The Tribute product line attempts to reproduce some of the products originally conceived by Per Madsen Design around 1984 in San Francisco. Tribute was chosen to acknowledge the genius, and timelessness, of Per Madsen’s original design.
I had bought 4 record racks, a top and a base from Per in 2005 and when I went back for more discovered that Per had retired and the Rackit products were no longer available. Pretty bummed. Searching various forums, I found many more like me that were lamenting the demise of what many consider the best storage solution for a variety of media.
Mulling the idea on and off for a couple of years I made the decision to make racks not just for myself but for others too.
TwoCan HiFi was an idea based on an idea for bricks-and-mortar store specializing in used, classic audio equipment. That never materialized but the name stuck.
Based in Portland, Oregon in the beautiful Pacific northwest of America, we are located in what was originally built as a furniture factory in 1900. The Doernbecher Manufacturing Company was established by Frank Silas Doernbecher. His name graces the Doernbecher Childrens Hospital at OHSU which he funded with the fortune made from selling furniture.
I believe the image above is from the 1920’s and the factory included all the buildings in the foreground. The original production line was said to be five miles long. The trains, all freight now, still run by several times a day just feet from the shop.
One odd, if not spooky, coincidence occurred a month or so after I moved the shop into this building. I was talking to another woodworker, Elliot Apatov, and he showed me around his shop and the projects he was working on. When in my space I took a record rack down from a shelf and Elliot said ‘Per Madsen!’, I thought that was cool, recognizing the product.
This is where the rabbit hole comes in; back in 1984 Elliot rented space in his shop to a woodworker just starting out – his name? Per Madsen. Yes, the very same. Elliot’s girlfriend at the time even worked for Per for awhile.
Per visited Portland at the end of 2014 and it was great to meet the man who so many fondly recall. Still living in San Francisco, he runs programs and events for the Bay Area Woodworkers Association.
Elliot ‘likes’ bridges and cranes and teaches summer camps building large scale models of them while imparting design and math concepts. Check out his website at Portlandjib.