In May 2016, former CEO of the Adjustable Clamp Company Doug Holman announced that the woodworking clamp supplier would be suspending its business operations. It had manufactured Jorgensen® adjustable handscrew clamps and other products, as well as the iconic “orange” Pony® brands of clamps and clamping fixtures, from its Chicago facility for more than a century.
His great-great grandmother Adele V. Holman, a pioneering entrepreneur and professional singer, founded Adjustable Clamp in 1903. Her new company began manufacturing “J” style wood handscrews following the clamp design of cabinetmaker Hans Jorgensen. Adjustable Clamp’s legacy provides a fascinating example of 20th-century American manufacturing, and you can read an extensive account of its history and founder by clicking here.
In the year that’s passed since Adjustable Clamp shuttered its operations, the future of Jorgensen and Pony products has seemed altogether uncertain. Recently, however, Woodworker’s Journal has learned that both Jorgensen and Pony brands will, in fact, continue forward under new ownership. The assets have been purchased by GreatStar Industrial, based in Hangzhou, China. The company, which announced the acquisition on May 9, is a leading manufacturer of hand tools in Asia, serving DIY, professional and industrial markets worldwide. It also manufactures a full range of specialty tools for drywall, masonry, painting, tiling, plumbing and automotive applications, as well as power tools, tool sets and flashlights.
“From the beginning, Adele insisted that the Adjustable Clamp Company would always deliver excellent quality products at the best value,” says Gene Smith, director of sales for the new Adjustable Jorgensen and Pony Clamp, LLC. “Now, after five generations of Holman family ownership and over one hundred years later, a new era has begun, a new corporate organization has taken over the ownership … to assure that same excellence of quality and value.”
Smith was with the former Adjustable Clamp Company for 27 years, serving in sales, marketing and product development roles.
“Now working with Adjustable Jorgensen and Pony Clamp LLC, I’m bringing my years of experience and extensive product knowledge to ensure that equal high quality found in both Pony and Jorgensen will continue.”
Smith says that GreatStar is the largest manufacturer and supplier of hand tools and the world’s ninth largest forklift company. “It’s leading the way on lasers and measuring products as well as robotics technology,” he adds.
Some of GreatStar’s other brands include Goldblatt®, Sheffield®, Everbrite®, Miller Falls® and Safety Pro®. On May 3 of this year, GreatStar also entered into an agreement to acquire Arrow Fastener Company from its parent company, Masco Corporation. Arrow manufactures T50 staple guns, staples, nailers and other tools in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. A news release from Arrow announcing the acquisition indicates that Arrow will continue to manufacture and distribute its products from the New Jersey facility.
Smith reports that GreatStar Industrial USA, LLC, is based out of Huntersville, North Carolina. He says there are no current plans to resume manufacturing of Jorgensen and Pony products in the Chicago area. Additionally, the Holman family is no longer associated with the company.
Smith would not offer further comment regarding details surrounding the Chicago closure or whether GreatStar was affiliated with the Adjustable Clamp Company prior to May 2016 when it closed.
GreatStar’s new line of Jorgensen and Pony products will be available in August. Readers also may appreciate knowing that many former products will be among these offerings. Smith says a sampling of those include Jorgensen handscrews, bar clamps, clamp pads, bench dogs, miter boxes/saws and woodworker’s vises. Within the Pony brand, there will be three-way edging clamps, band clamps, C-clamps, spring and hold-down clamps, clamp fixtures and pads, corner and framing clamps, press screws, vises and cabinet claws.
Additionally, Smith says that GreatStar, “eager to meet the 113-year standards of best quality at the greatest value,” is continuing to use Adjustable Clamp’s original equipment to produce Pony and Jorgensen tools.
“Our team of engineers and designers are also working on new and innovative woodworking tools, and we will release further detailed information as it becomes available.”
With the former Adjustable Clamp Company now defunct, some customers have voiced concern online about previous Jorgensen and Pony product warranties that might no longer be in effect. But, Smith assures that as part of its pledge to deliver quality and customer satisfaction, “we will honor the warranties applied to previous Pony/Jorgensen products.” Any and all rules related to proof of purchase and return policies will still apply to products purchased through Adjustable Clamp Company (dba Pony Tools Incorporated). Inquiries should be sent to JORGENSENandPONY@outlook.com.
Looking ahead, Smith hopes woodworkers and DYIers will be assured that these venerable brands will continue forward with the same quality and reliability they’ve always had.
“Just like the trusted tools that parents would hope they could pass down to their children, the Pony and Jorgensen brands will last the test of time for generations to come,” Smith says. “We believe that Adele V. Holman would be just as pleased to see today’s Jorgensen and Pony branded products as she was of her own products over a century ago.”
A complete listing of Pony and Jorgensen’s catalog will be available later this summer at www.ponytools.com, when updates to the company website are finalized.