Recent Posts

E-letter: Right to pay

Ikea last month announced it is recalling 29 million Malm or similar dressers in the U.S, along with 6.6 million in Canada, because the units are unstable if they aren't secured to a wall. The company said it is offering free anchoring systems for customers owning the offending furniture, or will provide the customers with a full refund. I have t … [Read More...]

Metallic edgebanding

DC Distributing stocks a wide variety of colors and sizes in PVC edgebanding and wood veneers. Among the products offered is MKT Alpha-Tape edgebanding, which is ABS covered with metal foil to give the real metal look of aluminum or stainless steel. The tape is stocked in master rolls of 0.5 mm, along with 7/8-in. material in 0.5, 1 and 2 mm … [Read More...]


Sweet 16: Just In Time

Finding this particular wood shop and furniture store was challenging, even with an iPhone GPS. The journey also came with the lingering fear that my compact SUV was about to run out of gas after … Read More

Mastering mass customization

Every kitchen is the same — and different — so how does a cabinet maker profitably satisfy fickle, trend-loving consumers? Easy — through mastering mass customization where production can be accur … Read More

Time Lasting Craftsmanship

Like salmon fighting upstream in the rivers of British Columbia, one shop in Vancouver is bucking the flow of cheap, mass-market products into Lower Mainland homes. By creating hand-crafted … Read More

Reader Forums


  • Eastwood Wood Specialtieslinda Prin" It sounds like your father really created a family legacy in wood working. I love... " Jul 12, 1:38 PM
  • Blue Heron WoodworksSandy Scholey" Hi; You made a unit to hold our DVD player and other stuff several years... " Jul 04, 1:31 PM
  • E-letter: Own the bootsDan Oswald" Hear, Hear, Not only does Kerry have something valuable to say about the woodworking industry,... " Jun 14, 2:06 PM
  • Sweet 16: Just In TimePascal Doucet" Nice article and thank you for showing the Doucet clamp carrier. Thanks to DJ Furniture... " Jun 09, 9:51 AM
  • E-letter: Post-customer matrixJohn Gulka" Mr. Knudson In my comment, I referred only to your opinions stated in one sentence... " Apr 20, 2:12 AM

Labour challenge: Recruiting the right fit

Everybody wants a skilled, conscientious worker in the shop, whether the operation requires two, 10 or more on the floor. Wood shop managers across Canada all say the same thing — it’s tough to fill positions. Enns Cabinetry in St. Catharines, Ont., is no exception. Co-owner Bev Enns says the residential cabinet and millwork manufacturing and design company has been hiring and interviewing for positions in both its shop and software drawings department. Of the 15 employees, 10 are in the … Read More

Import costs rise with the loonie’s tumble

Currency exchange rates are like a rising tide that raises — or lowers — all boats. So, for importers in Canada, the precipitous plunge of the loonie over the past year made many wonder just where the bottom may lie. According to Joy Nott, president of the Toronto-based Canadian Importers and Exporters Association, “the assumption generally is that when you’re an exporter and the Canadian dollar falls, this makes you very price attractive on the world market. “That is true, but when you … Read More

Pocket tops for play and pay

Instagram, Facebook, crowdfunding, 3D printing, Pay- Pal, EDC…. Indiegogo, YouTube, Kickstarter, Twitter. It is like getting caught in a Star Trek transponder. Lots of buzz. Lots of potential. No substance. Or is there? Marketing in social media can get huge margins, payment in advance, project funding and branding. And so can the lottery pay you in the tens of millions. It’s just not likely. But it can happen, so let’s take a look. The topic is pocket tops. Not the tops of pockets, but spi … Read More

Line item: Safety — the cost you must afford.

A shop accident can blow up a business launch faster than a visit from a Ministry of Labour inspector. When embarking on creating a new wood shop, or even just keeping the doors open, ignore health and safety issues at your peril. Norm Keith, litigation partner at the Toronto-based legal firm Fasken Marteneau, advises that shop owners ask themselves “what are the direct and indirect costs of making you're sure you're compliant with the health and safety laws.” These costs are important t … Read More