A Little Bit Of Our History
In September 2005 we moved from Charleston, South Carolina to our new home in a suburb of Savannah, Georgia. We had been transferred there to open 2 new Hotels. At that time I had been a Hotel Administrator for over 28 years.
Our new home didn't have a workbench!!.
I found myself missing the built-in bench that we left behind.
I've always thought of the work area as a place to make small repairs or even tackle some very large projects.
Weekends were spent helping Emily to organize and getting our daughter, Nina, settled in, not to mention the new 1 1/2 acre lawn calling out for attention! Emily wanted so badly to find me a work ready Bench.
All she could find was a metal workbench with a very thin top. There was nothing available of any substance to buy locally or online. While she paid a premium for it, I was overjoyed with her thoughtfulness. I was so excited until I had to put this 250 some odd pieces of mostly metal together.
I think there was more excitement in seeing the colorful box than the finished product. It was shaky. The drawers didn't fit right. The worst part was the day I had to hammer out a part from my lawnmower. The sounds of metal parts jingling with every hit caught the attention of everyone within 100 yards. I simply could not understand why one would be forced to buy this type of product made in some third world country only to have this type of disappointment.
Needless to say, this was the beginning of my quest to create a simple, well made workbench, easy to assemble, and that would withstand abuse and yet be the center of attention in my workspace.
The original "Big John" workbench, "Made in America" was born. What began as a frustration is now a thriving business. Today we have orders from all over the world to produce our workbenches.
- September 2005 The Big John Designed.
- August 2006 Website and Shop created in My Garage.
- September 2006 The first products ordered and delivered..
- January 2007 We moved back to Charleston, we missed it so much. New garage was a bit bigger!
- June 2007 We sold our 200th bench!.
- March 2008 We moved to our commercial shop location on Signal Point Road.
- June 2008 We sold our 540th Workbench! And added the Palmetto Workstation inspired by the "Serve You" Corp of Wisconsin!
- January 2009 We have expanded to an additional 1,500 Square feet of Industrial space which will allow for dedicated finishing and shipping space
- June 2009 We added 2 more Workbench products to our line of custom benches-- The Constitution Reloading Bench, and the Palmetto Grande!
- July 2009 We have negotiated and additional 3,000 sq ft for our shops. We will now have 4500 sq ft of manufacturing opportunity.
- September 2009 we sold our 1700th Bench.
- December 2009 New ! Jewelers Bench
- January 2010 We introduced Hard Rock Maple tops on All of our Workbenches to enhance the longevity and value.
- December 2010 We are growing! We have added 3 new staff members to create Benches. Our production is currently 24 benches every 12 Days,
- January 2011 Lyman Products has endorsed our reload products and placed our "Constitution" on the Cover of their catalog.
- February 2011 Introducing the Ben Franklin "Low Boy" Hobby Bench.
- July 2011 Jimmy Buffet Purchased one of our Ben Franklin benches for his Sag Harbor Home.
- September 2011 We just added 1,500 SQ Ft to our shop giving us a total of 6,000 Sq Ft.
- October 2011 Business Tripled and we had to Hire 3 More Wood Crafters.
- January 2012 Thank you America! 2011 was our Best year yet.
- March 2012 The Microsoft Corporation Purchases 5-Non Conductive custom Test benches for delivery in June.
- April 2012 We negotiated a 17,000 SQ Ft Building to allow us to grow into over the next two years. (Move scheduled for Oct 1.)
- June 2012 General Electric orders 9 - 48 x 96"Custom Non Conductive benches for their new facility in Markham, Ontario
- January 2013 The Paul Revere Woodworking bench was introduced on our webpage
- June 2014 Introducing The Ashley Hall Four Station Workbench!
- August 2014 We began Advertising in Garden & Gun Magazine and sales have increased by 20 orders per month above or normal sales.
- January 2015 Total sales hit $1,000,000.00 and we now have 10 Wood Crafters on board!
- September 2015 Supported by the SBA we purchased our 17,000 Square Foot building and have began our Capital improvement plan to renovated the property.
- January 2016 Our New Showroom opens to the Public!
- John Zirpola ~ Founder, Bench Designer, Builder. Hails from Buffalo New York. Former Hotel Administrator(28 years) U.S. Navy Vet VP-40. Wife Emily, Children: Nicki, Dani, Nina, and Johnny.
- Matt Young- Production Manager ~Hails from the Carolina’s. Responsibilities at AWB in Bench Construction and Specialty Shelving, Production Management. He enjoys his off time with His Family Amy, Lawton, and Paley.
- Denny Collins- Finishing, Leg Building, Lead Packing. Hails from Kokomo, IN. Retired from industrial Steel and Manufacturing. Enjoys Fishing, Boating with his wife Lisa.
- Danny Linder- Born & Raised in Charleston. Danny oversees our Finishing Dept. He enjoys Hunting, Fishing and Family time. In his previous career, he was a Crane Operato
- Ed Edmond- Hails from Daufuskie Island, SC and is currently in our Finishing Dept. He enjoys Music, Poetry and designs Custom Longboard Skateboards.
Chris Hilgendorf ~ Bench Builder, Minuteman Specialty Benches. Hails From Chicago. Former Boy Scout Regional Director for South Carolina.
We are so Happy that you've visited our site. Come vist us in our showroom:
403 Fleming Road ~ Charleston, SC 29412~ 843.367.6681
Our New Workshop on James Island, SC