Recent Posts

E-letter: Pecking order

“Well, boys, like I say,” the coach’s voice was a monotone. “There’s the right way to do things, and then there’s the Knudsen way.” The place was Grade 8 phys ed, and the issue was rope climbing. The time was late spring, and I suppose I had watched one too many Tarzan movies. In any event, the result was another session with The Paddle. I don’t rec … [Read More...]


Let’s bore some zombies

I was proud to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper stand up to Russia in Ukraine. Of course, I am no foreign policy expert, and Harper may have been acting at the behest of other world leaders that have too much skin in the game already. Germany, England and the U.S. come to mind. If you think about it, Russia would have a bit of a mess if it … [Read More...]


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Enns Cabinetry, St. Catharines, Ont.

Craftsmanship and all that goes with it is in Art Enns’s blood. “My grandfather was a cabinetmaker but I never knew him,” he says almost matter-of-factly, as his father, George, 86, finishes turning a … Read More

With some workers having been with Irpinia for 30 years, Marcantonio places the credit for a happy workplace and low turnover on spending a little time each day with each employee. “People need to know they are appreciated,” he says.

Irpinia Kitchens, Richmond Hill, Ont.

From Avellino with love: No substitute for passion By Kerry Knudsen The last time I profiled Ontario’s Irpinia Kitchens was in 1998 or 1999. While we rarely repeat profiles, I have wondered what … Read More

Gary Litwin, in the upper showroom of
Union Square Vintage
Wood Co.

Success comes cold-calling

There’s a line in a song by the legendary Maritimes singer/songwriter, Stan Rogers, about an Alberta rodeo-star-turned-rancher-being-cattle-rustled that goes, “Forty-four’s no age to start again.” But … Read More

Reader Forums


  • Success comes cold-callingSantosh Chacko" Great congrats. " Aug 27, 1:28 AM
  • Nap Gladu acquires BC SawBrett Lundy" I dealt with BC Saw for 15 years. Recently I got some new band saw... " Aug 19, 5:31 PM
  • Let's bore some zombiesKerry Knudsen" Hi, Mark: To tell the truth, the question never occurred to me. However, I checked.... " Aug 09, 8:33 PM
  • Let's bore some zombiesmark smithies" your rant against blum and akhurst made me wonder how close your brain and asshole... " Aug 07, 2:52 AM
  • Blum, Akhurst barred from advertisingChris Yen" Thank you for your honest and heart felt report. I fully support your effort and... " Jun 18, 11:13 AM

May-Jun 2015 Wood Industry 250

Bang for your dues

In the skilled-labour challenge, association value is a two-way street The lack of young people pursuing the skilled trades, including careers in this industry, is an issue the manufacturing sector has been wrestling with for decades. And there’s still no winning round in sight. With the baby-boomers getting ever-closer to retirement, it’s an issue with which every business owner and association in our industry is wrestling. How well they’re doing that, is the proverbial $64,000 quest … Read More

Mar-Apr 2015 Wood Industry cover

Export: Go big or go home

According to Wood Industry’s November 2014 survey, 79 percent of Canadian respondents expect revenue growth this year — a figure that approximates a similar survey in the States by the Milwaukee, Wisc.,-based Cabinet Makers Association (CMA). There, just over 86 percent of respondents to the CMA’s survey said they are anticipating revenue growth this year. Today, that growth could come from almost anywhere on the globe. This may be the year, as the saying goes, to “go big or go home.” If you rea … Read More

Jan-Feb 2015 Wood Industry cover small

Managing risk

Some people don’t like change. But when it comes to safety and risk management in your business, changing your ways can be critical to preventing catastrophe. Just ask Josef Pruellage. He is the senior risk assessment consultant with the risk services division of Hub International, the largest insurance brokerage firm in Canada. Pruellage has done assessments for wood businesses in just about every region of the country, and he has seen just about everything. Pruellage recalls one shop in p … Read More


Getting on board with barcoding

In 2014, barcoding turned 66. And it’s more ubiquitous, more advanced, and plays a more vital role, than ever before. Perhaps more than barcoding inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver ever imagined. Silver was a young grad student at the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia in 1948. He overheard a conversation and blazed the trail for today’s barcoding technology. Silver heard the owner of a local food-store chain ask one of the institute’s deans a question. Would he do resea … Read More