If You are a Cheap-Ass Woodworker, This Post is for You!

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”— Roy T. Bennett

Drivel Starved Nation:

The following stories may, or may not, be true.

Back in the ’80’s a customer at a trade show went way out of his way to inform me that spending money on good tools is money wasted.  He then went on to explain how he makes his own tools out of salvaged railroad rails.  This is when I first realized that woodworkers are the cheapest people on the planet. Cheap-asses in the first degree!

How did I deduct this?  Because I am one too.  Back in the mid ’90’s I was aghast at the cost of vasectomies so I did my own.

Man, did that hurt. 

If you are thinking about following my example, email me; john@DontEverDoThis.com for what I would do different… Continue reading

Sadly, Our 2020 China Field Trip Has Been Canceled…

"Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same thing."— Unknown

Drivel Starved Nation;

I am just not very good at delivering bad news, but due to the virus outbreak in China, we have canceled our June excursion.

If you have purchased airfare, I am almost certain you will be able to get a full-refund.

I will do my best to make this happen in 2021, but since I am not getting any younger, I just don’t know how realistic this is. But I will try.

One of my standard core beliefs is that “decisions are easy when values are clear.”  This was an easy decision considering all that we do not know.

Please accept my apology and lets hope this thing reaches a speedy conclusion.


2020 Epic China Field Trip Date is Set!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

Drivel Starved Nation,

Before I share the itinerary of the 2020 China Field Trip, here are some updates;

Pencil Precision:  This project is now in the pre-production phase. What this means is that vendors are being finalized, and prototypes are being built. My work is done.  I can’t give you firm dates yet, and will not be able to until after the Chinese New Year.  BTW, 2020 is the Year of the Rat.

New Projects:  This week I am finishing up a new hand saw design.  It is joint cutting back saw that has a maximum depth of cut of 78mm.  More on the why of this later.

My Work Retreat:  The first two weeks of February I will be redesigning the HP-6v2  body because I no longer like the old design.  This is a big deal because the new design will be in metric. Rest assured, ALL existing HP-6 profiles will be backwards compatible.  I also have an idea for new product that the industry has never seen, so we will see if the muse takes me there….

Rejected Idea:  You will be pleased to note that I rejected my idea to put a dust collector attachment on our scratch awls….

SAVE THE DATES! Continue reading

It is Good to be Home — and a WWII Story or 2…

"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."— Gustav Flaubert

Drivel Starved Nation!

I just returned from spending three weeks in Europe participating in a publicity tour for Bridge City Tool Works and all the new distributors.

Here are all the stops; London, Axminster, Exeter, Paris, Arnhem, Amsterdam, Munich, Stuttgart, Wurzburg (I think), Frankfurt, Barcelona, and finally Lisbon, Portugal. Needless to say, I am beat. Spain and Portugal were sightseeing stops before heading back to Portland… Continue reading

Pencil Precision, My Obsession with the Ubiquitous…

“Look at usual things with unusual eyes.”— Vico Magistretti

Drive Starved Nation!

First, there is something going on with this blog that is keeping ME out of the loop.  So don’t be discouraged if your comments show up late, I am working on getting that fixed.

Second, thanks to all who commented on my Africa pics, I will let some more leak out later.

Tomorrow I leave for Europe for three weeks.  This is a publicity tour for all of the new Bridge City distributors and I will be discussing our planes and other tools in the pipeline I still cannot talk about. Yet.  Looks like we start in London and visit six countries on this trip. I will be traveling with Jack Xu and Mark Strahler and one thing I will confirm is the exact date for our second epic China field trip in 2020. Continue reading

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

“Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.” — Albert Szent Gyorgi

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. Continue reading

Pre-Order Window for the NEW HP-9v2 Block Plane and the NEW HP-12 Smoother is Days Away…

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where quality is expected."— Steve Jobs

Drivel Starved Nation;

I am pleased to share that the pre-order window for our new HP-9v2 Dual Angle Block Plane, and the NEW HP-12 Dual Angle Smoother will open next week. You will receive an email announcement with all the details if you have signed up to receive them. Pricing will be announced at that time (duh).

Both of these incredible bevel-up planes with stainless steel soles will come complete. This means there are no accessories to purchase, with the exception of spare irons (I do recommend having a spare iron, I always found it annoying to be forced to sharpen an iron in the middle of a job…). Speaking of the irons; Continue reading

The Perfect Bridge City Blog Post – Lots of Pictures… (NSFW!)

"When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things." — Joe Namath

Before I start my picture avalanche, I have a couple of items to share;

1) The new HP-9v2 Dual Angle Block Plane and the new HP-12 Dual Angle Smoother will open for pre-orders in the USA some time next week.

2) For those that missed the awesome field trip to China we organized a couple of years ago, we are doing another in September of 2020. There will be a limit of 40 and I will post full details in the next week. We will visit Shanghai, Nanjing (home of the new Bridge City Center and the Hung Mu museum) and last stop will be Beijing. Continue reading

Greetings From Nanjing, the Good and the Bad…

“If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.”— Chinese Proverb

Drivel Starved Nation,

I arrived in Nanjing about 10 days ago, the jet lag is the cause of uncertainty. Continue reading