Great Lakes Custom Tool Mfg., Inc. celebrates 40 years

On April 9, 2019, Great Lakes Custom Tool Mfg., Inc. (GLCT) marks 40 years of doing business. The business is currently located at 101 N. Old Peshtigo Road in Peshtigo.

This manufacturing company evolved from Peshtigo Saw Service, a small saw sharpening business, which was purchased in March 1973 from Hart’s Lumber. Russ Martin — GLCT’s Head Coach and current owner — had a full-time job at Badger Paper Mills and sharpened saws on the side with a friend for “fun money” and had no idea where this business would lead him.

In 1979, it became evident there was a need for custom cutting tools in addition to the resale tools Martin was 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 Quonset hut.

With increased resale orders and orders for custom tooling, GLCT continued to grow and it became clear the business needed a larger facility. In 1985, a new 6,400-square-foot facility was built.

Customers happy with GLCT’s high-quality brazed tooling began requesting insert tooling in 1993, which led to the development of the company’s patented Great-Loc® Insert System.

As new products and more employees were added, GLCT built a new 14,000-square-foot facility located in the Peshtigo Industrial Park in 1995. The most advanced computer numeric controlled (CNC) machines on the market were purchased to satisfy increased sales.

In June 2004, the company purchased Sonnet Tool in Hawthorne, Calif., and its equipment was moved to Peshtigo. This gave GLCT exclusive rights to manufacture Helicarb® tooling (twisted carbide) to further expand its versatility and provide expanded opportunities in the wood and metal markets.

To better reflect all that the business offered, the company became Great Lakes Custom Tool Mfg., Inc. in April 2006.

In June 2013, GLCT purchased AAA Precision Tool & Cutter Grinding, LLC in Orofino, Idaho. AAA complements GLCT in its manufacturing capabilities of custom metalworking tooling.

GLCT’s production capabilities are brazed, HSS, solid carbide, PCD (diamond), its award-winning Great-Loc® Insert System (Dedicated & SG Universal), Helicarb®, saws and more. GLCT also services what they sell as well
as servicing tooling purchased elsewhere.

Over time, the company’s growth remained steady and GLCT increased the size of its facility several times. In fact, GLCT is in the midst of a 20,000-square-foot addition, bringing the company to approximately 100,000-square-feet of space.

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 continuing with Ray Martin, Russ’ son.

Russ Martin believes the true source of quality resides with every one of his employees. Each project, no matter the size or complexity, is an opportunity for them to reinforce their customer’s faith in them 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?”

101 N. Old Peshtigo Road
Peshtigo, WI 54157

To view the entire 2019 Anniversary Celebrations edition, please click here.