Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I guess it's been a while since I posted. It's a long story I'll post soon. We have been setting up for a little growth spurt and we've been developing some new tools for you.
We have been making broadforks steadily, though and we have come to another milestone here at Gulland Goods and Services, LLC. As of today, broadfork # 600 will be the next one to ship. A little over 2 years ago I noted the building of broadfork #100 in a blog post. (click here)
I believe that this is the way to grow a company. We carefully make a very finely crafted tool and have a $15 per month advertising budget. The rest has been up to you. Thank you for doing such a fine job in selling broadforks for us.
Thanks to the Gulland Broadfork owners in Coralville, Iowa. There are 6-8 friends out there who all have our forks.
Thanks to Fairbanks, Alaska. For a while, we had more forks there than our former hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.
We have new customers in Sweden and Tunisia and I am about to ship one to New Zealand. I am deeply appreciative of the people around the world that are dedicated to purchasing high quality, hand made tools. This is what we do and we do it very well.
I got a note this week from Richard in upstate New York who had this to say:
"Your broadfork arrived yesterday. What a piece of art and craftsmanship! The internet pictures don't do it justice. I don't know whether to hang it on my wall or use it in the garden next year."
Richard, You should buy a second one for your wall!
As you can see from the picture above, as they are made, each tool is set up in a jig and into it, I hand stamp my initials, the year it was built and it's serial number. Yours is just like everyone else's and they are all as good as they can be before they leave my shop. I do all the metal work myself, from sawing, drilling, forging, assembling and cleaning. My wife does the finishing work and is the elf in the woodworking shop. She fine tunes the fit of the handles and pairs them all according to weight and grain density. When you have such a production team, you get good quality and good looks.
For those of you that do not know, we are a very environmentally conscious company. The broadfork is designed carefully and thoughtfully to eliminate waste material. We cut everything with blades, which cuts out consumable products like grinding and sanding abrasive products. I hate metal abrasives; they are terrible for the environment.
I developed our broadfork to be very cleanly finished. All the parts are cut with a bandsaw and the waste 'saw dust' is recycled. I then de-burr the edges in a tumbler to eliminate the need to grind the sharp edges. Welding is done in such a way that there is no need for grinding because there is no welding spatter. The welds are perfect and don't need to be hidden under a coat of paint. The broadfork is then finished by wire brushing it to a high lustre.
Why would someone paint a garden tool anyway? Why would you work for years to get good clean soil, then press painted tools into it, ultimately depositing those chemicals in your food supply? We hand-apply a coating of linseed oil and turpentine to your broadfork and handles; it's the same stuff your great-grandparents used and it still works fine.
You folks out there keep up the good work with your broadforks. Every time you use one, your soil will respond favorably. Thank you for your support of a small family business that is trying to make a difference.
Good soil to you,