Archive | September, 2018

NCARB Announces New Leadership

NCARB Announces New Leadership

Posted on 26 September 2018 by cradmin

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) held its 99th Annual Business Meeting where the organization’s membership elected senior leadership for 2019. NCARB announced the installation of it’s new president, David L. Hoffman; as well as the election of first vice president Terry L. Allers and the new Board of Directors.

As president, Hoffman, a Kansas-based architect, will lead the organization through its centennial year, guide the refresh of NCARB’s strategic plan, as well as lead efforts to further develop NCARB’s continuing education services for both customers and licensing boards. In his role of first vice president, Allers will help lead the regulation of architecture and implement several new initiatives, including NCARB’s upcoming Model Law refresh — a tool that state boards and legislatures can use to update rules related to regulating architects. By virtue of his election, Allers will become president in July 2019. The new Board of Directors is made up of 12 architects, one public director, and one state board executive.

You may also be interested in this article about Carol Ross Barney receiving the 2017 lifetime achievement award

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Natural Stone Institute Completes 15 Homes with Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. Program

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Natural Stone Institute Completes 15 Homes with Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. Program

Posted on 25 September 2018 by cradmin

Natural Stone Institute members have provided natural stone and fabrication services for fifteen specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans through their support of the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment).

Laura Grandlienard (ROCKin’teriors), chair of the Natural Stone Institute R.I.S.E. committee and project donor, said: “Being involved with the R.I.S.E. program enables our industry to take a leadership role in supporting these veterans and their families who have endured so much to protect our freedoms. We feel tremendous pride in sharing our talents for such an important cause. It’s a beautiful feeling to say ‘welcome home’ to these heroes.”

In addition to the homes completed since this collaboration began in late 2016, Natural Stone Institute members are also involved in ten other home building projects currently in development. To date, 41 Natural Stone Institute member companies have been involved in this program.

Natural Stone Institute CEO Jim Hieb commented: “We are honored to support this worthy cause, and are grateful that so many members across the country have stepped up to use natural stone for good.”

For a full list of donors, and to learn how your company can get involved in this program, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/RISE.

You may also be interested in this article about Accelerated Weather Testing offered by the Natural Stone Institute

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Health & Safety Watch: OSHA Offers Tip of the Week

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Health & Safety Watch: OSHA Offers Tip of the Week

Posted on 24 September 2018 by cradmin

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has redesigned its homepage and added a new feature: the Tip of the Week. Beginning the week of September 24, every Monday, a new safety tip will be featured to help employers and workers alike.

The first Tip of the Week is to “find an authorized trainer and avoid fraud.”

If you, as an employer, ask or plan on asking employees to obtain an OSHA card from an Outreach Training Program 10-hour or 30-hour course, be aware that there has been an increase in fraudulent activity regarding these programs. Knowing the facts about Outreach Training can help you avoid this type of fraud.

Following are a few vital facts about obtaining an OSHA card:

  • Only authorized trainers are allowed to teach the 10-hour and 30-hour OSHA training courses.
  • A list of authorized trainers is available from OSHA, denoting which type of training the trainer is authorized to conduct.
  • Taking the course does not guarantee employment, and employers should be aware when such promises are made.
  • OSHA does not require these courses to be completed, but other courses for specific hazards may be required to meet OSHA standards.

For more information visit the OSHA Outreach Program website. To report fraudulent activity, contact the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

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Video: Interesting Rope Edge Design on Granite Countertop

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Video: Interesting Rope Edge Design on Granite Countertop

Posted on 20 September 2018 by cradmin

This video from Custom Edge Denver, shows a hand-crafted custom rope edge on a granite countertop. While we would have liked to see the craftsman wearing his safety glasses, his work is obviously well-practiced. Offering unique or different edge profiles has always been a great way to give customers an opportunity to differentiate their countertops, and also a good opportunity for an upsell.

You may also be interested in this video about other amazing and unique countertop projects.

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USDOC Responds Affirmatively in Quartz Countervailing Investigation

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USDOC Responds Affirmatively in Quartz Countervailing Investigation

Posted on 18 September 2018 by cradmin

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced that Chinese quartz surfaces should be subject to countervailing duties (CVD), and those duties range from 34.38 percent to 178.45 percent.

Last April, Cambria filed an initial petition for countervailing and antidumping duties on quartz surfaces, finished and unfinished, imported from China. The laws concerning CVD are transparent, semi-judicial and internationally recognized, and they help U.S. businesses to seek relief from the effects of unfairly subsidized imports. This provides a level playing field on which businesses can fairly compete in the marketplace.

The preliminary CVD rate is set at 34.38 percent for most importers, including Foshan Yixin Stone Co. Ltd., but run as high as 178.45 percent for importers such as Foshan Hero Stone Co. Ltd. U.S. customs officials have been instructed to collect cash deposits from quartz exporters in China based on these rates.

The quartz surfaces the CVD covers include slabs that are primarily made of silica in a resin binder with other admixtures, such as pigment and cement. However, the silica content must be greater than any other single material by weight with no regard as to the size and dimensions of the slab. In other words, duties will be levied on all quartz products, even if they do not fit the specifications of standard slabs.

The CVD does not only cover unfinished slabs but also finished, packaged or pre-fabricated slabs that have been cut, polished, cured, edged, thermoformed or attached to another product. Quarried stone and crushed-glass surfaces where glass is the primary material are not affected by the CVD.

The next step in this process is for the DOC to make a final determination, which is scheduled for January 28, 2019. If this decision is also affirmative, it moves to the hands of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for a final injury determination. If the final decision by the DOC is negative or the injury determination by the ITC is negative, the investigation will immediately end with no CVD order being issued.

At this moment, it appears that imported quartz slabs will face duties, which will raise the wholesale and retail prices. For more information, visit the DOC website or download the DOC Fact Sheet.

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Aardwolf Introduces Vacuum Assisted Miter Clamps

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Aardwolf Introduces Vacuum Assisted Miter Clamps

Posted on 17 September 2018 by cradmin

Aardwolf has introduced its Vacuum Assisted Miter Clamps. The new patent-pending design for these clamps allows fabricators to face up mitering with speed and ease. The clamps are reportedly capable of handling bird beak edges as well as 45 degree miters. The Miter Clamps – Vacuum Assisted set contains the vacuum unit, which consists of a battery operated vacuum pump together with vacuum reserve tank, pressure switch and vacuum gauge and four vacuum pads (two corner pads and two single pads), along with legs containing threaded adjustments rods and rest arms for supporting aprons.

Features of the Vacuum Assisted Miter Clamps include:

  • Heavy duty vacuum pads that provide a strong hold: essential for a proper glue up.
  • Slide button to get the rest arm in close proximity to the apron width.
  • Threaded leveling adjustments, up and down as well as in and out allowing the ability to finely adjust the level of the edge material.
  • Easy to use knobs ensure proper clamping pressure.
  • Miter pieces are installed finished side up and out so that you can see the seam and work with the glue for a finished piece.

You may also be interested in this article about the Prism Miter Saw.

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StoneTalk Episode 43: Rich Katzmann

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StoneTalk Episode 43: Rich Katzmann

Posted on 13 September 2018 by cradmin

In this episode of Moraware’s StoneTalk podcast, host Patrick Foley speaks with Rich Katzmann of Laser Products. The two discuss several issues, including the following:

  • The importance of having passion for your work
  • The value of combining creativity and business sense
  • How to connect the dots in the digital workflow

Read the full transcript of this episode here: StoneTalk Episode 43 – Rich Katzmann

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Alpha Professional Tools Introduces Beveling Base Starter Kit

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Alpha Professional Tools Introduces Beveling Base Starter Kit

Posted on 11 September 2018 by cradmin

Alpha has designed a Starter Kit specifically for the Beveling Auxiliary Base to assist the precision grinding for a perfect mitered edge application. This kit came to fruition in consideration of time, human error and cost savings when compared to expensive machinery.

The Starter Kit contains: Beveling Auxiliary Base, Carriage Assembly, Guide Rail Set (4, 7 and 12-ft) and Surface Protection Tape. These components will assist in creating a precise edge whether mitered, beveled or straight with the use of a wet polisher or variable speed grinder with 5/8″-11 spindle. No matter the tool, the use of water is mandatory with this kit. In addition, this kit will reportedly reduce operator fatigue and improve the quality of finish as well as the processing speed.

According to the company, whether the edges are being prepared for a seamless countertop installation, miter edge for lamination or to give a “fancy” Hollywood bevel as the edge treatment, the Beveling Auxiliary Base will provide a secure angle (between 15 to 90 degrees).

The Beveling Base Starter Kit will provide control of the cutting depth and angle in order to make professional quality edges at a fraction of the cost.

You may also be interested in this video that discusses edge possibilities and trends.

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MSI Adds to Hyde Studio Glass Tile Collection

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MSI Adds to Hyde Studio Glass Tile Collection

Posted on 10 September 2018 by cradmin

MSI has recently added new selections to the Hyde Studio Glass Tile Collection; Harbor Gray Subway Tile, Oyster Gray Subway Tile and Starlight Subway Tile.

Harbor Gray Subway Tile combines one of today’s most sought-after hues in a classic shape for enduring elegance. Like shells fresh from the bay, Oyster Gray Subway Tile is the perfect mid-tone gray to complement a palette of color schemes. In a dazzling metallic champagne color, Starlight Subway Tile adds a touch of unexpected sophistication to your space.

MSI’s Hyde Studio Glass Tile Collection features a soothing palette of hues in 2 x 4-in., 3 x 6-in., and 4 x 12-in. tiles for design flexibility. Easy to care for, stain resistant, and durable, these solid glass tiles catch and reflect light to brighten spaces for an ever-changing look throughout the day. Suitable for use as backsplashes, shower surrounds, vanity walls, and more, this modern glass tile collection offers a clean contemporary look.

You may also be interested in this article about stone and tile troubleshooting workshops.

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Business Sense: Which of your strengths will become your weakness?

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Business Sense: Which of your strengths will become your weakness?

Posted on 07 September 2018 by cradmin

By Kathleen Teodoro of Moraware

Managing growth

Fabricators rarely call us to purchase software before they’ve started making money selling countertops. They’re usually already running a successful business, but something has changed. Often, that something is success itself. They’re growing, entering a new stage in the life-cycle of an organization, and they must adjust. We help with the software adjustments, but the staffing, leadership and process adjustments are often the most daunting.

Lifecycles of an organization

I recently attended a workshop where we spent some time discussing a model of organizational growth developed by Edgar Shein. Like many other models, it focuses on the experience of the founding leader, but it can be useful for everyone in an organization to reflect on these stages of growth. Why? Because what was helpful while you were building a company can be harmful once the business matures.

Shein’s theory in a nutshell

Organizations have different leadership and staffing needs at different stages of development. Each of us is most comfortable in certain stages. Our strengths in one stage often become detrimental in another. We must evolve our skills, get help and/or revise our vision.

Take a look at the chart below and consider your own organization.

 

What stage do you think your organization is in?

Where are you most comfortable?

Can you think of anyone in your business who might be anxious because his role has changed?

Informing your growth

Understanding how these stages impact your team can be useful as you consider additional investments in hiring, training and technology.  Before you hire someone new, make sure you know how your needs have changed. Maybe you used to hire generalists who could do a bit of everything, but now you really need a marketing specialist. Maybe you have somebody on staff who could fill that role with a bit of training.

Or maybe it’s time to invest in software that will help you Systemize your processes so you can establish and enforce standard operating procedures.

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