09/25/15 – Not counting the penny found in our Commemorative Tools, the 2015 SE Block Plane will be the first Bridge City tool containing copper parts. After being machined, the copper parts will be bead blasted before being lacquered to protect their finish. Each brass side of the SE Block Plane will have two tapped holes (not shown in the picture above) for the optional depth skids. Many parts are currently being machined, and we expect the SE Block Plane’s completion date to coincide with that of the HP-9 Block Plane in early to mid-November.
10/24/15 – Machining is coming along well. The caps have been machined and polished, and some of the smaller parts like the pins are complete as well. Unfortunately, stock for the irons is back-ordered. We are doing are best to minimize the impact of this delay, though assembly will be pushed until the end of November. Machining has begun on the copper parts, and we are hoping to see them some time this week. Once they arrive, they will be bead blasted and lacquered immediately to keep them from tarnishing. Stay tuned for pictures of these first-of-a-kind parts.
11/30/15 – All of the copper parts have arrived and are currently being bead blasted and lacquered. They must be lacquered immediately after blasting to protect the finish from tarnishing due to contact with the air. The chip breakers have already been bead blasted and lacquered and are on their way to lasering. We also received the first article of the brass sides that are double-dovetailed to the stainless steel sole last week:
A few minor issues were discovered, which will be corrected for the full production run.
As previously mentioned, production on the irons was delayed due to material for them being back-ordered. They have all been machined and are currently at the lappers, who will flatten and polish them to their mirror finish. Due to the iron delay, assembly will begin in the middle of December with the hope of shipping before the year ends.
12/07/15 – The irons have left the lappers and are currently having their cutting edges ground at the knife grinders. We bead blasted, lacquered, and assembled all of the copper parts in the meantime. Here are the clamp lock arms being lacquered:
And here are the copper parts after being lacquered:
The chip breakers are the only copper parts not pictured, as they are still being lasered. Assembly will continue as more finished parts arrive throughout the week.
12/24/15 – The first 25 subassemblies arrived on Friday (12/18) morning. These subassemblies consisted of the stainless steel soles, brass sides, and throat plates. Here they are prepped and ready to have their soles sanded and sides grained:
The rest of the 25 subassemblies were supposed to arrive on Monday, but the machine they were being assembled on went down Friday (12/18) afternoon. The machine was fixed this week, but it means we will not have them until Monday. We will finish them as soon as they arrive, and they will ship out next week along with the first 25 which are currently ready to go: