The North American wood products industry continued its climb out of the Great Recession in 2013, a year that saw many woodworking enterprises improve their bottom lines on slow-but-steady gains in house construction and renovation, and giving rise to hopes of even better days to come.

But the economic turn-around was too slow in coming for some wood products business, including Cardell Cabinetry of San Antonio, TX, Furniture Brands International of St. Louis, MO, Lincolnton Furniture of Lincolnton, NC, and Masco’s Merillat plant in Jackson, OH. Twelve news items involving these four companies were among the Top 25 News reports posted on WoodworkingNetwork.com during 2013.

Already reeling from more than $267,000 in fines proposed in late August by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for combustible dust and 28 other safety and health violations, Cardell abruptly closed its doors without warning on Sept. 8, putting more than 900 employees out of work. Less than three months later, the company’s woodworking machinery, inventory and other assets were auctioned off to pay off some of its reported $45 million in debt, closing the books on the company’s 39-year run.

Wood Products Editor Karen Koenig’s series of reports on Cardell’s collapse were widely read. Four of her stories about Cardell were among the most 25 most viewed news stories posted on Woodworking Network in 2013. Koenig’s initial report of Cardell Cabinetry’s closing generated nearly 14,000 page views, the most of any item posted on WoodworkingNetwork.com to date.

The demise of Furniture Brands International, parent of many iconic furniture companies such 

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as Thomasville, Broyhill, Lane and Henredon, also created a big viewership splash on Woodworking Network. Four stories that helped chronicle Furniture Brands’ free-fall into financial insolvency, its subsequent purchase by KPS Capital Partners LP and rechristening as Heritage Home Brands , earned Top 25 News berths.

The closing of Lincolnton Furniture at the start of the year was a sad ending to a feel-good story widely reported by consumer media as a shining example of the furniture re-shoring in America. Only a year before, Bruce Cochrane, president and CEO of Lincolnton Furniture was invited by President Barack Obama to attend his State of the Union address.

Masco’s decision to shut down the Merillat plant in Jackson, OH, continued a long string of plant closings since the Great Recession walloped the cabinet industry. Among the cabinetry plants Masco has closed in recent years include its three-year-old, state-of-the-art KraftMaid plant in West Jordan, UT; original Merillat plant in Adrian, MI; and massive Mill’s Pride complex in Waverly, OH.

A highly viewed news report that KraftMaid would raise its cabinetry prices by up to 12% dovetailed with one of the year’s most controversial stories of the wood products industry involving a hardwood plywood antidumping investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission. KraftMaid, along with the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, sided with the American Alliance of Hardwood Plywood (AAHP), which also included more than a dozen hardwood plywood importers. The AAHP vigorously opposed the antidumping petition filed by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP), comprised of six U.S. hardwood plywood manufacturers.

KraftMaid issued a press release stating its intention to hike prices based on the final determination by the DOC recommending that dumping margins ranging from 55.76 percent to 121.65 percent be set on imported Chinese hardwood and decorative plywood. The ITC, however, trumped the DOC’s decision in its Nov. 5 ruling that hardwood plywood imported from China does not injure the U.S. industry and will not be subjected to antidumping duties.

In another widely viewed story involving imported wood, federal agents raided Lumber Liquidators’ headquarters in Toano, VA, and a retail outlet in Richmond, VA, seeking evidence that might corroborate the flooring retailer’s alleged violation of the Lacey Act. Lumber Liquidators also found itself in the proverbial hot seat for a report alleging that some of its flooring products imported from China violated CARB formaldehyde emission standards.

Top 10 trends in home remodeling courtesy of Neil Kelly Cabinets, plans by German window maker Menck to open a $20 million plant in the northeast and hot air edgebanders were among some of WoodworkingNetwork.com’s other most popular news reports of 2013.

Here’s the full list, ranked from one to 25 based on page views.

 

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Cardell Cabinetry Out of Business
By Karen Koenig | Posted: September 10, 2013 - 11:00 AM

Cardell Cabinetry has closed its doors without warning, leaving approximately 900 workers unemployed.

 

Chinese Hardwood Plywood Supporters Win Antidumping Ruling
By Rich Christianson | Posted: November 5, 2013 - 12:59 PM

Hardwood plywood imported from China does not injure the U.S. industry and will not be subjected to antidumping duties, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) ruled today.

  Lumber Liquidators Raided by Federal Agents
By Bill Esler | Posted: September 27, 2013 - 7:55 AM
Lumber Liquidators was searched by Federal Authorities yesterday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant at the flooring manufacturers' headquarters in Toano, VA.
  Top 10 Interior Design & Home Remodeling Trends for 2014
Posted: November 15, 2013 - 3:02 PM
Neil Kelly Company, whose design-build remodeling often incorporates cabinetry with Declare Labels listing environmental impact of finishes, glues and hardware, lists its Top 10 interior design trends for 2014.
  Lincolnton Furniture Shuts Down
By Karen Koenig | Posted: January 4, 2013 - 12:16 PM

Lincolnton Furniture closed suddenly on Thursday, a year after being lauded by President Obama as an example of America's manufacturing resurgence.
  Duties Assessed on Chinese Hardwood Plywood: Mixed Reactions
By Karen Koenig | Posted: March 1, 2013 - 10:36 AM

A majority of hardwood and decorative plywood from China will face a countervailing duty of 22.63 or 27.16%, according to a preliminary affirmative determination by the DOC. The announcement has been met with mixed reaction.
  KraftMaid Cabinetry to Hike Prices Due to Plywood Duties
By Rich Christianson | Posted: September 23, 2013 - 1:49 PM
KraftMaid Cabinetry will increase prices of its cabinets by up to 12 percent on Dec. 23, mainly due to duties being levied on hardwood plywood the company imports from China.
  Cardell Cabinetry Cited for 29 ComDust, OSHA Violations
By Karen Koenig | Posted: August 16, 2013 - 10:40 AM
Cardell Cabinetry LLC has been cited for combustible dust and other safety and health violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The cabinet company faces fines of $267,434.
  Chinese Hardwood Plywood Makers Guilty of Dumping
By Karen Koenig | Posted: September 18, 2013 - 5:30 PM
Chinese hardwood plywood has been given affirmative final determinations by the U.S. Department of Commerce in its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. A hearing is set for Sept. 19 by the U.S. International Trade Commission, with a final injury determina ...
  Masco Mills Pride Sold for $5M; Wood Firm Moving In
By Bill Esler | Posted: December 31, 2012 - 10:58 PM

Masco's Mills Pride cabinetry plant will reopen in stages, after a $5 million sales by investors, including Everett Hannah, owner of Gilco International Lumber. GIlco is wooing a Chinese furniture maker.
  Cardell Cabinetry Announces Layoffs, After the Fact
By Karen Koenig | Posted: September 24, 2013 - 9:55 AM
Cardell Cabinetry has notified the Texas Workforce Commission of the layoff of 903 employees, more than a week after the company shuttered its doors.
  Chinese Plywood Importers Decry Latest Antidumping Ruling
By Wade Vonasek | Posted: May 1, 2013 - 3:04 PM

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) yesterday issued a preliminary average duty of 22.14% on Chinese hardwood plywood drawing immediate protests from a group of hardwood plywood importers.
  Furniture Brands Weighs Chapter 11 as Shareholders Sue
By Bill Esler | Posted: August 20, 2013 - 11:14 AM
Furniture Brands equity in storied lines - including Thomasville, Drexel, Lane and Broyhill brands - may not preserve the business, which lost $59 million in the first half of 2013. Furniture Brands is looking at restructuring options.
  Lumber Liquidators' Stock Drops on Formaldehyde Report
By Bill Esler | Posted: June 24, 2013 - 10:05 PM
Wood flooring supplier Lumber Liquidators' stock fell 11% to $76.63 following reports of formaldehyde in its China-sourced engineered flooring. An analyst for SeekingAlpha.com said lab test confirmed the high levels of formaldehyde.
  Worker Killed in Saw Accident at RSI Home Products
By Rich Christianson | Posted: March 11, 2013 - 7:39 PM

A cabinetmaker working at RSI Home Products died Feb. 23 when he got caught in an angular saw.
  Furniture Brands Seeks $5 Million for Bankruptcy Exec Bonuses
By Bill Esler | Posted: September 18, 2013 - 10:18 AM
Seven senior executives and 48 managers seeing Furniture Brands through its bankruptcy could receive incentives totaling $4 million or more under a request made in Federal Court. Thomasville, Broyhill, Henroden, Lane and other assets have drawn two bidders already.
  German Window Maker Menck To Open $20M Plant in Vermont
By Bill Esler | Posted: January 5, 2013 - 10:06 AM

Menck Window Systems of Germany will invest $20 million in a wood window factory to open in Newport, VT, hiring 140. Investment was supported by an unusual Federal EB-5 Immigrant Investor program.
  Home Depot to Pay $8M Fine for Selling Banned Wood Finishes
By Rich Christianson | Posted: April 28, 2013 - 8:28 PM

Selling non-compliant paints, wood stains and other coatings will cost Home Depot $8 million to settle alleged air quality violations with California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).
  Court Backs Table Saw Operator Suing Ryobi Over Injury
By Rich Christianson | Posted: August 12, 2013 - 11:09 AM
A man who lost an index finger and parts of other fingers while operating a Ryobi table saw was awarded a new trial last week by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  Masco Cabinetry to Close Merillat Plant in Ohio
By Karen Koenig | Posted: September 19, 2013 - 12:38 PM
Masco Cabinetry announced it will close its Merillat manufacturing facility in Jackson, Ohio, over the next several months. Approximately 200 employees will impacted.
  MasterBrand Parent FBHS to Acquire WoodCrafters Home Products
By Karen Koenig | Posted: May 3, 2013 - 11:15 AM

MasterBrand Cabinets parent Fortune Brands Home & Security will acquire WoodCrafters Home Products LLC, a manufacturer of bathroom vanities and tops. The transaction is valued at $300 million.
  Furniture Brands International Files for Bankruptcy
By Bill Esler | Posted: September 10, 2013 - 9:05 AM
Thomasville, Henredon, Lane, Broyhill and other brands affected; Oaktree Capital signs asset purchase agreement and provides $140 million in debtor-in-possession financing.
  Georgia-Pacific $400 Million Lumber, Plywood Investment
By Bill Esler | Posted: March 22, 2013 - 7:56 AM

With lumber and plywood demand up for housing construction and remodeling, Georgia-Pacific will announce a $400 million mill expansion.
  Williams-Sonoma: Another U.S. Furniture Factory?
By Bill Esler | Posted: February 7, 2013 - 7:13 PM

Williams-Sonoma is seeking a furniture manufacturing manager to be located in City of Industry, CA, along with other distribution and operations managers.
  Hot Air Edgebanders Give Lasers a Run for Their Money at LIGNA
By Rich Christianson | Posted: May 12, 2013 - 10:24 AM

Several LIGNA 2013 exhibitors demonstrated how edgebanders equipped with new compressed hot air modules can achieve a high-end zero glue line at a much lower investment than laser edgebanders.

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