I spent much of yesterday at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City. I always enjoy visiting this show, which in 2013 marks its 25th anniversary. It is a very design-focused show, typically featuring cutting edge furniture design from all over the world. I was especially looking forward to the show this year because my schedule did not allow me to attend for a couple of years. I did indeed enjoy the show, and I'll be…Continue
Added by Will Sampson on May 22, 2013 at 9:10am — No Comments
I've been amused by an ongoing LinkedIn discussion of woodworkers trying to find an inexpensive starter CAD program. Everybody wants something that has most of the features of the expensive programs, costs nothing, and takes only minutes to learn. Good luck! And reading the responses is a lot…Continue
Added by Will Sampson on May 16, 2013 at 8:10am — No Comments
I've been watching a wonderful debate on a LinkedIn forum for some time. It started by asking the question, "Are we too dependent on machines?" And the first poster added, "Can't beat handcrafted!" Well, you can imagine the responses. Lots of non-CNC users trumpeting the value of handcrafted work and even…Continue
Added by Will Sampson on May 10, 2013 at 9:10am — No Comments
If you have a question about wood gluing, check out the Franklin Adhesives and Polymers blog on LinkedIn.
Recent questions have included what is the right adhesive for MDF, a request for a list of adhesives to determine the right one, and the best adhesives for gluing 3D wall panels to…Continue
Added by Karl Forth on May 8, 2013 at 5:56pm — No Comments
If you want to keep up to date with what's happening in woodworking, the best place to be this summer is the AWFS Fair.
We just wrote a short summary of the show and why professional woodworkers should consider going.
Added by Karl Forth on May 7, 2013 at 8:01am — No Comments
FOSTER WORKBENCH and FOSTER VISE
I would like to introduce you to a new workbench design that I came up with over the last few years. I started woodworking when I was nine and soon discovered that I like to not only build things that were beautiful but a challenge to build. With that in mind I ended up switching from one type of woodworking to another from joinery to steam bending, to marquetry to sculptured furniture, and anything else that struck my fancy.
The idea for the…
We have a complete wrapup of last week's Executive Briefing Conference on cabinetmakerfdm.com.
There were presentations by Robert Tucker, reshoring advocate Harry Moser, Niklas Petersson of Ikea, Mission Bell, Blum, Alan Beaulieau and many others. Innovation, technology and getting and keeping good employees were overall themes. If you missed the conference, check out the story for a summary.
Added by Karl Forth on April 25, 2013 at 8:46am — No Comments
Over the years I've written a lot about where pricing goes wrong in our industry. I've talked about things like poor estimates of time, lack of updating and accounting for increased costs, and even such simple things as bad math. Here's a great discussion of the subject in a blot targeted to contractors. If you…Continue
Added by Will Sampson on April 22, 2013 at 9:46am — No Comments
Becoming an innovative company was a primary theme of the Executive Briefing Conference held by Stiles Machinery this week. We followed the presentations with interest and had a number of good conversations with the woodworking companies and suppliers present at the St. Charles, Ill., event. Other primary subjects included reshoring, encouraging ideas and collaboration, new equipment technology and a mostly encouraging economic forecast. There were also presentations from Mission Bell, a…Continue
Added by Karl Forth on April 17, 2013 at 6:38pm — No Comments
We noticed that our coverage of the duties on Chinese plywood continues to draw interest online. There's another interesting discussion on importing Chinese plywood. This has been going on for several weeks.
One of he points to remember is that the cost difference between imported…Continue
Added by Karl Forth on April 9, 2013 at 2:13pm — No Comments
For those of us who already understand the value of the lean manufacturing approach, it seems like lean is a no-brainer. But the sad truth is that often lean initiatives fail because they weren't successfully sold to management and/or employees. Without full buy-in, no new system is going to reach its full potential, including lean. Furthermore, it's always been my feeling that too many people (mostly high-paid lean consultants) give too much emphasize to all the lean terms (mostly Japanese)…Continue
Added by Will Sampson on April 4, 2013 at 3:13pm — No Comments
The folks at OtterBox have put up a blog all about making your own wood cover for your iPhone. It's all an April Fool's gag project, but it is really well done with a downloadable blueprint and a…Continue
I recently read a comment that people no longer look upon their furniture as heirlooms that will last for years. Companies have to adjust their product, or at least their approach, to reflect this.
One comment made was about how older folks used to have their “good” furniture always wrapped in rigid plastic.
I remember this when I was growing up and visiting the homes of young friends whose families had come from hardship and war.
Their new and not-so-new sofa was always…Continue
Added by Karl Forth on April 1, 2013 at 10:06am — No Comments
Custom woodworkers seem to have a love-hate relationship with designers and architects. While woodworkers know these people can be absolutely essential in delivering work to the shop door, the shop owners are also frequently frustrated by interaction with design professionals. Some of it has to do with different backgrounds and different ways of working. It's always easier to conceptualize something on paper than it is to make it a reality in the shop. But a bad working relationship or poor…Continue
Added by Will Sampson on March 28, 2013 at 8:14am — No Comments
We visited two great companies last week, one offering a quality product in small quantities while embracing lean techniques and sustainability, the other growing in a difficult environment by choosing the right equipment and the right customers. A few observations:
--One of the companies is avoiding any direct public projects because of the length of time and difficulty to get payment.
--The other has drastically reduced its carton packaging, using blanket wrap and plastic…Continue
Added by Karl Forth on March 26, 2013 at 8:38am — No Comments
One of the most vexing issues related to pricing custom work is figuring out the customer's real budget. Too often, when the questions is asked directly, the customer clams up because they fear you'll take advantage of them if their budget is high. Of course, that's rarely the case in my experience because most customers come in with unreal expectations of what they can get for their money. Still, you need to start somewhere. In its rawest form, the budget question determines if the customer…Continue
Some interesting thoughts on turning a hobby into a business in a recent LinkedIn discussion.
Five tips here include analyzing the hobby itself, market research and competition, expertise and capital, a business plan, and overcoming obstacles.
People want more out of their careers than money, and more satisfaction than they used to. I…Continue
Added by Karl Forth on March 15, 2013 at 9:09am — No Comments
There has a been a lot of discussion of late about using reclaimed wood in funriture, flooring, and even cabinetry. Beyond achieving a rustic look, there is a feeling of environmental responsibility in reusing something rather than disposing of it. But there also are potential dangers and lots of work in making reclaimed materials suitable and safe for new uses. This article from…Continue
Added by Will Sampson on March 14, 2013 at 2:32pm — No Comments
Want to join in on the latest design trend? Gray is in! No matter where you place it, gray is fitting for any room or style! Try one of WalzCraft's new gray SolidTone® colors today, displayed below on a few of our new Signature Series Cabinet Door Designs to show you just how versatile this color palette really is.
As always, our new Signature Series Cabinet Door…Continue
Added by WalzCraft on March 13, 2013 at 8:04pm — No Comments
Job growth appears to be gaining, although slowly, according to a report on job gains. We saw some job growth in the FDM 300 companies, but employment growth definitely did not match sales gains in 2012.
Added by Karl Forth on March 13, 2013 at 2:44pm — No Comments