About Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

About Rockler - Create with Confidence

Nordy Rockler and Ann Rockler Jackson

The history of Rockler Woodworking and Hardware goes back to 1954, when Norton Rockler started the Minnesota Woodworkers Supply Company in north Minneapolis. It was a small mail-order business with a big aspiration – to become woodworkers' go-to resource for everything they need to complete their projects.

Since then, we've grown into an industry-leading woodworking and hardware source with a nationwide chain of stores and international reach through our catalogs and website. In many ways, a lot has changed. We've continuously added to our offerings as woodworking technologies have advanced, and we're constantly working to bring the industry's most innovative products, thinking and education to our stores and website.

But in other important ways, much has remained the same. Throughout our 60-year history, Rockler has been a family-owned business – and in business, as with family, relationships are important. We still work with many of the same vendors whose products appeared in our catalogs decades ago. And we still strive to establish connections with you, our customers, that extend well beyond mere financial transactions. We want you to know that we're invested in your success. You can count on us for the products, advice and encouragement you need to finish your projects, and you can count on us to stand behind the things we sell. As our founder wrote in the introduction to a 1988 catalog, "Our commitment to you doesn't end when the package arrives."

We're also committed to the future – of woodworking and the natural resources that make woodworking possible. That's why we strive to provide "green" products, to emphasize recycling and to support sustainable forest growth through the Hardwood Forestry Fund. We're particularly gratified that Rockler has been named the 2014 recipient of the Forestry Fund's Gifford Pinchot Award in recognition of the company's "significant effort to plant hardwood trees in America."

So as we celebrate our rich history of the past 60 years, we look forward to many more years of woodworking with you. Our goal still is to be your go-to woodworking resource – for everything you need to build both your projects and your confidence.

Company History
Rockler Woodworking Logo2014

A special Rockler contribution in honor of Earth Day allows the Hardwood Forestry Fund to plant 7,000 hardwood trees in The Wilds, a private nonprofit conservation center located on reclaimed mining land in southeastern Ohio.

Hardwood  Forestry Fund's 2014 Gifford Pinchot Award

Rockler receives the Hardwood Forestry Fund's 2014 Gifford Pinchot Award, which recognizes significant corporate achievements in promoting sustainable forestry.

Rockler Companies Inc. marks its 60th Anniversary as a family-owned business promoting the craft of woodworking.

2013Rockler Woodworking Logo
Rockler continues its Earth Day partnership with the Hardwood Forestry Fund to plant 10,000 trees

Rockler continues its Earth Day partnership with the Hardwood Forestry Fund to plant 10,000 trees in the Riverside School Forest in southwest Wisconsin and 6,600 trees in the Raystown Lake recreation area in central Pennsylvania.

Redesign of Rockler.com is launched, incorporating "responsive design" to provide an enhanced shopping experience across multiple digital platforms.

Maplewood, MN, store moves to a larger location and reopens with the new superstore format, which features a new design, more product offerings and dedicated spaces for demonstrations and hands-on woodworking classes.

Seattle, WA, moves location and reopens with new superstore format.

Woodworker's Journal adds to "The Way to Woodwork" DVD series with the production of "Step-by-Step to a Perfect Finish" with renowned finishing expert Michael Dresdner. 


Rockler Woodworking Logo2012

Again working with the Hardwood Forestry Fund to celebrate Earth Day, Rockler makes a donation from every online, catalog and retail sale – enough to plant 20,000 hardwood trees.

The I-Semble™ line of DIY furniture components, DIY Shutter System, Mixing Mate® Paint Lid and Rockler's nonstick Silicone Glue Brush are introduced.

The Mixing Mate® Paint Lid receives an Innov8 Award from Wood magazine and a Handy Magazine Innovation Award and is named to the This Old House Top 100. The Rockler Silicone Glue Brush also makes the TOH Top 100, and the 3-Piece Glue Application Kit receives a Handy Innovation Award.

2011Rockler Woodworking Logo

To mark Earth Day, Rockler donates a portion of proceeds from online sales to the Hardwood Forestry Fund to pay for the planting of 10,000 trees.

The Way to Woodwork

The Rockler Rolling Library Ladder System is named to the This Old House Top 100 list of innovative products.

The Way to Woodwork

Woodworker's Journal produces "The Way to Woodwork," a three-disc DVD series featuring Ian Kirby, a master woodworker/designer with more than 50 years' experience, and LiLi Rockler Jackson, a woodworker who grew up in the Rockler family business and has studied at many of the top woodworking schools.


Rockler Woodworking Logo2009
he Bench Cookie Work Gripper

The Bench Cookie® Work Gripper is introduced and quickly becomes a hit with woodworkers and reviewers alike. It wins a 2009 Handy Magazine Innovation Award and later is named one of Wood magazine's Top New Tools for 2010.



2007Rockler Woodworking Logo

Rockler acquires Bench Dog Tools.

Rockler acquires Bench Dog Tools

Rockler Woodworking Logo2004

Rockler.com is named a Top 50 website by Internet Retailer magazine.

The company celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

30th retail store opens.

2002Rockler Woodworking Logo
Clamp-It Assembly Square

The Clamp-It® Assembly Square is introduced, giving woodworkers an extra hand (or two) when gluing or nailing workpieces at a 90° angle. Writes one satisfied customer: "Once in a rare while you come across a new woodworking tool that you can't imagine working without ever again. This is one of those tools."

25th retail store opens.

Sure-Foot Bar Clamp

The Sure-Foot® Bar Clamp, a Rockler innovation featuring a taller, wider and more stable base than other pipe clamps, is introduced. It is rated "Best Overall" in a comparative review of pipe clamps in the October 2004 issue of Fine Woodworking magazine.

Woodworker's Journal and Woodworker's Journal E-Zine are named Best Internet Site at the Minnesota Magazine & Publications Association's 2002 Publishing Excellence Awards.

Rockler Woodworking Logo2001

When Norm Abram needs specialty hardware for a project planned for the 2002 season of "The New Yankee Workshop" TV show, he turns to Rockler. The project, an outdoor lounge chair like the ones on old-time luxury ocean liners, requires brass hardware that can withstand the elements. Rockler locates a source and adds the hardware to its offerings, and Abram and his deck chair are featured on the cover of the spring 2002 Rockler catalog.

The New Yankee Workshop
2000Rockler Woodworking Logo

Women in Woodworking and Woodworking.com websites launch.

Women in Woodworking and Woodworking.com
Rockler Woodworking Logo1999

FreePlans.com website is launched.

FreePlans.com website is launched

Rockler Woodworking Logo1998

Reflecting its commitment to offering hard-to-find hardware (in addition to woodworking tools, kits and supplies), the company changes its name from The Woodworker's Store to Rockler Woodworking and Hardware. A new logo is introduced.

Woodworker's Journal

The company purchases Woodworker's Journal magazine and changes the name of Today's Woodworker to Woodworker's Journal. The combined publication has a circulation of more than 200,000 subscribers.

20th retail location opens.

The first Rockler Router Table package is introduced.

1998 Router Table
1997Rockler Woodworking Logo

Dave LaPorte becomes president and chief operating officer of the company.

The company introduces its own proprietary line of high-quality router bits.

Router Bit

The company launches a full e-commerce site and online catalog.

Rockler's full e-commerce site and online catalog
Rockler Woodworking Logo1996

The catalog goes out to a mailing list of over 6 million in full color, containing more than 4,000 products, including 400 new products.

Rockler's First Website

The company launches its first websites, allowing customers to request a catalog and sign up for a free trial subscription to Today's Woodworker. The sites also features several product specials.

15th retail store opens.

1995Rockler Woodworking Logo

The company moves its offices and warehouse operations to Medina, MN.

Today's Woodworker magazine has a paid circulation of 100,000.


1994Rockler Woodworking Logo

The company celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

The popular Rolling Library Ladder Hardware is introduced.

With the resurgence of interest in mission-style furniture, the company enters into an agreement with L. & J.G. Stickley to become the exclusive retailer of authentic Stickley hardware. To this day, Rockler is the only retail source for genuine Stickley hardware.

L. & J.G. Stickley
Rockler Woodworking Logo1992

The T-Slot System of jigs and fixtures is introduced, featuring hold-downs, stop blocks and featherboards that secure into a special metal track or a groove routed into a wood base.

T-Slot System JIG IT Wunderfil

The JIG IT® Template System is launched with the introduction of the Shelf Pin Drilling Jig. More JIG IT® guides follow, making it quicker and easier to accurately install a range of hinges, slides and handles.

Wunderfil™ dual-purpose wood filler is introduced.

1990Rockler Woodworking Logo

Historically accurate "Windsor Green" paint is introduced as part of the Rockler Wood Finishing line. The formula is developed by an in-house chemist working from a paint chip provided by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. The Society subsequently authenticates the new paint.

Windsor Green Paint
Rockler Woodworking Logo1989

The first issue of our new magazine, Today's Woodworker, is published.

10th retail store opens.

The Rockler Wood Finishing line of products is released. It eventually includes tung oil, furniture cleaner, salad bowl finish, wood preservative, rubbing oil, furniture polish, lemon oil polish, beeswax and carnauba wax.

The company begins donating a portion of the proceeds from lumber sales to the National Arbor Day Foundation to help renew the woodworker's most important resource.


1988Rockler Woodworking Logo

Two finishes developed and used by the legendary woodworker Sam Maloof are introduced in an exclusive arrangement with the company. Maloof's Poly/Oil Finish and Oil/Wax Finish remain a Rockler exclusive.

Sam Maloof Finishes
Rockler Woodworking Logo1987

We lose Gary Rockler (1953-1987) to illness.

Keeping pace with technological innovations in the tool industry, the company for the first time offers cordless electric tools: two 7.2-volt drills and a power screwdriver.


1986Rockler Woodworking Logo

The Rogers, MN, facility is expanded again.

The Woodworkers' Store Blum Hinge Jig is introduced, a forerunner of the JIG IT® Template System.

Rockler Woodworking Logo1985

Ann Rockler Jackson becomes CEO.


1984Rockler Woodworking Logo

Fifth retail store opens.

Rockler Woodworking Logo1980

The company becomes the first in the industry to carry square-drive screws and European-style cabinet hinges.


1979Rockler Woodworking Logo

The Rogers, MN, facility is expanded.

Rockler Woodworking Logo 1978

The company changes its name to The Woodworker's Store.

The first retail store opens, in Minneapolis.


1974 Rockler Woodworking Logo

Ann Rockler Jackson becomes president of the company.

Rockler Woodworking Logo1973

The Rogers, MN, facility is purchased.


1972Rockler Woodworking Logo

Gary Rockler joins the company, and he and Ann create a prospective catalog called “Let's Get Acquainted Catalog.”

Rockler Woodworking Logo1969

Ann Rockler Jackson joins the company.

Rockler Woodworking Logo1960s

The company, with eight employees, moves to a new 8,000-square-foot facility in Golden Valley, MN.


Rockler Woodworking Logo1955

Heralding an enduring emphasis on innovative product development and commitment to offering hard-to-find hardware, the company introduces its first proprietary product, Plyedge® banding for covering exposed plywood edges, and becomes the first in the industry to carry lamp parts and porcelain casters.

1954Rockler Woodworking Logo

Nordy Rockler starts the mail-order Minnesota Woodworkers Supply Company at 1713 Olson Memorial Highway in Minneapolis. The first catalog features specialty wood veneers and hardware items such as knobs, pulls and table slides.

COMPANY HISTORY
2014

A special Rockler contribution in honor of Earth Day allows the Hardwood Forestry Fund to plant 7,000 hardwood trees in The Wilds, a private nonprofit conservation center located on reclaimed mining land in southeastern Ohio.

Hardwood  Forestry Fund's 2014 Gifford Pinchot Award

Rockler receives the Hardwood Forestry Fund's 2014 Gifford Pinchot Award, which recognizes significant corporate achievements in promoting sustainable forestry.

Rockler Companies Inc. marks its 60th Anniversary as a family-owned business promoting the craft of woodworking.

2013
Rockler continues its Earth Day partnership with the Hardwood Forestry Fund to plant 10,000 trees

Rockler continues its Earth Day partnership with the Hardwood Forestry Fund to plant 10,000 trees in the Riverside School Forest in southwest Wisconsin and 6,600 trees in the Raystown Lake recreation area in central Pennsylvania.

Redesign of Rockler.com is launched, incorporating "responsive design" to provide an enhanced shopping experience across multiple digital platforms.

Maplewood, MN, store moves to a larger location and reopens with the new superstore format, which features a new design, more product offerings and dedicated spaces for demonstrations and hands-on woodworking classes.

Seattle, WA, moves location and reopens with new superstore format.

Woodworker's Journal adds to "The Way to Woodwork" DVD series with the production of "Step-by-Step to a Perfect Finish" with renowned finishing expert Michael Dresdner. 

2012

Again working with the Hardwood Forestry Fund to celebrate Earth Day, Rockler makes a donation from every online, catalog and retail sale – enough to plant 20,000 hardwood trees.

The I-Semble™ line of DIY furniture components, DIY Shutter System, Mixing Mate® Paint Lid and Rockler's nonstick Silicone Glue Brush are introduced.

The Mixing Mate® Paint Lid receives an Innov8 Award from Wood magazine and a Handy Magazine Innovation Award and is named to the This Old House Top 100. The Rockler Silicone Glue Brush also makes the TOH Top 100, and the 3-Piece Glue Application Kit receives a Handy Innovation Award.

2011

To mark Earth Day, Rockler donates a portion of proceeds from online sales to the Hardwood Forestry Fund to pay for the planting of 10,000 trees.

The Way to Woodwork

The Rockler Rolling Library Ladder System is named to the This Old House Top 100 list of innovative products.

Woodworker's Journal produces "The Way to Woodwork," a three-disc DVD series featuring Ian Kirby, a master woodworker/designer with more than 50 years' experience, and LiLi Rockler Jackson, a woodworker who grew up in the Rockler family business and has studied at many of the top woodworking schools.

The Way to Woodwork
2009
he Bench Cookie Work Gripper

The Bench Cookie® Work Gripper is introduced and quickly becomes a hit with woodworkers and reviewers alike. It wins a 2009 Handy Magazine Innovation Award and later is named one of Wood magazine's Top New Tools for 2010.

2007

Rockler acquires Bench Dog Tools.

Rockler acquires Bench Dog Tools
2004

Rockler.com is named a Top 50 website by Internet Retailer magazine.

The company celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

30th retail store opens.

2002
Clamp-It Assembly Square

The Clamp-It® Assembly Square is introduced, giving woodworkers an extra hand (or two) when gluing or nailing workpieces at a 90° angle. Writes one satisfied customer: "Once in a rare while you come across a new woodworking tool that you can't imagine working without ever again. This is one of those tools."

Sure-Foot Bar Clamp

The Sure-Foot® Bar Clamp, a Rockler innovation featuring a taller, wider and more stable base than other pipe clamps, is introduced. It is rated "Best Overall" in a comparative review of pipe clamps in the October 2004 issue of Fine Woodworking magazine.

25th retail store opens.

Woodworker's Journal and Woodworker's Journal E-Zine are named Best Internet Site at the Minnesota Magazine & Publications Association's 2002 Publishing Excellence Awards.

2001

When Norm Abram needs specialty hardware for a project planned for the 2002 season of "The New Yankee Workshop" TV show, he turns to Rockler. The project, an outdoor lounge chair like the ones on old-time luxury ocean liners, requires brass hardware that can withstand the elements. Rockler locates a source and adds the hardware to its offerings, and Abram and his deck chair are featured on the cover of the spring 2002 Rockler catalog.

The New Yankee Workshop
2000

Women in Woodworking and Woodworking.com websites launch.

Women in Woodworking and Woodworking.com
1999

FreePlans.com website is launched.

FreePlans.com website is launched
1998

Reflecting its commitment to offering hard-to-find hardware (in addition to woodworking tools, kits and supplies), the company changes its name from The Woodworker's Store to Rockler Woodworking and Hardware. A new logo is introduced.

Woodworker's Journal

The company purchases Woodworker's Journal magazine and changes the name of Today's Woodworker to Woodworker's Journal. The combined publication has a circulation of more than 200,000 subscribers.

20th retail location opens.

The first Rockler Router Table package is introduced.

1998 Router Table
1997

Dave LaPorte becomes president and chief operating officer of the company.

The company introduces its own proprietary line of high-quality router bits.

Router Bit

The company launches a full e-commerce site and online catalog.

Rockler's full e-commerce site and online catalog


1996

The catalog goes out to a mailing list of over 6 million in full color, containing more than 4,000 products, including 400 new products.

Rockler's First Website

The company launches its first websites, allowing customers to request a catalog and sign up for a free trial subscription to Today's Woodworker. The sites also features several product specials.

15th retail store opens.

1995

The company moves its offices and warehouse operations to Medina, MN.

Today's Woodworker magazine has a paid circulation of 100,000.

1994

The company celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

The popular Rolling Library Ladder Hardware is introduced.

With the resurgence of interest in mission-style furniture, the company enters into an agreement with L. & J.G. Stickley to become the exclusive retailer of authentic Stickley hardware. To this day, Rockler is the only retail source for genuine Stickley hardware.

L. & J.G. Stickley
1992

The T-Slot System of jigs and fixtures is introduced, featuring hold-downs, stop blocks and featherboards that secure into a special metal track or a groove routed into a wood base.

T-Slot System JIG IT Wunderfil

The JIG IT® Template System is launched with the introduction of the Shelf Pin Drilling Jig. More JIG IT® guides follow, making it quicker and easier to accurately install a range of hinges, slides and handles.

Wunderfil™ dual-purpose wood filler is introduced.

1990

Historically accurate "Windsor Green" paint is introduced as part of the Rockler Wood Finishing line. The formula is developed by an in-house chemist working from a paint chip provided by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. The Society subsequently authenticates the new paint.

Windsor Green Paint
1989

The first issue of our new magazine, Today's Woodworker, is published.

10th retail store opens.

The Rockler Wood Finishing line of products is released. It eventually includes tung oil, furniture cleaner, salad bowl finish, wood preservative, rubbing oil, furniture polish, lemon oil polish, beeswax and carnauba wax.

The company begins donating a portion of the proceeds from lumber sales to the National Arbor Day Foundation to help renew the woodworker's most important resource.

1988

Two finishes developed and used by the legendary woodworker Sam Maloof are introduced in an exclusive arrangement with the company. Maloof's Poly/Oil Finish and Oil/Wax Finish remain a Rockler exclusive.

Sam Maloof Finishes
1987

We lose Gary Rockler (1953-1987) to illness.

Keeping pace with technological innovations in the tool industry, the company for the first time offers cordless electric tools: two 7.2-volt drills and a power screwdriver.

1986

The Rogers, MN, facility is expanded again.

The Woodworkers' Store Blum Hinge Jig is introduced, a forerunner of the JIG IT® Template System.

1985

Ann Rockler Jackson becomes CEO.

1984

Fifth retail store opens.

1980

The company becomes the first in the industry to carry square-drive screws and European-style cabinet hinges.

1979

The Rogers, MN, facility is expanded.

1978

The company changes its name to The Woodworker's Store.

The first retail store opens, in Minneapolis.

1974

Ann Rockler Jackson becomes president of the company.

1973

The Rogers, MN, facility is purchased.

1972

Gary Rockler joins the company, and he and Ann create a prospective catalog called “Let's Get Acquainted Catalog.”

1969

Ann Rockler Jackson joins the company.

1960s

The company, with eight employees, moves to a new 8,000-square-foot facility in Golden Valley, MN.

1955

Heralding an enduring emphasis on innovative product development and commitment to offering hard-to-find hardware, the company introduces its first proprietary product, Plyedge® banding for covering exposed plywood edges, and becomes the first in the industry to carry lamp parts and porcelain casters.

1954

Nordy Rockler starts the mail-order Minnesota Woodworkers Supply Company at 1713 Olson Memorial Highway in Minneapolis. The first catalog features specialty wood veneers and hardware items such as knobs, pulls and table slides.

What People are Saying:

I have been ordering from Rockler for almost 20 years and have found their products to be very inexpensive and of high quality. Shipping is fast even when an item is back ordered. The best prices I have found anywhere."

- Orval - 08/07/2012

What People are Saying:

I have been ordering from Rockler for almost 20 years and have found their products to be very inexpensive and of high quality. Shipping is fast even when an item is back ordered. The best prices I have found anywhere."

- Orval - 08/07/2012
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