My name is Bill Rittner and
for most of my life I have been a tinker and a lover of
fine tools. I was born in New Britain, Connecticut USA
back in the late 1940's and most of my small family
worked for Stanley Tools. Being exposed to tools at an
early age led me to learn to appreciate them and to use
them. I was always building something.
My grandfather was the
superintendent of a division of Stanley that was called
the farm. This division purchased all of the rough
lumber and made all of the tool handles. Most tools
still had wood handles. My father served his pattern
making apprenticeship at Stanley and worked in the
pattern shop for 20 years. Though there was a strong
family influence towards woodworking I chose to go into
the metalworking trades after high school.
After graduation I entered
the machine apprentice program at Pratt & Whitney
Aircraft in East Hartford, Connecticut. After that
program I entered the tool making apprenticeship of a
large, local manufacturer of jet engine fuel systems. I
spent my working life in the metal trades and still work
part time running the inspection department at a small
local machine shop.