News in Furniture Journal

Celebrations For JJ Smith At W16

October 17, 2016

This year’s woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16, marked a series of milestones for JJ Smith employees. The family-run woodworking machinery supplier, which is now in its third generation, presented three members of staff with a long-standing service award to celebrate their continually commitment to the business.

Kevin McGlone and Alan Reid, who are both celebrating 40th year with the business this year, were first to receive thanks for Managing Director, Martin Smith. “I never thought I’d be celebrating 40 years of service when I started at the company in 1976,” explains Alan. “It’s a huge achievement and I’m very proud to be part of the team.” Kevin adds, “It certainly doesn’t feel like we’ve been with the company for 40 years. I think I’ve got another 40 years left in me.”

Paul Parker was also presented with an award for 25 years of service. Paul says, “I started on a trainee scheme in the late 80’s. The team took me under their wing and I’ve never looked back. Here’s to many more years to come.”

Martin Smith, Managing Director adds, “JJ Smith is a family business and it’s our mission to continue training and investing in the next generation. Our long-term commitment to our employees can be seen here today. We’re proud to have such loyal staff working within our team and it’s fitting to mark their career milestones on our W16 stand. Well done team.”

Felder’s Silent-Power Cutter Block Wins W16’s Elements Of Innovation Award

October 6, 2016

Felder UK has won the very first W16 Elements of Innovation Award at this year’s woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16. Sponsored by machinery and components distributor, Ney Ltd, the machinery giant won one of the coveted awards for its revolutionary Silent-Power Cutter Block.

Truly innovative in its design, Felder’s winning product reduces the noise emissions by 10db when compared to a conventional system. But the innovations don’t stop there. Thanks to its specially developed, four-sided tungsten carbide blades, not only goes it guarantee a tear free planing finish on every type of wood, the life of the blade has also been proven to last up to 20 times longer than high-speed steel. The uniquely shaped blades also ensure a much smaller chip size, allowing for the extraction bag to be changed far less frequently. This helps to save the operator time in emptying the extractor and reduces the cost for bags, whilst its shear cutting action has the added benefit of reduced electrical consumption.

Independent Judge, John Legg adds, “The Elements of Innovation Awards have been set up to shine a light on the most innovative new products from exhibitors at its show. On the technical side of things, I was looking for something that was dynamically progressive and offered broad appeal. Felder’s Silent-Power Cutter Block is an innovative evolution of spiral cutter block technology.”

On winning the award, Matthew Applegarth, Managing Director of Felder UK adds, “We are very pleased to be a winner of the W16 Elements of Innovation Awards. We are continually investing in our products and an award such as this proves it’s been a success. It’s important that the industry see we’re investing in the future and continually striving to be the best.”

Bristol Apprentice Reaches Final Of W16’s W Challenge

September 30, 2016

Bristol-based woodworking apprentice, Liam Martin, 19, has reached the final of national woodworking competition, The W Challenge. Currently completing his Level 3 apprenticeship training with furniture joinery, Traditional Woodworks Ltd, the talented student will be competing against three finalists to win the coveted ‘W Challenge’ title at the Birmingham NEC from the 2nd – 5th October.    

Liam, who has been working with wood since the age of 11 says, “I’ve always been interested in joinery and I have fond memories of helping my grandad make furniture in his garage. To be a finalist in a national woodworking competition is a great feeling and I’m excited to be given an opportunity to showcase the talents I’ve learnt during my apprenticeship.”

The final, which has been organised by training provider, Didac, will be run alongside woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16, and see Liam create a unique piece of furniture over a four-day period. Liam explains, “The brief will be kept top-secret until we arrive at the NEC on Sunday. The short time frame will be pretty challenging but I’m keen to show the judges my technical skills under pressure. It will be a great experience and I’m excited to take part.”

Jon Gibson, Managing Director of Didac adds, “Didac is committed to promoting the importance of apprenticeships in the woodworking industry and it’s great to see local businesses and national exhibitions like W16 work together to help promote the woodworking sector and encourage students and young adults to work in the industry. I wish Liam and the other finalists the very best of luck.” 

The W Challenge is taking place alongside woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16, at the NEC Birmingham from the 2nd-5th October. To book your free ticket please visit or follow @W_Exhibition and @Elements_Expo on twitter for the latest news. 

W16 & Elements Digital Show Guide Available Now

September 27, 2016

With only five days to go until this year’s woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16, and co-located furniture and joinery suppliers show, Elements, it’s time to get planning your visit.

Available to view online now, the W16 and Elements digital show guide is the easiest way to plan your visit before you arrive. Featuring up-to-the-minute visitor information – including opening times, registration advice and travel options – a product locator list and an overview of the brand new visitor zones, the no-nonsense guide allows you to hit the ground running and make your trip count.

To view your digital show guide please click here:

Pre-Book Your W16 Machinery Demonstrations

September 27, 2016

Are you visiting the UK’s only woodworking and materials show, W16, to experience brand new machinery first hand? For the first time ever, you can book your machinery demonstrations in advance.

With over 200 stands on show and 11,000sqm to cover, the online booking system allows you to plan your visit before you arrive. The online reference point highlights the company name, product and stand number of each machinery demonstration, allowing you to target specific manufacturers or machines you’d like to see in action at the four-day event. Simply fill out the online form and book your demonstration – it really is that simple.

Limited numbers are available so pre-booking is essential. Book your demonstration by visiting

W16 and its co-located furniture and joinery supplier show, Elements will be taking place from the 2nd – 5th October 2016 at the NEC Birmingham. Still haven’t booked your free ticket? Time is running out. Register online at or follow @Elements_Expo and @W_Exhibition on Twitter for the latest exhibition news.

Second W Challenge Finalist Announced

September 26, 2016

Sheffield-based student, Jon Nuttall, 20, is the second W Challenge finalist to be announced this week. Currently nearing completion of this Level 3 apprenticeship course with bespoke furniture specialist, My Fathers Heart, the Preston-born craftsman will be put through his paces in a bid to win the W Show’s first W Challenge at the Birmingham NEC from the 2nd – 5th October.     

Nuttall says, “I’m so happy to be announced as one of the W Challenge finalists. I was more than happy to take away the experience of competing in a nationwide woodworking competition and showcase the skills I’ve learnt during my apprenticeship but I never dreamed that I’d make it to the final. I can’t quite believe it.”

The final, which will run live alongside the four-day woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16, and open to spectators, will see Jon and three other finalists create a bespoke piece of furniture that meets the technical brief given by a panel of independent, industry professional. Nuttall explains, “I won’t know what the brief will include until I arrive at the NEC but if the regional heats are anything to go by, it will certainly be a challenge. I’m going to put my heart and soul into winning the title. I want to make my family proud.”

Jonathan Coulthard, founder of My Fathers Heart, adds, “We are absolutely thrilled that Jon has got through to the final. We are committed to apprenticeships and it is vital to keep these skills alive. Jon embodies the passionate philosophy of My Fathers Heart with his attention to detail, commitment to excellence and sheer love of the skills of the cabinetmaker. Jon is ensuring that we continue to offer superb quality craftsmanship into the next generation.”

The W Challenge is taking place alongside woodworking exhibition, W16, at the NEC Birmingham from the 2nd-5th October. To book your free ticket please visit or for the latest news follow @W_Exhibition and @Elements_Expo on Twitter.

Salice Wins 2016 IWF Challengers Award

September 21, 2016

Salice has been awarded the 2016 IWF Challengers’ Award for its hinge, Air. 

The award – in its 50th anniversary year – is given to the best products introduced during the International Woodworking Fair. Its distinctive technical and aesthetic features made Air a winner. With a thickness of only 10 mm, Air is fully adjustable in three directions and also incorporates an integrated soft close mechanism for decelerated closing or the Push self-opening system for handle-less doors. Available in nickel-plated and Titanium finish, it is suitable for a host of applications including kitchens, bathrooms, living- and bedroom furniture or display cabinets.

First W Challenge Finalist Announced

September 21, 2016

Woodworking student and Harrogate resident, Peter Valentine, 22, has reached the final of W16’s very first W Challenge. Currently completing his Level 3 apprenticeship training with Wetherby-based Christopher Philips Handmade Interiors, Peter will be competing against three finalists to win the coveted prize at the Birmingham NEC from the 2nd – 5th October.

Set up to find talented woodworking apprentices and highlight the importance of education in the woodworking sector, Peter won a place in the final after winning his regional heats. Peter says, “Taking part in the W Challenge was an opportunity I couldn’t afford to miss. In the regional heats, I was asked to showcase a range of difficult techniques and skills I’d been taught during my apprenticeship training. It wasn’t easy but I always strive to do my best. It was a close call and the competition was high but I’m over the moon to make up the final four.”

The final will see the finalists create a unique piece of furniture over a four-day period that fits a technical brief set by an independent judging panel. Peter explains, “It’s going to be a challenge but I’m going to use the skills I’ve mastered to show the judges exactly what I can do.”

Christopher Philips, founder of Christopher Philips Handmade Interiors, adds, “Everyone is so proud of Peter. The team has invested a lot of their time training him and this proves how worthwhile it’s been. We wish him the very best in the final.”

W16 Launches Skills For Excellence Zone

September 20, 2016

The UK’s only woodworking exhibition, W16, will be launching its Skills For Excellence Zone at the NEC Birmingham from the 2nd -5th October.

In a bid to reduce the growing skills gap in the furniture manufacturing sector and increase awareness of the careers available to school leavers and job-seekers alike, W16 has teamed up with leading industry bodies to entice talented individuals to the industry.

Lisa Campagnola, Event Director of W16, explains, “For many, the presence of a career advisor in a school is something of a novelty and with the demise of government funded career groups, such as The Connection, a growing number of people are having to look for career advice and support in other ways. That’s where W16’s new careers and training advice hub comes in. From joinery and kitchen fitting to furniture design and industry procurement, whatever your passion, we want to help people, regardless of their age and background, reach their potential.”

So what will be on offer to visitors? If you’re looking to explore a career in the sector, The British Woodworking Federation will be on hand to offer an insight into the industry, while specialist recruitment agencies, skills bodies and woodworking training provider, Didac Training College, will be on hand to talk through the opportunities that exist within the industry and the training available.

The interactive area will also support and educate businesses looking to invest in new employees, with funding and recruitment advisers and apprenticeship experts guiding you through your options. It will also home the event’s official charity partner, Help for Heroes. The charity, which is dedicated to rebuilding the lives of those who have been left with life-changing injuries and illnesses while serving our country, will be showcasing the talents and achievements of ex-servicemen and offering potential employers an opportunity to talk to beneficiaries first hand.

Lisa adds, “We want W16 to champion the manufacturers of tomorrow and become a driving force behind the industry’s future. By nurturing young talent, promoting apprenticeship schemes and working side-by-side with Help for Heroes, we’re confident that we can engage with employers and aid the future careers of talented individuals.”

IDS welcomes staff from Swiss Krono to the UK

September 20, 2016

Senior executives from Swiss Krono recently visited IDS on a two-day trip to further cement their 16-year partnership. IDS has been Swiss Krono’s exclusive UK distributor since 2000.

Mauro Capozzo, Chief Executive Officer, Jürg Meier, Chief Operating Officer and Paul Mullings, Export Sales Director spent time at the purpose-built 70,000 sq ft IDS Head Office at Parkhouse for the first time since it opened in 2014. They met key staff and gained a deeper understanding of the operations and logistics of the business.

Says John Bagshaw, Managing Director at IDS: “We were delighted to welcome Mauro, Jürg and Paul, as this visit was a significant milestone in our 16-year relationship with Swiss Krono. This is a winning partnership for all concerned. Swiss Krono value our credentials as a distributor offering full coverage of the UK market with a proven track record in delivering results. Similarly, we are thrilled to work with an established decorative panelling brand to bring their products to the UK, as it strengthens our portfolio.”