DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert®
Heuweg 4, 09526 Olbernhau
Phone: +49 (0) 37360-6693-0
Fax: +49 (0) 37360-6693-29
Business hours: Mo-Fr 8.00 - 18.00, Sa 9.00 -13.00
STEINERT® - 90 YEARS OF WOOD TURNING
In August 2020 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert®.
But the Steinert family can already look back on 90 years of history in the wood turning trade.
- 1932 - Hellmut Steinert founded a small turnery in Olbernhau / Kleinneuschönberg
- 1936 he acquired a plot of land in Olbernhau / Niederneuschönberg, Heuweg 3, and built a turnery there with almost 10 employees
- 1990 - Son, Rolf Steinert and his wife Christiane, founded DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert® on the same property, at that time still called, ’Drechselzentrum Erzgebirge – Haus Steinert
- 2008 - Grandson, Roland Steinert, takes over DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert® and hires the first non-family members
- 2012 - Relocation of the DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert® in a new company building at Heuweg 4
- 2018 - Construction of our own mechanical engineering department steinert® Maschinenbau at Heuweg 5 and takeover of production from the insolvent mechanical engineering company, WEMA GmbH
- 2020 - Acquisition of the traditional company, ’hapfo Maschinenbau’ from Mindelheim
Our Story in Detail:
When Rolf and Christiane Steinert founded DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert® in 1990, the name ’Steinert’ had almost 60 years of experience in the wood turning trade. As early as 1932, his father, Hellmut Steinert (died 1992), founded a small turnery in Olbernhau in his parents' barn. At that time he made everyday objects such as bowls, salt shakers, egg cups and toys. Despite extremely difficult conditions - Germany was in the middle of an economic crisis - the small turnery continued to develop.
In 1936 Hellmut Steinert bought the property on which the DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert® stands today, and soon hired the first employees. Even during the years of the Second World War the small company was able to continue to exist.
After the end of the war things continued to improve. Spinning wheels, bowls and all sorts of utensils were urgently needed to get life going again.
The turnery soon had 10 employees and became a thorn in the side of overzealous party officials in the town in the mid-1950s. Repressions and politically motivated tax audits meant that Hellmut Steinert had to give up his independence and agree to the establishment of a production cooperative for the handicrafts (PGH). Due to his experience, he was able to continue to work as a master in the company on his own property and trained over 30 apprentices.
Rolf Steinert grew up here in the midst of piles of wood and wood shavings. He first learned to be a carpenter and then completed an apprenticeship as a turner in his parents' company. At the beginning of the 1960s he completed a correspondence course to become an engineer for wood technology, and in 1969 passed the master craftsman's examination as a wood turner. During this time he also developed new guidelines and curricula for vocational training the turner in the GDR. Together with the vocational school teacher Herbert Hegewald, he wrote the book DER DRECHSLER, which appeared in 7 editions and served as a textbook for training as a turner until the 1990s.
In the 80s, due to the great demand for the textbook, ’Der Drechsler’, Rolf Steinert began to write a second, much more extensive book. With the help of his publishing house he made contact with woodturners, machine manufacturers and museums all over the world, sometimes under adventurous socialist conditions in order to get a comprehensive overview of the status of the woodturning trade. In this context, a woodturning symposium was attended by the English company Craft Supplies Ltd. in 1989. The impressions of this event and the encounter with the great international masters of the craft such as Richard Raffan, Stewart King and Kurt Johannson, should be decisive for the establishment of the first specialist trade facility for turnery supplies in eastern Germany, right after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The book, ‘Turning in Wood’, appeared shortly afterwards and is still considered one of the most extensive publications on the subject of wood turning.
Initially, the DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert® traded with turning accessories and machines from various manufacturers. But it quickly became clear that that couldn't be all. Rolf Steinert sat down at a table with toolmakers and machine builders in the region and they began to develop accessories, devices and entire machines. For good reason, these new products are made by the machine builders in the area as they have gained experience with woodworking for generations through the constant exchange with the many woodworking companies in the Ore Mountains and know exactly what is important to the turners. The turning tools are also made by an experienced local blacksmith in the 2nd generation. The ‘glass‘ tools have been used by countless turneries for decades and are known for their long cutting edge life and excellent cutting quality. (Note: Due to age, the blacksmith Herbert Gläser has put down his forge hammer and master blacksmith Albrecht Morgenstern is continuing the tradition for us under the name ’Schmiede Neuhammer’).
To mark the 10th anniversary of the DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert®, an international wood turner symposium took place in Olbernhau in 2000 (the first of its kind in Germany!), where wood turners from all over the world came together in the Ore Mountains and demonstrated their skills and exchanged experiences.
In 2008, Roland Steinert took over as the third generation to succeed the company. Since then, together with his brother Martin Steinert, the main focus has been on expanding activities on the international market. In 2012, an imposing new company building was erected to cope with the constantly growing logistical tasks and to create a good working environment for the workforce, which has now grown.
Furthermore, the company relies on the high technical level of the metal processing companies in the area. In particular, we work in close partnership with WEMA Werkzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH from Olbernhau. In 2017, however, WEMA GmbH ran into financial difficulties and had to file for bankruptcy. Without further ado, Roland and Martin Steinert decide to take over the production and part of the experienced workforce and build a new building opposite to the retail store for the production of lathes and wood lathes under the name, steinert® Maschinenbau.
What goes together, grows together. On October 23, 2020 we took over the traditional entrepreneur, hapfo Maschinenbau, from Mindelheim. hapfo have been one of the leading international brands for lathes and automatic wood lathes since 1975. We welcome the longstanding owner and managing director of hapfo, Bernard Katzenschwanz, to our team.
DRECHSELZENTRUM ERZGEBIRGE - steinert® and steinert® Maschinenbau have become a reliable partner for turners, wooden toy makers, instrument makers, sculptors and related trades and offer versatile solutions for these professional groups. The program ranges from lathes and automatic lathes in all dimensions, through clamping technology, turning tools, sharpening technology, standard machines for solid wood processing, machines and materials for surface treatment to semi-finished products and much more. Thanks to our own mechanical engineering, special solutions are possible and further development of products ‘Made in Germany’ are guaranteed.
The maxim of our actions and dealings with our customers and business partners:
- Passion, honesty, diligence, patience & trust are big words but we try day-after-day to uphold these as the maxim of our actions.
- A deep understanding of the technology and history of the wood turning trade and woodworking in general are our basic requirements in our daily work. Practical handling of wood is also common to all of our employees. Each of our colleagues has completed at least one basic course in wood turning.
- Especially with our own products, but also with merchandise, we have the ambition to deliver better products and services than ‘the others‘.
- Customers will get the best and most honest advice from us. At first glance, good advice is often not beneficial to sales. In the long run, however, it leads to satisfied and loyal customers.
- Even if it is not always realistic in everyday life, we try to create an environment for ourselves and our employees in which the joy of what we do is maintained. We all (almost) always enjoy coming to work.
- We re-invest most of the money we have earned in our company, which means we are constantly
- We regularly review and rethink our processes and activities to ensure that everyone has their right place in the company.
- Last but not least, we are connected to our origins and tradition. The Ore Mountains, with their centuries of tradition in mining, woodworking, and tool and mechanical engineering, are the right place and framework for our ventures.