Franchise History

Indianapolis Store


Woodcraft retail stores trace their history to the late 1920's, to a small one-room shop in Boston's North End, where a small store began providing area cabinetmakers with the kinds of essential tools they could not find elsewhere. Woodcraft stores have continued to supply the specialized tools needed by professional woodworkers and skilled craftsmen and hobbyists. Woodcraft’s comprehensive retail selection of woodworking tools and equipment is now one of the nation's largest and most versatile. Woodcraft is not just committed to quality woodworking tools and supplies, but we are firmly committed to the education of woodworkers, equipping them to achieve the best results possible. Woodcraft teaches over 13,000 classes a year to a little over 50,000 students. 

Woodcraft customers appreciate the value of purchasing quality woodworking products. As a Woodcraft Franchisee, you will join with our existing stores, Internet, and catalog for tremendous buying power. Woodcraft Supply acts as your warehouse, importer, supplier and distribution center, allowing you to concentrate on your store. You will also be a direct distributor of the major tool manufacturers like Sawstop, Laguna, Porter-Cable, DeWalt, Jet, Powermatic, Fein, Festool, Rikon and many more. Woodcraft Supply, LLC is also the exclusive United States distributor of Pfeil® SwissMade® carving tools, arguably the finest quality tools in the world. In addition, you will sell premium proprietary products such as tools, finishes, and other supplies under the WoodRiver and Pinnacle labels. In fact, our product development managers are constantly looking for new items either to introduce, or to have manufactured for Woodcraft.

Woodcraft's History

Woodcraft Franchise History Photo

In 1928, George Eaton and Richard Merrill opened a one-room shop in Boston, Massachusetts. They began their business life by selling new and rebuilt industrial woodworking machinery to professional cabinet makers and schools. Woodcraft's business remained primarily in the second-hand woodworking equipment field for many years, through the 30's and 40's. By the 50's Woodcraft was a dealer of Boice Crane Bench Machines, and also took on the Rockwell Delta product line. Woodcraft's first hand tool catalog and first retailer of the Marples hand tool line was a result of a meeting with Wm. Marples & Son. In the 50's, Woodcraft founder George Eaton, launched a limited mail order business offering tools made by Wm. Marples & Son, plus a few from German manufacturers. 

In 1962, Woodcraft was sold to Roger Wells. In 1968, Woodcraft Supply moved to Woburn, Massachusetts, where the catalog business was first operated out of a back room, until continued growth quickly forced Woodcraft to build a full warehouse/office facility. 

In 1972, Sam Ross founded SBR, Inc. of Parkersburg, West Virginia and in 1987, SBR, Inc. bought Woodcraft. Sam Ross is an avid woodworker who had been a customer of Woodcraft. He made an offer to Roger Wells which was accepted. Woodcraft's driving philosophy changed with the expansion created using SBR experience in retail store operations. In 1988, Woodcraft began opening new stores and the next year its warehouse merchandise distribution and customer service operations relocated to Parkersburg, West Virginia. In 1991, Woodcraft offered its first credit card and in 1992, all offices were moved to Parkersburg. 

In 1993, Woodcraft fulfilled its quest for same-day shipping and two-day delivery to customers and bought the Mason & Sullivan clock catalog brand and inventory. That same year, Woodcraft also bought 10 stores from Shopsmith, while adding another two stores. In 1996, was established and Woodcraft became one of the first woodworking companies to operate on the Internet. 

In 1998, Woodcraft's 1st franchise store opened. During the late 1990's, Woodcraft added eighteen franchised and three corporate stores, which caused an increase in warehouse space to almost two acres. In 2000, the Hawaii store opened and Woodcraft moved its administrative offices to its present location. By the end of 2001, there were 55 Woodcraft stores. 

In 2006, Woodcraft's parent company, SBR, Inc. merged with Fortune Brands, but Woodcraft remained under the ownership of Sam Ross. Woodcraft changed its name from Woodcraft Supply Corp. and Woodcraft Franchise Corporation to Woodcraft Supply, LLC and Woodcraft Franchise, LLC respectively. Currently there are over 70 stores nationwide operating in 35 states including Hawaii; 11 stores are corporately owned. Woodcraft continues to supply a wide array of tools and supplies to woodworkers in 117 countries through retail outlets, by catalog and