Bridge City sells out...

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Forum topic by Joe Lyddon posted 06-22-2018 12:23 AM 1326 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joe Lyddon

10946 posts in 4939 days

06-22-2018 12:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bridge city harvey industries china sells out aquires kerfmaker

Bridge City sells out to Harvey industries, Ltd.

China gets Bridge City… could get caught in a Tarif war… Hope not…

I first found out about Bridge City when the Kerfmaker hit the scene… Great tools…

The article, at the link, in case the ink goes away:

by Chris Marshall • Jun 19, 2018

Harvey Acquires Bridge City

Harvey Industries, Co., Ltd., a world-class manufacturer of woodworking machinery headquartered in China, is acquiring Bridge City Tool Works of Portland, Oregon.

After 35 years of running Bridge City Tool Works, John Economaki, its founder and a 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 hand planes to the award-winning Chopstick Master.

Xu and 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. You can read more about the history of Harvey Industries in another Industry interview, by clicking here.

According to 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 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.”

The other very good news for Bridge City customers is that Economaki will continue to design “fun stuff” for Harvey for at least the next two years. He also will head the Harvey quality control department 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, including Gyro Air Dust Collectors and the TURBO T40 Wood Lathe.

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Industry Interviews
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lathe, hand plane, economaki, Harvey Industries, Bridge City Tool Works, GYRO Air Dust Collector, try square, Chopstick Master, acquisition


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

7 replies so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25352 posts in 3992 days

#1 posted 06-22-2018 01:27 PM

Hi Joe. sounds like the the changeover will be invisible as for the quality of the tools. I don’t know about price. A lot is in the air now with the balancing of trade.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Bill_Steele's profile


732 posts in 2618 days

#2 posted 06-22-2018 02:08 PM

Thanks for the post Joe. I’ve made 2 tool purchases from Bridge City and have been very happy with both of them.

View doubleDD's profile


9735 posts in 2930 days

#3 posted 06-22-2018 04:02 PM

We’ll have to see how this pans out in the end. Unfortunately it never ends good for us.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View dca's profile


28 posts in 912 days

#4 posted 06-22-2018 07:45 PM

Let’s be honest – we don’t need to wait to see how this pans out in the end. This is terrible news. Bridge City was definitely novel in its own way. I use the past tense because this ship has sailed.

Can anyone name a single instance where outsourcing manufacturing to China resulted in anything but cheaper manufacturing? We have literally thousands of examples but I can’t think of a single one that maintained the quality, much less improved it. Yet we have countless examples of absolutely abysmal quality once the move was made.

Money talks I guess and that’s obviously the motivator here. Congrats to Mr. Economaki on his check, but it cost him more than he knows. He built something amazing and then gutted it at the eleventh hour.

If he thinks Bridge City is going to be kept to his standards he’s kidding himself. No one is going to pay nearly $300 for a 4 inch piece of stainless steel from China going forward –

God speed Thomas Lie-Nielsen and the Lee Family – true icons making quality, fairly priced tools in the communities they live in. They have and will continue to get my business going forward, not this sell out.

View TravisH's profile


736 posts in 2822 days

#5 posted 06-22-2018 11:01 PM

The issue …. the gap in quality isn’t as big as many American’s want to make it out to be.

View builtinbkyn's profile


3011 posts in 1827 days

#6 posted 06-22-2018 11:46 PM

Bridge City quality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I have no problem paying higher prices for quality products and have a few BCTW products, but they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. Frankly, Incra, Woodpecker and a few others are much better IMO and though more costly than others, they’re less than BCTW items.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile


3011 posts in 1827 days

#7 posted 06-22-2018 11:49 PM

The issue …. the gap in quality isn t as big as many American s want to make it out to be.

- TravisH

Not really a sentiment I agree with. When putting out bid documents for jobs, I always specified American Made for plumbing roughing components and for structural components. Most any plumber I worked with actually didn’t want to work with Chinese pipe and fittings as they didn’t want to guarantee work made with them. Too many issues down the road.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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