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Video: Solid Surface Double Cut Seam

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Video: Solid Surface Double Cut Seam

Posted on 26 February 2021 by cradmin

TheFabricatorNetwork.com offers a wide variety of informative fabrication videos. In this particular video, Andy Graves takes you through the steps to double cut a seam to create the perfect joint, ready for adhesive.

Although this process may take some time to set up, you can achieve invisible solid surface joints, according to Graves.

Here is a list of the fabrication tools suggested for this process:

  • Makita GA4542C SJSII High Power Angle Grinder, 4-1/2 in.
  • Makita Plunge Router 3-1/4 in. HP
  • Random Orbital Sander
  • Bosch Jig Saw
  • Jorgensen 3706-LD 6-Inch Light-Duty Steel Bar Clamp
  • Irwin Vice-Grip Original Locking Pliers with Swivel Pads, 11-Inch

You may also be interested in this video: Front Edge Buildup (Rebated Joint)

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LEED Safety First Pilot Credits Feb. blog

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New LEED Safety First Pilot Credits to Support Success

Posted on 22 February 2021 by cradmin

To keep pace with the evolving health challenges around the world, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) designed several LEED Safety First pilot credits, which address COVID-19. Four new Education @USGBC courses offer a combination of videos, podcasts and resources to support success with implementing these credits.

The pilot credits outline sustainable best practices related to cleaning and disinfecting, workplace reoccupancy, HVAC and plumbing operations, and may be used by LEED projects that are certified or are undergoing certification.

Learn more through these education resources:

  1. Safety First: Managing Indoor Air Quality During COVID-19 Credit
    The objective of this credit is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through the air in a building and to define best practices. The credit builds on the current standards for indoor air quality and LEED credits.

The resources available for this credit include a video presentation by Nicole Isle, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Strategist, Glumac, which was recorded during the USGBC Healthy Economy Forum on Aug. 4, 2020.

  1. Safety First: Re-enter Your Workspace Credit
    The goal of this credit is to establish conditions and best practices for reentry assessment, as well as planning and evaluation of progress once a space is occupied.

The resources available for this credit include video clips from a July 2020 LEED v4.1 Ask the Experts webinar, where insights are shared by Corey Enck, Vice President, LEED Technical Development, USGBC, and Ken Filarski, Founder and Principal, FILARSKI/ ARCHITECTURE + PLANNING + RESEARCH; a video clip from the USGBC Healthy Economy Forum, and the AIA Re-occupancy Assessment Tool.

  1. Safety First: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Space Credit
    With this credit, the aim is to identify standards and best practices for cleaning that encourage a healthy indoor setting and worker safety. While vaccines and medical therapies for the treatment of COVID-19 are still in progress, there are already successful disinfectant products and processes.

The resources available for this credit include video clips from a July 2020 Ask the Experts webinar, where insights are shared by Larissa Oaks, Indoor Environmental Quality Specialist, USGBC, and Steve Ashkin, Founder and President, The Ashkin Group LLC, as well as a video presentation from the USGBC Healthy Economy Forum and podcasts interviews with Ashkin discussing the pilot credit further.

  1. Safety First: Building Water System Recommissioning Credit
    The principal objective of this credit is to define standards and best practices for cleaning that foster a healthy indoor environment and worker safety and to help building teams reduce the risk of occupant exposure to impaired water quality.

The resources available for this credit include a video presentation from the USGBC Healthy Economy Forum and a podcast interview with Daryn Cline, Director, Environmental Technologies at EVAPCO.

All four pilot credits listed in this article are available for LEED 2009, LEED v4 and LEED v4.1 and can be found here.

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Moraware CounterGo Feb. 21

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Level Up Your Countertop Quoting with Slab Layouts

Posted on 16 February 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Slab layouts are critical in making sure your estimate is accurate. Some fabricators rely on guesswork, some do complex math based on square footage, and others spend hours in CAD for a prospect who may never even spend a dime! 

None of these are great solutions for quickly and easily doing a slab layout. Lucky for you, CounterGo has a handy slab layout estimating feature. Here’s everything you need to know about solving your slab layout headaches.

An Inaccurate Slab Layout Can Cost You Thousands

Picture this: you meet a new prospect, and they need new kitchen countertops. You calculate the square footage and figure you only need one slab. You give them your quote, and they send back a deposit.

All is good, right?

Once you start on the fabrication, you realize the veining isn’t going to match up – no matter how you lay it out. 

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Health & Safety Feb. 21

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Health & Safety: OSHA Issues Stronger Coronavirus Workplace Guidance

Posted on 01 February 2021 by cradmin

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus prevention program and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and contraction. Last week, President Biden directed OSHA to release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure.

Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” provides updated guidance and recommendations, and outlines existing safety and health standards. OSHA is providing the recommendations to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.

Implementing a coronavirus prevention program is the most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus. The guidance recommends several essential elements in a prevention program:

  • Conduct a hazard assessment.
  • Identify control measures to limit the spread of the virus.
  • Adopt policies for employee absences that don’t punish workers as a way to encourage potentially infected workers to remain home.
  • Ensure that coronavirus policies and procedures are communicated to both English and non-English speaking workers.
  • Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns.

The guidance details key measures for limiting coronavirus’s spread, including ensuring infected or potentially infected people are not in the workplace, implementing and following physical distancing protocols and using surgical masks or cloth face coverings. It also provides guidance on use of personal protective equipment, improving ventilation, good hygiene and routine cleaning.

OSHA will update this new guidance as developments in science, best practices and standards warrant.

This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of existing mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and are intended to assist employers in recognizing and abating hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm as part of their obligation to provide a safe and healthful workplace.

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Application form. Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application Form

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SBA and Treasury Re-open PPP Loan Portal

Posted on 12 January 2021 by cradmin

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, re-opened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal. SBA is continuing its dedicated commitment to underserved small businesses and to addressing potential access to capital barriers by initially granting PPP access exclusively to community financial institutions (CFIs) that typically serve these concerns.

When the PPP loan portal re-opened, it initially accepted First Draw PPP loan applications from participating CFIs, which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs) and Microloan Intermediaries. These lenders made up approximately 10 percent of all PPP participating lenders in 2020. A First Draw PPP loan is for those borrowers who had yet to receive a PPP loan before the program closed in August 2020.

On Jan. 13, 2021, participating CFIs may begin submitting application information to SBA for Second Draw PPP loans. A Second Draw PPP loan is for certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan, generally have 300 employees or less, and has suffered a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts. At least $15 billion is set aside for additional PPP lending by CFIs.

In the near future, additional lenders will be able to submit First and Second draw PPP loan applications. SBA will continue to provide updates on systems operations. Additionally, SBA plans to dedicate specific times to process and assist the smallest PPP lenders with loan applications from eligible small businesses.

The opening of the SBA loan system is designed to efficiently and effectively implement the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act and to ensure increased access to the PPP for minority-, underserved-, veteran- and women-owned small business concerns. SBA also is calling upon its lending partners to redouble their efforts to assist eligible borrowers in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

Updated PPP Lender forms, guidance and resources are available at www.sba.gov/ppp.

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Bus Sense - January 21

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Business Sense: Why Taking Photos of Your Finished Jobs Should Be Part of Your Process

Posted on 05 January 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

One of the best ways to advertise your business is by showing proof of your craftsmanship. Posting photos of your finished jobs on social media and website is a great way to show new prospects what kind of work you’re capable of. Images can also save you from ornery customers who call about issues that might not have any merit.

Taking great photos isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Who should take the pictures – the installers, a photographer, or the customer? How do you motivate your team to take great photos? What kind of equipment should you provide, if any? And lastly, how do you make sure it happens every time.

Two Reasons Countertop Installers Should Take Photos of the Finished Job

Great photos of the finished countertop serve two purposes:

  1. Prevent miscommunication with the customer in case they call about a crack or chip.
  2. Help you promote your shop by showing new prospects what you’re capable of.

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MANSTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: A traffic sign directs people towards the temporary testing centre on the site at Manston Airport on August 04, 2020 in Manston, England. A group of Britain's leading virus experts have written to the government, expressing their frustration at the mistakes being made in the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the letter, signed by nearly 70 clinical virologists, they state that “Our skills have been underused and underrepresented (albeit to differing extents within the devolved nations of the UK), resulting in lost opportunities to establish a coordinated robust and durable testing framework for Sars-CoV-2.” (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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Study Concludes Construction Industry Has Among Highest COVID-19 Positivity Rates

Posted on 22 December 2020 by cradmin

The results of a recent study administered by testing firm Curative in Los Angeles between August and October, were revealed in an article on Construction Dive. The study tracked the results of more than 730,000 COVID-19 tests and compared positive test results with an occupational questionnaire. Although the study has not been certified by peer review, it certainly presents some alarming correlations.

The author of the article quotes Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health, co-author of the study and Curative’s medical director stating, “In the construction industry, people may still be coming to work if they have symptoms because some have no paid sick leave. The findings are concerning, and warrant a better understanding of the measures put in place to control infection.”

According to the study, construction workers had a positivity rate of 5.7 percent for individuals who were asymptomatic, and 10.1 percent for those with symptoms. When compared to other industries, the positivity rate of construction workers was significantly higher. The next highest industry for asymptomatic individuals, food services, had a rate of just 3.8 percent. Only correctional workers had a higher positivity rate for symptomatic cases; 12.5 percent compared to 10.1 percent of construction workers.

Source: Curative Get the data

The Construction Dive article states that  public health departments in Washington state, Michigan and Nashville, Tenn., have found construction to be among the top three occupational settings where outbreaks occurred. Additionally, a CDC study in Utah found construction to have the second highest number of cases among all industries studied and a University of Texas study concluded that construction workers were five times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus than workers in all other industries.

“Given the rising coronavirus case counts across the country, and its particularly high rates among the demographic groups that make up much of the industry’s workforce, we are definitely seeing more workers testing positive,” said Brian Turmail, vice president of public affairs at the Associated General Contractors of America. “The distinction is that the virus is not spreading occupationally — in other words, workers are not getting the virus from their jobsites — but instead is being transmitted via local communities and then workers are showing up, asymptomatic, and testing positive.”

With many of the cases being asymptomatic, companies are finding it difficult to get workers to not bring the virus to the jobsite.

To prevent the spread of the virus, more routine testing at jobsites to identify infected individuals may be an effective solution.

You may also be interested in this article: Health & Safety Watch: Workplace Safety and the Flu

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Business Sense Dec. 2020

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Business Sense: Creating a Work-Life Balance at a Countertop Shop

Posted on 07 December 2020 by cradmin3

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

We talk to many shop owners and managers, and unfortunately, it’s more common than not to be totally and utterly burnt out.

Mental exhaustion. Emotionally drained. Never-ending stress.

It’s no way to live, but it’s the norm in our low-margin, high-speed industry. While it’s easier than not to be discouraged and keep your head down, it’s very possible to have an excellent quality of life with a little life-changing strategic thinking.

Why are we so stressed out?

It’s relatively common in the countertop fabrication business to work long hours.

According to researchers, working more than 10 hours in a day, more than 40 hours of overtime in a month, and 60 or more hours in a week leads to stressful feelings.

Certain times of the year, such as leading up to the holidays, are stressful times for everyone. 

Read more: Avoid Getting Burnt Out During the Holiday Rush

But often, owners and managers are so burnt out because there are too many bottlenecks in their processes. And here’s where things get hard – when you’re burnt out, how can you keep your team motivated?

Whitney Johnson, the author of Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve, says “Your team is picking up on your stress, and it’s making everything worse,”

Understanding your business and its bottlenecks is the first step toward making improvements that’ll give you back some of your time and lift the weight of stress. Your employees will notice the difference.

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Business Sense Nov. 2020

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Business Sense: Avoid Getting Burnt Out During the Holiday Rush

Posted on 10 November 2020 by cradmin3

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

The holidays are a beautiful time of joy, family time, and relaxation. Well… for about 10% of us.

For more than half of us, the holidays are a breeding ground for stress. It shouldn’t be that way, but here we are.

According to a study, there are three main culprits for holiday stress:

  1. Lack of money
  2. Lack of time
  3. The general focus on commercialism and spending money

For many fabricators, this is all happening at home and the workplace. Your customers are in a mad rush to get their homes ready for company, and you’re to blame if things don’t go according to plan.

Here’s some advice for handling the holiday countertop rush like a pro.

Practice Benchmarking, or Setting Customer Expectations

Before we get into any Moraware-specific solutions, we have to mention a super simple customer service tip: set expectations. This is also more formally referred to as “benchmarking.”

We all use reference points to evaluate the world around us. 

For example, if all your friends eat out every single day, you feel pretty good about cooking three times a week. If all your friends cook at home every single day, you feel like you aren’t making enough home-cooked meals.

The same thing happens in business – if you say you’ll reply to all emails in 24 hours or less, that’s the reference point your customers will measure you against.

“If we don’t provide our customer reference points by setting customer expectations, customers will search out their own reference points,” explains Sarah Chambers, a Customer Support Consultant.

In other words, if you don’t set any expectations at all, your customers will pull from other experiences to set a reference point. Maybe their friends said their countertops were ready in two days. If that’s your customer’s reference point, they’ll hire you the week before Thanksgiving and expect a perfect kitchen by Thanksgiving Eve. Sound familiar?

Be cautious around the holidays. Set clear expectations! Even if you think you can pull it off, make sure your customers are fully aware that they may not have their dream kitchen installed by turkey day.

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Health & Safety - Flu safety 11-20

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Health & Safety Watch: Workplace Safety and the Flu

Posted on 02 November 2020 by cradmin3

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked with vaccine manufacturers to have extra flu vaccine available this flu season. Manufacturers have already begun distributing flu vaccines and will continue to do so throughout the season. And while viruses can live all year round, flu activity tends to rise in October and then peak between December and February. CDC recommends getting a flu vaccination in September or October, but getting vaccinated anytime during the flu season can help protect you. 

One in 10 people in the United States will get the flu in a given season, according to estimates from the CDC. With COVID-19 a factor this year, it’s even more important to take precautions to prevent the flu from spreading.

Here are 10 ways to keep workers safe:

  1. Recommend all workers get vaccinated. Vaccination is the most important way to prevent the spread of the flu. It takes about two weeks for flu antibodies to develop, so the time to get a shot is before peak flu season.
  2. Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that workers who have a fever and respiratory symptoms stay at home until 24 hours after their fever ends (100 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) without the use of medication. Not everyone who has the flu will have a fever. Other symptoms can include a runny nose, body aches, headache, fatigue, diarrhea or vomiting.
  3. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available. When using soap and water, rub soapy hands together for at least 20 seconds, rinse with water, and dry completely. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub until you can wash your hands.
  4. Continue practicing social distancing. Staying at least 6 feet apart from co-workers, whenever possible, can help prevent the spread of the flu.
  5. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or upper sleeve. Tissues should go into a “no-touch” wastebasket and wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Avoid touching your face.
  6. Keep frequently touched surfaces clean. Commonly used surfaces such as counters, door handles, phones, computer keyboards and touchpads should be cleaned after each use.
  7. Limit shared equipment or clean equipment before others use it. Avoid using a co-worker’s phone, desk, office, computer or other equipment unless they are cleaned with an EPA-approved disinfectant.
  8. Training is knowledge. Make sure all workers understand how to stay healthy at work during flu season, including new and temporary workers.
  9. Wear a face covering. These can help limit the flu’s spread.
  10. Consider alternate work arrangements. If feasible, offer options such as telework or staggered shifts for workers considered high risk for seasonal flu (such as older workers, pregnant women, and those with asthma).

Learn more about workplace safety and the flu on OSHA’s website. You can find additional resources and learn more about OSHA’s response to the coronavirus at osha.gov/coronavirus.

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