americanmade

Tools Made in America

Recently I was in the market for a new cordless drill set and mostly was debating between Milwaukee's top tier set and Makita's. In my search to evaluate the different options available and decide what the right fit for me was, I had many a conversation with craftsmen, tradesmen, and makers of all sorts. Everyone had their own opinion as to which brand is better, but a question came up frequently that I, to date, had not given much thought to: What brands can I purchase that help support American workers and the American economy?"

Image credit: www.theouthousers.com

Image credit: www.theouthousers.com

Its pretty much impossible to find power tools made in the USA any more:

Milwaukee, Ryobi, and Homelite, are all manufactured in China and owned by TTI, a Chinese company. TTI also manufactures Ridgid, even though they do not own them (Emerson does)

Stanley, Bostitch, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Proto, Mac, and Black and Decker are all owned by Stanley Black and Decker. Dewalt advertises "Made in the USA" on many of their products, but my understanding is that they are just assembled in the US, please add info on this if you know more. I believe Mac makes their toolboxes in the USA as well.

Bosch makes a small selection of their tools in the US, which is strange given that they are a German company, and even Makita, a company from Japan, outsources some production to China!

All this to say, I've been wanting to become more aware of products made in the USA, not that products made in China are always bad, many very impressive products are made there, but if I have the opportunity to choose between two products of similar quality, I'd like to begin making a conscious effort to support American companies, especially small ones.

So here's a list of companies I've found that make products in the USA, please feel free to add to this list in the comments or correct me if you have additional information!:

Some additions brought to my attention from the fine folks of Instagram:

This list will be ongoing and edited as I get new information.

The Whiskey Barrel Longboard

My friend Briley asked me to make a longboard for him from my whiskey barrels. Never one to turn down a challenge (whiskey barrels are curved in three planes) I agreed to do it.

I got these barrels from a local brewery who made a whiskey-aged beer in them and then sells them off. Originally, these were used for a local distillery to make some nice and spicy whiskey!

I chose three staves from the older barrel, and included the original bung hole (the fill hole in a whiskey or wine barrel)

Glued them up into one piece using biscuit joints (may try dowels on the next one, but its tough to get them to align).

Cut out the rough shape and gave it a little stand on to test it

Used a spokeshave and a router to do all the finish shaping

I made a jig for the truck mounts, this was harder than I thought it would be, and I broke my router in the process, but got it back up and running shortly thereafter.

I used a template bushing and a straight bit to cut out the spaces level for the trucks:

Then I burned in some logos, hidden under the trucks, on the bung hole, and on the top of the deck!

Then, because its so cold here in Colorado this week, I took it inside the house to put some coats of waterproofing, UV resistant spar-varnish!

Then I mounted the trucks and clear "Punked" wheels and Ritalin abec 7 bearings!

Briley and his Beautiful wife Natalie then went out for a cruise and took these fun and awesome photos outside of Atlanta's Ponce City Market along the Beltline!