CT-17 First Peek…

I want to thank all of you crazy people for participating in the CT-17 guessing game–although nobody won the $100,000,000,000 prize, EVERYBODY who contributed to this thread (up until noon 4/15) has a $50 Gift Certificate coming–I thought this was fun.  AND, I have at least two new ideas to pursue!

Should we do this again next year?  What if I bumped first prize up to $100,000,000,000,000?

Oh, I almost forgot; here’s a little clip of the CT-17…our website/store will be updated later today.

Thanks again-for making this all possible.

Now I get to go home and do my taxes. I know I am not getting a refund but we are hoping you do!


42 comments on this post:

  1. .

    I’m speechless.

    Great little video & nice music!


    I can’t think straight.

    It’s like the ground is shaking.


  2. I honestly don’t know why you think your gonna get buckets of crap John? I mean, come on man, look at this tool. Just look at it! It’s so mean looking (in a good way). This is by far the badest looking tool in woodworking I have EVER seen. I can’t wait to read its description to learn about it’s features.. If I was the woodworking Taliban I would be scared of this tool!

  3. John –

    Simply outstanding. We were all completely off base with our guesses.

    The skeletonized design and stainless are beautiful. Glad to see the multi-angle adjustment concepts live again!

    I left our conversation in Chicago after seeing the VP-60 and after using Ron Breese’s planes thinking you really should do more planes. Thanks for delivering so quickly on that reflection!

    None of us saw a plane in the piece parts – that helicopter and the angle clues took us in a different direction. It just goes to show that the whole is so much more than the sum of the parts!

    Anxious to find the buy button.

    – neil

  4. David-

    You are in a minority (which we love!)

    Here’s what will happen;

    There will be a visceral reaction to the price (like always)
    It is grossly over-engineered.
    We are elitist.
    Bridge City customers are delusional idiots for spending more than $5 on a tool…
    and on and on…

    And that is just the start.

    Just wait.

    Some things never change.

    That is why our forums and this blog are happy places!


  5. John,

    Now I know exactly what you mean, not even an hour after you released the CT-17 someone (not going to mention any names here) “Whispered” on his twitter blog -The new Bridge City Block Plane is just ridiculously over-engineered, perhaps that’s why I want one- I guess you wern’t kidding.

  6. So earlier today, I thought that there was no way this could be a hand plane. That assembly of pieces could not possibly be assembled into a handplane. Seriously thought about posting that thought as well. Really glad I didn’t. I am stunned and speechless. BRAVO!!! Can’t wait to see it with my other BCTW stainless bling.

  7. Oh man. All the blood rushed from my head!

    Whew! That is truly one cool tool. I love the animation, John. Beautifully done. You’ve really outdone yourself with this tool. Wonderful work. I’m so proud to know you.

    – Peter

  8. John,

    The new plane ia absolutely stunning! Thanks for the generous and much appreciated gift. This was a lot of fun for most of us, but what about the others. There was Roger who split his creative genius wide open, spilling the good, the bad, the brilliant and the ugly, and of course, Peter left cowering in his own home waiting for the pitch fork wielding Bridge Citizens(sorry guys, I dropped the ball, I couldn’t get Cooters discount and they would only take cash!) I hope you get them the help they need.


    “Thanks” in advance for making me feel confused, dirty and ashamed everytime I need to change the blade!


    It’s great to hear from you again, I’ve been trying to give Peter grief on my own, but just don’t have the “gift” like you do!

    Woodworking Taliban,

    SUCK IT! We love this sweet hand plane, and no you can’t borrow mine.


  9. WOW!!! Was not at ALL expecting it to be a plane! Looks stunning. Sadly, I’m pretty sure they will all be gone by the time I will have enough pennies saved up. Oh well, I’ll just have to live with my massive case of tool lust.

    John, it was nice chatting with you in Chicago on Saturday.

  10. John,

    That is truly a one of a kind, simply magnificent. Any buckets of crap that you may get will be sheer stupidity or envy. WOW!!!!!


  11. John,

    After today I think you may be liable for wearing out the refresh buttons on computers across the nation.

    Can’t wait to give ‘er a try. BTW, if you need a hand w/ the woodworking Taliban, I think they are outnumbered by those of us who worship at the BCTW altar.


  12. Now, I maintain that I was almost correct with my observation that it looked like a heavy-duty safety razor. I had the blade, the shaving action, the blade retaining mechanism, etc. Seriously, I was even going to say it was a plane, but I thought safety razor was kind of funny. Darn sense of humor…

    I’ll just settle for $50,000,000,000!

  13. John,

    I ordered within a minute of receiving my email from Bridge City. 😮 😮 It was actually far less than I thought it would be given the massive “over-engineering”. 😮 Not that I am anxious but when next week should my CT-17 ship? 😮


  14. Thanks Fred!

    CT-16’s are being shipped as we speak. Check your email for the tracking link in the next day or so.


  15. John,

    I know it’s been a long day(s).
    Unless I’m missing the humor……
    Isn’t the Ct-16’s that are being shipped as we speak?
    I did get my notice today.


    ps. I’m still stunned.

  16. I just crapped my pants… thanks John!
    You are one sick puppy and that is one sick tool!

    While I AM disappointed that it isn’t some sort of gyroscopic 3D scribing tool, I have no doubt that is the radical block plane I have ever seen.

    The only crap you deserve is a crap-load of orders!
    Congratulations, you knocked the ball out of the park with this one- job well done!


  17. John,

    Didn’t you read my last, over-long, discombobulated, disjointed, disconnected, ambiguous post? If you read closely, I predicted how all the parts go together. I trusted you, John, to read between the lines as I didn’t want to give it away and steal your much-deserved thunder.

    This is one sleek looking tool with a cool skeletonized look. You talked earlier about how every part had been made as lean as possible. What does the tool weigh?

    I think I just might get buckets of crap for this, but I’m going to mention the other high-end design stainless steel block plane on the market – the Veritas NX60.

  18. “I think I just might get buckets of crap for this, but I’m going to mention the other high-end design stainless steel block plane on the market – the Veritas NX60”


    Your post was approved in the hopes that you share who you work for–fair enough? To start, I work for Bridge City Tool Works…

    That said, I remain a fan of your work. Your motive? Not so much.

    For those that are curious, here’s a completely free link to the Veritas NX60.

    And Chris, if this makes no sense to you, I invite you to wear a Dallas Cowboys jersey to Philadelphia Eagles home game…

    I will post the CT-17 weight in a follow-up on my blog.


    PS: Let’s keep this place happy–please keep your comments to yourself regarding this post.

  19. Chris,

    Regarding your post # 20 above,
    and the referenced post #21 from the “Last Clue”
    you know the one where you mentioned the tulip part as holding a pencil which is now evident to be the adjuster knob to the plane.
    How could you say that you didn’t want to give “it” away?
    Why should John read between the lines of what was evidently quite vague?
    What’s with all the cryptic talk?
    To tell you truthfully without any “hidden agendas” your last post does not come off as being,,,,,,shall i say – sincere?

    Everyone here participating are true tool junkies and we’re all aware, perhaps too much so of what else is out there.
    There’s a certain freshness and creativity that abounds here through a camaraderie of spirit.
    Get with the program!


  20. I get it. It’s a Transformer, right? It turns into a Hummer, then a jet plane, then an Inca Jointer before settling as the worlds first NASA designed block plane.

    I gotta feature this on the handtoolmakers site, really. Old Msr’s Bailey and Trout would be jealous as all getout.

    Do you plan on hiring Shia Lebeouf for the advertising campaign? Can I trade you a few old musty books for one?

    Way to go,

  21. John,

    I’ve watched the video(way too many times!) I’ve studied the photos, but I still can’t figure out what part of the plane you showed in the very first teaser. Also, how much did peter actually know, did he just see the translucent parts or did he get you to spill all the beans?

    Congratulations on a great design. I can’t wait to put it through it’s paces, yes, this one will be a user!


  22. John,

    I was wondering if you could answer some of the clues in more detail now.

    1.) The first picture, what exactly was it used for on what parts?

    2.) How exactly are the magnets used (what are they fixed to) and where do those screws go?

    3.) The very first clue was a picture of a small part that we couldn’t make out, which part was that?

    If you go back and read the guesses you will find out just how way off we were and how funny some of them are now that weren’t funny at first. (I’m sure you know this)

    I was totally convinced that this was a new invention and I even posted that. With all the crazy parts I was just sure it was! Well, I guess I’m not that far off, you didn’t invent the block plane but you could say you invented the first block plane with the mechanisms you’re using?

    I haven’t ordered one yet but I will! Regarding the price, I am actually blown away at how much it costs in a good way. I was thinking it was going to be $1500-$2000 based on the fact that it is stainless steel, all the crazy looking parts that needed machining, and Peter said to start saving up. It’s at a nice price John.


  23. Just to clarify, the NX60 is not made of stainless steel, it’s nickel-resist ductile iron. Do I own one? Nope. And now I’m really glad I saved my money for the CT-17. Now I just have to cancel the family vacation (okay, I’ll admit – we have cheap vacations!), and Gillian’s orthodonture (she won’t mind not chewing properly for a few more years), and I’ll see if I have enough scraped together for this gorgeous, amazing tool.

    Actually, I agree with Dave. I thought – given the amount of tooling and the number of specialized parts, that it would come in at about twice the price you set, John. I, for one, am really pleased at the price. And I know that – like all your tools sitting on my workbench – the CT-17 will draw my work to a higher level. Just by looking at it. (Which I do all day, because it’s the desktop on my computers! Lucky me!)

    – Peter

  24. John,

    Ok, about that “penny”…….

    “And as a gesture of good luck, buried in the body of each CT-17 is a U.S. penny………”

    When you embed it does that mean that we don’t see it?
    If we do see it – heads or tails?
    If it is heads what would the date on the penny be?
    The year of conception?

    hey, the concept of “luck” brings in very strong concepts….
    Divine Providence, Superstition –
    The Aztecs, Mayans and the Incas all had strong beliefs regarding rituals and luck and the relationship between them both – and lets not forget our early American Shamans!

    I love the concept – I’m just a little curious about it’s depths.

    …and bringing this back around to Bridge City,
    in the past when you did this have some of your customers asked if they could send you their own “lucky” penny or a penny from the year of the birth of the user?

    I didn’t mean to start anything here…. (heh)


  25. Folks;

    I will post next week a couple of pics that will explain all the clues–including the colorful “pick-up sticks” image. We also have a really cool pic of the stereo lithography prototype sitting next to one of my helicopters–you will see what inspired me.

    Regarding the penny; it will be housed in it’s own little cavity directly beneath the iron–it will pop it’s head each time you remove the iron. We used to do the specific year (CT-17 is the 2009 edition) and we had to sift through a lot of pennies to match the year. (I am not going to guarantee for the CT-17 that the penny will be a 2009 penny, considering that we plan on making a couple of million CT-17’s that is a big hassle…) It will not be removable–so if you have your very own special penny we can ship your CT-17 naked.

    We also think for solid stainless steel the price is appropriate–FYI, the billet for the body alone is between $60-70–the stuff is expensive, but the perfect material for this tool.

    Want to hear something weird? The CT-17 is ancient news here…wait till you see what is coming in the fall!

    Thanks for all the encouragement and orders too!


    Oh, one last thing, I will also post next week where you can get a hi-res image (like the one Peter has) for your desktop wallpaper if you so choose. Sounds as if my post should be titled, “What did Peter know and when did he know it?”

  26. Bwa ha haaa! What did Peter know?!?

    If you really want to know – check out John’s blog. The January 28 posting. Look at post number 13 (Feb. 4). Am I prescient, or what?!?

    – Peter

    P.S. No, John had not showed/told me anything prior to that.

  27. John,

    I don’t really consider the two block planes competition. They are completely different, aside from being shiny. You may reveal my other employer if you wish… I believe you know who that is.


    Regarding my post #20, I was just trying to get that $1,000,000,000 prize. Just being silly, tongue-in-cheek. Apparently, I failed. Sorry. I think it was evident, as you pointed out, that I had no idea what the CT-17 really was.

  28. My mention of the NX60 was just a comparison of how people reacted to the two planes – “Wow, that’s beautiful and shiny” and “Can I afford one?”. That is all I meant. Really.

  29. John,

    You will appreciate this. I have a couple monitors at my desk like you do and now the CT-17 is the background image for both of them. (Michael was kind enough to provide us with a picture at TalkFestool) Well, As someone was walking by my desk they saw the picture and their jaw dropped. “That is a bad looking tool!” and the geek in him said “That is a awesome rendering too!”. This is coming from someone who knows nothing about Bridge City but everything about woodworking. His name is Sam and he loves the CT-17, I told him everything about it. I think I just turned Sam into a fan of Bridge City!

  30. John,

    I have to echo not only my own thoughts but many others here and that is I too thought it would be 50-100% more expensive than it actually pans out to be. PLEASE, do not get me wrong, I am not complaining and in fact am very, very happy with the price. Again as with everyone else, I am just blown away by what you have created.


  31. I guess I’m never in the right place at the right time. I guessed over on talkFestool March 1:

    “I would guess some sort of Black Chrrrooomme Plane. Perhaps an adjustable angle block plane? So useful. And Sawwwwweeeet, too!”

    Oh well.


  32. See, Alex? That’s why we have to get John to start reading talkFestool more!

    Or, I suppose you could just post on his blog instead… Clearly you’re prescient too. Maybe you and I should get together and predict what John’s next tool is going to be…

    – Peter

  33. Alex,

    I’m guessing that you need to divide your visiting time over here a bit more!


    A while back you mentioned about working out some thoughts to aid in rip cuts on the JMP – could the motion of the cam arm that holds the iron be the “key” to the arm that would hold the workpiece on the JMP table? (of course the JMP base of that “arm” would be a modified version of the blue angle stock that holds the wood fence at the moment.

    That “arm’s” vise action would have to incorporate the different heights up to the max of what the JMP could handle.

    And yes I know the holding Jigs are challenges for us to figure out -and I’m all for that.

    I’m just asking what your reflections are on the subject since you did state that you had some thoughts on the subject back when

    next – on the subject of older memories,,,,,,

    On the March 16th update you touched on the status of several upcoming and reruns. (and i thought there was a later one -but I couldn’t find it)
    What’s the status of the updated Angle-master?
    I can’t seem to find those blog posts either.
    Did I happen to see that in a parallel Bridge City universe?


  34. Roger;

    Using a toggle type clamp on the JMP does not work well. They are so strong they bend the tables–at least that was my experience in the early prototypes–this is what prompted us to adopt the trap clamp concept.

    The JMP, like a chop saw, is not a good choice for rips. That said, Jameel is getting awesome rips on his decorative inlays for his lutes. I think he is going to post pics in the JMP forum soon (he is writing a magazine article and needs to honor that commitment first).

    Yes, we have lots of stuff in the pipeline–as you will soon see.

    Lastly, we are working on powerless rip cutting. Can’t say much… 🙂


    PS: For obvious reasons, you need to get back in your shop!

  35. Nic, snazzy, lookin’ plane John, and I don’t think John Deere will be unhappy now that it’s been unveiled!

  36. John,

    Regarding the toggle clamp,
    I’m aware of the table bending capabilities.
    That was why I referenced it coming off the “blue angle stock” that holds the wooden fence. In that way the “pressure” is distributed over the width of the table. In fact stabilizing the table when clamped – providing the table is trued out to start off with. (Unlike the toggle clamps that I used in your “back room” when I was up in Portland – which I agree has a tendency to bend.

    …..and you’re right I do need to spend more time in the shop!


    The past couple of weeks was fun –
    When could we expect the next mystery tour?


  37. Wow Guys,

    I missed the last part of the Sherlock Holmes excercise – I was stumped on the computer graphic! That image kept popping up in my spare time – I was convinced it had something to do with an articulating lay out tool. the subsequent pieces didn’t get me back on track either….especially the adjustment knob. I do have a couple of post comments if I may?

    1.) John, thanks for finding a way to include your devoted customers in your “unveiling” process. It is really fun to participate in this – your tools are more than just tools to some of us. They are also more than “collectables”. The great thing is we actually get to create with these creations!!

    2.) It seems the penny will finally “show its face” in one of your CTs. That is kind of cool also.

    3.) everyone has proclaimed this tool a masterpiece already, so I won’t repeat all of that, but using the SS tools is really nice. I take out the tools for a project, use the heck out of them, and clean them up again for storage. The SS tools make the clean up and storing a snap. I LIKE that feature which people haven’t mentioned much.

    4.) I really wanted to go to Chicago to your event, but couldn’t make it – maybe the next time you’re in the midwest I can. I would really like to meet some of the people who frequent this site. It would be a lot of fun.

    5.) Thanks for your “gift” of $50.00 also. I think it will make the walnut box into my sights…


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