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A sneak peek at DeWalt’s new product lineup

BY HBSDealer Staff

DeWalt is back this season with a bevy of new tools designed to tackle common pain points around the job sitie, including several new products just released this summer.

One of these includes the first-ever pocket knife from DeWalt, a folding model featuring a stainless steel blade that’s designed for on-the-job tasks like removing strapping from lumber. The knife, which features a combination straight and serrated edge, hit shelves this July.

DeWalt’s new Folding Auto-Load Knife saves time on the job by automatically loading a new blade when one dulls — contractors can simply press the blade release button and click the new blade into place. The Auto-Load Knife can store up to three blades at a time.

Also new to the market is a new lineup of flexible hand saws designed for use in tight spaces, including a Double Edge Pull Saw, Flush Cut Backsaw and Single Edge Pull Saw.

Meanwhile, the new Multi-Level Wrokshop provides 22.5 gallons of storage space and 90 pounds of load capacity for heavy-duty transport. The four-level, mobile workstation sits on top of durable 8-inch rubber wheels that can stand up to rough terrain.

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Aug. 8, 2014

*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: Gains in futures throughout the early week reached a crescendo on Thursday, sending SPF lumber buyers back into the market to replenish. Wholesalers participated early, contributing to the midweek pace by trying to cover shorts. Buyers entered the Southern Pine lumber market in greater numbers and purchased significant volumes, helping to firm wide width #2 pricing and propel 2×4 and 2×6 #2 again higher. Suppliers raved about strong demand from the truss manufacturing segment. Most often cited as the reason for an uptick in sales activity, an up-limit gain in futures brought more buyers to the Coastal species lumber market looking to fill needs. Market prices for dry items often increased $5 to $10. Inland lumber producers reported a range of selling activity, but the general consensus was that the Inland lumber market is “perking a little. Activity in both Fir-Larch and Hem-Fir moved upward, with prices lifting about $5 in the narrows. Radiata Pine is firm, but a gap between Chile and New Zealand prices is developing. The underlying cause is a currency issue. This week, in a repeat performance of last week, a good volume of Ponderosa Pine industrial lumber moved into new hands. While #2 Shop shows a high degree of stability, both Mldg&Btr and #3 Shop are establishing lower working levels. Last week’s cleansing activity in Ponderosa Pine #2 4/4 boards generally scrubbed major surpluses. This week has seen some rebound in a few of the deepest discounts in #2. Eastern White Pine remains very well balanced between customer demand and production buyers of Western Red Cedar continued to work through their inventories at a moderate pace, buying back in with some degree of trepidation after seeing strong price increases earlier in the year.

Panels: OSB languished in the doldrums for yet another week. Pricing had a weak feel across Canada and the Western U.S., sliding a couple dollars on the Westside. Prompt wood is still available, and system-wide inventories are relatively low. Southern Pine plywood producers experienced a relative quiet week of sales, leaving their order files little changed from the prior week. Still taking delivery on previously purchased volumes, buyers hesitated to order more at the high price levels currently established. Western Fir plywood sales at the mill level were sluggish. Wholesalers carrying long positions sold at prices well below replacement costs and still had considerable profit in those orders. Canadian plywood pricing remained unchanged for the second week in a row, though the market still appears to need wood. So, while distribution is getting a lot of plywood business, mills are selling less panel. Although sales activity has slowed somewhat since early July, a few particleboard producers expressed some surprise at how well volumes sold from week to week have maintained decent levels. Mills in the Southeast and East reported good MDF sales. Some western producers also sold the week’s production.

For more on RISI, click here.   

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BrassCraft reflects on Plumbers’ Forum

BY HBSDealer Staff

Citing beneficial conversations and a free exchange of ideas and best practices, BrassCraft Manufacturing deemed its annual Plumbers’ Forum a success.

The Plumbers’ Forum invites plumbing pros around the country to come together and exchange ideas, insider knowledge and feedback. Only those who consistently excel in their business are invited, and participants get to speak with members of the BrassCraft team.

"The Plumber’s Forum gives us a platform to hear directly from our customers and use their input across-the-board, whether it’s in product development or process improvement," said Jeffrey Jollay, VP marketing & product development, BrassCraft Manufacturing. "It also helps to continue our leadership role in promoting the design of quality, innovative and high performing plumbing products."

Other participants echoed Jollay’s thoughts about the July event.

"The group was very diverse and we learned a lot from each other, which I found eye-opening," said Roger Peugeot of Overland Park, Kansas. "And when that new product hits the market, you feel like you are an important part of the process," added Peugeot.

"I appreciate that a company with the size and reputation of BrassCraft is taking an active role," said Michael Farias, founder of Plumbing Doctor. "It is rare to get this kind of support from manufacturers and national suppliers."

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