For more on RISI, click here.
Craftsman gives quick boost to power tools
Craftsman is bringing to market a charger called the QuickBoost that brings dead batteries up to 25% power in three minutes.
The QuickBoost Charger represents a time saving technology for the Craftsman brand’s cordless line of 12-volt lithium-ion NexTec power tools.
The product "was developed in response to our customers’ desire for innovative time-saving solutions," said Kris Malkoski, VP and general manager of the Craftsman brand. "When a battery runs out of power, it can be frustrating to have to wait 30 minutes or more for a charge when the project is almost complete. Now the user only has to wait three minutes and can get back to work right away."
While in use, the charger’s on board diagnostics monitor the battery’s progress, indicating the battery’s status in the process including "charged", "charging", "complete" and "over temperature" using red, yellow and green LED lights.
The company debuted the product line at the 2011 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.
Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Jan. 14, 2011
*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.
Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.
LUMBER: The bottom falling out of January contracts before their close silenced the SPF cash market. Prices of 2×8 and wider were sturdier than the narrows in the West. Urgency among eastern producers to lower prices was less. Southern Pine lumber producers continued to experience enough demand, while carrying strong enough order files, to push narrow width dimension lumber prices $10 to $20 higher. Treaters often purchased more volume toward the end of the week after finally getting back to their desks. Supplies of Coastal Hem-Fir 2×12 #2&Btr were tight. Producers reported ample inquiries for that item, and buyers sometimes substituted dry Doug Fir. Green Doug Fir prices were stable to higher, with the greatest strength found in 2×6 #2&Btr. Inland Species lumber mill activity was relatively quiet, with #2&Btr dimension continuing to be more brisk than sales in the uppers. Ponderosa Pine #2&Btr Shop is the tightest segment of that species. Mldg&Btr is also stronger. A number of producers have absolutely no #2 Common to sell, and #3 prices are also quite stable. No changes were reported for #4 Common. Idaho White Pine is "absolutely quiet," according to one key source. Eastern White Pine producers are generally in decent shape, as regards both price levels and order files. Radiata Pine 5/4 Mldg&Btr has moved to a range of $1,025 to $1,050, with most sellers seeking firmer numbers. Radiata Shop is flat in price, and Blanks have moved to $1,025. Wintry weather throughout North America brought Western Red Cedar consumption to a screeching halt in some regions and even held up production.
PANELS: Southern Pine plywood mills adjusted rated sheathing and underlayment quotes higher to begin the week and sold modest volumes at those newly established levels through Friday. The erosion of mill order files in the Western Fir plywood market, due in some part to winter weather in East, brought the market closer to the brink of decision. The leverage owned by OSB mills over the last several weeks has begun to weaken. Since the middle of this week, prices in most areas have simply held. Canadian plywood mills report that their order files are into Feb. 1 or even Feb. 14. Those mills with the longer files are generally asking up to C$315 for their plywood. Last week reflected some of the firmer prices being garnered for both particleboard and MDF, even though reports from producers indicate that overall demand remains on the soft side.
Source: RISI’s Crow’s Weekly Market Report
Cross dressers arrested after pepper spraying spree
Three men who attempted to steal power tool batteries and other merchandise from a Florida Home Depot were arrested after two of them — dressed as women — used pepper spray on security personnel, according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel.
The Jan. 12 incident in Boynton Beach began just before 1 p.m. when a pair of Home Depot asset protection officers confronted two of the suspects when they tried to leave the store. A struggle ensued, and one of the suspects allegedly used pepper spray on the store employee. A 911 call from the store reported that "two black transvestites maced me and my other associate, then came back in fighting.”
Video footage reportedly shows Kendal Lowry, 26, hitting the security officers with the aerosol can as they wrestled with the second suspect, identified as David Tucker, 24. Lowry appeared to flee the store but returned to repeatedly strike the security employees with the aerosol canister again, according to police. Then the suspects fled the store and ran across the parking lot.
Lowry wore a yellow tank top, gray pants and mid-calf gray boots, according to investigators. Tucker was dressed in a denim skirt, pink blouse and flip-flops during the robbery.
The suspects tried to escape in a red Ford Explorer, but a police sergeant stopped the SUV and arrested them before they could leave the parking lot. A third suspect, Jeffrey Baldwin, 37, was arrested and charged with assisting in the robbery.
A number of people were affected by the pepper spray, including six employees and customers. One elderly woman was taken to a local hospital and two others were treated at the scene. Dozens of shoppers were evacuated from the store.
Lowry and Tucker were charged with robbery with a weapon, aggravated battery with a weapon, and aggravated battery on a person over 65. Tucker is facing an additional charge of possession of an anti-shoplifting device.