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Thread: Bridge City Tools

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fripp Island, SC and Darien, IL
    Posts
    18
    This fellow seems to have had a number of BCT, and none of them appear to have been over-used.
    https://www.estatesales.net/NC/Greensboro/27408/2129661

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by William Lyman View Post
    This fellow seems to have had a number of BCT, and none of them appear to have been over-used.
    https://www.estatesales.net/NC/Greensboro/27408/2129661
    Wow, that's some estate sale. Most of the estate sales I've gone to around here have junk tools.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    The folks at FWW are trumpeting the soon to be released Dual Angle Bench Planes from Bridge City Tools. Scary money. I am an extreme tool nerd. I love precision. These planes (and other BCT products) exude substance, quality, and luxury. Am I the only guy that considers them an elegant and horrifically expensive solution desperately seeking a problem? No disrespect to BCT.
    Certainly as tools for producing furniture for profit they don't make any sense. No reasonable business person would spend that much money for something which has very reasonable alternatives at much lower prices.

    But if you look at the tools as art, they make more sense - if you want that kind of art.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #34
    Hi -

    I have a few non-connected observations/comments I’ll throw into the mix...

    Firstly, Jack Xu is a woodworking tool enthusiast, and he wants to express that through how he runs his business. He is driven by a desire to produce tools that will endure, and that will be distinct. (Full disclosure - he is our Veritas distributor in China). He is justifiably proud of the work he does, and is a gentleman to work with.

    BCT tools have a design aesthetic that reflects John Economaki’s personal philosophy at varying points in time. He is a brilliant designer, and has a strong “take” on everything he does... It would be unreasonable to expect that his choices and philosophy will be congruent with the entire market. John walks the walk though, and uses his tools.

    Pricing is often central to many discussions about tools. I have difficulty with the designation of makers/manufacturers being labeled as “boutique” or “Luxury” suppliers. Each of us has principles, beliefs, and a design philosophy that drives what we make. That may not reflect the same value for each person, especially when function and utility are used as the prime determinants of value. Unlike the fashion industry, the price of tools seems to more closely reflect the actual cost of production.

    Drive by - after about a 2 year wait, I just took delivery of a Sauer and Steiner K13. Not only is it a work of art, but a functional tool that will see limited ( but very purposeful) use. I do not expect that it will produce a finer finish than could be achieved by a tool costing far far less. But, that’s not the point of the purchase. The value to me lies elsewhere.

    I certainly get that these tools are not for everyone...but that alone does not invalidate them as a legitimate choice.

    Cheers,

    Rob
    (Nursing a cold up at the lake...Happy Canada Day weekend!)
    Last edited by Rob Lee; 06-28-2019 at 11:48 AM.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,319
    Oh no.
    Broken seals?

    That degrades value to "serious" collectors.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    53
    Kinda like an expensive watch, keeps time like a $10 quartz and shows the owner has significant means. If ya got it, flaunt it!

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Posts
    92
    Ok, I had to look. Yes, looks like every plane made by Sauer and Steiner are works of art . . . Not sure I'd ever use one more than just picking it up and stroking it like a puppy when I'm having a bad day . . . but they are definitely eye-candy.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,304
    @Rob Lee - I agree with your sentiments regarding BCT design and aesthetics. The BCT stuff is really well done. The craftsmanship is above top shelf. The planes are very different mousetraps. Better mousetraps is arguable, but they do offer a different solution. As to the increased utility of blades that can be reversed, that’s lost on me.

    The Sauer and Shreiner planes are also amazing. I think I would be inclined to go that direction if investing that kind of coin. The dynamic there is completely different to me. Modern interpretations of classic designs. Beauty and utility. I remember seeing an article on some of the last panel planes he was going to make. They were stunning. Infills have always had a special place in my heart, even though they’ll probably never grace my bench.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Danstrom View Post
    Kinda like an expensive watch, keeps time like a $10 quartz and shows the owner has significant means. If ya got it, flaunt it!
    Actually, I wear $10 watches....Casio f91w....unless I have a fitbit on....

  10. #40
    Hi Rob,

    I don’t think there is a finer maker for planes in the world than Konrad...a couple arguably equal, but different. Yes, they are pricey - not an impulse item, yet many people spend that much on aluminum rims for a car. ( or 10 really really good bottles of scotch... )

    That plane is one for generations to appreciate.

    Cheers,

    Rob

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    500
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Lee View Post
    ... Unlike the fashion industry, the price of tools seems to more closely reflect the actual cost of production.
    Amen to that!

    But I can still agree with your sentiments Rob.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    518
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Lee View Post
    Hi -
    Drive by - after about a 2 year wait, I just took delivery of a Sauer and Steiner K13. Not only is it a work of art, but a functional tool that will see limited ( but very purposeful) use. I do not expect that it will produce a finer finish than could be achieved by a tool costing far far less. But, that’s not the point of the purchase. The value to me lies elsewhere.
    Holy cow, those are stunningly beautiful planes. Definitely works of art, and if I could find the coin for one I would not hesitate. And like you I would use it, perhaps sparingly, but it would for sure see some wood. 2 years of waiting well spent.
    2019-06-28_20h22_19.jpg

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    DuBois, PA
    Posts
    1,666
    Rob-had no idea you liked scotsch! Do you also smoke an occasional cigar?
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  14. #44
    The trouble with a lot of these makers is that they really do not know much about how planes work. The double iron plane has been with us for more than two and a half centuries, but apparently few makers have taken the trouble to learn how to use it. They have not seemed to notice that a lower cutting angle gives a finer surface. They think there is some advantage to having a heavy plane. There is not. They think there is an advantage to having thick irons. There is not.

    The Bridge City plane has a weight that is more than double the weight of my Bailey smoothing plane, yet the maker calls it "lightweight". It is two pounds heavier than my 16 inch jack plane. He claims it is so versatile that it "may be the only bench plane you'll ever need." Yet it does not fit into a traditional kit of bench planes, and one must wonder if he even knows how a skilled artisan would use the four or five planes in this kit. The iron is .225 inches thick, almost twice as thick as an 18th century iron and maybe twice a Bailey iron. What in the world is he thinking, that he knows more than the more serious makers? The plane iron is extremely short, unlike the centuries old standard of seven or eight inches which would make it easier to keep a constant sharpening angle.

    According to his blog, Konrad Sauer sharpened all his planes on Shapton 15 or 16K stones in his hotel room the evening before the second day of the 2009 Woodworking in America show. The next morning I was the first person at his stand and tried a smoother on a sample of wood I had brought. The resulting surface was good but not as fine as the surface on the other side of the sample which had been planed by a type 11 Bailey. Why was it not as good? Was it the steel? Was it the heat treatment? Was it the bed angle? Was it sharpening media? Was it sharpening technique? All I know is that the plane did not perform like I was used to and it was so heavy that it would have been awkward to use in a real world working situation.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    859
    We all love to use the best tools made for the purpose. We believe it will bring out the master craftsman lurking within! The money spent may never be justified by the use of the tool, instead the smile inside one’s head when using it brings ‘inner peace’ and hopefully a better result.

    Warren your points are well taken. Choosing between the art and function can be a challenge. I am a function guy so love reviews of gorgeous tools that many have got to work beautifully. As double iron planes, my Clifton’s have a chip breaker that is engineering perfection, right where it counts. Yes the blade is a bit thicker and the plane heavy. The weight carries the plane through a stroke evenly so has some purpose and gives me exercise and a great deal of pleasure.

    I agree lots of stuff is overdone and offers no improved function, sometimes worse. That is where forums like this shine and the truly good stuff applauded, regardless of cost.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

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