While the wood being sold at Midwest Woodworking last weekend was enough to make me salivate, I really got excited when I learned the company was selling off its clamps.
Including, wait for it, a large collection of Wetzler F-style clamps.
I first encountered Wetzlers when Popular Woodworking Magazine gave away a bunch of them as part of a contest. Wetzler shipped the clamps to us; we had to ship them to the winner.
The box of clamps weighed about 300 pounds. After we opened it up, I knew I wanted a set for my shop. The clamps had heavy castings, yet the heads moved smoothly on the bars. And the screws were exquisitely made.
When I finally got my (expletive deleted) together to buy a set of Wetzlers, the company’s web site acted weird. Some links were dead. I tried e-mailing and calling the company. No luck. Eventually, the web site disappeared.
I used my newspaper reporter skills to trace the ownership chain to a Florida holding company. I called and e-mailed them. No response.
Does anyone know what happened to Wetzler? What about the patterns and molds? I know I could find someone who would make these clamps again.
Know anything? Send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. I snagged only four Wetzlers at $15 each at Midwest.