April 9, 2019 marks 40 years of doing business at Great Lakes Custom Tool Mfg., Inc. (GLCT) located currently at 101 N. Old Peshtigo Road in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. This manufacturing company evolved from Peshtigo Saw Service, a small saw sharpening business purchased March 1973 from Hart’s Lumber. Head Coach and current owner, Russ Martin, had a full time job at Badger Paper Mills and sharpened saws on the side with a friend for “fun money” having no idea then where this business would lead him.
In 1979 it became evident there was a need for custom cutting tools in addition to the tools we were already selling. The business was incorporated and named Great Lakes Carbide Tool Mfg., Inc. That year the challenge of manufacturing custom carbide tipped tools used in the woodworking industry began in a small 1,700 square foot Quanset® hut.
The growth of the company, as a result of increased resale orders and now orders for custom tooling, required a larger facility. A new building was erected in 1985 consisting of approximately 6,400square feet.
Customers experienced excellent results with GLCT’s high quality brazed tooling and in 1993 began requesting insert tooling which brought about the development of our patented Great-Loc® Insert System.
New products were added and the number of employees increased, thus in 1995 we built a new 14,000 square foot facility located in the Peshtigo Industrial Park. The most advanced computer numeric controlled (CNC) machines on the market were purchased to satisfy increased sales.
June 2004 Sonnet Tool (Hawthorne, CA) was purchased, moving the equipment to Peshtigo. This gave GLCT exclusive rights to manufacture Helicarb® tooling (twisted carbide) to further expand our versatility and provide additional opportunities in the wood and metal market.
To better reflect all that the business offered, our company became Great Lakes Custom Tool Mfg., Inc. in April 2006.
In June 2013 an addition to our family was made when AAA Precision Tool & Cutter Grinding, LLC (Orofino, Idaho) was purchased. AAA compliments GLCT in our manufacturing capabilities of custom metalworking tooling.
GLCT’s production capabilities are brazed, HSS, solid carbide, PCD (diamond), our award winning Great-Loc® Insert System (Dedicated & SG Universal), Helicarb®, saws, etc. In addition to new tools GLCT also services what we sell as well as servicing tooling purchased elsewhere.
Over time growth remained steady, subsequently GLCT increased our facility several times. In fact, today we are in the midst of a 20,000 square foot addition, bringing the company to approximately 100,000 square feet.
GLCT is a proud family-owned business, because family is a link that lasts forever. It is nurtured and taught, passing on the key success values needed to ensure the continuity of the family business for generations to come with depth in the company continuing with Ray Martin, Russ’ son.
Russ Martin believes that the true source of quality resides with every one of our people. Each project, no matter the size or complexity, is an opportunity for us to reinforce our customer’s faith in us by consistently delivering the highest level of service and products.
GLCT’s philosophy is where talking about business doesn’t start with pricing but with “How can we help you reduce your tooling cost today?”