New Ownership, Same Legacy

Mark Strahler, BCTW President

Becoming the new owner of BCTW is an exciting challenge and an honor for all of us at Harvey Industries. The task of perpetuating and growing the legacy of unique design and superior quality is a responsibility which we take very seriously. I want to assure all the customers of Bridge City that we are committed to new and innovative designs (which John Economaki will continue to create) and building them to the world class standards set by John over the past 35 years.

Before I share the transition timeline and the small changes headed to this website, an introduction is in order. My name is Mark Strahler and I am the President for Harvey Industries International, Inc., based in Monclair, CA. I started my career at Delta over 40 years ago and I was one of the founders of Steel City. For the past 6 years, I have been a liaison between Harvey Industries and the woodworking needs of the growing market in China. Interestingly, I first met John at the Chicago Hardware Show in the early 1980’s. It seems to me that John and I both share blood type “W”, and I am sure you know what that means…

Our name, Harvey Industries, might be new to you but I assure you we are not new to the world of woodworking tool manufacturing. We are based in Nanjing, China and over the past 20 years we have been making well-known brand name machinery and tools for the North American market. In addition, Harvey branded tools are now sold in over 100 countries worldwide. Four years ago, we became a licensed manufacturer of Bridge City Tool Works for the international market. And just recently, we introduced into the US market two innovative Harvey-branded products, the  Gyro Air Dust Processor and the T40 Lathe. You can see them both at www.harveywoodworking.com.

I am pleased to share that we are making a few small changes to the Bridge City pre-order model. Our goal is to have items in-stock based upon your needs. We will also start to roll out our line to a limited number of dealers in order to make our products available locally for you to see and purchase.

We are doing our best to make this transition transparent to you, our valued customer. We plan to move all the Bridge City operations to Montclair, CA on August 1, 2018. We plan for the ordering system to be down for a couple of days and opening again on August 6, which is ironically, John’s birthday. Everything will look the same and the two dozen products which we already produce will be available for sale with immediate delivery.

Over the next 18-24 months, we plan to develop and start manufacturing the remainder of the product line making it available as we have inventory in our warehouse.

Over the next few weeks, we will begin to introduce our new Harvey/BCTW team to you in this space. We want to get to know you as well as John and Consuelo have. We know that we have big shoes to fill but we are excited about the opportunity to meet this challenge.

Lastly, I value your input. John has repeatedly shared with me that he did not create a “tool business”, he created a “people business” where customers connected with real people and had lots of fun along the way. If you feel the need to contact me, I can be reached at email address here. I like fun, too!

My warmest regards,

Mark Strahler
President
Harvey Industries International, Inc.
Mark@BridgeCityTools.com

Posted by Bridge City Tool Works on 07/07/2018

13 comments on this post:

  1. Nice to meet you Mark and excited to see the next chapter of BCTW.

    Can you comment on spare parts and replacement blade availability for BCTW legacy products and plans that you have? I have a JMP as well as several of the Japanese saws and hope blades continue to be available for them.

    Many thanks for your outreach and good luck with the transition –

    neil

  2. Mark, welcome aboard! This is an exciting transition, and the concept of “having items in stock based upon your needs” is a novel one for this late adopter of BCTW tools. Are you sure it won’t take the fun out of ordering BCTW tools? If I don’t have to wait a year or two, then why bother?

    I’m looking forward to meeting you. I’m a die-hard member of the Drivel Starved Nation (though I would have hyphenated “Drivel-Starved”), and have enjoyed worshiping at the feet of the Tool Potentate. Being short, that’s about the only part of him that I see. Those are big shoes to fill, but I have confidence that you’ll do brilliantly. Good luck with this, and don’t hesitate to let any of us know if you need some sage advice. I’m sure we could find someone to offer it…

    -Peter

  3. Hi Neil, thanks for your good wishes on the transition. We have a dedicated, small, team who are committed to carrying on the legacy that John has created. We are very serious about getting it right and look forward to your input as we move forward.
    Regarding the legacy tools, John has recently announced that Rutager West, a long time customer and super woodworker, will be setting up a repair shop as a resource for you. We will include information for Rutager on the BCTW web site going forward so that he is easily available to you.
    The Japanese saw blades and JMP blades will definitely be available. No worries there!
    We will continually update you as we fill out the line with the other tools over the next 18 months! Stay tuned.

  4. Peter, I remember John before he was a Tool Potentate and he was nice enough to remember me after his elevation to royal status….I do not ever expect to fill his shoes but I am going to try my best to make sure that what he created continues and grows within the high standards which he has set. (Having him involved for the foreseeable future in the “fun” parts of the business and looking over me shoulder will keep me on my toes!)
    I hope that the delivery of a Bridge City Tool immediately (once they are available) does not take away from the mystique too much! I am betting that the quality, functionality, and beauty of each tool will be what everyone wants.
    And please be sure that I will be turning to many of you for advice in the future.

  5. Hi, Mark:

    I misplaced a few stray thoughts before seeing this link. Here:

    https://www.bridgecitytools.com/blog/2018/07/17/meet-the-new-bridge-city-team-in-california/#comment-5624

    Any chance of a scaled-up CT-16, full-size bit brace? Maybe with choice of/interchangeable 2 and 3 jaw chucks? If it came is a less exalted (i.e. cheaper) material, I might buy more than one…

    Despite some wistfulness, I really do wish the “new” BCTW well.

    Best, Dave (aka John’s harasser)

  6. Dave,

    You will still have ample opportunities to harrass me here on this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog for at least the next two years.

    No more crocodile tears!

    John

  7. John:

    Skunks gonna smell, crocodiles gonna cry. My missing hand still hurts from that time you cut it off in Atlanta, BTW. Safer than a Sawstop my @$$.

  8. Nice to meet you Mark and congratulations. I currently own a bunch of the Harvey-made Bridge City tools and like them a lot. I’ve compared a few of them to BCTW versions and can’t tell the difference.

    Quick question. Will you be shipping abroad? Yes, there are a handful of dealers around the world who will ship to me in Asia but I’d like the option to order from BCTW’s directly if I so desire.

  9. I am new to Bridge City, main due to discoveries at an auction. I have started to buy directly from the site. I am looking forward to see how things transpire. I have enjoyed all the BCTW tools I own and look forward to buying more creative tools in the future.

    Thanks to the BCTW team for the focus on quality and function.

  10. John:

    Like a lizard’s tail, a lawyer’s “money-takin’ hand” grows back.

    Dave

    P.S., my comment about braces (and add hand drills!) was serious. Good antique braces and hand drills with working chucks from reliable sources, i.e. not Ebay, are getting into China-made BCTW territory (though not domestic-made BCTW territory). I know guys who know how to restore North Brothers/Miller’s Falls stuff, but I ain’t that handy.

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