Pencil Precision Update and other News from Your Favorite Tool Potentate…

Drivel Starved Nation,

I have not posted in months, not because I don’t have anything to say, or hide, I have been crazy busy.

But first, I owe an apology to about a half dozen DSN members who submitted questions and/or comments on this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog that went unanswered by me. They got caught up in a Spam filter on this blog site. I answered them all today. Oops.

Pencil Precision Update…
It is no secret that this project has taken on mythic proportions regarding lateness. No excuses here, it has been on the back burner due to the transition and one other significant issue… me. I got flummoxed on locating a reliable source for STRAIGHT GRAIN stock for the pencils. That has been solved. And beginning today, Monday Sept. 23, all of my attention this week is cementing the other vendors which is surprisingly complex. Parts for this project are made in the USA, China, Japan, and Germany. The “me” part of this story is that I used to have a staff that researched and pursued all of these disparate components which now is solely my responsibility. Regardless, refunds are always an easy thing to do if you feel so inclined (I hope you don’t but completely understand!). As soon as all of the PO’s are cut, I will update everybody via this platform.

Whatever Happened to Consuelo Department…
This past Saturday I had lunch with Consuelo and her 3 children. I don’t know how she does it, her arms were flaying all over the restaurant directing what seemed like a flying dance troupe. It was quite the sight and she is clearly good at it.

Consuelo is now a full-time pre-school teacher. Her flock consists of 4 and 5 year old kiddies. Since I spent 6 years teaching in a public high school, I know how demanding the job is. (For the record, it is the hardest job i have ever had.) Teaching is exhausting.

I asked her how she handled the transition from Bridge City to teaching preschoolers. She commented that working with Bridge City customers for the past 9 years was perfect training for teaching preschool! The only difference is her students don’t have credit cards. Actually, she did not really say this, I made it up at the restaurant to make her laugh. She laughed, so this is a lie that is funny. Sorta…

Epic China Field Trip Update…
Our field trip in 2017 was absolutely fantastic and the reason is simple: Jack Xu. Jack is a wealth of information and quite the raconteur. The 2020 trip will be in the middle of June nd I will have the exact dates in my next post, which will be sometime in 2021. LOL –just kidding…

What Have I Been Working On Department…
Over the past 4 months I have completed about six new tools for the international market. Unfortunately, in the past I would talk about these while I was working on them via this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog. Things are different now since I have been brutally throttled politely asked to refrain from posting about new products until they have been approved for manufacturing. That is so professional, and something we never did when I was running the place. Imagine that.

John Takes A Vacation Department…
Never in my life have I taken a two week vacation without a spouse or children. That is until the first week of this September when I trekked to Kenya for a photography safari. Photography has always been a lifelong passion and I cannot wait to do more whenever my tool making days come to an end, if ever. I took just under 12,000 images of which 11,950 are crap.

Below are a couple of pics and thanks for taking time out of your day to be distracted by this blog!


Red Billed Ox Pecker on a Warhog

Female Cape Buffalo

Lilac-breasted Roller

Hammerkop (the smallest of the stork family) with a fresh frog…

More Red Billed Ox Peckers…

12 comments on this post:

  1. Having been on safari in Kenya twice I know what an extraordinary event it can be. I still fondly look at my photos from 8 years ago and dream of going again!

  2. Sorry, but for a second, I thought your first photo was a selfie!

    Great pictures, I really like the one of the roller.

  3. So glad you’re back safe and sound from your African adventure, John! Those pictures are amazing. I’d love to hear more about the travels, travails, accommodations, etc.

    And, of course, telling us that you can’t tell us about your new tools just makes it all the more exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing what your mighty neurons hath wrought.

  4. So, do I understand correctly that all BCTW tools will not be made in China? I visited your place once when I was in Oregon, and well, hoping that a presence there will always exist.

  5. I sincerely trust I will receive my pencil orders before my 86th birthday which is the middle of 2020. I have a lot of GG grandchildren waiting for their pencils. Regards Tony UK

  6. Nature in Africa is so wild and so beautiful!
    I have been a fan of your tool designs from the beginning. You have out your mark on most of the hand woodworking tools and more. Your plane designs have really reached new heights. I just recently realized a couple planes you have not done; the spokeshave and router plane. Will they go untouched?

  7. Sorry, probably not the right spot to ask, but I tried to use the angle master page to get a setting for the caliper. It does not work. I contacted Harvey Industries on October 3rd by email. On the 14th I got a response that they are working on it. Today is the 23rd. Can you give ’em a nudge and see what is taking so long, or do I own an expensive paperweight? Thanks for your help. Bill, Portland OR

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