CELEBRATING 25 YEARS!
This company was founded by a single craftsman with the intent to support other craftsmen who found themselves struggling to find the tools and training they needed to do their job well. I started TM Technologies because I got tired of waiting for “someone else” to create good eyewear, or teach a specific metalworking method. One thing led to another, and, as a result, quite a few products have manifested over the past two decades.
I am pleased that we have been able to survive at a time when craftsmanship here in the U.S. has gone from the attic down to the basement (and then out to the dumpster) and is now freighted across oceans to far-off lands where villagers work at our eighteenth-century levels, becoming the repositories of our craftsmanship. That was our big export, along with our machinery.
I was the youngest man at Harrah’s Auto Collection when I started there in 1972. Although I had previously worked for many months in a small restoration shop, I was still a bit daunted by being the youngest on a professional crew of 35 men. The next man up from me was 42 and they called him “The Kid.” The oldest group topped out at 74 and were too fierce for most others to be around for long. Most guys were in their late 50’s and 60’s, and all of them were lifelong craftsmen.
I gave it all I had for five years, and worked nights on some really interesting projects. Over time I have become a repository for the skill sets I gained from those old men, and the men I studied with later on, as I journeyed out. This is the second reason this company exists: to preserve. I have seen many fine craftsmen fade from this earth — hardwood carvers, glass molders, welders, metalmen, and men who hand-scraped in-place repair machinery.
I’ve tried to refine or improve on traditional tools and methods where I could. Much of my inspiration came from Luther Burbank, a man I consider to be an American hero and saint. (If you don’t know his story it is well worth reading). From his example of constantly improving upon what already existed, I decided that the old-fashioned file-steel Slappers should be improved with a better geometry and smooth spring steel, to reduce personal effort and to give a better finish. Another excellent hand tool whose “shop value” has withstood the test of decades is the spring-steel Spoon (also a version from my apprenticeship days many years ago). Those old metal men who trained me really encouraged me, and in doing so inspired me to pay it forward. “Each one teach one” spreads the wavelengths of information, and keeps these traditions alive.
Believing experience to be the finest teacher, combined with Lloyd Rosenquist’s expression, “All it takes is a little practical experience to blow the heck out of a perfectly good theory,” I have often chosen the job that teaches, over the job with the bigger bank deposit. You pay for your education one way or another, and you have to learn from your mistakes and let history be your guide. Those who do not, become victims of the herd. I offer the benefits of my hard-earned lessons so you can learn faster and easier than I did. “The rising tide lifts all boats” is another great expression, and the value of being able to “use it up, wear it out, or hand it down” may be close at hand.
Of the products we sell, I am the most proud of our Air Power Hammer, which in 1995 set the standard for an entirely new type of machine. To celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we have released a new model that’ll knock your socks off. We worked for over a year engineering this heavy-duty “C-Frame” interchangeable post Hammer so that it can shrink everything from 3/16-in. 3003 to 1/8-in. copper, to 10-gauge steel. There’s nothing else like it on the market.
We seek out talented cottage craftsmen to make many of our parts, and they are scattered, just like you, across this country and continent. We are proud to say that after 25 years we continue to manufacture and sell top-quality American-made products at a fair price.
We enthusiastically support craftsmanship, as you can see in our Gallery of Metal. We’ve really tried to make this website a source of metalworking information and inspiration. Please visit when you can — we try to add interesting metalworking tips or videos monthly.
Success and joy to you for 2016 and beyond.
Kent White, Founder & CEO
Oct 2002 Making and fitting a top cowl for the Spirit of St. Louis at Kermit Weeks’ Fantasy of Flight Museum, in Polk City, Florida.