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Our Story

For over 37 years, we’ve been a trusted source of commercial grade drywall tools around the world.

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Our Story

Columbia Taping Tools was built from an unwavering commitment to creating high performance products, strong leadership and hearty family values. For over 37 years, we’ve been a trusted source of commercial grade drywall tools around the world.

The Beginning

Columbia Taping Tools was founded in 1979 by Bernie St. James, a self-employed taper and board hanger from Columbia Beach, Vancouver Island. He was, and still is, a family man, who supported his wife and four children with his hard-working attitude and long days working a never-ending series of jobs. Back in the 70s, he often rented automatic taping tools in order to keep up with all the work he had, and to make those jobs more profitable.

The Middle

As luck would have it, Bernie was offered an investment opportunity in a new company that manufactured automatic taping tools. The company went under before ever producing a set of tools, but Bernie walked away with the shell of the company at the the price of his initial investment. He got to work creating his own tools by night, still holding down his regular full-time work schedule during the day. He custom crafted drywall tools he personally tested and used and successfully sold them across the United States and Canada for many years, eventually building trust in the Columbia brand and taking the company from small potatoes to being a world-class manufacturer over the span of twenty plus years. Columbia has weathered many houses crashes and economic storms over the years to emerge even stronger each time through strategic equipment investments and product releases that have kept us competitive.

The Future

Bernie’s commitment to making the very best drywall tools is the foundation our entire company is built on and remains a huge part of our operations today. Even though he has handed over operations of Columbia to his two sons, Elliot and Aaron, Bernie remains active in ensuring Columbia creates only the best tools. He still sits in on design and concept meetings for new products and guides the company with his entrepreneurial energy for the industry, and his passion for keeping Columbia a strong, trusted family-run business. Though Columbia is a world-class manufacturer now, we will never forget our roots.

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