Today’s product review is on Field Notes. If you ever find yourself in need of a pocket sized memo-book, look no further. Co-produced by Coudal and Draplin, these are well designed and useful for any human, young or old, tall or small. Field Notes are made with quality materials, printed in the USA, and have an assortment of colors/themes that sets the mood for every occasion; and if there isn’t an occasion make one up and buy them anyways. So far I’ve ‘tested’ the State Fair series, National Crop series, the recent baseball series and several standard issue kraft brown gems. Memo-book comes in the options of Plain, Ruled or Grid, white paper, and all have a sturdy card stock cover. The interior 48 pages are thick enough to write in pen, without it bleeding through and the grid lines are visible but not overbearing. The insides of the covers are…Continue Reading
A leading manufacturer of wire and rope, Bridon is a global industrial force with 3 manufacturing plants in the USA: Hanover, PA, Exetor, PA & Wilkes Barre, PA. From Bridon’s website: “Bridon products provide solutions to the most arduous and technically demanding challenges, extensively used in construction, mining, oil & gas extraction, telecommunications and other specialised areas of engineering, markets where there can be no compromise over product performance and integrity.” The above factory is their Hanover, PA location.   No factory tour information was provided. Bridon American 280 New Commerce Blvd. Hanover Township, PA 570.822.3349
Today we are talking with James Murray, Executive Director of Product Development and Design at Simon Pearce. Simon Pearce is an American glass and pottery company from the state of Vermont.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself/your role and the history of Simon Pearce? My background is building products with glassmakers and ceramic companies, many of them in Europe. I worked with factories throughout Italy, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic & Slovakia where the same traditions in craft are upheld by family owned businesses. With 11 years at Macy’s/Federated, and 5 years with Bed, Bath & Beyond, working in tabletop, and a variety of home categories, I witnessed the decline of business with these European factories and just over 2 years ago, looked into how I could dedicate design efforts to promoting manufacturing in America. I was familiar with Simon Pearce, (as my wife is from…Continue Reading
Pyrex is a name which is ubiquitous throughout 70% of the households in the United States. This is a gerenal review of their glassware range that’s made in the USA. The weighted feel, thick glass, and size options make them the perfect choice for almost any need. They are far and away my favorite cooking pieces and are the epitome of quality. I’ve been using several different Pyrex models for over a decade and have yet to break one. They have taken multiple drops and clanks against the oven, and not a chip to be seen. Also, when compared to other manufacturers, the plastic Pyrex lids hold up longer. The lids for those decade-old dishes show no signs of wear and still maintain as good of a seal as the day I bought them. Pyrex is affordable, easy to use, durable, and since 1915, Pyrex has been manufactured in the…Continue Reading
Schwing is the largest concrete pump manufacturer. A great example of a company that makes the machines that build our country, and the world. Take a peek at the video to see how a large scale manufacturing company manufactures their industrial pumps. People make companies great, and Schwing has dedicated employees with years of experience, making for a quality product.   Call Schwing for factory tour info: 888-SCHWING Schwing America Inc. 5900 White Bear MN 55127  
Today we are talking with Karl Wiedemann from Thule. Thule is the well known Swedish car rack company, but not as many people know that they manufacture a majority of their products for the North American market right here in the USA.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself, your time at THULE and your current role? I have been at Thule for 5 ½ years and I am currently the Communications and Sponsorship Manager for our North American Brands (Thule, SportRack, Chariot, Croozer, TracRac and UWS). After racing mountain bikes in college, I took a job in the bicycle industry working at a company that made bicycle tools and cleaning products. After ten years there, I joined Thule and it has been a wonderful place to work. Thule is the type of environment where work hard / play hard is a way of life. Everyday up…Continue Reading
Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, LL Bean continues to this day to make their legendary ‘Bean Boot’ and ‘Maine Hunting Shoes’ in Brunswick, Maine. Like many of the factories across the country, you get decades of experience from each worker. The factory is a centerpiece of the community, not just in Brunswick, but all of Maine. It’s the loyalty, years of service and experience that gives these legendary boots their unmatched craftsmanship. Today we are reviewing the Bean Boot. Living in Wisconsin it’s crucial to have some serious winter gear, and I don’t mean the scarves, loose knit beanies and Uggs that are worn out in California. The most critical article of winter gear for enduring any length of cold weather outdoors is footwear. If your feet are cold and wet, you are miserable. It doesn’t take much to find a great warm jacket or beanie, but warm footwear is…Continue Reading
Take a step into Futures’ Huntington Beach headquarters where they make their fin boxes, CNC fin molds and engineer their fins. Not all fins are made in the USA. Factory is not open to the public for tours.   Futures USA – Headquarters 5452 McFadden Ave Huntington Beach, CA 92649 714-891-1695
Today’s interview is with Stock MFG Co.’s CEO, Jim Snediker, and the management team Tim Tierney, Areill Ives, Mike Morarity and Jason Morgan.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourselves and the events that lead up to starting Stock MFG? We’ve been working on the concept of Stock Mfg. Co. for a little over a year now and we’ve come a long way from where we started. Since the beginning, we’ve wanted to create a high-end, domestically manufactured clothing line that was entirely vertical.  Having worked in nearly every facet of the apparel industry (design, development, sourcing, production, retail), we saw the inefficiencies between each stage and knew there was a much better way. I was working on Vagrant Nobility, our menswear label, with Mike and managing the production of Stormy Kromer’s shirt program at Areill’s family-owned factory on the west side of Chicago. Each day, Areill and…Continue Reading
The point of having windows in your home is to let light in, and to provide a view of the outdoors. You can have a beautiful view, but still experience negative side effects such as glare and the sun shining through fading of not only furniture but artwork and hardwood floors. But there is a solution: Vista window film! Because of state-of –the-art R&D, Vista Window film provides 99.9% protection from UVA and UVB rays with UV absorbers built into the film. As a result adding Vista window film will help keeping consistent indoor temperatures for reduced energy costs. Vista window film has safe and proven solar properties that can help towards LEED certification of buildings. Vista’s superior adhesive system chemically bonds for longer lasting performance. The proprietary formula of Vista window film helps to make it more durable and easy to maintain, allowing it to stand up to abrasions…Continue Reading
Andersen Windows is a household name in the home and window industry. They have been around for over 100 years and have remained dedicated to American-made and sustainability.   FACTORY TOUR DETAILS: Cost: FREE Reservations: 800.852.9442 Tour Duration: 2 hours Factory hours: M-F 9AM-3PM ANDERSEN WINDOWS 100 4th Ave North Bayport, MN 55003
Today’s interview is with Dave Schiff, partner & chief creative officer of Made Movement, a two part initiative for promoting American-made.   Can you give 50 built readers some background on yourselves and the events that lead up to starting made? Scott, john and i were all running large departments at crispin porter and bogusky. Scott was director of digital, john was director of design, and i was executive creative director. Scott was one of the guys who invented nike plus. John helped turn around dominos. I launched coke zero. We loved our jobs and we were generously compensated, but something was missing. We needed a mission.   What was the catalyst for starting made? The catalyst was actually a single statistic: if americans buy just 1 percent more stuff made in america, it will create 200,000 jobs. For three guys who’ve spent their entire careers convincing people to buy things,…Continue Reading
This month’s wallpaper celebrates Wilson Football’s factory in Ada, Ohio. Available in 4 different sizes for your computer or iphone. Free to download. Also available as a poster for purchase in the shop. STANDARD SCREEN | WIDESCREEN SCREEN | HD SCREEN | iPHONE  
Drs. Foster & Smith is the largest pet supply cataloger in the USA with a workforce of over 600. If your pet needs it, they have it. Today we are reviewing their Quilted Super Deluxe Orthopedic Dog Bed. It is on the pricey side, but after going through two cheaper ‘Costco’ beds we wanted to try something higher quality. We have family that had one for their Boxer and had nothing but good things to say about the wear and tear. In most cases when you spend the extra money, it will be the last time you will need to buy that item. Starting at $75 for the small, you have options all the way up to the X-Large for $150. The bed I’m reviewing is almost 1.5 years old and has been through dozens of wash cycles. Besides a little fading of the paisley print, the bed has virtually no…Continue Reading
Oakley Sunglass company produces some of the most sought after eyewear in the world. They are worn by the most premier athletes in the world and are the eyewear supplier to the United States Military and police forces around the country. On more days than not, you can walk into the Oakley headquarters and a member of the police force or military will be there getting outfitted in the most advanced and the safest optics available. The in-house R&D team tests and abuses all products in the Oakley line to make sure they surpass every regulation and requirement. Through their testing and prototyping, that is done right in Foothill Ranch, California, Oakley has been able to patent over 600 features on their eyewear. Their high-end X-Metal frames (featured in the video above) are manufactured at another company-owned US facility, and are proof of the power that in-house manufacturing can have.…Continue Reading
If you’re in the market for a quality necktie, bow tie or handkerchief take a look at the General Knot Co. They have a great assortment of high-end fabrics ranging from traditional to eclectic. They also have deadstock vintage fabric options that date back to the WWII era. From General Knot Co.’s website with in regard to making their goods in the USA: With the world’s finest craftsmen right here in the U.S.A., there was never a question of where General Knot & Co.’s products would be manufactured. Our ties are proudly handmade by men and women in the country’s most sought-after tailoring shops. We thank our lucky stars everyday to be working with these artists. The above video is from Outfluenced Vimeo feed.  
Today’s interview is with Richard Worsham of Janus Motorcycles. Janus manufactures 50cc motorcycles in Goshen, Indiana with plans to expand into the 125-250cc market.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself and the events that lead up to starting Janus Motorcycles? My co-founder, Devin Biek and I got into motorcycles through mo-peds: Puchs, Motobecanes, Kreidlers, Garellis, etc., all with 50cc engines and pedals. I worked at Devin’s shop, Motion Left Mopeds while in grad school, restoring, repairing, and customized vintage small displacement motorcycles and mo-peds locally and for clients in Chicago, Austin, New York, and the West Coast. We both have a passion for historic motorcycles, especially flashy 20’s record breakers and 60’s and 70’s 50cc Grande Prix bikes, so we tried to work those aesthetics into our builds. The business was good; Devin developed his own successful line of expansion chambers and performance parts capable of getting…Continue Reading
This week’s wallpaper highlights the overwhelming amount of scrap the USA exports via shipping containers. Our output resembles that of a third world nation, exporting scrap paper to China, to be made into cardboard, for boxing foreign made goods to be shipped back to the U.S. for sale. Available in 4 different sizes for your computer or iphone. Free to download. Also available as a poster for purchase in the shop. STANDARD SCREEN | WIDESCREEN SCREEN | HD SCREEN | iPHONE
The Adjustable Clamp Company has been around since 1905 and hold many of the original patents on their various clamps. They are the makers of the Jorgensen and Pony clamp lines and tools. Today we are reviewing the 3724 24″ steel heavy duty and the 3712 steel light duty Jorgensen Bar clamps. When I was faced with the decision of a cheap (but MORE expensive) plastic imported clamp or the steel heavy duty Jorgensen clamp made in Chicago, the choice was obvious. I had used both in the past, and always preferred the steel option when available. They come with rubber edges, so if you’re clamping down a piece of delicate wood, it will not damage the grain. Both sizes I purchased have easy access to the adjustment and release lever and, when not covered in wood glue, the bars slide easily. Nice rounded wooden handles make the tightening and…Continue Reading
Infinity Surfboards has been shaping custom boards since 1970. They shape all sorts of boards from high-performance shortboards to longboards to Stand Up Paddle boards and Tandem boards. Founded by Steve Boehne, master shaper and owner, Infinity still manufactures, shapes and glasses their surfboards in the USA. The factory is located in San Clemente, California, The two story factory holds 7 shaping bays, an AKU surfboard shaping machine, and a full production glass-shop. If you’re getting a custom board made by Infinity, you can watch it get shaped right at the factory. FACTORY TOUR DETAILS: Cost: FREE Reservations: Required. 949.661.6699 Tour Duration: .5 hour (Longer if you’re watching your board shaped) Factory hours: No schedule. If you’re having a board made by Infinity, you can watch it shaped in their Southern California factory. INFINITY SURFBOARDS (Retail shop. Call for factory directions) 24382 Del Prado Dana Point, CA 92629
The undergarment industry, like most textile related industries, has been a huge victim of outsourcing. Hanky Panky has not only survived, they have thrived. Since 1977, when Hanky Panky founder and designer Gale Epstein started the company, they have been committed to made in the USA. Today their lingerie is a driving force in trends and quality and they maintain a large, loyal, following. From Hanky Panky’s website on being Made in the USA: Hanky Panky has been manufacturing in the Northeast area of the USA since 1977. Manufacturing locally saves time, fuel, and shipping costs, thus drastically reducing the generation of CO2. It also keeps our factories where we can see them, allowing us to monitor both the quality of our products and the working conditions. The US has many laws in place protecting the health and safety of its workers. Sadly, many other countries where apparel is produced have not…Continue Reading
Today’s interview is with Tim Andis, founder and CEO of Liberty Bottleworks based in Yakima, Washington. Liberty Bottles are the only metal bottles made in the USA.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself and the events that lead up to starting Liberty Bottleworks? The catalyst for starting Liberty Bottleworks was REI. I had been selling another brand of water bottles to REI and they asked me to find a domestic supplier. They were tired of foreign suppliers who couldn’t fulfill reorders based on trends in the current season and the excessive freight costs and delays from overseas shipments. I thought, okay, I’ll go find one, but to my surprise nothing existed. Long story short and a lot of hard work later, I decided to build a factory in the US to help customers like REI have a domestic supplier who was flexible and cared about their business…Continue Reading
This week’s wallpaper highlights the Foothill Ranch, California Oakley factory. Available in 4 different sizes for your computer or iphone. Free to download. Also available as a poster for purchase in the shop. STANDARD SCREEN | WIDESCREEN SCREEN | HD SCREEN | iPHONE
This was a great example of how a simple google search for “American made ________” can yield priceless results. I was in need of a new grill brush, and unfortunately the market is flooded with cheap imports. I came across Brushtech and it’s been a godsend for multiple items that are scarcely made in the USA. If you need anything from a golf brush, to bathroom brushes, to automotive brushes to grill brushes, Brushtech has you covered and then some. Not only will they have a brush for your need, but they have dozens of options for each, usually with a competitive price compared to the imports, or in some cases they even cost less! Today we are reviewing their top of the line “Long Lasting BBQ Brush.” The BBQ brushes range from $3.99 to $16.99 depending on your need and size. The first time I used this brush the…Continue Reading
Karsten Manufacturing, better known as PING, is the only major American made golf club manufacturer. To this day, they still are casting past iron models and manufacturing their steel shafts in the USA. Many of their new models have been outsourced overseas, but production continues in the states on past models. No companies forge their clubs in the USA anymore due to EPA regulations. The process is amazing, and the fact that they have hung on for so long speaks to their desired commitment to Made In the USA. Hopefully, with some help from external forces, PING can bring all of their irons back to being manufactured domestically. If you’re in the market for a new set of irons, look at their G5 range, and some of the G10s, as they were still being produced in America and are still being sold at retailers. This factory tour is of the assembly…Continue Reading