John Economaki recently detailed his decision to sell Bridge City Tool Works to Harvey Industries. Harvey Industries already licenses and distributes some tools BCTW internationally, so when John decided to sell the business, Harvey Industries was a natural fit.
You might recognize a few Harvey Industries tools – their Turbo T40 Lathe and Gyro Air G700 dust collector. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what these two companies cook up tool-wise. It’s also likely you already have some Harvey Industries tool in your shop, as the company does OEM work for a few different brands.
Here’s more from the press release:
After 35 years of running Bridge City Tool Works, John Economaki, iconic designer of heirloom quality woodworking hand tools, has decided it’s time to step down and hand over the reins to his friend and Chinese licensing partner, Jack Xu, CEO of Harvey industries, Ltd.
The good news for the passionate customers of Bridge City is that they’ll hardly notice the change. Under a licensing agreement that went into effect several years ago, Harvey has been building more than two dozen Bridge City tools for international distribution. That includes everything from Try Squares to Planes to the award-winning Chopstick Master.
Jack Xu and John Economaki first met in 2013, and quickly realized they shared a common set of beliefs and values. Both view their companies as vehicles to express new ideas and concepts using tools as a canvas.
According to Jack Xu, “I made the decision to add Bridge City to the Harvey family of innovative products because I believe that tools ought to inspire their owners. John and I share the belief that ‘Good Enough is NOT Good Enough,’ a business philosophy that permeates our entire company. I know there is a perception in America that tools made in China are somehow inferior, and in some cases that is true. We are acutely aware that for Harvey to achieve our corporate objectives, we cannot afford to let anyone down, particularly the current and future customers of Bridge City Tool Works.“
For his part, Bridge City’s John Economaki has no doubt that he’s made the right decision. “When I read the correspondence from international customers who have been buying Bridge City tools made by Harvey, I know that they will successfully continue to travel the path of quality and outstanding customer service we have enjoyed for the past 35 years.” (That path is demonstrated
with stunning photography in one of the most beautiful woodworking books in print today, Quality is Contagious.)
The other very good news for Bridge City customers is that John Economaki will continue to design “fun stuff” for Harvey for at least the next two years. And John will head the Harvey quality control department. All to ensure that the legacy of quality continues.
Harvey Industries manufactures industrial quality woodworking machinery sold in more than 100 countries around the world. In North America, Harvey has been an OEM for many of the best-known woodworking brands and currently sells select machinery under its own name.
According to John’s blog post, they’re on track to fulfill all pre-orders by July 31, their shop will stay open until January 1, 2019 and lots of old stuff will be on sale and the new stuff will be less expensive. Perhaps the most important part, though, is that John will still be delivering his insights into the world of woodworking from his trusty blog and running quality control. And, we’ll always have the brass and rosewood try square John shared with us back in 2011.