Furniture Sales Helped by Housing, Among Week's Top Reports
Ethan Allen Sales Grow 4.4% Despite Hurricane Sandy's Impact

Furniture Sales Helped by Housing, Among Week's Top ReportsFurniture makers are experiencing a bump in sales, along with paneling and cabinetry manufacturers, as the housing recovery takes on a life of its own, driving economic growth.

This week the Case-Shiller index showed housing prices setting records, and the Commerce Department said an estimated 367,000 new homes were sold in 2012, 20 percent above the 2011 figure of 306,000, and their highest level since 2009.

That's good news to furniture makers. Ethan Allen earnings rose 22%; Hooker Furniture's most recent quarter was up 5%. Ashley Furnniture, though not publicly traded, is expanding like crazy, an indicator of robust sales.

Custom furniture makers are also benefiting, as figures from online sales channel show.'s channels include offerings by "makers" of craft items of all storts for sale - clothing, artwork, jewelry, etc.  It reports that furniture was its fastest growing category in 2012.

Here are the wood industry's most viewed reports this week:

 James McNabb custom woodworker

Band Saw Artisté James McNabb
By Bill Esler | Updated: 01/24/2013 7:34:00 PM
James McNabb is a custom woodworker who builds furniture. But he's also artist working in wood. More than that, he is crossing into fame through the wonderfulness of his work, and his adept use of media. Read more

 Cal Fire California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

Sierra Pacific Moonlight Fire Case Unearths Scandal
By Bill Esler | Updated: 01/26/2013 5:59:00 PM
Plywood and millwork manufacturer Sierra Pacific goes to trial in July as the State of California seeks damages for the 2007 Moonlight Fire. The case could change as discovery reveals an illegal state firefighting fund. Read more

 Bill Esler

Masco Should Buy Fortune Brands: Mad Money's Cramer
By Bill Esler | Updated: 01/26/2013 11:31:00 AM
Should Masco acquire Fortune Brands Home & Security? The parent of MasterBrand Cabinetry and Simonton Windows would mix well with Masco's offerings, says Mad Money financial commentator Jim Cramer. Read more


A New Twist to Fuming Wood
By Mac Simmons | Updated: 07/15/2008 12:00:00 AM
A wood photo session coming up, and being rushed for time, I inadvertently found a new wood fuming technique. See what you think of it.  Read more

 Sandables quirky wood sanding compound

Mouldable Sandpaper? A Quirky Idea
By Bill Esler | Updated: 01/26/2013 2:47:00 PM
Wood sanding material that can be moulded to the contours of a workpiece nears release at, an invention website that uses crowd-sourced deveopment to bring new products to market. Read more

 Herman Miller Eames Lounge Chair

Herman Miller Negotiates U.S. Ban of Eames Knock-Offs By Jeff Yoders | Updated: 01/30/2013 9:07:00 AM
office furniture giant Herman Miller has negotiated a ban that will keep Toronto-based rival Nuevo Americana originally reported the story. Read more


Ashley Furniture Buys Factory in Verona MS
By Bill Esler | Updated: 01/24/2013 6:30:00 PM
Ashley Furniture Industries bought a 275,000-square-foot factory in Verona, MS, where 60 people will build sleeper sofas and mattresses. Read more

 Stiles Machinery

Stiles Woodworking Symposium Attracts Record Crowd
By Karen Koenig | Updated: 01/25/2013 11:27:00 AM
Approximately 200 woodworkers, representing 119 companies, were on hand for the 2013 Manufacturing Symposium, a two-day event hosted by Stiles Machinery. Read more

 J Alexander Fine Woodworking Jared Patchin

How My Woodworking Shop Got Here III
By Jared Patchin | Updated: 12/20/2012 10:00:00 AM
Sharing the custom woodworking and cabinetmaking history of my young shop from its start at Shutter Crafts, to where J Alexander Fine Woodworking is today. Read more


Wisconsin Wood Products Firms on Mission to China
By Bill Esler | Updated: 01/21/2013 9:37:00 PM
A wood products mission to China is planned for March 24 – April 2 by Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture and Trade, which seeks wood exporters to join. Read more


Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.