I’m Back, Someone Posted My Bail!

Drivel Starved Nation!

It’s been awhile since my last post and you need to know why. I’ve been incarcerated buried with work.

This past January I finished most of our orders with the exceptions of the countersinks and Pencil Precision (more on that later). The first two weeks of February I was on my annual work retreat and the last two weeks I was on vacation with my children and all three grandkids. So. Much. FUN!

March has sailed by, the countersinks all shipped the first week, then the heat in the skunk lab died, so I didn’t get anything done in the shop because it was too damn cold (it snowed here in March–weird). The heat was restored last week after I paid the rent repeated complaints to the landlord. Nothing like threatening to withhold rent works better for instant results!

Sometime in the next 10 weeks I am headed to Nanjing for a month to train the new BCTW manufacturing team on some new products that nobody needs you haven’t seen yet. And if all goes to plan, they will be released globally before years end. That is all I can say now–I’ve been told to keep my big mouth shut muzzled!

Oh, now I know why March sailed by, I completely redesigned the CenterScribe; here’s an image;

I now consider this tool as good as it is going to get on my watch. In this version, the mortise/tenon attachment is now integrated into the tool, and is no longer an overpriced accessory. There is something damn cool about instantly laying out a mortise or tenon that is dead accurate and centered regardless of the stock thickness… Anyway, look for this to be in stock later this year. I’m also going to update our awesome doweling jig this year. These updates are complete design rebuilds as all of the tools moving forward are converted to metric dimensions. I wish I had converted to metric 50 years ago, the imperial endearment system is, in my opinion, just stupid. And yes, it is endeared, likely by you and most of the Drivel Starved Nation.

I am taking my time with Pencil Precision because I am still hunting down a reliable source for straight grain Port Orford Cedar. I can share that the pencil industry has most of the domestic timber all tied up, so I am working on a work around. I’ll solve it, but that is where that job is at the moment.

I am redesigning the HP-6 body for the the future. It will be backward compatible with all of the previous profile kits, and the kits moving forward will be compatible with your existing bodies. Same for the HP-10, although I am not re-designing the foxtail body. For those of you who do not know what the HP-6 is, it is a plane with interchangeable molding profiles, as well as dados and tenons.

I actually don’t think I have ever spent more time in jail been more busy with work than now, and that is somewhat of a surprise to me. Good thing I love what I do, as my other interests are so much more important can wait. I am still teaching myself how to cook and it is going slow. How slow you ask? I have worn out 2 smoke detectors in the past year…

Sometime later this year, I will close the skunk lab and when that happens, you won’t believe what is headed over to eBay. I’ll keep you posted in this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog.

Lastly, this past weekend I took grandson “Speedy” for a walk. He asked me, “Grandpa, how come I can hear you breathing but I can’t hear me breathing?”

-Your Favorite Tool Potentate

17 comments on this post:

  1. The original centerscribe us one of my fave BCTW tools. That said i really excited to get this new version! Glad you’re still reinventing the wheel.

  2. Looking forward to new HP-6 goodies. I have two bodies now. I guess I’ll need a third :-).

  3. Excellent stuff with the new website. I sent an enquiry (email) regarding the chopstick master v2 and when it might be back in stock but have not received a reply yet, I only ask as the note on the new website says everything is in stock.


  4. That Centerscribe with the built-in mortise gauge is brilliant! I use mine all the time, and it’s fussy to get on/off, and adjusted (particularly with my failing eyesight). I love the idea of marrying the two.

    Something I would also love on the CS (though I’m not sure it’s possible) would be a scribing point in the middle of the body. Sometimes it’s just not convenient to draw the center at the end of a piece of wood, when the scribing point is only at one end – there’s no purchase with the sides to accurately place the point. Having one in the middle might solve that. Although, just supplying a metal point that we could put in the pencil holder might work just as well…

    I’m looking forward to seeing the new HP-6. The last one was pretty special. It will be interesting to see how you’ve improved it. And I’m sure Ruatger needs one or two more…

    Hard to believe that Speedy is walking and talking. And that you have two other grandkids! Wow! G turned 21 last week – it’s amazing how time flies!

    Sounds like you might want to look into some sort of cooking that doesn’t involve heat. It’ll save wear and tear on your smoke detectors.

  5. Time does fly Peter. I can’t believe Gillian is 21, holy cow!

    You know, the our original CS had a center mounted secondary scribe and I can’t remember why I removed it in subsequent versions. I think I will put it back for this next, and last version!

    The grand kids are exhausting!


  6. The funny thing about Mark Strahler, the new President of BCTW is he thought my business model of pre-orders was crazy. Now, they can’t keep up either!

    The hold-up on v2 Chopstick Masters is a change in supplier who makes the bodies. That is all I know for the moment. I am headed over to Nanjing the last of May and I will get the details.


  7. Hey John,

    I have a HP6V2 body, and wanted to add some profiles. I have tried to get information about availability through the website, but haven’t received any response. Do you have any idea whether any of the profiles will be offered again at some point?



  8. Hi John,
    Great weather today out here at Pete”s Mountain Rd and Schaeffer Rd. Finally!! Love all my tools, thanks for your dedication through the years. My grandson and granddaughter start every sentence with “Grandpa, remember….” even when they are asking me a question about something from the day before. Ouch!

  9. Thanks for the kind words! Agreed, the weather is nice!

    I love being a Grandpa but they run circles around me and it is exhausting!


  10. John
    Have you seen the poor quality of the chop stick master V2. It is advertised to include the HP-8 yet you get a watered down version with plastic skids.
    here are some comments I have on it:
    After reading reviews about bridge city tool works quality and workmanship, I expected a lot more.
    First, plastic for the depth skids and depth sled. These won’t last long with the extremely short pivot pin.
    Second, the manual states to attach the pivot depth sled to the skids using the hole closest to the opening in the plane sole. Mine has the pin installed and it is so deep it barely engages the sled. When in use minimal resistance causes it to jump out causing premature wear to the sled hole.
    Third, rear edge of throat plate is curled up ?
    Fourth, the rear hook is plastic, the manual states that it is machined aluminum
    Fifth, the depth stop for making the pyramidal finial would not tighten, found the clamping screw inserted backwards.
    Sixth, the blade depth adjustment screw has 2.5 turns of backlash, and this is supposed to be a precision tool.
    Last, the kit is advertised to have chop stick oil, an empty bottle “REALLY”.

    I watched your tutorial on CMv2 and saw the HP-8 with what appeared to be aluminum skids, the Hp-8 is why I purchased, i wanted to try a Bridge city tool before pre-ordering the HP-9.

    All of this screams poor quality.

  11. Gregory,

    Sorry for this late response. Your post was caught in a spam filter that I have been ignoring unfortunately.

    I picked acetyl for the depth skids for the lubricity component. I don’t think anybody is going to wear these out.

    If you have an issue with the pin depth, please contact the Montclair office and ask for Hung. He will get you squared away. This applies to all of the issues you have raised with the exception of the backlash. I will pass that one on to the factory folks. 800-253-3332.

    Gregory, please call Hung when you get a chance!


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