The Highland Woodworking store started out in 1978 as Highland Hardware, an ordinary hardware store in midtown Atlanta. It was founded by a young couple who met at Georgia Tech, and after graduating and getting married, went to work together for an old Atlanta company known as King Hardware (which had the distinction in 1886 of selling to the druggist next door the washtub used to mix the first batch of Coca-Cola). After a four year bootstrap education in the tool and hardware business at King, the couple took out an SBA loan, rented a storefront near their home and cast their bread upon entrepreneurial waters.
Good fortune in the form of loyal customers and bright, hardworking sales people led to a prospering business which soon identified itself as a specialist in woodworking tools, hand tools and supplies. Always committed to quality and value, Highland Hardware built a reputation as a source of reliable advice on the purchase and use of the tools it sold.
Part of Highland Hardware's mission over the years has been to fan the flames of interest and excitement in the craft of woodworking, and contribute to its growth throughout the country.
In 1980, the company began a weekend woodworking seminar program, bringing to Atlanta the likes of Tage Frid, Sam Maloof, Roy Underhill and Michael Dunbar to teach students attracted from the Atlanta area and around the country. The first seminars were held in the basement of the original store. When Highland Hardware renovated a larger store building across the street in 1984, the seminars moved into an old warehouse behind the new store.
Thousands of woodworkers endured the hard, splintery bleachers and drafty conditions of that rustic facility to spend weekends with Mark Duginske, Toshio Odate, Rude Osolnik, Dale Nish, Ernie Conover, and numerous other gifted teachers. In 1995, 8000 square feet of space was added to the store, including a large comfortable room where seminars and woodworking classes are now taught. Nationally known woodworking teachers like Peter Galbert, Christopher Schwarz, Mary May and Roy Underhill continue to appear regularly as part of our visiting faculty. You can check out some of the woodworking action on the Gallery Pages of our site.
Wood News, Highland's Newsletter
Before ever publishing a woodworking tool catalog, Highland Hardware began sending out to its customers a product-oriented newsletter called "Wood News" which featured articles on woodworking tips, hand tool techniques and woodworking updates. Published two or three times a year, it soon grew into a small woodworking magazine, actually one of the early examples of what came to be known as a "magalog." In 1992, the magazine format was merged into the store's comprehensive tool catalog, which now appears in four editions each year. Its in-depth analysis of the tools we sell has won consistent praise over the years from customers, journalists and tool manufacturers.
Highland Joins the World Wide Web
In 1996, Highland Hardware took the plunge into the cyberworld as one of the first woodworking tool companies to create a major website. Within the last few years, HighlandWoodworking.com has evolved into a major interface with woodworkers around the world. The Internet also brought about the rebirth of "Wood News". In June of 2005, Highland Hardware began publishing Wood News Online, a monthly electronic newsletter. Highland customers who've subscribed receive Wood News Online every month via e-mail. Each issue features articles about new woodworking tools, techniques, customers' workshops, books, events and other tips of interest to woodworkers.
Becoming Highland Woodworking
While we started out more than 35 years ago as a local hardware and woodworking retailer, over the years we have grown to become exclusively an international purveyor of fine woodworking tools. In 2006 we changed our name to Highland Woodworking, which is a truer reflection of the nature of our tool offering and our position in the woodworking industry. Nothing else changed; customers still receive the same quality tools and service and the same enthusiasm for woodworking they have come to rely on over the years. Highlandwoodworking.com, as the website is now known, is currently the fastest-growing part of our enterprise. Besides illustrating our comprehensive selection of woodworking products, woodworking hand tools and power tools, the website offers a huge resource of free woodworking tips and information.
Today our customers include modern artists and accomplished woodturners, as well as studio furniture designers, heirloom craftsmen and professional cabinetmakers. Perhaps numbering more than any other category, men and women with a small shop in their basement or garage have come to depend on Highland Woodworking for quality tools, sound advice and fast, reliable service.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to our online woodworking store. Please let our staff introduce themselves on our Meet the Highland Woodworking Staff page. And if you enjoy your visit to Highland Woodworking's cyberstore, we hope you'll pass the word along to your woodworking friends. We are always adding more signature hand tools, the latest power tool advances and of course band saw blades and tips that will turn you into a re-sawing machine, so please bookmark us and check back often.
Sincerely, Chris Bagby, Owner
P.S. Remember, old-fashioned as it may sound, we depend on actual commerce to keep us going. Please support our efforts to serve you online and make us your woodworking supply source by shopping our huge selection of woodworking products. We appreciate your business!