial increase in single- and multi-family permits in May and early summer.
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In the institutional component, the value of permits more than doubled to $980 million in March, following a 28.1 percent increase in February. This was the highest level since October 2012, when the value of permits exceeded the $1-billion mark.
A lumbering transition
Weyerhaeuser, a manufacturer of wood and cellulose-fibre products, has hired Adrian M. Blocker as its vice president of lumber, effective May 1, 2013. Blocker’s appointment follows Rob Taylor’s planned retirement from the company in May. According to Larry Burrows, Weyerhaeuser’s vice president of wood products, “[Blocker] will be a great addition to our team, bringing more than 30 years of broad forest products operational and corporate experience in forestland management, fibre procurement, and lumber and plywood manufacturing.”
Ontario producers head for Dubai
WALKERTON, Ont. – The Bluewater Wood Alliance, represented by seven southwestern Ontario wood manufacturers, will be exhibiting at INDEX 2013 (International Design Exhibition), in Dubai, U.A.E., in an effort to develop new export markets for value-added Ontario wood products. For wood manufacturing companies in Southwestern Ontario, this is an opportunity they could not otherwise realize on their own. Supported by provincial grants, Natural Resources Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Bluewater Wood Alliance is a not-for-profit “cluster organization” of wood companies that was formed two years ago in the Bruce-Grey County region to collaborate on such projects as export development, process improvement, adoption of new technologies, and sharing of best practices and resources.
GROW YOUR BUSINESS –
Letters WOOD Mr. Knudsen, I would just like to comment on how I enjoy your publication as it highlights local businesses and trades which gives us an idea of the market in our area as well as internationally. I also find your editorials both informative and interesting and I am often able to apply your suggestions or advice to my small business operation. The March/April column was very useful as it could be a template for any business big or small and it is written in a common sense approach that even guys like me who don’t get out of the shop enough can relate to. I also look forward to the new products section to keep up with the many advancements in technology in our industry. Thanks and keep up the good work. Rob Perry Riverside Custom Cabinets Ltd. Clarksburg, Ont.
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WOOD INDUSTRY 15
PROFILE: The Muskoka Surfboard Company, Baysville, Ont.
when in doubt
diversify Owner Hatkoski refers to Tracy Crewson (pictured) as “the woodworker” of his operation. It takes her about 4.5 hours to create each surfboard.
There was a time during the financial crisis when Richard Hatkoski’s company, which once employed 28 people, was down to one: himself. No work was coming in. Bills were piling up by the day. Friends and family members were asking him why he didn’t just give it all up. He had one simple and not completely rational answer to offer: “I just believed.” The power of simply believing — in himself, his company, his workers, and fate — is what helped Hatkoski pull through the worst of times. Today, his primary business, Commercial Pallet in Baysville, Ont., is still standing, as is one of its offshoots: The Muskoka Surfboard Company, a maker of premium wooden surfboards that are starting to surface in Ontario’s cottage country. Hatkoski attended the University of Waterloo, in Wa16 WOOD INDUSTRY
terloo, Ont., where he graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1990. He came back to the Muskoka region to work as a manufacturing engineer, which culminated in a managerial position at Algonquin Automotive – a company that supplied auto parts to Toyota. Algonquin used the Toyota Production System, which left an impression. According to Hatkoski, “It’s more of a philosophy than it is a system, and what a difference it made at Algonquin. If you take all the so-called lean approaches we know about today — just-in-time, kaizen, you name it — it’s all incorporated in the Toyota system. From that, I learned that an operation can always find efficiencies. Even placing a workstation a few steps closer to the next workstation can make a huge difference over time.” It was while working at Algonquin that he stumbled upon Commercial Pallet, a small, four-employee opera-
ing water from boats. But tion Algonquin was considHatkoski’s demeanour ering using as a supplier. changes when he talks Algonquin sent Hatkoski about one specific diverto do a business analysis. sification niche within his Instead, he decided to buy company, The Muskoka the company himself. Surfboard Company, Hatkoski describes the which is as much the resituation at the time as, sult of personal passion “First, I really liked what I and just plain fun as it is saw at Commercial Pallet. about good business. It had what I considered to be all the requirements Hatkoski’s father, Jack, is the financier of the company. Hatkoski says the idea for a successful small busiA former teacher, Jack now keeps an eye on his investment behind the surfboards ness. It was family-run, by doing odd jobs such as building a new clamping table on came while doing conwith no succession plan top of an old snowmobile rack. sulting work in Califorin place. It was a supplier nia. He fell in love with for other companies in the region. It was also ripe for a transformation using the surfboarding, so much so that he decided to bring it to Muskoka, where there is a lot of water, but not a lot of Toyota system principles I was steeped in by that time.” Yet something else was tugging away at Hatkoski. waves. His solution was tow surfing, which is quite differ“You know, I was 35 at the time and had really gone as ent from its namesake. Tow surfing only requires a boat far as I could go at Algonquin,” he says. “My grandfather with a 10-horse motor, a rope, and one of Hatkoski’s handran a cottage and marina business in this region, and I made wooden surfboards. “Tow surfing is really for people like me who aren’t wanted to get back to those roots. My father, who was a teacher, decided he’d finance me. So we did it. I bought dead yet,” says Hatkoski, “middle-aged moms and dads who want some surfing fun on the lakes without the hasCommercial Pallet, and have not looked back since.” sle that comes with water skiing or other forms of surfing. At its peak, Commercial Pallet expanded to two fa- It’s slower. You have more control over your movements.” cilities, with the other focusing on industrial packaging. In 2010, it took Hatkoski 10 hours to make his first Hatkoski looks back at that time with some nostalgia: surfboard from obeche wood. He realized he needed some “Things were so good that we couldn’t even imagine any- help, so he hired Tracy Crewson, a local woodworker who thing going wrong. Yet reality hit, starting in 2007 and was trained in wood furniture making at Camosun Colthe recession, when everything that could go wrong, did. lege in Victoria, B.C. Were there times when I didn’t think we could survive? By 2011, Hatkoski had sold only one board: the first Absolutely.” one he made, which he calls Number One. He has bought Yet survive the company did. Hatkoski says the crisis it back since and cherishes it. By the end of cottage seachanged the way he approached business. As he puts it, son in 2011, he had sold about 30 boards. Current produc“I no longer saw myself as providing products, but as pro- tion is approaching 100. Hatkoski says the surfboards are viding services. We have space in the warehouse, so we gaining traction with the cottage crowd, which is why he rent it out as a service. We have a capable and flexible is planning to open up his own retail store. His experiworkforce that can do more than pallets. Customers hire ence with a local sports store was not very rewarding. us for that reason.” According to Hatkoski, Under Hatkoski, the company diversified into making “We sold more on our own than they did at the store. things like epoxy kits and a solar-powered unit for pump- The salesmen there just didn’t get it. They didn’t underwww.woodindustry.ca
WOOD INDUSTRY 17
All of the company’s surfboards and skateboards are made from obeche wood and coated with linseed oil. The result is that no two boards are ever alike.
Hatkoski is a disciple of The Toyota Production System, a lean-manufacturing philosophy that has him map out his operations for all to see. stand the appeal of tow surfing, or even know what it is. Our experience has been that, once people learn about this sport, they love it. So we think we’ll continue to grow as a business, and a brand.”
In addition to the surfboards,
The Muskoka Surfboard Company is now offering discs, which are a throwback to a style of surfing from decades ago, as well as skateboards, which Hatkoski demonstrates by whizzing around the shop floor.
As an example of growing the business, Hatkoski plans on eventually giving Crewson some help with a CNC machine, an upgrade to their current table saw, as well as a helping hand or two in staffing. He sells at local cottage shows, with an eye to some bigger shows in the States. If all goes according to plan, tow surfing will gain a toehold in Muskoka, and the Muskoka Surfboard Company will be the brand behind the new trend in leisure sports. Post comments at www.woodindustry.ca
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Design WOOD Wooden toy charts the course of a career
Spring freshet W
e all got our start as woodworkers somewhere. Somehow. Some occurrence, possibly quite by chance, got us started. I started by building little toy wooden boats. It was before I started school, so I was young. My experience splitting firewood had familiarized me with handling an axe, so it wasn’t such a stretch Paul Epp to take a short section of 2 x 6 that was lying behind the drive shed and chop on a pointed bow and stern. Fence staples in the stems held the mooring lines. A shorter section of 2 x 4 became the cabin and the bobbin from one of my mother’s spools of thread, hammered amidships as a funnel, completed the superstructure. There might even have been a dab of paint to simulate the brightwork.
The whole point was to enjoy the spring runoff. The ditches were full of water. In places the whole road allowance was submerged. The creek overflowed its banks. There was no end to it and it was a small boy’s delight. But how can you have water and not have a boat? With a length of binder twine as a line, off I went, wading along with my boat following, but more often, darting ahead. Initially my resolve was to not exceed that point of depth, which was barely below the tops of my rubber boots. Eventually, of course, I would misjudge and the ice-cold
water would pour in. But this was merely the price to be paid for an afternoon of being my own captain. “Nice? It’s the ONLY thing,” said the Water Rat solemnly as he leant forward for his stroke (speaking to Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows). “Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
I wasn’t actually in my boat, except in my mind, but that wasn’t much of a disadvantage, not then, not yet. Even so, I traveled far. At the end of a day, and in a particularly brisk torrent of water headed who knows where, I would cast my boat adrift, just for the pleasure of seeing it pick up speed, rolling and twisting in the currents and headed, eventually, out of sight. I was curious as to where my boats would eventually drift. My mother told me it would be the Arctic Ocean. That caught my imagination. How could that be? This opened a window to maps and atlases. I knew that the water ended up in “the creek.” Then, down to the small lake beyond the summer pasture. From there, another creek took the water on to join up with the bigger creek that was the outflow of Rat Lake. From there to Bear Lake and then the Bear Creek took it to join the Wapiti River, on the other side of Grande Prairie. The Wa-
piti fed the Smokey and the Smokey had its confluence with the mighty Peace. The Peace, of course, feeds the Mackenzie and from there, it’s north all the way. It was enough to make my little heart beat faster.
The real thing
It actually turned out to be quite a while before I built real boats and explored distant oceans. After a number of years as a committed wilderness canoe paddler, I helped found a company that built canoes. I made my own paddles and wanigans. But before that, I learned the proper way to work wood. With this skill, I built a lot of furniture. As I began to teach this craft, I also began to travel. Most of my early peregrinations were work related: studying and then lecturing or judging competitions in distant (to me) parts of North America, Europe, Latin America, Australia, Asia. I even crossed an ocean in a boat. It all started with the mesmerizing influence of spring: the lengthening days of glorious bright sunshine, the shrinking snow, the little wild crocuses poking through, the pussy willows budding and the urgency of the water to be off on its long journey. Taking up a craft is not unlike going on a voyage. By doing this, we set off on a long journey too. There is a similar allure that gets us started, with the sense of a distant but attainable goal, the exploration and effort in between, plus the boots full of freezing water. There is some curiosity and something curious that sets us in motion. I always wanted to accompany one of those now distant-in-time little boats on its long journey to its far off frozen sea. That hasn’t happened and it may never, but I’ve traced much of the early stages of the journey on foot and by car. There is a long ways to go yet, and that’s fine with me. Paul Epp is a professor at OCAD University and chair of its Industrial Design Department. Comment at www.woodindustry.ca. www.woodindustry.ca
WOOD INDUSTRY 19
Law WOOD Risks of dismissing a worker
Compensation benefits By Daniel Mayer
ismissing a worker who is receiving loss of earnings (“LOE”) benefits from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) is fraught with risk. An employer might have just cause to terminate the worker’s employment, and might believe that LOE benefits will cease after termination, but there is debate at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Tribunal (“WSIAT”) regarding whether a worker should continue receiving LOE benefits after his or her employment is terminated for just cause. Employers need to take this into consideration when dismissing a worker. Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (“WSIA”), LOE benefits are granted to workers when they suffer a work-related injury and suffer a loss of earnings as a result. For example, an employee might only return to modified hours after the injury. LOE benefits are meant to compensate a worker for his or her loss of earnings in these circumstances.
An interesting issue arises when a worker is receiving LOE benefits and is then dismissed for some sort of misconduct. Will the WSIB continue paying LOE benefits? The WSIB has not developed any policy on LOE benefits in the case of terminations for just cause. The WSIAT decisions discussed below will demonstrate the differing approaches that have emerged.
20 WOOD INDUSTRY
The first line of decisions states that LOE benefits cease after a termination for just cause when the actions that led to the termination amount to repudiation or a fundamental breach of the employment contract. In other words, the worker’s behaviour led to a breakdown in the employment relationship. This conduct usually involves the most condemnable workplace behaviour, conduct that is incompatible with the worker’s duties. When repudiation or a fundamental breach occurs, the link between the LOE benefits and the injury is broken because the worker’s loss of earnings now stems from the loss of employment due to the misconduct. It is not the WSIB’s role to compensate workers for the loss of earnings arising from their dismissal.
In Decision 690/07, the worker was dismissed for violating company rules and policies two weeks after he injured his back at work. He claimed LOE benefits from the date of termination until he started his new employment. The WSIAT ruled that the worker’s misfeasance could have been addressed short of termination. Therefore, violating company policy in this case was not a fundamental breach of the employment contract. LOE benefits were granted from the date of termination until he was medically cleared to seek employment at no wage loss, a time period of approximately five months.
The reasoning in Decision 690/07 was premised on the fact that there was no authority (in the WSIA or otherwise) to consider a termination for cause differently from a termination for economic reasons, such as a permanent layoff. In fact, the WSIAT stated that there was no qualitative difference between termination for just cause and termination for economic reasons. The WSIB has developed policies to determine entitlements to LOE benefits when a worker is dismissed for economic reasons. In short, when a worker is dismissed for economic reasons, and continues to suffer from a disability due to a workplace injury, the worker may qualify for additional LOE benefits. In the case of a termination for just cause, the events surrounding the worker’s dismissal are only relevant if they sever the link between the compensable injury and the LOE benefits, such as repudiation or a fundamental breach of the employment contract. In other words, a worker’s dismissal that is unrelated to his or her compensable injury is not automatically an intervening event that ends the worker’s LOE benefits.
Decision 690/07 was subsequently followed, such as in Decision No. 190/10. There, the worker was suffering from subclavian vein thrombosis. He was dismissed for aggressively yelling obscenities and derogatory remarks at his supervisor. The WSIAT was not persuaded that the worker’s conduct amounted to repudiation or a fundamental breach of his employment contract. Thus, he was granted LOE benefits from the moment of termination until he found new employment, a period of time of approximately seven months. In more recent cases, the WSIAT has moved toward an approach that considers first and foremost whether the worker’s dismissal was related to the compensable injury. The dis-
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missal will be considered an “intervening event” if it is not related to the injury. Whether the misconduct was a fundamental breach of the employment contract is not at the centre of the analysis. This approach is more in line with the WSIA. Section 43 of the WSIA states that a worker receives LOE benefits when he or she suffers a loss of earnings resulting from a work-related injury. As such, loss of earnings from termination for just cause is not a result of a work-related injury and benefits should be denied.
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22 WOOD INDUSTRY
In Decision No. 2193/11, the worker was dismissed for stealing a battery. He was suffering from a right hip strain and right shoulder strain. The WSIAT found that the compensable injury was not a factor in the termination of the worker’s employment. The WSIAT made this determination because the employer could have continued to accommodate the worker. Having made this determination, there was no need to determine if the worker was dismissed for just cause. In fact, the WSIAT stressed that it was not within its scope of authority to import common law notions of wrongful dismissal, such as just cause, when adjudicating claims for LOE benefits. These decisions from the WSIAT make it difficult to determine whether a worker will receive LOE benefits after a termination for just cause. As we can see from the decisions reviewed, a worker might or might not continue to receive LOE benefits after termination for violating a company policy. The lack of clarity on LOE benefits following a termination for just cause is due, in part, to the lack of any WSIB policy on the subject matter. Daniel Mayer practices labour and employment law at Heenan Blaikie LLP (Toronto). He can be reached at email@example.com.
New Products It’s covered
General International’s new model 15-205 M1 15-inch disc sander features a fully enclosed, heavyduty steel stand with built-in storage shelf. The 15-205 M1 is equipped with a twoHP 220V motor, a large easy-access stop panel, and a mechanical break to automatically stop the disc within seconds. The precision-balanced 15inch cast-iron disc is equipped with wraparound-style steel guards covering the entire rear and side edges, as well as half of the front face (for added safety). www.general.ca
It’s all in the application
The AEC Automatic Glue Applicator from Doucet features a sequencer belt conveyor, which allows the operator to stage several parts in its bottom-feed reserve. This increases productivity by maintaining a constant flow of material through the glue applicator. Depending on the application, the belt can stop feeding between consecutive parts in order to create a gap, or a continuous feed of parts can be maintained. The applicator has a reserve capacity of 12 inches, or a maximum of 150 pounds. www.doucetinc.com
A trim here and there
Into a groove
Häfele Canada has introduced the LooX LED 1089 strip light featuring powerful downward-facing LED modules. Working on the LooX 12 V system, these moulded LED modules are designed for rooms where moisture and water are present, and are particularly suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, living areas and individual interior furnishings. Highly flexible, this strip light will form to curved designs requiring a very tight radius, and can be installed using clips or glue, or be recessed into a groove. www.hafele.ca
The redesigned Precision Trim saw blades from DeWalt are ideal for cutting mouldings, staircases, cabinets, windows, flooring, hand railings, as well as additional crosscutting and ripping applications in premium materials. This blade delivers accurate and smooth cuts with minimum splintering. For optimal accuracy, DeWalt designed Precision Trim with a thin kerf, laser cut, hardened steel plate. The laser-cut expansion slots and exclusive body slots help to dampen vibration, which provides an accurate finish. www.dewalt.com
An aggressive geometry
Take some edge off
The high-shear two- flute router bit from SGS is available in a right-hand spiral, right-hand cutting up-cut geometry, as well as a left-hand spiral, right-hand cutting down-cut geometry. This product is capable of machining wood, plastics and various non-ferrous materials. The router bit is also made of high performance and lab-certified raw material, and features an aggressive high-shear geometry. Customers can find the recommended speed and feed combination for the SGS cutting solution of their choice by clicking a calculator button on the company’s website. www.sgstool.com
Roundover & Beading Bits from CMT Orange feature a popular profile for taking the edge off a sharp corner or, if partnered with a cove bit, can create a drop-leaf table or other intricate project. These bits are equipped with two carbide-tipped cutting edges, anti-kickback design, heat-treated shank and body for durability. A 3/8 inch bearing for beading profiles is included with each bit. This product is part of a new brand, CMT Contractor Tools, which is designed to fit the needs of contractors and remodelers. www.cmtutensili.com www.woodindustry.ca
WOOD INDUSTRY 23
Change without effort
It’s the adjustments
The Tec soft-close from Grass is a face-frame hinge with the soft-close damper pre-mounted in the hinge cup. Sleek in design, this Tec softclose features a new adjustable switch to regulate the closing action. A three-tiered adjustment provides different levels of resistance on the soft-close mechanism. The setting can be adjusted so that the closing action is consistent regardless of the size and weight of the door. The drilling depth of the cup is 11 millimetres. www.grasscanada.com
tems, catalyzed lacquers, conversion varnishes, and formaldehyde-free catalyzed finishes. www.oem.sherwin.com
Benz has introduced a new aggregate to help control small nested parts on flat table routers. The DH100 incorporates a large eight-inch pressure pad that puts anywhere from nine to 16 pounds of pressure down on the parts and helps keep them secure until cutting is finished. A 2.75-inch tool opening allows for large-diameter cutters, and the unit also incorporates the Benz Solidfix system of interchangeable tool holders for effortless tool changes. www.benz-inc.com
The finishing touch
The software knows
According to Laguna, the results have been more stunning than the company could have imagined. For professional woodworkers, the days of viruses, corrupted files, crashed hard drives and the unceasing headaches always associated with PCbased systems are a thing of the past. That’s because B&R Controllers have turned out to be a perfect match for Laguna Tools’ innovative CNC machines, and its customers are reaping the benefits thanks to significantly less downtime that translate to increased profits. www.lagunatools.com
KCD software is designed to make it easy to specify custom manufacturing and building methods within the software. The program’s advanced custom-building technology allows the user to globally change these specifications at the touch of a button — without having to go back into a design and modify each part separately. The software knows, so to speak, how to build, based on each technique, and provides the properlyadjusted information required for precision cut lists and efficient nesting to CNC machinery. www.kcdsoftware.com
24 WOOD INDUSTRY
Sherwin-Williams says it understands how finishing decisions for the wood contract furniture industry have become more complex. Performance expectations are higher, aesthetic demands are greater, and concerns for the environment are increasing. That’s why the company has made a commitment to the sector, helping finishers navigate and succeed with technologies and industryleading service and support. Such technologies include UV coatings, polyurethanes, polyesters, waterborne lacquers, 2K waterborne sys-
Leitz describes its VariPlan Plus, an adaptation of the Variplan planerhead, as a quality leap in planing soft and hard wood. Using RipTec knife technology for pre-planing or integrating with smooth knives, Variplan is designed to increase the smoothness of rustic and even difficult-tomachine woods. It does all this while decreasing the prevalence of chipping. The solid HS or carbide knives
are reversible and can be sharpened up to six times without changing diameter or limiting performance. www.leitztooling.com
saw blades. The HT is an inexpensive entry model for thin-cutting frame saw blades and scraper saws. It features maximum operating efficiency, maximum precision and easy operation — all in one compact and affordable grinding machine. www.wintersteiger.com
The Patterns collection of high-pressure laminate from Lamitech has been carefully selected to highlight special areas of furnishings and can be combined with the company’s Woodgrains, Solids and Metallics designs. Lamitech says it applies stateof-the-art technology during all manufacturing stages: in-house phenolic and melamine resins production, kraft and decorative papers impregnation, and flat pressing, trimming and sanding. According to the company, it uses the highest quality raw materials supplied by leading North American, European and Asian vendors. www.lamitech.com.co
The new 0.6-millimetre Xcora Strand bamboo veneer matches Teragren’s existing Xcora Strand flooring and panels, and is ideal for custom cabinetry, furniture construction, interior paneling, countertops, tabletops and other interior applications where hardwood might traditionally be considered. According to Teragren, their Xcora products are 160 percent harder than oak, 1.5 times more stable than maple, and are made from Optimum 5.5 Moso Bamboo, harvested at maturity for peak density, which creates a harder and more stable product. www.teragren.com
The MX series of pumps from Binks features an advanced design that requires a reduced amount of replacement parts. The MX series allows for ramping up finishing during periods of increased production. The HD version (pictured) is also designed for harsh environments. With quieter operation levels, says Binks, the MX HD outperforms and outlasts other sprayers and operates 2.5 times longer than competitive models — without interruption. The MX pumps complement the company’s line of spray guns designed for wood finishing. www.binks.com
Where success starts
For Wintersteiger, economic success with thin-cutting frame saws requires superbly sharpened saw blades. Therefore, the success of a wood shop starts in the sharpening room. That’s where the Micro Grinder HT comes in, which is part of the company’s saw service for DSG frame
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WOOD INDUSTRY11/8/11 2511:22 AM
numBers Graphic snapshot of industry trends
s the voice for the secondary wood processing industry in Canada, we are following up on an item we ran in our January/February issue, which provided a statistical snapshot of our industry going back to before the recession. The result of that statistical analysis was telling, as it described an industry that understandably took a hit during the recession, but that has also failed keep up with demand in the wake of the economic recovery. In other words, our industry is lagging. These numbers comprise a comprehensive summation of factors affecting your business, from sales of producers of kitchen cabinets and office furniture to the construction statistics that reflect demand for those products. Of note in these charts are the import/export numbers for the sector. If you recall, our previous analysis showed Canadaâ€™s exports in wood products collapsing amid a corresponding growth in imports from overseas. The U.S. housing bust is partly to blame. Yet, as the current chart shows, there is a bridging of the gap underway in 2013. The bottom line in blue, reflecting exports, is getting
Wood industry manufacturing imports and exports in millions of dollars. Includes wood kitchen cabinet and counter top manufacturing, household and institutional furniture manufacturing, and millwork. Wood industry manufacturing imports
350 300 250 200
Wood industry manufacturing exports
150 100 50
Sales of Canadian wood industry products in millions of dollars. 440 Veneer, plywood and engineered wood product manufacturing
Household and institutional furniture manufacturing
Wood kitchen cabinet and counter top manufacturing
2011 INDUSTRY MAY/JUNE may/june2013 2013 26 WOOD INDUSTRY
closer to the top red line that represents imports. Perhaps that long-awaited U.S. housing recovery is real after all, and our sector stands to benefit from the opportunity. Also of interest is the construction sector. It has been typical of some commentators to predict a “bursting of the bubble” in Canadian construction for the last number of years. It hasn’t happened. First, no economic sector goes in one direction all the time. There are ebbs and flows, and construction certainly follows that pattern — in good times and bad. The numbers show that. For example, as the charts indicate, housing starts are down, and building permits took a hit in the last quarter of 2012. Second, despite all the nay-saying, construction is doing fine. In particular, building permits are recovering and are now back over $6 billion for March, and indications are that the number will only continue to grow in 2013. (See Filings, starting on page 13.) Also, as the blue line in the chart shows, investment in non-residential con-
struction is still holding steady above the $10 billion per quarter mark. Next, there is the domestic market. As the top chart shows, this industry has its ebbs and flows, too. However, sales of veneer, plywood and engineered wood are well above last year’s pace, indicating higher consumption of consumable supplies, therefore higher production of secondary products in Canada. Finally, there is the Canadian sawmill and woodworking machinery sector. Most of you don’t run sawmills, so it’s somewhat of a mixed statistic. Nevertheless, despite holding steady for most of the last two years, Canadian machinery sales have dropped dramatically to start off 2013. In other words, you weren’t buying Canadian to start the year. We’ll see how that trend develops, as well as the rest of the numbers in our industry, in upcoming issues.
Investment in non-residential construction and building permits in billions of dollars. Investment in nonresidential construction (three-month totals)
13 11 9 7
Housing starts in thousands. 60 50 40 30
32 30 28 26 24 22 20
2013 INDUSTRY 27 WOODINDUSTRY WOOD
Source: Statistics Canada
Sawmill- and woodworking-machinery manufacturing sales in millions of dollars.
Bullets WOOD Current business highlights National home sales rose 2.4 percent from February to March, 2013. The number of newly-listed homes rose by 2.3 percent for the same period, and the national average sales price rose 2.5 percent from a year ago. — Canadian Real Estate Association The non-residential building construction price index remained unchanged for the first quarter of 2013 after 11 consecutive quarterly increases. According to contractors, price increases in architectural and structural trades were offset by lower commodity prices in mechanical and electrical trades. — StatCan The composite price index for apartment-building construction decreased by 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2013, but was up by 1.0 percent from the same period in 2012. In the latest quarter, increased prices were reported in Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary. — StatCan
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The Temporary Foreign Workers program has come under scrutiny again amid allegations that jobs are being taken away from Canadians. Consequently, this is raising fears of a regulatory crackdown, resulting in higher fees and administrative costs for small businesses already in desperate need of entry-level workers. — Canadian Federation of Independent Business A stronger emphasis on kitchen and baths is underway as the U.S. housing sector is starting to recover. According to a survey of residential architects, almost a quarter of respondents reported an increase in popularity for separate kitchen facilities. This marks the first upward trend in kitchen and baths since 2009. — American Institute of Architects
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Canadian exports are set to rebound in 2013 as growth in the U.S. is expected to increase by 2.3 percent, which also accounts for a two-percent drag from government austerity measures. Private sectors expected to benefit include exporters of wood products, autos, parts and other consumer goods. — Export Development Canada
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28 WOOD INDUSTRY
Canada’s net wealth is continuing to increase compared to that of the United States. The recent figure may/june 2013
for Canada stands at 648 percent of GDP, while the number for the U.S. is 550 percent. The current advantage, which first started in 2006, is the result of increased residential-property values in Canada. — Capital Economics
Canadians continue to pay significantly more to purchase homes than do Americans. Average prices north of the border are 62-percent above those in the U.S. However, the gap is expected to decrease with a rebounding U.S. housing sector coinciding with a cooling-off period in Canadian housing. — BMO Nesbitt Burns An estimated 417,000 new single-family homes, at a seasonally-adjusted rate, were sold in the U.S. in March, 2013. This represents a 1.5-percent increase from February, and an 18.5-percent increase from March, 2012. The average sales price for March, 2013, was $279,900. — U.S. Department of Commerce U.S. construction spending amounted to a seasonally-adjusted rate of $856.7 billion in March, 2013, which is a 4.8-percent jump from March, 2012. Construction spending for the first three months of 2013 totalled $181.7 billion, a 4.7 percent increase from the same period in 2012. — U.S. Department of Commerce According to the World Machine Tool Output and Consumption Survey, production of machine tools was down by only one-percent in 2012, compared to over a 30-percent decrease in 2011. Total output for 2012 was $93.2 billion, and is seen as indicating a recovery in the machine-tools sector. — Gardner Business Media
The Asian Long-horned Beetle has been eradicated from Canada. As its name suggests, the beetle is not native to Canada and was first detected infesting trees in the Ontario cities of Toronto and Vaughan in 2003. The solution involved the removal of over 30,000 trees from the area. 10/23/08 Agency 5:54 PM Page 3 murphy_meansmore:08 — Canadian Food Inspection
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Advertisers AXYZ www.axyz.com...................................29
N.R. Murphy www.nrmurphy.com.........................29
Baillie Lumber www.baillie.com...............................11
Bessey Tools www.besseytools.com.......................21
Oliver Machinery www.olivermachinery.net..............21
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Osborne Wood Products www.osborneposts.com....................15
Bingaman Lumber www.bingamanlumber.com............22
Black Brothers Co., Inc. www.blackbros.com.........................22
Safety Speed Cut www.safetyspeed.com......................14
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Vacuum Pods www.vacuumpods.com....................21
Exel North America, Inc. www.kremlinrexson-sames.com/ en/worldwide/....................................18
Festool Canada www.festoolcanada.com..................32 Franklin International www.franklinadhesives andpolymers.com...............................5 Gingrich Woodcraft..........................28 Mirka Abraisives Canada Inc. www.mirka.com................................18
Vortex Tool Company www.vortextool.com.........................12 Weima www.weimaamerica.com................21 Wintersteiger www.wintersteiger.com...................21 Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo www.woodworkingexpo.ca..............31
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30 WOOD INDUSTRY
Events WOOD July 24 – 27 AWFS Las Vegas, Nev. www.awfsfair.org July 29 – Aug. 2 Las Vegas Market Las Vegas. Nev. www.lasvegasmarket.com Sept. 11 – 14 FMC China Shanghai, China www.fmcchina.com.cn Sept. 26 – 27 IIDEX Canada Toronto, Ont. www.iidexcanada.com Oct. 19 – 24 High Point Market High Point, N.C. www.highpointmarket.org Oct. 24 – 26 WMS: Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo Mississauga, Ont. www.woodworkingexpo.ca Nov. 12 – 14 WinDoor North America Toronto, Ont. www.windoorshow.com Dec. 4 – 6 Construct Canada Toronto, Ont. www.constructcanada.com Jan. 11 – 14 Canadian Home Furnishings Market Toronto, Ont. www.tchfm.com Jan. 13 – 19 Imm Cologne Cologne, Germany www.imm-cologne.com
NATIONAL STAGE, INTERNATIONAL CAST
Only the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo brings the worldâ€™s leading players of machinery and supplies to the doorstep of the Canadian woodworking industry.
October 24-26, 2013 International Centre Toronto, Ontario
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My name is Jory Brigham and I count on Festool for my biggest challenges. “I’ve been surrounded by woodworking since I was a kid. I
turned making furniture into a livelihood because it was the only thing I absolutely loved doing. Building furniture is part of who I am, and it’s crucial that I feel confident every piece was done to the best of my ability. Having the best tool for the job gives me the opportunity to focus on other things with my business, the things I don’t control. The efficiency and reliability Festool provides is something that I’ve grown to depend on. My success depends on the quality of furniture I build, and I can’t take chances with the tools I use.”
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