KRAMER'S BEST ANTIQUE IMPROVER
NEWSLETTERS

On this page you can read previous issues of “The Kramer Letter”, beginning with the first issue, FALL, 2007.

Click on the “thumbnail” front page shown below to open the PDF file. You can read it on-line or print it to read later at your leisure.

These Newsletters are sent to our customers via E-mail. Contact us if you would like to be added to that list.

Also, see THE LATEST NEWS below, where from time to time we will post Kramer “happenings” that you may find of interest.

News Boy

Fall Newsletter 2007 pg 1   Winter Newsletter 2008 pg 1   Winter Newsletter 2008 pg 1
   
Newsletter Fall/Winter 2008   Newsletter Fall/Winter 2009    
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOG

08/18/2015

 


Once again we want to add a note here to let you know that, yes, all is well at The Kramer Place.

This Blog serves a definite purpose and we want to keep it active in case we have some important NEWS to share.

However, for a day-to-day quick and simple way to keep in touch, these days we have found that Facebook works the best. In case you haven't taken a look at those posts, just "click" on the FB icon in the upper left corner of this page. It will take you there.

And, as we've said before, EVEN IF YOU "DON'T FACEBOOK", you can just scroll the page and look at the entries with notes and photos, spending all the time you want. You DO NOT have to join Facebook.

Do take a look. There are lots of photos of amazing before/after samples of using the products, notes from customers, etc.

And, as always, don't hesitate to give us a call if you have questions about the products or their use. We are always glad to help.


09/23/2013

 


Things don't change much at THE KRAMER PLACE, but we do want to keep our customers posted if something does come up, so we want to keep this "Blog" somewhat active.

In our last post here we mentioned that once again we were having problems procuring our long-used 8-OZ. GLASS BOTTLE. We are very happy to report that we now have that problem solved and even more proud to say that the newest bottle is totally MADE IN THE USA.

After that situation was resolved, the next challenge we encountered was having to find a NEW WOOD FOOD OYL BOTTLE.

Once again, this was a bottle that John had used since he first began offering that product, and we resisted the change. However, as it turns out, WE REALLY DO LIKE THE REPLACEMENT BOTTLE. It has a rugged, substantial look, and though we have never had a problem with durability of the old bottle, it never hurts to be dealing with the most rugged available when you are handling and shipping glass. It does even look a little larger, and though it may hold just a very small amount more of product, it is basically the same size.

And, once again, we urge you, if you would like to see PHOTOS OF THE NEW BOTTLES, plus other photos of BEFORE/AFTER samples of using Kramer's Products -- both things we have done, plus photos sent to us by customers, CHECK OUT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.

We have found it much simpler to post photos there and easier for our customers to view. Remember: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO JOIN!!!, or sign up in any way. You can view the page, then leave.

However, WE DO WELCOME YOUR 'LIKES' and comments. And if you would like to share your photos and reports of your projects, we welcome that also. Of course that requires that you "join", if you are not already a Facebook member.

LINKS to OUR FACEBOOK PAGE are now available at the top Left Side of each Web Page, plus at the bottom of each page. Just "CLICK" there and it will take you directly to the page.

ALSO NEW, are TWO VIDEOS John Kramer has made that are available at the top of the "INTRODUCTION" page of this Web Site. We want you to understand and appreciate just what KRAMER'S BEST PRODUCTS are all about and how you can use them to benefit.

We have many HAPPY CUSTOMERS and WE WANT YOU TO BE ONE OF THEM.

And, as always, if you have any questions, DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US. Complete information can be found at the bottom of each page of the Web Site, or on the Facebook page.

We look forward to hearing from you.

THESE PRODUCTS WORK!! WE GUARANTEE IT!!



05/01/2012

 

IT IS "CRISIS" TIME AGAIN...

And, as in the past, we want to keep our customers and dealers informed about matters that might affect them -- or might just simply be of interest.

Of course, NOBODY LIKES CHANGES! Especially if you don't have any other options.

In recent years the bottles we use have become more and more of a concern. It was quite a few years ago that we were informed that the 8-oz. bottle was not longer being made in this country and we had no choice but to accept those being made in Mexico -- the completely "Made In America" product that John had intended was no longer possible.

Now, in recent years, even that source has become unreliable.

Since we are not a huge company, and cannot order three truckloads (literally) of the bottles we have always used, they are not available.

We have already had to make the change in the 16-oz. size -- the difference is not significant [see photo on our Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/kramerize] and may not even be noticed by many. HOWEVER, the solution is not nearly as simple for the 8-OZ. BOTTLE. What we now have in stock of the 8-oz. is PROBABLY ALL WE WILL BE ABLE TO GET of this bottle that HAS BEEN "Antique Improver" for 25 years.

There are many reasons John made his choice of bottle all those years ago, and those reasons are still valid. We will be searching for a solution that satisfies our requirements without (we hope) too radical a change in shape and size.

We will keep you posted both on this "blog" and on Facebook.



04/21/2012

 


And here we are to ask you:
Please "like us" on Facebook at:

www.facebook.com/kramerize

There you can see our postings, and ALSO those of many of our customers. Since it is easier to work with and allows interaction with others, Facebook is working out well for us.

And we look forward to seeing your comments there as well.



01/13/2012

 


It looks like our "good intentions" of the past to post regularly on this page, have not progressed past the "intentions" stage. This "blogging" thing sounds easy, but in these busy days, it just doesn't get done.

The latest, greatest, and most popular mode of staying in touch with customers, seems to have become the "Social Networking" sites. We aren't real sure about the benefits, but it does seem to be a place to be more interactive with customers, so we are going to give it a try.

Facebook is where you will be able to find us. We have had a page on it for quite some time, but have not been active with it. We will now get some more "good intentions" working and try to learn how it all works and, hopefully, hear input from our customers as well as posting there ourselves. Please visit us there. We look forward to your comments (and questions) about the products -- as well as anything you can contribute toward our understanding of use of this new form of communication.

We will give it a try and hope for the best.



08/28/2011

 

We would like to share a little of what has been going on here at the Kramer place. We do not routinely “publish” our personal lives, but feel there might be a lesson to be learned by others from our recent experience.

On July 27 John underwent surgery to correct 90% blockage of his left carotid artery. Everything went well and after spending the night in ICU he was able to come home the next day. He will schedule for surgery on the 70% blockage of the right side in a few weeks. Aside from an infection picked up at the hospital, for which he was again hospitalized for a few days, he is doing well.

Obviously, his condition was a “stroke waiting to happen”. It is a condition that, though he receives regular care from his physician, was never detected. The way it was recently discovered was when we responded to a mailing we received that told of a “screening” being offered at a local church. A physician explained that these are tests that a physician, due to insurance constraints, cannot do routinely unless symptoms indicate. So we decided it might be a good thing.

We opted for their package of 5 tests of arteries and bone density which cost $149.00 for each of us. Marian received a clean bill of health, but when they saw John's results they advised him to seek medical attention immediately, which led to the much-needed surgery.

Knowing that many antiquers, like us, might be among the “wiser and more mature” age group, who would most benefit from this testing, we feel it is important to pass along the information. The company, Lifeline Screening, regularly offers this testing in all parts of the country – usually at a local church. They have a very good web site, www.lifelinescreening.com, where you can search by Zip Code to find out when they will be in your area. Needless to say, in our instance, their services have no doubt been life saving and we hope others will benefit by our sharing.



04/25/2011

 

If you want more information about using Kramer's Best on guns, check this out:

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?122451-Kramers-Antique-restorer

This is a forum on the IMA (International Military Antiques) web site. This link leads to a lengthy discussion about various ways the products were used and reports on the results.

And IMA also has Antique Improver and Blemish Clarifier for sale on their "Restoration Supplies page". It's a great Web Site for anyone interested in military weapons and militaria collectibles.



03/21/2011

 

We are glad to report that we have received great response to our E-mail concerning our 25th Anniversary and announcing the "Buy One / Get One Half Price" sale. It is good to see our customers taking advantage of the reduced pricing.

Also, we asked that folks send us their stories about how they first "met" Kramer's Best Antique Improver, and we are glad to report that we have heard some great stories.

We share some of them here (names omitted):

- - - - -
Happy Anniversary! I recently tried Blemish Clarifier to remove the smeary haze that kept returning to a table top after using Antique Improver. It did the trick to remove 70+ years of TLC and now I hate to put on a table cloth and hide the beauty of the wood. Thanks for making a product that works and helps my antiques look their best.

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Congradulations! We have been using your product since the 90's. We were in the business of buying and selling Antiques. A fellow dealer by the name of (B.H.) introduced us to Antique improver He and his wife (L.) now own a Bed and Breakfast called Whispering Pines and it is furnished in Antiques Improved with your product. We still use it when buying Antiques. F. just refinished an old cupboard that our Grandson found that had been in an old chicken house. It is beautiful and now is in the living room of his newly built Home. F&GZ

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Congratulations on your anniversary!!!! Years ago I read an article in a wood working magazine by someone who had used the Antique Improver. I investigated on line because we had a 100+ year old fire place mantel that needed to be refinished (we thought). After using the Improver on it, we are so glad we didn't try to refinish it. According to my experience, that article greatly understated its effectiveness. R.A.

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I can't remember, but I have loved it ever since I found it. It saved a coffee table that I thought was shot just last weekend.

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Everything your company has done, from the product itself right down to the exemplary way it was packaged and promptly delivered has exceeded my expectations. Kudos for a great job and wishes for 25 plus more years! L.M., A satisfied customer who will tell all her friends about this product! :-)

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I first saw Kramer's at a tool meet. I collect and sell old hand saws (www.vitagesaws.com) and Kramer's is perfect to remove the grime found on old wood handles and fill in the dried out parts of the finish without removing the original finish. Doesn't make the handle look new, but does makt it look clean and like something you wouldn't be afraid to pick up. It's really good stuff! P.T.

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A friend gave us the last of his bottle and it worked well for the refurbishing of our old house remodeling project. We have ordered several times over the years for several different uses. B.H.

- - - - -
Local antique dealer. The best thing there is for the best look. ("thinking about becoming a dealer, for the people that come back to our original Napanee factory with their Hoosier) T.M.

- - - - -
I thought I would share my story of how I learned about your product:

Several years ago I was at a family reunion in my brother and sisters-in-law's home with about 30 other people. As we all were preparing for the meal, a niece placed several glasses of ice water on top of an antique buffet. I was the first to notice the glasses but it had been several minutes since they had been placed there. I knew this was a problem because condensation was taking place and now water was on top of the buffet. I quickly pulled off the glasses but numerous water rings had already formed. It wasn't even my buffet but I stressed about it and pointed the rings out to L. I was shocked when she shrugged her shoulders indicating it was no big deal because she had a product that would take care of it. I thought, "No way."

Well, several months later I was back at the same home for another dinner get-together and quickly went to the buffet to find the water rings. I was amazed because no matter from whatever angle I looked at it I could not find any indication that there had been water rings. That's when I asked what product she used and that's how I learned about Kramer's. I bought my own bottle and have been using it ever since. In fact, just this last weekend I was in a Goodwill store and saw an antique dresser for sale for $50. It had been neglected but I knew if I took it home and used Kramer's on it, it would be a night and day difference. I bought and did as planned. It now looks really nice and I'm sure I could easily sell it for $200+. I don't plan to sell it as I bought it for the purpose of going along with our antique bed frame in our guest room.

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Thanks a lot! Great product. I'm glad you don't plan to change it as my bottle is almost empty. :o) A.S.

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03/01/2011

 

The following E-mail has gone out to each of our Retail Customers:

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Hello to all of my KRAMER’S BEST Customers,

It’s time for CELEBRATION – and a CELEBRATION SALE!

March 1 marks the beginning of my 25th YEAR of producing KRAMER’S BEST ANTIQUE IMPROVER.

The first “batch” consisted of two cases of 12 bottles each. Two antique shops on The Square in Independence, Missouri, were my first customers and dealers. I used the proceeds from those sales to buy more bottles . . . and the rest is history.

The actual date that I made my first sale was March 11, but we are going to celebrate all month.

STARTING TODAY, and throughout the month of March, we are offering our retail customers the opportunity to . . .

BUY ONE – GET ONE at HALF-PRICE. Any product. Any size. (Yes, gallons also.)

(The second bottle must be the same product / same size.)

This offer is available only to you – OUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS – who receive this Email message. Consequently, the Web Site will not be altered to reflect this reduced pricing.

If you order on-line, just order one bottle, then, in the “COMMENTS” section, indicate that you want the 2ND bottle AT HALF PRICE. We will adjust the order in processing.

Of course, you can also phone us with your order, or put it in the mail as long as it is postmarked before the end of March.

This is a CELELBRATION of GRATITUDE for our customers. Some of you have been “Kramerizing” for many years, others may be just starting your first bottle. We appreciate each of you.

We always enjoy hearing about how you first came across the product. Maybe you met me in the late ‘80s at some of the Wood Shows on the East Coast where I did seminars on “The Old Ways of Working with Wood”. Or maybe at one of the antique shows Marian and I have done around the country. Or you may be someone from California who heard about it from a cousin in New York who heard about it from a friend in Texas. It goes on and on – word-of-mouth really works.

How did YOU “meet” Antique Improver? We would very much like to hear your stories – we look forward to hearing from you.

This is ALSO a CELEBRATION of the fact that I have been able to keep my promise to NEVER CHANGE ‘THE RECIPE’ in any way. It does get tougher all the time. My ingredients are things that are falling out of common usage, and consequently are being processed and made available less and less. The loss of Turpentine in 2006 was a big blow. So far I have been able to find other sources of supply – going outside our country which I never wanted to do, but now have no choice.

However, I do RENEW THAT PROMISE. I will NEVER CHANGE THE RECIPE of KRAMER’S BEST ANTIQUE IMPROVER, or other Kramer’s products.

If it becomes impossible to continue with the same ingredients, I may, or may not, try to formulate the best possible product. But it WILL NOT be called Antique Improver, and my customers WILL be told.

I send my sincerest gratitude to each of you, my customers, for your patronage and your support. I hope you take advantage of the BUY ONE / GET ONE HALF PRICE offer and stock up for yourself or to share with friends. It is my way of saying THANK YOU.

THANK YOU!

John Kramer

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If you are reading this, and learning about Kramer's for the first time, we appreciate your interest and we invite you to also take advantage of this ANNIVERSARY SALE offer. Just note in the "Comments" section that you read about the offer in The Blog.

We look forward to this being a very good year. And we wish the same for you.

Thanks for visiting our Blog!



01/10/2011

 

In spite of frequent promises to do better, we have not followed through with regular postings on this page like we originally intended. But in spite of that, it is a new year and a good time to try again.

The year just ended, 2010, was a little different for us. We both experienced some major health challenges the latter part of 2009 and consequently spent the following year doing the Doctor thing and working on modifying our diet, implementing the "X" (exercise) factor, and basically focusing on becoming as healthy as we can be. We are very glad to say it is working and we begin this new year quite healthy, happy and optimistic.

Of course business for Kramer Products has been a little slow as seems to be the case for many. But we continue to hear from happy customers who are thrilled with the results they have achieved using the products. We especially appreciate it when customers also send us photos of their projects. We have added a new page to this web site entitled "Letters With Pictures" where we share some of their great stories. We have more to add and hope to accomplish that soon.

We also intend to take advantage of YouTube technology and add some video to the web site. One of our methods of presentation in some of the displays we have in malls and shops around the country is a short repeating video in which John gives a brief explanation of the products. That video was made many years ago, and then in 1996, at the time of the "Turpentine Crisis" (see the Turpentine Story page), and resulting necessary price increase of the products, he made a second one explaining "Why does it have to cost so much?". Now what you see in most displays is a version that alternates those two segments. And, those two videos are now available on YouTube. Just go to www.youtube.com and search for "Antique Improver". The quality isn't the greatest, but you can get the general idea. Soon we want to add a link to them on the web site.

We wish each of you a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year. And we want to remind you that if you ever have questions about the products or their use, do not hesitate to contact us. And, of course, we always like to hear about your successful projects, and look forward to seeing photos.

Have a wonderful year!



09/01/2009

 


Since March 15 of this year, with each order we send out, we have included our own version of a “Citizen Stimulus Plan” consisting of a FREE $2 Bill. (For the complete story see the entry below.)

Though this has not been an “earth altering” project, it has been fun, and since many reports tell of the $2 Bill going to various food banks and other worthwhile causes, it may even have done a little good.

Intriguing for us is the “wondering” of where some of those bills might have wound up and if someday in the future we may still hear another interesting story.

But the time has come to announce the end of this little project, and, as of September 1, 2009, there will no longer be a $2 Bill tucked in with the order you receive from us.

When we began this venture our goal was to generate just a little hope, and spirit of sharing – even if to just a few. We think we have done that, and won’t hesitate to consider another such idea if it presents itself in the future.

And, of course, we will always be glad to hear interesting reports of the trail your $2 Bill traveled.

Our best to each of you, John and Marian


03/15/2009

 


TODAY WE SENT THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL MESSAGE TO EACH OF OUR RETAIL CUSTOMERS AND DEALERS:

Can the “little guy” have an impact on our current economic situation?

Maybe he can! A recent newscast featured a “upbeat” story about a pharmacist in Brewton, Alabama, who gave each of his employees a bonus of $700 in $2 bills (part-timers $300). The only stipulations were that they donate 15% to charity, and spend the rest locally – not save it.

In his population-5,000+ community the $16,000 that businessman Danny Cottrell has invested to create a local “stimulus” is resulting in major excitement as everyone watches the $2 bills travel through the local economy. [If you want to read the entire story just google “Danny Cottrell Brewton Alabama”.]

We haven’t been able to stop thinking about what a “difference” a simple act like his has made in raising the spirit and hopes of a lot of folks – and wishing we could also get involved in some way. So we’ve come up with our own little “stimulus” plan to carry forward Mr. Cottrell’s idea.

So here goes: Starting NOW, with each order we send out, we will send a FREE $2 BILL.

Only stipulations: SPEND IT, don’t save it. AND spend it locally. OR, donate it and let someone who needs it worse than you do spend it. Just get it into circulation.

Two-dollar-bills aren’t common in circulation – we found that out when we went to the bank to stock up – some young folks may have never seen one. Our hope is that if this catches on and others join in the excitement of “doing something” – finding their own unique way of getting some of these bills into circulation – the $2 bill could become the people’s own “stimulus” plan – a we-can-do-it symbol of hope and prosperity. And when a “Jefferson” is spotted moving through the currency chain it will be a reminder – that the “little guy” CAN make a difference.

Our business definitely is not so good that we can afford to be giving away money, but we see this as an opportunity to make a difference in our own small way — a way to focus on something other than anger and worry — and we are going to “go for it”! (We will post developments and comments on our Web Site News Blog [here] ).

Thanks for participating . . . let’s watch and see what happens.

John and Marian

P.S. And, when you spend the $2.00 – BUY AMERICAN!



02/10/2010

 


We received another call this week from someone trying to find "medicinal" turpentine. We have had several such calls since we added the "Turpentine Story" page to this Web Site. Evidentially in "googling", our site comes up and they think we might be able to help. We can't. Usually John suggests hunting for a small, very old-looking, individually-owned pharmacy -- one that looks like it has been there forever. If it is still the original pharmacist, he might have some of the "medicinal" turps that has been around for years. Other than that we don't have any suggestions. If someone knows where to find it, let us know and we will pass the information on to the next person who calls.

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It isn't unusual for us to receive thank you notes from our customers, but this one was really special:

"Hi! We don’t normally send emails expressing our appreciation for items purchased via the internet. However, we could not let your company go without thanks not only for its great products, but also for its great customer service. We were “kramerized” years ago and have bought your products through various dealers throughout the years. We placed our first on-line order Sunday, February 15, 2009, and were amazed at how quickly the order was filled and delivered. Here it is two days later and we have our order in hand. Thanks for the great customer service!

"Also, a big thank you for sending the products with environmentally-friendly packaging. We will be able to take all packing materials to our local recycling center.

"We have always been impressed with your products and add to that your fantastic customer service! Thank you so much!

"With sincere appreciation,

M and C"

And, THANK YOU, for noticing our efforts and letting us know!




02/10/2009

 


It's February in Missouri and the weather is "sunny and warm". We would like to think Spring is just around the corner, but that's probably not the case.

- - - - -

We are glad to report another step forward in our on-line presence. Thanks to his talented nephew, you can now view John's two videos on "YouTube". The first video, a basic Introduction to Kramer's Best products, was made in 1993, when one of our dealers -- who had been urging John to make such a video -- decided he wasn't waiting any longer, brought his camera and said "we're doing it now". It became an integral part of our displays, as well as his, and we made it available for purchase by other dealers who wanted to use it also.

John made the second video in 2006, as explanation of "Why does it have to cost so much?" -- at the time of what we now refer to as "The Turpentine Crisis".

The video that we now use in displays is a combination of the two -- alternating one, then the other.

To watch the videos on YouTube, just go to the site, www.YouTube.com, then in the YouTube "search" field, type in "Kramer's Best Antique Improver" -- in fact, it actually works to just search for "Antique Improver". You will actually find 4 videos -- 2 copies of each version. Numbers 2 and 4 are Video No. 1, and 1 and 3 are No. 2.

It is still a "work-in-progress", and the nephew has requested the originals so he can try to improve the quality a little, but for now, they do work and you might find them of interest if you have not seen them previously. The nephew, Dustin, also promises that once completed, there will be a link we can add, here on the Web Site, that will take you directly to the videos. We will post that link as soon as we have it.

- - - -

Speaking of our Web Site . . . we are glad to report that we have passed on to our Web Mistress the makings for two additional long-promised pages:

One page is information about the "Professional Line" of products that we announced back in Newsletter No. 2. On this new page there will be access to a description of the products, plus availability to print out an order form.

For the time being this list will not be included in our order-on-line page. We hope to add that feature sometime in the future, but for now, you can tell us in the "Comments" section of the Ordering page which items you want to order and we will add them to your order on this end before we ship to you. We can contact you via phone or E-mail to verify the items and cost. OR, you can print out the order form and mail or fax it to us -- or, of course, just phone us your order.

The other new page is one we have been wanting to do for a long time. It is called "Letters With Pictures". Over the years we have received innumerable letters and messages from our happy customers. Excerpts from many of them can be found on the "Letters" page. Since digital photography has become so common, along with the messages we also sometimes receive photos from folks wanting to show us how great their projects have turned out. We have shared some of those with you in our newsletter, but now we will be able to have an unlimited number quickly accessible on this web site. And, of course, we encourage you to send us photos of your projects (and don't forget to take BEFORE pictures).

Check back later to watch for the addition of these two new pages.

- - - -

We are always glad to hear about interesting Web Sites -- especially when we learn that they are fans of Kramer's Best. Listed on our "Links" page are Web Sites of folks who are fans of our products.

One new site that we told about in our last newsletter, we heard about from a new customer who said it was where he first heard about us. The site is: www.enginova.com. The page author calls his site "Musings of an Electrical Engineer -- A collection of technical and entertaining miscellaney". It is definitely that. He mentioned Antique Improver on his page about restoration of antique radios.

Two more sites came to our attention this week from new customers who heard about us on the sites. One, TechnoPrimitives, LLC, www.technoprimitives.com, is the site of Mark Harrel, who describes himself as: "a retired Army officer, recently redeployed from Afghanistan, and now marketing my passion for vintage hand tools, with a special emphasis on getting your old saw fully restored and appropriately jointed, sharpened and set." It is in his description of restoration of an old saw handle that he tells of using Antique Improver. He describes his restoration (step-by-step, with pictures) on the site -- plus much other information. If you have an interest in old tools and haven't visited Mark's site, you should take a look.

The other site we recently heard about is the site of Wilson Woodcarvers, www.wilsonwoodcarvers.com. It is, exactly as the name implies, the home page of a woodcarvers group, complete with galleries showing their amazing work and tutorials (how to carve a wood chain, a ball in a cage, and more). Our customer said he learned of our product on the site. We did not find the spot where we were mentioned, but it is a big site and we will take his word for it since we know of many woodcarvers who use Antique Improver as the only finish on their pieces. It is a site well worth visiting if working with wood is of interest to you.

Our Webmistress will be adding these sites to our Links page as she works on the other additions. Check out the other links on that page -- lots of interesting browsing and information.



01/19/2009

 


We are pleased that we managed to complete the Fall/Winter 2008 Kramer Letter and send it (via E-mail) on December 18th (before the end of the year!). We consider it a major accomplishment. Production of the newsletter is one thing – time consuming of course, but for the most part we know what we are doing. Sending it isn’t as simple – at least for us. We know that there are “spammers” out there who easily send multitudes of “junk mail” to each of our mailboxes daily, but we seem to struggle with each transmission. We have checked into some services that offer to help do it effortlessly; using them would not only be more expensive, but would make our address list vulnerable, and we won’t take that chance. So we will continue using our current system and ask your indulgence if there are “glitches” (like the first issue some received 2 or 3 times, or when some got only the first page). Hopefully it will get easier with time.

If you have not received the Kramer Letter and would like to, just let us know and we will add your E-mail address to the list. Don’t worry, we won’t overload your mailbox. Our stated commitment is to publish “as possible” – the goal being four per year (with the seasons) but so far, that hasn’t been accomplished. (In case you missed it, each of the past issues can be accessed with a “click” at the top of this page.) And, we welcome your comments and suggestions about the newsletter, plus photos and/or reports about your experience with our products that we can share with others. We look forward to hearing from you.

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The economic situation is, of course, of great concern to us, as we know it is to each of you. Since our last price increase in 2006 – necessitated by what we dubbed “The Turpentine Crisis” [see “The Turpentine Crisis” page] – we have diligently looked for, and implemented, any means possible to postpone further increases. Though we know an increase is in time inevitable, we have, in spite of continued increases in costs of materials and services, so far been able to hold the line.

We are constantly searching for ways to economize. As we have stated many times, the product absolutely will not be changed. Shipping charges – frequently increasing – also are a fixed expense. But we keep looking. One place John has always resented spending money is on “trash” – the term he uses in referring to packing supplies used for shipping – we pay for it, you throw it away. We have always re-cycled whenever we can, however, shipping regulations (ORMD) we are required to follow demand that we use new/unused boxes; we must purchase those. Due to the fact that our containers are glass (a necessity to ensure product quality), bottles must be carefully protected – we use the corrugated “single face” to wrap around each bottle or case, and brace it in the box – another necessity. We abhor the clingy plastic “peanuts” used by many, and couldn’t use them anyway since the same ORMD regulations require that we use enough absorbent material to take in the amount of liquid that is in the enclosed bottle(s). For additional wadded-paper packing we use our re-cycled newspapers as long as they last, which is a good thing, but it is surprising how quickly they are used up.

Dave Kramer (John’s cousin), who handles our packing and shipping, has discovered an “unclaimed salvage” establishment that offers weekly “bid sales”. These sales offer pallets of miscellaneous items that he bids on and sometimes wins amazing bargains. He watches for paper in all forms. Once he happened on several cases of the paper we use to print our instruction books – his winning bid was a significant savings for us. He also has been acquiring large rolls of paper of all types and colors. When the newspapers and junk mail are used up, he uses this paper for extra wadded packing. Though usually of excellent quality, some of these might look a little strange. The “next-up” roll we see he will be using is best described as (very bright) robin’s egg blue. And then there’s a roll of Christmas-tree green. He also describes – acquired at almost give-away cost – a roll of paper from “Babies Are Us”, which those of you receiving your Kramer’s Best by mail, may soon discover in your packages.

We are telling you all of this, first of all to prepare you for unusual paper you may find in your shipment of our products, as well as to let you know that we are doing everything we can to delay the price increase that we know may be inevitable if cost increases continue. We also want to assure you that regardless, we will not ever sacrifice product quality. Packing your purchase in “Babies-Are-Us” paper may look a little strange, but it won’t affect the way your Kramer’s Best performs. That won’t change. We are concerned about our customers and the hardship price increases cause – we will avoid making that move as long as we can. We appreciate your support and understanding.

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We send to each of you our sincere Best Wishes for a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year, and our thanks for your interest in our products and your continued patronage and support. We do appreciate your business!



12/15/2008

 

An eventful and historic year is fast coming to a close. Though it's hard to know where our time went, it seems that posting on this page is one thing that has been neglected -- we intend to change that.

Right now we are working on finishing up the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of "The Kramer Letter". Within the next day or two the link will be included with those of other issues at the top of this page.

In the newsletter we have given information about a new project of ours. Thanks to current internet technology, we are now "manning" a Salvation Army Red Kettle -- and we don't even have to stand out in the cold!

In case you're interested in making a contribution to this worthy cause, or just take a look to see how it works, just follow this link:

http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/goto/kramerproducts

You will have the opportunity to donate to our "Kettle" which goes to our local Salvation Army, or you can specify your donation to be directed to your local group. In addition, there is the opportunity for you to set up your own Red Kettle, or set up a "team" of Kettles.

Salvation Army does great work, but they need lots of help. Every little bit is appreciated.



04/03/2008

 


A recent issue of the "WelcomeHome" section of The Independence (Missouri) Examiner ran this great article about us, click to view the article: Examiner Welcome Home pdf article


03/13/2008

 


We have had a couple of beautiful days here in Missouri. Winter has lasted way tooooo long! We know there will undoubtedly be more to come, but these sunny days at least give us the chance to start remembering what Spring will be like.

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We've added a new feature to our shipping procedure. Thanks to a UPS upgrade, once your package enters their system, you will receive an E-mail message giving you the Tracking Number and predicted date of arrival. When the package is delivered you will receive another message with details about where it was left and who might have signed for it. We think this will be very helpful for all concerned. Of course we will need your E-mail address. We will have the needed information for our customers who order on the Internet. If you mail an order, be sure to include that address if you have one. We are trying to remember to ask for it when you phone your order, but if we don't, please remind us. We really are impressed with the great job UPS does for us, and this is just another example.

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Another "something new" is the Blog we have added to the "Find-A-Dealer" page. As we have mentioned repeatedly, we have always wished there was some way we could post a list of each and every one of our hundreds of dealers. However, keeping track of stock available in each of them so that we could maintain an accurate list is not practical or possible.

As a partial solution we developed the Master Dealer program. These are established dealers who are committed to maintaining a stock of the complete line of all products and all sizes. If they are temporarily out of a certain size they will sell you multiples of a smaller size at the price of the larger one. These dealers are listed on the Find-A-Dealer page.

In order to give you additional information about other dealers, we have now added a "LATEST DEALER NEWS" blog to that page. In this blog we will post current dealer activity -- new dealers, recent purchases, new dealer locations, etc. We will furnish city, Zip Code, and phone numbers in bold so you can scan the list. As content grows you may need to use your computer's "Find-On-This-Page" function for a quicker search. Of course, the point is that it will be up to you to verify availability. If a shop closes, usually we are not notified, so we suggest that you always verify before making a trip to a location. But in most cases we are hoping this will help our customers and dealers connect.

In addition, as always, do not hesitate to contact us if you would like us to search our complete data base to help you find a dealer, or if you have any questions.

[Information included in this Blog will begin with January 1, 2008. Since we have just gotten it set up, it will take some time to enter information necessary to make it current. Please be patient!]

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We had a good visit today with Rodger Barrow at East Wake Hardwoods in Zebulon, NC, who is a new Kramer's Best dealer. In addition to the antique restoration work he does (making good use of Antique Improver), Rodger offers an exceptional selection of 85 to 90 different species of exotic hardwoods.

In another part of his establishment Rodger houses the "WONC (Woodworkers of North Carolina) Gallery" which he established and maintains. If you visit his web site, http://www.eastwakehardwoods.com, you can view the amazing pieces on exhibit. He told us that more and more of the woodworkers and woodcarvers are finding Antique Improver to be an exceptional final finish on their pieces. He referred us to one piece, a bear, plus base, that was carved entirely out of one solid piece of walnut, and on which Antique Improver was used as the only finish. [To see the bear carving on the Web Site, go to "Carvings". It is the fourth piece on the top row. "Click" on the picture until it reaches full-page size to be able to see the amazing grain and color of the wood -- made even more extraordinary with Improver.]

The "About The Gallery" page tells Rodger's story and about how the Gallery got started. It is a very interesting Web Site showing the exceptional work of many true craftsmen. Even better, if you happen to be in that area, would be to visit East Wake and view the pieces up close. And, of course, pick up a bottle of Antique Improver while you are there.


02/04/2008

 


Have you ever given thought to the fact that “Antiques Are Green”?

We recently received an E-mail message from The New England Antiques Journal mentioning their participation in a “drive” to spread the word that “Antiques Are Green – don’t buy new unless you have to.” Sounds good to us! To read the article written by Editor-in-Chief John Fiske, go to http://www.fiskeandfreeman.com/antiquesaregreen.aspx

The Link for an “Antiques Are Green” Logo is, http://www.antiquesjournal.com/Pages04/green.html . You are invited to print out the logo and display it, as you wish, in antique shops, show or mall booths, or anyplace antiques-connected. Those in the antiques business are urged to use it on printed ads, fliers, stationery. Be sure to take a look at both links. As Mr. Fiske says, "If we could make antiques-are-green part of American common-sense, our future would be assured." As antiquers – involved in saving, preserving, restoring, reusing – we are major contributors to the preservation of our environment and don't even realize it.

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Hopefully everyone has now received the entire Kramer Letter – all four pages. Again we want to apologize for the error that made it necessary to re-send. We already have mixed feelings about “messaging” our customer list. We feel it is important to stay in touch, and feedback has indicated that our customers have appreciated the two newsletters we have sent. However, we want to hold it to a minimum and decided that a quarterly newsletter might be acceptable. Having to send two mailings in two days was very embarrassing. We intend for it not to happen again.

And, we want to repeat, as we said in the newsletter, that if you have received a mailing from us and prefer not to, just “reply” to the message and simply say UNSUBSCRIBE. We will immediately remove your address from our list. On the other hand, if you are not receiving our mailings, and would like to, just send us an E-mail and let us know. Our list is made up of customers who have ordered on line or who have given us their E-mail address when they ordered by mail or phone. If you buy your Kramer’s locally you won’t be on our list, but we would be glad to include you.

For any of you have not yet seen The Kramer Letter / Winter Issue, it is available by “clicking” on the icon at the top of this page. We want to point out that in this issue we have listed our new Professional Tools & Supplies line of products, complete with brief description and pricing. Though these items are not yet available on the Web Site, if you wish to order any of them, just make a note in the “Comments” section of the Order Form – or tell us when you phone or mail an order – and we will include them when processing the order.

And, as usual, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call.



02/01/2008

 


Yes, there definitely is a problem with The Kramer Letter you received this morning. You only have Page One. It was a middle-of-the-night project that did not go very well, but it was a very good learning experience and you will receive another message later today with all 4 pages. (Or, since you are on this page you can just "click" above to see the correct version.)

We apologize for the inconvenience, and also to our Dealers whose message had some “repeats”. We will get this right yet!



01/21/2008

 


We were recently very pleasantly surprised when we received a call from Mike Danial, corporate historian for Stickley Corporation. He contacted us to invite John to be present at a seminar he was presenting at a furniture store in our area (Traditions Furniture, Overland Park, KS).

Mr. Danial, who has been with Stickley for 33 years, met John many years ago at a woodworkers show in Syracuse, NY, when John was first introducing his newly-formulated Kramer’s Best Antique Improver. At that show, in addition to his Kramer’s Best display of products, John presented seminars on “The Old Ways of Working With Wood”. Mr. Danial attended John’s seminar and then spent time with him discussing woodworking and preservation interests important to them both.

John had not thought of the meeting in many years, but this recent conversation revealed that since that time, Mr. Danial has, when appropriate, recommend use of Antique Improver on old, damaged pieces. He even pointed out that, contrary to our instructions of “Do not use on modern (water-based) finishes”, Improver can, if necessary, be used on the newer Stickley pieces since they are still using the traditional and proven modified nitrocellulose-based finish they have always used, and with which Antique Improver is compatible.

John did, of course, attend the seminar, dubbed the “Stickley Roadshow”. He enjoyed meeting Mr. Danial again and was impressed with what he learned about the fascinating history of Stickley Corporation and the way in which they have maintained the quality and integrity of this wonderful piece of our history.

Stickley Corp. has a very impressive Web Site (www.stickley.com) where they share information about the history of the company through present day, as well as presenting a gallery of the pieces now available. Go to the page “The Stickley Story”, then click on “The Stickley Video” and you will see first hand why the name “Stickley” remains an icon.

And, for those who are proud owners of any of these fine pieces, Mr. Danial suggests that we let our customers know that any time you have questions concerning care of a Stickley piece, feel free to contact him at care@stickley.com. He will answer you personally. The company is also anxious to hear from you about your history with Stickley, and there is a page on the Web Site especially for submission of “My Stickley Story”. And, even better, Mike Danial adds that he will be glad to appraise vintage Stickley pieces – just mail a photo of your piece to him at the factory address that can be found on their Web Site, or send a digital image to history@stickley.com.

Mr. Danial travels around the country throughout the year presenting these seminars, “The Stickley Roadshow”. You might want to use the wonders of the Internet to watch for one possibly coming to your area.

This is obviously a company that cares, and we are extremely proud to have "Kramer’s Best” connected with it in any way.



01/21/2008

 


We were recently very pleasantly surprised when we received a call from Mike Danial, corporate historian for Stickley Corporation. He contacted us to invite John to be present at a seminar he was presenting at a furniture store in our area (Traditions Furniture, Overland Park, KS).

Mr. Danial, who has been with Stickley for 33 years, met John many years ago at a woodworkers show in Syracuse, NY, when John was first introducing his newly-formulated Kramer’s Best Antique Improver. At that show, in addition to his Kramer’s Best display of products, John presented seminars on “The Old Ways of Working With Wood”. Mr. Danial attended John’s seminar and then spent time with him discussing woodworking and preservation interests important to them both.

John had not thought of the meeting in many years, but this recent conversation revealed that since that time, Mr. Danial has, when appropriate, recommend use of Antique Improver on old, damaged pieces. He even pointed out that, contrary to our instructions of “Do not use on modern (water-based) finishes”, Improver can, if necessary, be used on the newer Stickley pieces since they are still using the traditional and proven modified nitrocellulose-based finish they have always used, and with which Antique Improver is compatible.

John did, of course, attend the seminar, dubbed the “Stickley Roadshow”. He enjoyed meeting Mr. Danial again and was impressed with what he learned about the fascinating history of Stickley Corporation and the way in which they have maintained the quality and integrity of this wonderful piece of our history.

Stickley Corp. has a very impressive Web Site (www.stickley.com) where they share information about the history of the company through present day, as well as presenting a gallery of the pieces now available. Go to the page “The Stickley Story”, then click on “The Stickley Video” and you will see first hand why the name “Stickley” remains an icon.

And, for those who are proud owners of any of these fine pieces, Mr. Danial suggests that we let our customers know that any time you have questions concerning care of a Stickley piece, feel free to contact him at care@stickley.com. He will answer you personally. The company is also anxious to hear from you about your history with Stickley, and there is a page on the Web Site especially for submission of “My Stickley Story”. And, even better, Mike Danial adds that he will be glad to appraise vintage Stickley pieces – just mail a photo of your piece to him at the factory address that can be found on their Web Site, or send a digital image to history@stickley.com.

Mr. Danial travels around the country throughout the year presenting these seminars, “The Stickley Roadshow”. You might want to use the wonders of the Internet to watch for one possibly coming to your area.

This is obviously a company that cares, and we are extremely proud to have "Kramer’s Best” connected with it in any way.



KRAMER PRODUCTS, INC.
John T. Kramer, maker of Kramer's Best Antique Improver
P.O. Box 8715, Sugar Creek, MO  64054
816-252-9512 / Fax 816-252-9121
E-mail:  see Contact Us

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