Dormer Pramet’s connection with Wetmore Tool & Engineering may be a recent development, but the North American product brand is steeped in history and achievements.
H.P. Safe was founded in 1950 for the manufacturing of safes and production quickly moved into threaded shank drills with the emergence of aircraft production.
In the same year, James Wetmore (pictured) founded Wetmore Tool and Engineering with a primary product of special cutting tools and port contour cutters for the fluid power industry. The brand quickly became known for precision, quality and serviceability. The businesses merged in the 1980’s to become H.P. Wetmore.
From the beginning, Wetmore has manufactured high-speed steel, cobalt, carbide tipped, PCD and solid carbide cutting tools for the aerospace industry. The majority made to order based on customer specifications.
With a "can do" attitude, the Chino team met the most stringent needs of aerospace organizations across North America. From standard cutting tools to complex designs, all are manufactured to 897, 907, 937 and 965 National Aerospace Standards (NAS) and are ISO 9001 certified.
By providing added value to customers for more than 60 years, the Wetmore brand elevated itself into a world-class manufacturer and became the go-to product for airframe and assembly applications. It particularly focused on skin-drilling operations on external structural components, creating holes for assembly with rivets. A Boeing 747, for example, has more than one million rivets per aircraft.
It was therefore ideally placed to capitalize on the significant growth of the aerospace industry during the last couple of decades. Under the leadership of Phil Kurtz, then President of Wetmore, the Chino facility expanded its product line and core markets, producing more adapted shank cutting tools for the sector than anywhere else in the world.
This resulted in Phil winning the 2013 Spirit of the Entrepreneur award. The accolade recognized the company’s high standards, attention to detail and quality control, while working with some of the world’s top aerospace businesses.
By 2017, Wetmore Tool & Engineering employed more than 170 people. It was owned by Corridor Capital, a US private equity company, before Dormer Pramet completed its acquisition in January 2019, bringing the brand back within the manufacturing industry.