WWN's Top 10: Robots Edge Out Hot Wood
August 15, 2011 | 3:11 pm CDT

Articles about the robotic cell employed by Custom  Cupboards to assemble face frames and thermally treated wood were among the most viewed items on WoodworkingNetwork.com in August. Thermally treated wood, details of a raid on Gibson Guitars, and a switch to PUR at Radial Bats were also among the top reads.

As a further testament to the popularity of Wood & Wood Products Editor-in-Chief Karen Koenig's feature on Custom Cupboards, a video of a pair of robots working in harmony at the Kansas cabinet factory garnered the fifth most page views of the month.

Read on to learn what items received the most attention.

1. Custom Cupboards Goes Robotic
Retrieve. Scan. Place. Repeat. Demonstrating both precise accuracy and flexibility, the robotic cell at Custom Cupboards builds face frames for the company’s line of traditional cabinetry. (Posted 8-13-10)  Read the full story.

2. Cooking Wood for an Exotic Look
Several suppliers at the 2010 International Woodworking Fair exhibited products related to thermally treated wood. Basically the systems use specialized kilns to treat either hardwoods or softwoods, making them insect- and water-resistant and weatherproof without the use of chemicals. In the process, wood darkens, allowing certain lighter wood colors to substitute for darker and even more expensive species. (Posted 8-3-10) Read the full story.

3. Radial Bat's Switch to PUR Is a Big Hit
Ward Dill is a man of many talents. After doing some research, Dill figured that a 12-wedge design would ensure that at least three wedges of the bat would always make contact with the ball. If the wedges, each of which are cut from planks of ash and maple, were selected and oriented properly, he could produce a tight grain pattern completely around the surface of the bat. (Posted 8-3-10) Read the full story.

4. Housing Market's Impact on the Woodworking Industry
The housing correction that started in 2007 and resulted in a global recession, is slowly running its course. Its effect on the secondary wood products industry will continue to have impact for the next few years. What the wood products industry is doing to adapt to the situation is the focus of a joint study by Virginia Tech, the U.S. Forest Service and Wood &Wood Products. (Posted 8-4-10) Read the full story. 

5. Custom Cupboards' Robotic Cell Video
Custom Cupboards is the first cabinetmaker in the nation to use robotics in conjunction with bar coding and RFID technology in the production process. At full capacity, the robots should be able to build 400 face frames a day. (Posted 8-3-10) View the video

 6. Court discloses evidence of raid at Gibson Guitar
NASHVILLE, TN -- A civil lawsuit has been filed against Gibson Guitar seeking federal government possession of more than $76,000 worth of Madagascar ebony wood seized last November. No criminal charges have been filed, according to the Tennessean. (Posted 8-22-10) Read the full story.

7. Wooden Outrigger
Willgoose had never built a boat before. This project took six months, hard work and a lot of ingenuity, but he was able to create a beautiful handcrafted piece. The outrigger canoe was fabricated with western red cedar and Bolivian rosewood. (Posted 8-11-10) Read the full story.

8. An RTA Powder Room for Kitty
Paul  "Cat-man-doo-doo," Pettys, president of Out of Sight Litter Box Inc. of Rock Hills, SC, offers an unusual solution to a common problem: unsightly kitty litter boxes and related messes. (Posted 8-17-10) Read the full story. 

9. Woodworkers Find New Markets Online
Woodworkers around the U.S. are reaching customers through online sites specializing in custom wood crafts, furniture and other individually produced wood specialties. (Posted 8-15-10) Read the full story. 

10. IWF Post Show Report
Woodworking technology advances played the leading role as the International Woodworking Fair, ending its four-day run in Atlanta, saw attendance that exceeded many exhibitors' expectations. (Posted 8-30-10) Read the full story. 


11. IWF names Challengers Awards winners (Posted 8-25-10)

12. Wood moulding plant ravaged by storm (Posted 8-18-10)

13. IWF 2010: Woodworking Renewal (Posted 8-13-10)

14. La-Z-Boy reports furniture making supply chain disruptions (Posted 8-8-10)

15. WWN Shop Pets: A Boy & His Dog (Posted 8-4-10) 

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