The Tool Too Sexy For Mass Production–R Rated!

Something about this tool awakens prurient interests…at least mine anyway–I feel just like I did approximately 50 years ago when a band of misguided 10 year olds found their first Playboy magazine at the local illegal dumping site…

We have been playing with the prototypes here for a couple of months and this tool is way cool.  Study the pic below because we have made a beneficial change to the 18″ blade we think you will really like.

CS18v2 Web

Here’s what is different; the 18″ blade is unique and has some new functionality that will save you time. The bottom scale is in inches (32nd’s) and regardless of what hand you hold the square in, you can set the long leg to whatever distance you desire from the end of the blade.

The top scale features centering rules on each face, one metric and the other imperial.  I would not use the imperial centering rule for finding centers, I would  use this scale with straight leg aligned on 9″ (zero on the center scale) and as such, converts the square to a killer hook rule–reads from the leg out as opposed to the end of the blade in.

Opposite of the imperial centering scale is the metric (.5mm) centering scale which reads either left or right from the center. This is what I would use to find centers, i.e., 42.5 on the left and 42.5 on the right and you know center. This is way easier than reading 2-23/32″ on the right and 2-23/32″ on the left.

In addition, for those of you who are trying your best to wean yourself from the lunacy of imperial measurements, with the long leg set to 9″ on the lower scale, you can use the top scales to quickly convert between imperial and metric. This is cooler than you think.

We are also including in the kit a standard 12″ blade, all imperial because, hey this is America damit! (Not my view, but we need to pay rent here…)

Milled from solid stainless steel and graced with a black chrome web, this is the next tool in our Bridge City Essentials series. We will begin accepting pre-production orders as soon as we quantify our costs in a couple of days.

Now, I don’t have a tree-house anymore, but IF I DID, this tool would join Ms. June, 1963 as one of my most cherished belongings.

Your thoughts?


15 comments on this post:

  1. What an awesome tool. I enjoy buying tools that have more than 1 function and this certainly has that feature. Will the blades also be solid stainless as well? Can you describe a hook rule? Never heard of one or maybe we call it something else?

    Im willing to bet many production runs will take place for this tool, im very excited about this.

    FYI, I can barely read the different rules in the picture.

  2. If you look at the top square and the top edge of the blade, you can see the “Zero” of the scale just to the left of the long leg of the square body. It is directly opposite the 9″ setting below it. Now imagine sliding the head over to the 9″ setting on the lower scale and locking the head. The top scale now acts as a hook rule, meaning that the long leg is now the “hook” or solid reference for zero–width measurements are made on the top scale up to 9″.

    I am thinking about a new classification for tools after this design… how about “Tree-House Worthy”?


    PS: I made this image the background image on my workstation–looks cool. If you want a free copy, let us know (
    CS18 v2 Background Image

  3. Thanks for bringing me up tp speed John.

    The photo above, is that an actual photo or a computer rendering?

    PS – Ms June of 1963 is super sexy =)

  4. Besides beholding its obvious beauty, would I, as a metric woodworker, have any real use of this tool?

    /Bengt in Stockholm, Sweden.

  5. Bengt: We are working on an all metric solution. The problem for us is the minimum quantity–right now we would end up with a 32 year supply of metric blades–something we are unwilling to do in this (or any) economic climate. But we are trying….


  6. Hi John,

    I have the original CS-18 that got under a minor plumbing leak several years ago, leaving a tiny but annoying pit in the blade. Will these new blades work on an “old school” CS-18(12) and will you be offering the blades individually?

    Thanks, Rutager

  7. Rutager;

    The new blades are .008″ thicker than the old–I don’t think they will fit. We might have one around here… I will check.

    What we are going to do with this tool is offer one 12″ blade and one 18″. It also so looks like we will also be able to offer a complete metric set as well. Complete details coming forth tomorrow.



  8. Wow,
    Honestly, this tool really is sexy. It looks really good with the 18″ blade. I’m up for buying a tool with a complete set of the blades – INCLUDING THE METRIC VERSION. I’m somewhere between an imperial and a metric woodworker. I work for a French company and have to routinely convert between psi and bar, tons and metric tonnes, gpm and M3/hr, etc. It is a real brain bender. When I’m in my woodshop I try REALLY hard not to bend my brain. I found (just as you suggest) that when using a centering rule metric was WAY easier. When doing small projects, I always look for metric scales now. I haven’t done a big project yet with all metric – mostly because my 6 ft rule is imperial, so I always start out the project with good ‘ol feet and inches. I have to admit that when I first heard of this, I thought it would be an “upscale” CT-12. Now that I see it, it is a whole new tool in looks feel and function. The array of blades makes this superb. Damn John – keep up the good work.


  9. I got my first black chrome today. Very nice marking gauge. This is good enough for my Christmas present. It will be nice to get the CS-18 in the dreary depths of winter….


  10. Dennis;

    Please don’t ever post that the reason for a divorce is black chrome…but if you did, I of all people understand.

    Happy Holidays!


  11. I’m blessed with the best possible wife. She really does NOT understand my love of these hand tools, but on our 30th wedding anniversary, she called me to inform me what she wanted for our annerversary (and God – I forgot about it)…She wanted a dozen worms to go fishing with me…It really doesn’t get better than that!

    Happy holidays John


  12. DJ: From all of us who have nothing better to do than hang around this totally awesome blog, congratulations to your wife with worms. I agree, nothing is better!

    All the best to you and yours too–please let us know if you caught your limit!


    PS: I just know Ms. Williams, my high school English teacher would cringe at my crassness. But, it is important to laugh and today I am the funniest guy I know!

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