Martin, Joseph H. 12/02/1934 ~ 02/12/2014 OCEANSIDE -- Joe Martin was born in Providence, RI and graduated from Cranston High School. He joined the construction trades and worked on the east coast as an asbestos wrapper. He moved to the bay area near San Francisco and worked in construction there in the 1960's while pursuing his favorite hobby of building and flying radio controlled aircraft. After moving to Southern California, he started a small business in Upland, CA building connectors for radio control equipment. His company was eventually purchased by radio control equipment manufacturer Kraft Systems and he worked with that company for several years as a product developer. He and several friends also founded the sport of Formula 1 radio controlled pylon racing, and he was one of its early champions. When Kraft Systems was sold, Joe contracted with the Sherline tool company in Australia to be an importer for their small precision machine tools to be sold to Sears Roebuck under the Craftsman name. Joe eventually purchased the rights to manufacture the Sherline tool line here in the USA and began production in San Marcos in 1974. Joe built the business from a single rented industrial space with machine tools rescued from the junk yard into a multi-million dollar enterprise now housed in a modern 66,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Vista, CA that employs 35 people. Despite a lack of formal training, he was a genius when it came to repairing tools, designing and manufacturing new products and setting up a world-wide dealer network to market them. He is the holder of two patents and has invented other products as varied as a computerized business timekeeping system, a line of hydraulic weight scales and a racecar alignment system. Joe was the founder of the non-profit, Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship. He always felt that craftsmen were not honored in proportion to the value of their contribution to our daily lives compared to the adoration given to sports and movie stars. Since 1997, the foundation has honored the work of machinists and other metalworking craftsmen through monetary awards and a web site at: www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com
with emphasis on work at the miniature end of the size scale. He also contributed several million dollars to build a new museum that displays the work of outstanding craftsmen for all to enjoy. It is now housed in a 16,000 square foot building in Carlsbad, CA. Joe Martin is survived by his companion of many years, Dee Ruffin; and his brother, Charles Martin of Shalimar, FL. At a later date, his ashes will be scattered at sea in a private ceremony.