Recent Posts


Do you recall the last time you spit in an employee’s face? It shouldn’t be hard, since the answer is certainly “never.” However, wiping spit off her face is the image Marketing magazine columnist Karen Howe leaves you with in her Sept. 12 column, “It’s time to stop coddling toxic bosses.” I am not interested in picking a fight with Ms. Howe, … [Read More...]

CNC router has rigid frame construction

The compact M-Series CNC machine from C.R. Onsrud has rigid frame construction, and smooth, responsive drive mechanisms in the industry, the company says, as well as other features found on its bigger models. Units have factory provided: after hour emergency tech support; onsite machine installation and training; technical and applications … [Read More...]


Old World meets new

The greeting couldn’t be warmer this sunny summer day. A bearded bear of a Russian welcomes me to the showroom of Barlow Cabinetworks in south Barrie, Ont., and the conversation flows. With a t … Read More

Sweet 16: Just In Time

Finding this particular wood shop and furniture store was challenging, even with an iPhone GPS. The journey also came with the lingering fear that my compact SUV was about to run out of gas after … Read More

Mastering mass customization

Every kitchen is the same — and different — so how does a cabinet maker profitably satisfy fickle, trend-loving consumers? Easy — through mastering mass customization where production can be accur … Read More

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  • E-letter: Running amokKerry Knudsen" Thanks for that, Liza, You certainly have permission to share the e-letter or anything else... " Sep 15, 10:48 AM
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  • E-letter: Running amokEd Fiantaca" Kerry, I may be retired but I still enjoy reading your column. This one has... " Sep 15, 10:10 AM
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Training simulators tackle wood

Training simulators are famous for teaching pilots the ropes before putting them into a multi-million-dollar cockpit and potentially endangering lives. The simulation environment that is often referred to as virtual reality (VR). It was natural that aerospace, with its deep R&D pockets, was one of the first sectors to adopt the expensive equipment. Today, with advancements in computing and visualization technology, VR simulators have gradually come to be developed for teaching … Read More

Advertising: finding value and trust

Many wood shops hum along just nicely on word-of-mouth, and wouldn’t know what to do if more business came in the door. However, there are more shops with business peaks and valleys that would rather smooth them out. Or better yet, they would like to take a step beyond survival and move on to sustained growth. Creating your own marketing plan to spark growth is a daunting task, with many elements needing attention in the so-called “mix:” advertising in print, digital advertising, elect … Read More

Labour challenge: Recruiting the right fit

Everybody wants a skilled, conscientious worker in the shop, whether the operation requires two, 10 or more on the floor. Wood shop managers across Canada all say the same thing — it’s tough to fill positions. Enns Cabinetry in St. Catharines, Ont., is no exception. Co-owner Bev Enns says the residential cabinet and millwork manufacturing and design company has been hiring and interviewing for positions in both its shop and software drawings department. Of the 15 employees, 10 are in the … Read More

Import costs rise with the loonie’s tumble

Currency exchange rates are like a rising tide that raises — or lowers — all boats. So, for importers in Canada, the precipitous plunge of the loonie over the past year made many wonder just where the bottom may lie. According to Joy Nott, president of the Toronto-based Canadian Importers and Exporters Association, “the assumption generally is that when you’re an exporter and the Canadian dollar falls, this makes you very price attractive on the world market. “That is true, but when you … Read More