Merry Christmas Everyone!

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May the spirit of Christmas and the love of Christ fill your home
and bless your families this holiday season and throughout the year.


from your friends at

Kowalski Heat Treating



Steve’s Guide to Enjoy the Season

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Wishing for a “White Christmas”!

There are so many events going on in town.  With Christmas coming up fast, I thought I’d share with your some of my favorites.  Put down the remote, turn off the cell phone, pack up the kids (or grandkids), hope for a little snow dusting and enjoy how NE Ohio celebrates Christmas and the Holiday season.

Holiday Tours of the Perkins Stone Mansion – Akron
Tour the Perkins Stone Mansion when it is outfitted with holiday decorations and cheer.
When: Friday and Saturday from December 18-19, 2015; 1-4 pm
Where: The Summit County Historical Society, 550 Copley Rd., Akron, OH 44320
Cost: $6 per person ages 6 and older
Contact: (330) 535-1120

FREE 2015 Holiday at Finwood – Elyria
The Elyria Parks & Recreation Department will once again transform the Finwood Estate into a winter wonderland. Enjoy both the inside and outside of the tastefully decorated estate and our very own Shupps Train display, with 10 trains cruising the tracks. Visit with Santa
When: December 2-23, 2015; 6pm-9pm
Where: Finwood Estate, 799 N. Abbe Rd., Elyria, OH 44035
Cost: FREE to the public. Monetary donations and non-perishable canned food donations will be distributed to Elyria Hospitality House.
Contact: (440) 326-1500

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides and Carolers at Gervasi Vineyard – Canton
Step into a vintage white carriage for a ride and enjoy the beautiful Gervasi grounds. While on property enjoy the sounds of carolers outside the Bistro and the Marketplace.
When: Carriage Rides and Carolers: December 18-19, 2015; 6pm-9pm; Vintage Carolers: 7pm-9pm: *Weather Permitting
Where: 1700 55th St. NE, Canton, OH 44721
Cost: $10 per ride (Cash only; up to 4 passengers) *Weather Permitting
Contact: (330) 497-1000

FREE Photos with Santa at All City Candy – Richmond Heights
All City Candy will be offering free photos with Santa Claus at the store on December 20, as well as on Christmas Eve Day. Help fill “Santa Sacks,” for patients at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital on Christmas Day.
When: Friday, Dec. 18: 4-7pm, Saturday, Dec. 19: 10am-7pm, and Sunday, Dec. 20: 12pm-5pm, and Thursday, Dec. 24: 12–5 pm
Where: All City Candy, 746 Richmond Rd., Richmond Heights, OH 44143
Cost: FREE
Contact: (216) 487-7070 or email

FREE Annual Holiday Model Trains Display at Puritas Nursery – Cleveland
13th Annual Display of Holiday Model Trains – Bigger, better, and more family fun than ever!
When: November 27-December 31, 2015; Weekdays 9am-8pm, weekends 9am-6pm, closing at 3pm on December 24 & 31
Where: 19201 Puritas Ave., Cleveland, OH 441352
Cost: FREE
Contact: (216) 267-5350

Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden – Cleveland
Glow transports you to a world full of seasonal cheer, where all-new wonders and returning traditions await you. Whimsical train ride, musicians and carolers, decorate a gingerbread house, decorated trees, holiday shopping, and more.
When: November 27, 2015-January 3, 2016
Where: 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106
Cost: $16/non-member adult, $12/non-member child, FREE for Garden members
Contact: (216) 721-1600, ext. 100

Ohio Station Outlet Santa Express Train Rides – Lodi
 Saturdays & Sundays from Nov. 28-Dec. 26, 2015 (12pm-5pm), Dec. 21-23, 2015 (12pm-5pm), and Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015 (12pm-3pm)
Where: 9911 Avon Lake Rd., Lodi, OH 44214
Cost: $7 per participate age 2 and up, FREE for babies under 12 months
Contact: (330) 948-1239

Sleigh & Carriage Rides at Ma & Pa’s – Burton
Every winter, all winter long, Ma and Pa hitch up the sleighs and take you out through the woods and out in the field and then back to the cabin for a warm fire, Ma’s homemade bakery, hot chocolate and maple coffee. Reservations are required. There is a carriage should there be no snow.
When: Dec. 1 thru mid-March Saturdays: 12pm-10pm, Sundays: 12pm-5pm
Where: 15161 Main Market Rd. (SR 422), Burton, OH 44021
Cost: $20 per adult, 11-16 Yrs. $10 per child ages 11-16, $5 per child ages 5-10, and FREE for children under age 4. (All rides include hot beverage and bakery.)
Contact: (440) 548-5521

Breakfast with Santa at Cornerstone Friends Church – Madison
Cost includes a great breakfast for all, personalized gift for the children, picture with Santa, stories by Mrs. Claus. Children will make a special ornament and reindeer food! Tickets can be purchased online.
When: Saturday December 19, 2015; Two seatings: 8:30am or 11:30am
Where: 2300 Hubbard Rd., Madison OH 44057
Cost: $15 per adult, $11 per child age 2-11, and FREE for children under age 2
Contact: (440) 428-6868

FREE Candlelit Walk and Caroling at Cleveland Metroparks – Bentleyville
Hike on a candlelit trail through the dark forest in near silence. Then gather around a campfire and sing carols into the night to warm our hearts with a warm cup of cocoa. Singing will take place in the Lodge if weather necessitates.
When: Saturday, December 19, 2015; 7pm-8:30pm
Where: South Chagrin Reservation, 37374 Miles Rd., Bentleyville, OH 44022
Cost: FREE
Contact: (440) 473-3370

Winter Solstice Celebration at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center – Bay Village
It’s the longest night of the year and we’ve filled it with all sorts of great family fun – hikes on a wintry trail, visits with nighttime animals and a family holiday activity. Visit the planetarium to learn about what a solstice is and experience the night sky. Be sure to find a few minutes to relax by the crackling fire. Please dress for the weather.
When: Sunday, December 20, 2015; 6:30pm-8:30pm
Where: 28728 Wolf Rd., Cleveland, OH 44140
Cost: $7 per person ages 2 and up, FREE for babies and 1 and under
Contact: (440) 871-2900




I Wouldn’t Trade This For The World.

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It’s been fun this anniversary year looking back at what happened 40 years ago when Dad started KHT. Inventions, patents, new products, sports milestones, technology, politics, singers, music, culture – so much to reflect on.

And while reading Dec 11, ’75 history this morning, something caught my eye – a simple sports trade. In 1975, when Kowalski Heat Treating was launched, the New York Yankees traded a successful player named George “Doc” Medich to the Pirates, and in return got Willie Randolph, Dock Ellis and Ken Brett. At the time, the sports writers had their criticisms and opinions. And to complete his 1975 lineup, George Steinbrenner caused more chaos in adding a player/coach named Billy Martin to manage the team. All of them went on, of course, to have great careers, and reach unseen milestones. And the rest, is well – history.

This got me thinking – what “trades” would I make?

Trade my position – no. Trade my passion for heat treating – no Trade time spent with Dad learning the ropes – no. Trade my awesome plant location overlooking the north coast – never. Trade my family support – nope. Trade my hard working staff or suppliers – hardly. And most important, trade away any of my customers – sorry, but that’s just not gonna happen.

Why no trades … because I’ve been blessed – to have great customers, great suppliers and vendors, great staff, great support – all backed by a great family work ethic – an honest approach to business, hard work, treating people right and sound business decisions, all started by my Dad so many years ago.

So while trades may work for the Yankees (and God knows their success – 27 World Championships all started by the acquisition of a guy named “Ruth”), I’ll stick with MY TEAM – my customers, my vendors, and my guys and gals out back, working hard everyday to manage your high tolerance production runs and solving your most challenging PIA (Pain In The @%$) Jobs.

For fun, take a minute this coming week, and go thank “your team” for what they do – you might be surprised hiding on the squad is your “Babe” just ready to break out and change your company’s history.





Light My Fire


Crackling fire courtesy of


With the change in weather, and our move indoors here on the north shore, I thought it would be a good time to share with you some tips on building the perfect indoors fire. Being experts at heat treating, we take fire and heat very seriously, as for many of our processes, it’s the core of our specialty thermal processing treatments. So, for those of you who have indoor fireplaces, or wood burning stoves, here you go.

  • Be sure you have your chimney inspected and flue opened before starting your fire. Over time, soot can build up in the chimneystack and cause damage/fires. Support your local chimney sweeps and have it done right.
  • Clear away any ash buildup left over from the last fire. Using a metal shovel and brush, gently gather up the ash from inside the fireplace, and place in a metal container (never use paper bags or plastic). Take your time as to not create a lot of ash dust. Remove your log grate if necessary to get to all the ashes. Discard your ash container outside, away from the house and set on a concrete surface. Check it days later and make sure it cools completely before discarding.
  • Start by piling up a layer of kindling (small, dry pieces of wood) in the center of your wood grate. Stack in a tee-pee shape, about 6-8 inches high, depending on the size of your fireplace. Make sure pieces are of different lengths and size so air can circulate throughout the pile.
  • Next, place large logs on each side of the kindling, and also across the top. Crisscross logs again so air can circulate around the logs. Use smaller logs as you stack higher, and make sure nothing can roll out of the fireplace into the room.
  • Using a folded newspaper page, tear one-inch strips of paper and pile them up. Fluff the paper to be sure it’s in a good pile, and slide underneath the wood grate, just under the kindling. Do not crumple the paper and stuff it under the wood, as it will not burn properly.
  • Double check your flu is open and then light the paper with a safety match or hand held butane lighter. If you have a damper underneath the fire place floor, crack it open a bit to allow fresh air to enter. If you have doors on your fireplace, close the doors to create even stronger upwards draft. The paper and kindling should ignite and begin to burn nicely.
  • Allow the fire to gain momentum, spreading to the top layers and logs. As the fire burns, gently add additional logs as needed.
  • Make sure the fireplace screen is in place at all times. Enjoy.
  • YouTube Link

Steve’s tips on enjoying the warm fireplace.

  • Place a soft blanket in front of the fire, (not too close of course), get a good book and relax with a cup of hot chocolate (don’t forget the marshmallows) or warm cider (don’t forget the cinnamon stick).
  • If decorating for the holidays, make the fire first, and then add some holiday music – I’m a sucker for the old classics from the 50’s.
  • Invite some friends over and play cards. My wife and I have a great group who love Euchre – its fun and easy and a good conversation game.
  • Enjoy some “comfort food” – I recommend cake, pie, soup, chips/dip, sandwiches, leftovers… pretty much everything for me is comfort food.
  • If sending out holiday cards, sit nearby and write personal notes to friends and family – the fire and warmth will put you in the right mood.
  • Make a fire in the morning and enjoy it throughout day.

BONUS: History of the Match: Wikipedia



Steve’s Thanksgiving Leftovers

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This is now just a wonderful memory.


With me in the house, there are no thanksgiving leftovers. But I hear from friends and colleagues that there are some great recipes for such things. And here’s one you’ve just got to try:



Total Time: 50 min
Prep: 35 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: one 12-inch pizza
Level: Easy


• 1 pound pizza dough
• All-purpose flour, for dusting
• 1 teaspoon cornmeal
• 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 3/4 cup mashed potatoes
• 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 2 teaspoons whole milk
• 1 cup prepared stuffing
• 1 roasted turkey (or chicken thigh), with skin
• 1/4 cup chunky cranberry sauce
• 1/4 cup gravy


Put a pizza stone or upside-down baking sheet in the oven; preheat to 500 degrees F. Stretch the pizza dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface. Dust a pizza peel or upside-down baking sheet with 1/2 teaspoon cornmeal and put the dough on top. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with the sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cornmeal. Carefully slide onto the hot pizza stone or baking sheet and bake until golden on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the mashed potatoes with 1/4 cup cheese and the milk in a bowl; set aside. Roll tablespoonfuls of the stuffing into 1-inch balls to look like meatballs. Shred the turkey meat and julienne the skin for flavor.

Slide the crust back onto the peel. Spread the cheddar mashed potatoes over the crust, then top with the shredded turkey. Spoon the cranberry sauce over the pizza and drizzle with the gravy. Arrange the stuffing balls on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and the turkey skin.

Return the pizza to the oven and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 more minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Duff Goldman for Food Network Magazine. Read more and see a photo here.






A Whole Week of “Thanks” to All

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The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, oil on canvas by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe (1914)


With Thanksgiving coming next week, I just want to say “THANKS”! Celebrating our 40th anniversary this year is amazing and exciting for the KHT Family.

All Our Thanks

  • To our wonderful customers who have trusted in us over the years.
  • To our reliable vendors who have supported us over the years.
  • To our hard-working staff who have made us great, time and again.
  • To all our friends, neighbors, and extended families – without your support, we could not have reached this milestone.
  • To Dad and Mom for providing the wisdom, encouragement, guidance and support all of these years.
  • And finally, to my wife and daughters – I am truly blessed.

May the blessings of Thanksgiving, the love of family, the nourishment of food and the goodwill of friends and family fill your homes this Thanksgiving week.

We are grateful for all you do.

And, on Thursday, may your toughest decision of the day be seconds or thirds or in my case fourths!





“We are holding our own.”

Honoring the SS Edmond Fitzgerald

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Various paintings, newspaper headlines and news photos.
Upper right: Namesake, Edmund Fitzgerald, president of Northwestern Mutual, stands in front of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald in July 1959. (Image credit: Wisconsin Marine Historical Society)
Second row from bottom, far left: Bay Village resident, John H. McCarthy, First Mate.


As I sit in my office on Detroit Avenue, I have the luxury of overlooking a magnificent view of beautiful Lake Erie, watching freighters come and go in our busy docks. This week is a special week, as it marks 40 years since the loss of the Edmond Fitzgerald, a tragedy made famous by singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. For our history and boating buffs out there, I thought I’d research a bit more about this mighty freighter and share with our group some known and unknown facts.

  • SS Edmund Fitzgerald, the largest freighter of her time when launched, sank in a Lake Superior storm with the loss of the entire crew of 29.
  • For seventeen years, and recording over 1M nautical miles, Fitzgerald carried taconite iron ore from mines near Duluth, MN to iron works in Detroit, Toledo, and other Great Lakes ports. A “workhorse,” she set seasonal haul records six times, with a deadweight capacity of over 26,000 tons.
  • “DJ” Captain Peter Pulcer was known for piping music day or night over the ship’s intercom while passing through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers and entertaining spectators near the locks with a running commentary about the ship.
  • Financed by the Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company of Milwaukee, and named after its Chairman of the Board, (who’s grandfather had also been a sea captain) she was the longest freighter built – “within a foot of the maximum length allowed for passage through the soon-to-be-completed Saint Lawrence Seaway” – 730 feet long and 75 feet wide, earning her the title “Queen of the Great Lakes”
  • Up until a few weeks before her loss, passengers had traveled on board as company guests and were provided VIP treatment with excellent snacks and a well-stocked kitchenette for drinks. Once each trip, the captain held a candlelight dinner for the guests, complete with mess-jacketed stewards and special “clamdigger” punch.
  • Carrying a full cargo of ore pellets with Captain Ernest M. McSorley in command, she embarked on her ill-fated voyage from Superior, Wisconsin, near Duluth, on the afternoon of November 9, 1975.
  • At 2:00 a.m. on November 10, the NWS upgraded its warnings from gale to storm, forecasting winds of 35–50 knots (40–58 mph). Until then, Fitzgerald had followed a sister ship the SS. Anderson, but pulled ahead about 3:00 a.m. As the storm center passed over the ships, they both experienced shifting winds, as wind direction changed from northeast to south and then northwest.
  • Shortly after 3:30 p.m., Captain McSorley radioed the Anderson to report that Fitzgerald was taking on water and had lost two vent covers, a fence railing and had also developed a list. Two of Fitzgerald’s six bilge pumps ran continuously to discharge shipped water.
  • For a time, Anderson directed Fitzgerald toward the relative safety of Whitefish Bay. Some time later, McSorley told Anderson, “I have a ‘bad list,’ I have lost both radars, and am taking heavy seas over the deck in one of the worst seas I have ever been in.” With sustained winds of 58 mph, gusts up to 78 mph, and waves between 25-35 feet, the last communication from the ship came at approximately 7:10 p.m., when Anderson notified Fitzgerald of an upbound ship and asked how she was doing. McSorley reported, “We are holding our own.” She sank minutes later.
  • The wreck was discovered weeks later, finding the Fitzgerald lying in two large pieces on the lake floor. In 1980, a research dive expedition was led by Jean-Michael Cousteau (son of Jacques Cousteau) and concluded the vessel most likely broke on the surface.
  • Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on dozens of dives to determine the cause, look for crew and also retrieve artifacts. Theories include rogue wave impact, cargo hold flooding, shoaling (grounding), structural failure, and topside damage/flooding. No conclusive evidence exists to date.
  • The sinking led to changes in Great Lakes shipping regulations and practices that included mandatory survival suits, depth finders, positioning systems, increased freeboard, and more frequent inspection of vessels.



On November 10:
Twenty-nine bells for the twenty-nine lives lost on the Edmond Fitzgerald.


Spooky Insights from KHTHeat


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With Halloween this weekend, we thought we’d share some “tips and treats” we found online you can use to be the smartest goblin at the dinner table.

  • Halloween originated in Ireland over 2,000 years ago and is typically believed to be the birthplace of Halloween. Some historians believe it originated around 4000 B.C., which means Halloween has been around for over 6,000 years.
  • “Halloween” is short for “Hallows’ Eve” or “Hallows’ Evening.” In an effort to convert pagans, the Christian church decided that Hallowmas or All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2) should assimilate sacred pagan holidays that fell on or around October 31.
  • Halloween has been called All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, Nutcrack Night, Samhaim, and Summer’s End influenced by the ancient Roman festival Pomona, which celebrated the harvest goddess of the same name.  Many Halloween customs and games that feature apples (such as bobbing for apples) and nuts date from this time.
  • The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips. The term jack-o’-lantern is in origin a term for the visual phenomenon ignis fatuus (lit., “foolish fire”) known as a will-o’-the-wisp in English folklore – uses “wisp” (a bundle of sticks or paper sometimes used as a torch) and the proper name “Will”: thus, “Will-of-the-torch.” The term jack-o’-lantern is of the same construction: “Jack of [the] lantern.”
  • According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.
  • The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.
  • A persistent fear of Halloween is called Samhnainophobia
  • The owl is a popular Halloween image. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and to hear an owl’s call meant someone was about to die.
  • The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown in 2014 by Beni Meier weighing 2323.7 pounds  recorded at the European Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off in Germany.
  • The Guinness world record “pumpkin chuckin” shot is held by a pneumatic cannon dubbed “Big 10 Inch” at 5,545.43 feet (1,690.25 m). Team American Chunker, captained by Brian Labrie of New Hampshire, launched his pumpkin 4,694.68 feet (1,430.94 m) on November 1, 2013, in Bridgeville, Delaware, the longest shot in US event history.
  • The fastest time to carve a pumpkin is 16.47 seconds achieved by Stephen Clarke (USA) on October 31, 2013. The jack-o’-lantern is required to have a complete face, including eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
  • Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.
  • “Souling” is a medieval Christian precursor to modern-day trick-or-treating. On Hallowmas (November 1), the poor would go door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for soul cakes.  The first known mention of trick-or-treating in print in North America occurred in 1927 in Blackie, Alberta, Canada.
  • Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween. Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance and, along with brown and gold, stands for the harvest and autumn. Black is typically a symbol of death and darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that marked the boundaries between life and death.
  • Cats and fires have a permanent place in Halloween folklore. During the ancient festival, bonfires were lit to ensure the sun would return after the long, hard winter. Often Druids were said to throw cats into a fire, often in wicker cages, as part of divination proceedings and also throw the bones of cattle into the flames and, hence, “bone fire” became “bonfire.
  • Scarecrows, a popular Halloween fixture, symbolize the ancient agricultural roots of the holiday.
  • Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween. Other girls believed they would see their boyfriend’s faces if they looked into mirrors while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween.
  • According to tradition, if a person wears his or her clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight.
  • Dressing up as ghouls and other spooks originated from the ancient Celtic tradition of townspeople disguising themselves as demons and spirits. The Celts believed that disguising themselves this way would allow them to escape the notice of the real spirits wandering the streets.
  • The average American will spend over $75 on Halloween totaling over $6 billion dollars.




What does Kowalski Heat Treating and the Bic Disposable Razor have in common?


A quick Google search produced the answer to that question.

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Happy Anniversary to the Bic Disposable Razor!

Kowalski Heat Treat & Bic Disposable Razor are both 40 this year!!

And we both deal with blades. Although ours are way bigger and should never touch your face. You know, like saw blades, swords, knives, mower blades. Get the idea?

A Challenge: Go ahead, shave half of your face, your head or (if you’re so inclined) shave one leg. Send me a photo of the results and a panel of experts (the guys in the shop and my wife) will pick a winner to receive a brand new Kowalski Heat Treat logo mug. And a runner-up will receive a KHT t-shirt for your effort. Have fun!