The week in wood:
Tornadoes and heavy storms felled trees in two wood manufacturing centers, Wisconsin and North Carolina destroying homes and businesses, including Lincoln Windows in Merrill, WI, which recounted the destruction at its website:
"On April 10th, our corporate offices and final assembly plant were severely damaged by a category F3 tornado that hit Merrill, WI. This was one of 11 confirmed tornadoes that hit our state that day.
"Locally, over 60 homes and 12 businesses were either damaged or destroyed. The only injury at Lincoln was sustained by a security guard. Luckily, the tornado impacted on a Sunday evening when personnel were not working.
"Lincoln maintains multiple production locations in Merrill and fortunately only the final assembly plant and offices were damaged. We are repositioning the departments that were affected to our other facilities and plan to resume production within the next 3 weeks. Communications are still limited, but should be reestablished soon."
Woodworkers in several areas around the country hit by tornadoes moved to salvage uprooted trees and mill them into useful lumber, expanded further the trend to urban lumber.
In North Carolina, the Manufactured Housing Institute (its convention and expo is April 26-28 in Las Vegas) was compelled to defend the durability of mobile homes after the destruction wreaked by dozens of tornadoes, rebutting a National Weather Service official who estimated 90 percent of tornado fatalities were among residents of manufactured houses in the area.
Among other top stories this week, more cabinetry and casegoods firms are expanding and hiring. And China blocked a Japanese furniture ship, stating it was radioactive. Read more news below:
Stofanak Custom Cabinetry to double plant
Stofanak Custom Cabinetry plans to double its manufacturing plant to a total 40,000 square feet. The custom cabinet shop, founded in 1951, applied for a zoning variance to rezone a lot adjacent to its current plant and allow it to add larger equipment, such as a 50-foot-long wood moulder.
IKEAâs Swedwood rebuts workers' claimsAfter reports surfaced of disgruntled woodworkers at IKEAâs manufacturing subsidiary Swedwood in Danville, VA, trying to form a union with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.Swedwoodâs Danville, VA, site manager Ken Brown responded to questions raised by a recent LA Times article about working conditions at the woodworking plant.
$1M damage at Les Bois Heritage wood products
An early morning fire Sunday at the Les Bois Heritage furniture factory caused more than $1 million in damage. The wood products firm is 60 miles north of Ottawa.
Knoll hiring; earnings skyrocket
Business furniture firm Knoll, Inc. (NYSE: KNL) said its first quarter
2011 net income rose 318 percent to $9.2 million, on sales of $220.9
million. The East Greenville, PA furniture firm is hiring, with more than two dozen open positions posted online.
Home Line Furniture closing; shipper sues for $750,000
Furniture manufacturer and retailer Home Line Furniture Industries, Philadelphia, announced it would close. CEO Bret Venekoff declined to outline the reasons for the shutdown. When asked how long the process will take, Venekoff said, "I don't know." Earlier this month, a logistics firm lodged a $750,000 suit (a copy is attached) against Home Line.