Cleaveland Tool Lives on Through Flyboy Accessories

Cleaveland Tool’s new skipper, Blake Frazier, in front of the legendary C-frame dimpler tool.

In 1989 the now legendary Buzz Lauritsen brought his newly constructed Van’s RV-4 to Oshkosh and no one could believe how smooth and ripple free the aluminum skins were. Buzz’s secret lay in the special “spring back” dies he fabricated used to dimple the skins for the flush rivets. Buzz left Oshkosh that year with the Grand Champion award and the idea that he might be able to make and sell spring back dimple dies to other homebuilders.

Blake Frazier has to be two places at one time for AirVenture this year, so his wife created a cardboard Blake so that customers can find him.

From that brilliant idea sprung one of the most popular and enduring family companies serving the amateur built aircraft world, Cleaveland Tool. Run by Buzz Lauritsen, his son Mike and his wife, DJ, Cleaveland Tool (named after DJ’s maiden name, not the city in Ohio) began building and selling tools to metal aircraft homebuilders from the family home in Boone, Iowa in 1993. Cleaveland tool became known for their new and innovative tools such as the “Main Squeeze” rivet squeezer, the C-Frame Dimpler, the Vise-Grip edge forming tool and the Hex Shank deburring tool. As the number of Van’s Aircraft builders exploded, Cleaveland Tool expanded both their volume and their new tool offerings. Their converted Greyhound bus was present next to the Van’s tent at all the major flyins.

Sadly, Buzz passed away in 2011, but Mike and DJ Lauritsen preserved and even expanded Cleaveland Tool in the following years. In the last year, the Lauritsen family began thinking about the future and made the difficult decision to sell the company, but not to just anyone. They went looking for someone who would treat their customers like family. They found Blake Frazier, the principal behind the new and innovative Flyboy Accessories.

Blake Frazier, the son of F1 Rocket guru Vince Frazier, has been coming to AirVenture since he was 10 years old. After graduating from college, Blake leaped into the family tradition of supplying metal aircraft homebuilders with parts and accessories they could not find anywhere else. Flyboy Accessories started with their new and robust tail wheel design for RVs, followed by the “Super Track” canopy sliders designed to give side by side RVers access to their baggage areas. Like Cleaveland Tool, Flyboy Accessories catered to the RV and F1 Rocket communities, finding and producing innovative tools and parts that no one else could provide.

Blake Frazier and Cleaveland Tool matriarch, DJ Lauritsen.

Just before AirVenture 2022, the Lauritsens began talking to Vince about purchasing Cleaveland Tool and continuing their tradition. A deal was struck, and Blake has been at the helm since last month. Cleaveland Tool matriarch DJ Lauritsen states that “Blake Frazier is a man with the energy and heart to carry the spirit of our business forward, putting out great tools and serving the metal aircraft builder community.” The Lauritsens are holding monthly meetings with Blake to foster a smooth transition and to plan for the future.

As for that future, Blake says that he will maintain both companies on an even keel, running operations out of his facility located at the Skylane Airport (3EV) in Evansville, Indiana, while maintaining some manufacturing facilities at the Cleaveland Tool location in Boone, Iowa. Other than the aircraft interior business, which will be retained by DJ Lauritsen, Blake will still manufacture and sell all of the same products Cleaveland Tool has been selling for years. Flyboy Accessories will also continue as a separate entity, developing and selling specialty items for the RV and Rocket communities. Blake states that he is committed to continuing the traditions of both companies, providing next level tools and accessories to metal aircraft homebuilders and treating customers like family.



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