Rain, The Holidays, and My Ineptitude…

Dear Drivel Starved Nation;

Two weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night bothered by a couple of design decisions I made. This is not unusual, but it is rare when it happens AFTER we have announced a new product.

From the very beginning of Bridge City in 1983, I have designed every tool to meet my needs as a user. As some of you may know, I used to make my living designing and making furniture. Some of “my needs” may never surface in the realm of avocational woodworking, but in most cases, the extra thought is what makes a good tool a great tool.

Several weeks ago we introduced four new dado profiles for the HP-10 Convertible Plane and your favorite Tool Potentate made a decision to limit the depth of cut to what is common with tongue and groove joinery.  On the surface of my tiny brain, this seemed logical.

It is actually stupid.

Without going into all the reasons why it is stupid, we are changing the depth of cut for all four dado profiles (0.0625″, 0.125″, 0.1875″, 0.250″) to 0.250″.

The ability to choose a depth for the smaller widths is a big deal and controlling the depth is done with a new skid system that fastens to the rear sole. Moving forward, there are new profiles coming where this new skid system will be required. (FYI, maximum depth of cut for the HP-10 is .250″. With a bed angle of 20 degrees, as depth increases the mouth moves forward, creating a practical limitation.)

For those of you who ordered the dado kits, the new skid system pictured below is $49. Unless you call and scream at us, we are adding it to all the orders and it will appear on the payment that occurs the day we ship – so you need do nothing.  You will be receiving an email this week explaining the change. Here’s a pic;

HP10 w Depth Skids Attached 700 Bridge City Tool Works


Here is the setup with the guide fence attached;

HP10 with Depth Skids Bridge City Tool Works

Here’s the kit.

HP10 Depth Skid Kit 700 Bride City Tool Works

Rain. Holy cow, have we had rain. I have a weather station on my roof and we have logged over 12″ of rain in the last seven days. Of course I wish this was happening down south in California where it is desperately needed.

I don’t know if I am going to post again before the year is out and in case I don’t, I want to thank you all for the terrific year we have had this year, our 32nd.  We hope you enjoy the holiday time with your family.

On a personal note, Consuelo will be taking a maternity leave sometime in the next 10 days or so. Her temporary replacement is Ashley, who just happens to be my daughter, the mother of grandson “Speedy”.  When you call in, please tell her good things about her Dad, she still doesn’t believe I have any socially redeeming values…

Speaking of “Speedy”, one tradition in the Economaki clan is the annual football game between the Universtiy of Washington and Oregon State University – it is our defacto “Dad’s Weekend” until I croak. My son is a UW grad and my daughter is an OSU grad.

This year was Speedy’s first game, and at 10 months of age, his enthusiasm is contagious;

Speedy's First Game

Speedy has yet to grasp the gravity of being behind 45-0 at the half – a trait worth remembering.

Happy Holidays DSN!



7 comments on this post:

  1. Sweet-looking depth skids! I’m glad you went with the quarter-inch depth on all the dado profiles – I’m betting I’ll find it useful.

    Condolences on the astounding amounts of rain. Something that might be slightly comforting: El Niños are usually followed by La Niñas, which should give you a balmy winter next winter. But with the way the climate is changing, who knows?!?

    Nice to see a Beaver fan so enthusiastic. He’s in for a lifetime of disappointment…

    — Peter

  2. John,

    When it rains it pours; MN has been getting a lot of rain as well- temps have stayed near forty keeping it from being snow. My backyard is 50 percent mud now as is my dog!

    I like the depth skid- I like the fact that you are hanging something off of the sole even better. Might not matter now, but once the idea has been breeched, it opens up a new way of making the plane do things, what those thing might be, who knows?

    Happy Holidays,

  3. John,

    One more thought: I got to use the Chopstick master and that little plane had plastic depth skids which in my opinion seemed to be gentler on the material it rode on- what is your take?


  4. Rutager-

    Thanks. Agreed, hanging off the rear sole has never been done before (I could be wrong, and it won’t be long to find out otherwise…)


  5. Part of any design criteria is understanding that nothing lasts forever. Another way of looking at it is something has to fail. Others may see it as “shit happens”.

    If something is going to fail (stink like hell) ideally, it should be the least expensive part to replace.

    I want the acetyl depth skids to fail before the CSM body.

    “Plastic” has it’s advantages in that regard. But there are other factors.

    Gauling occurs when materials of identical properties are rubbed together… It is not pretty.

    Draw your own metaphorical conclusions.

    Good question.

    I think.


  6. Now, I just need to remember to call up Ashely in a few weeks to remind her of my Founders Circle Platinum membership with the 25% discount!

  7. John, I offer the following *constructively*:

    1) I was examining attachment hardware for the depth skids on the HP-9 and was wondering if it would be fair to think of a way that involved fewer small bits and fine motor skills?

    2) Are the washers stock sizes? I can imagine one rolling and hiding forever. It’d be nice to know if we could replace them if necessary.

    Pestilently, Dave

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