LACEY Act, Wood Bugs, Cabinet Maker's $82 M Capital Spend Acquisitions, regulation, and capital investment and reallocation in wood manufacturing topped the stories again this week. Furniture maker Knoll acquired two firms; HNI's earnings rose; a LACEY Act modification gained steam in Congress following Gibson Guitar's run-in with the Federal police over undocumented exotic wood.

Fortune Brands Home & Security upped its capital investment plans to $80 million for 2012, about a 17 percent rise from the $65 million it spent last year. Chris Klein, CEO, says the market is improving.

"It isn't off to the races yet," Klein told the Wall St. Journal, "but it is definitely firming up."

MasterBrand Cabinets parent Fortune Brands Home & Security, whose holdings (Simonton Windows, Therma-Tru Doors, Fypon Mouldings, etc.) are a barometer of the housing market revealed the increase as it announced a 3 percent rise - to $3.3 billion -  in year-end earnings, up from what the division delivered last year before it spun from Fortune Brands. Kitchen and bath cabinetry cales totalled $1.256 billion for the year, up 5.7 percent.

But Fortune Brands Home & Security took a $90 million write-down, swinging to a loss in the fourth quarter. MasterBrand Cabinets scheduled an auction of equipment at its North Las Vegas production plant, the former Capital Cabinets, acquired during the go-go years of new home construction in the Western U.S.

Here are the most viewed stories this week:

Sen. Rand Paul

Sen. Paul Introduces Bill to Revise Lacey Act
By Rich Christianson | Updated: 02/04/2012 2:36:00 PM

Prosecution of Lacey Act violations would be limited to civil penalties under a bill introduced on Thursday by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). The move reflects Congressional concerns about last year's raid of Gibson Guitars. Read more

Knoll, Richard Schultz, FilzFelt

Knoll to Acquire Outdoor Furniture Maker Richard Schultz
By Karen Koenig | Updated: 02/07/2012 1:53:00 PM

Knoll Inc. announced it has agreed to acquire outdoor furniture manufacturer Richard Schultz Design Inc. The acquisition is expected to close by March 1. Knoll also announced it has acquired FilzFelt. Read more

China’s Loss in Trade Appeal a Boon for U.S. Businesses
By Karen Koenig | Updated: 02/06/2012 11:09:00 AM

World Trade Organization ruling against China for limiting raw material exports could have a far reaching impact on our nation’s commodity trade, particularly in the woodworking industry. Read more

J Alexander Fine Woodworking Jared Patchin

My Table Saw Almost Got Me
By Jared Patchin | Updated: 02/03/2012 11:25:00 AM

Boise custom wood furniture maker recounts a near miss on a table saw. "Woodworking is not the safest job. I plan on building custom furniture for a very long time, and on dying with all 10 fingers intact. Read more

Custom Millwork Shop Prepped for Super Bowl 2012
By Jo-Ann Kaiser | Updated: 02/02/2012 1:48:00 AM

Sawdust flew and saw whined as woodworking firms and volunteers power up tools. D&L Wood Products fabricated interior millwork on the fan-filled Marriott Indianapolis, the world's largest. Read more

HNI Sales Grow 9% in 2011
By Karen Koenig | Updated: 02/08/2012 1:50:00 PM

HNI Corp.'s reported fiscal 2011 net sales of $1.8 billion, a 9 percent increase from the prior year, with an income from continuing operations of $45.7 million, a 54 percent increase. Read more

ZeaChem Boardman Biorefinery

USDA Proposes $232.5M Financing for New Wood Biofuel Plant
By Rich Christianson
| Updated: 02/01/2012 1:51:00 PM
WASHINGTON -- A financial commitment of $232.5 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist the development of the ZeaChem Boardman Biorefinery in Boardman, OR, comes with strings attached. Read more

Jim Sherbert, Bush Ind

Sherbert Steps Down as Bush Furniture CEO
By Karen Koenig | Updated: 02/07/2012 8:25:00 AM

Jim Sherbert has stepped down as CEO of Bush Industries. Sherbert, who has been CEO of the casegoods and RTA furniture manufacturer since August 2005, will retire in the spring. Read more

Hemlock tree lumber infestation

Ohio Hemlocks Hit by Bugs; Maine Forest Alarm
By Bill Esler | Updated: 02/05/2012 6:08:00 PM

A hemlock tree infestation in Ohio has led state agriculture officials to cut and burn infested trees. In Maine, the Hemlock-killing Wooly Adelgid is spreading
Read more

Babine Forest Products Fire

Logs at Destroyed Sawmill Headed to Area Mills
By Rich Christianson | Updated: 02/06/2012 10:15:00 AM

Logs awaiting processing at the destroyed Babine Forest Products sawmill in British Columbia are being hauled to other area sawmills, including Canfor in Houston, and West Fraser in Fraser Lake.
Read more

Other highly viewed stories this week:

Lowe's stores cabinetryNKBA To Certify Lowe's Cabinetry Employees
By Bill Esler | Updated: 02/05/2012 10:05:00 PM
Lowe's kitchen and bath cabinetry department employees will now be trained and certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, earning professional credentials forcabinetry work.
Read more


Woodworking Customers Take Charge with New Design Tools

By Bill Esler | Updated: 02/07/2012 9:10:00 AM
Woodworking consumers get involved with designing projects as collaborative design tools move to laptops, apps and even the Cloud.
Read more


My Veneer Mistake: It Was a Doozy!
By Bernie Bottens | Updated: 02/02/2012 11:15:00 AM
I made a mistake involving veneer and it was a doozy, costing me time, money and a vacation day.
Read more


Northway Industries, Inc. welcomes John Beaver to the staff as Director of Sales.  Previously, John was Vice President of Roland and Roland, Inc. of Pennsylvania and as a Laminate Product Specialist for C.H. Briggs Co.  John comes to Northway with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience.  He has a well-earned reputation for taking care of customer needs in a thorough, consistent and conscientious manner. His service for many years on the Local boards of AWI and NKBA signifies his way of giving back to the industry and promoting the success of its members!

 John has developed a close relationship with many of our customers over the years and he looks forward to continuing those relationships as he promotes the manufacturing capabilities of Northway Industries.  

Northway Industries, Inc. is a contract manufacturer of wood products serving OEM accounts nationally.  Core products include commercial casework, store fixtures, institutional furniture, educational furniture, multi-media furniture, laminated components and panels.  Northway has 135 employees working across three shifts at its single location in Middleburg, PA.

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