Monday, February 2, 2015

Vanished Tool Makers: The Wetzler Clamp Company, Long Island City, New York

Tom Philbin.  Cabinets, Bookcases and Closets.  Creative Homeowner Press, 1980.
I came across this photo and had never heard of this clamp maker before.

Max Wetzler, a Jewish immigrant from Germany, founded the Wetzler Clamp Company in Long Island City, New York in 1928.  

Boating, 1961
The company made high-quality professional-grade clamps that were highly thought of.  One commentator on the web said of the company's clamps, "After 20 years of continuous daily use, I have never split a handle, bent a bar, or lost a swivel pad. By far the finest clamps I have ever used." In 1983, one of Max Wetzler's four sons, Elliot (who had earned a doctorate in economics from Johns Hopkins), returned to Flushing, New York from Juneau, Alaska to manage the clamp company, which he sold the following year. The new owners relocated the company to Pennsylvania in 1984, and locations in both Mount Bethel and Portland are listed.  In 2002, the company was sold to a husband and wife team who had worked for the company, but somewhere along the way the business appears to have folded.  Another quality American tool manufacturer disappeared down the tubes.

Practical Machinist


Tim Cozzens said...

Just came across this sad news as I'm looking for more clamps! They are (were?) the best. I've been using mine for 30 years....not the slightest issue.

Unknown said...

Same here 22 years and perfect.

Unknown said...

I have one can someone sell me 10 more

Unknown said...

How much do the larger Wetzler "Heavy Duty Shipyard Clamp" like the one seen in the Practical Machinist link below the photo above go for? I have a few and I haven't been able to find any info on them and not even any pictures other than that practical machinist post. Curios how valuable they are?

Unknown said...

I am still using Wetzler wood clamps from my dad's workshop, which he bought in 1950.
He used them regularly.
I love them,
Quality,Heavy Duty tools.
Never ever had a problem with them.