Drivel Starved Nation!
Last Friday I received a package containing the new HP-9v2 Dual Angle Block Plane and the new HP-12 Dual Angle Bench Plane. These are first article versions for my inspection. The changes I recommend will be implemented before I arrive in Nanjing next week.
This is the first time I have seen the new packaging and obviously the tools. But before I begin, do you remember all the internet crap slung my way when we first introduced this tool? I do, and I wish I could forget it, but I cannot.
There, I feel better already.
The new packaging is really remarkable. (I’m really not into packaging, but because these will be sold through dealers, packaging is important.)
With the sleeve off the new box design becomes apparent;
What I find incredible about this box is the craftsmanship. The corners are sharp, they look like they were CNC milled out of a billet of cardboard. I also like the brown reveal.
There are two areas that are critical for this plane to function flawlessly. One is the 12 degree iron seat and the other is the flatness of the sole. Checking both involves the use of feeler gauges. We guarantee that the bottom of all of our planes will be within .002″/0.05mm. I first make sure the top of the granite surface plate is wiped clean, as is the bottom of the plane. The iron is retracted and then locked in place. Here you can see the plane on a granite surface plate trapping a .0015″ feeler gauge.
If I can pull this out without friction, the plane is rejected. For block planes, I take four readings: heel, toe, left side, right side. (For longer planes I check six places, heel, toe, and two checks on each side.) I was thrilled that this unit passed, as did the flatness of the iron seat. The finish of the stainless steel sole, and the adjustable mouth was beautifully done;
The overall fit and finish was outstanding. I have an issue with the micro-bevel on the iron (it is too damn big) and I have an issue with the iron lapping. All easily solved.
I am happy to share this little insight into tool making. If you thought this was cool, just wait until you see my next post showing the new HP-12!
-Still Your Tool Potentate