Images From The 2018 AAW Exhibition in Portland…

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." — Carl Jung

Drivel Starved Nation!

Before I share the fruits of today’s field trip, I want to thank all of you who have offered me congratulations and encouragement on the transition of Bridge City Tool Works to Harvey Industries.  This is a friendly reminder that I am still going to be around for the next two years so I am not dead yet. Continue reading

Bridge City Tool Works: Chapter Two…

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end."— Seneca

Drivel Starved Nation!

When you visit our Bridge City office you immediately see a panorama of all the tools we have made over the last 35 years.

Welcome to the Bridge City “Tool Zoo” the sign reads—if only we had one.

When guests arrive, Consuelo presses a secret button under her desk and a live, 220-volt electrode jabs my right thigh indicating that my Zoo Keeper presence is desired. (My concentration skills demand intense diversionary measures….)

When our guests see me crawl out of my man-cave office, they almost universally say: Continue reading

Non-Woodworking Field Trip Report…

"The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility and all these petty squabbles."— Anton Chekhov

Drivel Starved Nation,

I try my best to keep my personal life, my beliefs, my debts, and my numerous non-fatal diseases personal. However, I must share the incredible weekend I just experienced.

Oh, I’ll get back to insulting you and the rest of the DSN later. FYI.

Warning, troublesome images lie ahead. Continue reading

We are Slammed, and it Feels Good. Sorta….

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." — Winston Churchill

Drivel Starved Nation!

I returned from my work retreat on March 5 and have not had a day off since. This coming weekend however I will be attending the Astoria Warrenton Crab and Seafood Festival for a couple of days of R & R. So for those of you who thought I was dead, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Did I just write that? I think I did… Continue reading

It’s 2018 and We are Awl Full…

"The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools."— Confucius

Drivel Starved Nation!

I just finished my 2018 work retreat and it was a weird one. More on that later.

I do not remember the last time we made awls, but I bet it was almost 20 years ago. Knowing that, I am suggesting these will be the last awls we produce while I am still alive. Now that I think of it, this is a great marketing gimmick: “John’s Not Dead Yet, Buy These Awls!”. You like Yes/No? Continue reading

Bridge City Tool Works to Open Woodworking School in 2020…

“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

Drivel Starved Nation!

Greetings from the Cloisters! I am currently in the middle of week 2 of my annual work retreat… Continue reading

Bridge City Hardware Adoption/Warehouse Sale Launches Monday, Jan. 15th

"Exercise would be much more fun if calories screamed when you burned them."— Sign on a gym wall

Drivel Starved Nation!

The last time we had a warehouse/hardware adoption sale, and some of you likely remember, all hell broke loose.

First, our site slowed to a crawl, which caused buyers to press the “submit order” button several times. Behind the scenes we were getting paid for each button push. Over the next week, we refunded over $250,000 to those impatient buyers.

While the site was having fits, we notified our IT contractor who said “no problem” and then quit on the spot. We had to find a new IT company in 24 hours. In hindsight, I think it would have been way more fun taking the money and spending a month or two running from the FBI. Continue reading

New Year, New Tool from Bridge City Tool Works…

"I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying toys not included."— Bernard Manning

Drivel Starved Nation!

This little journey called Bridge City Tool Works is now in its thirty-fifth year. Some call this amazing. I call it too stupid to quit!

Going out of business 35 years in a row is not easy. However you see it, we thank you and look forward to going out of business again this year– with your help of course.

Before I share our first new tool offering of 2018, I thought you might enjoy this Christmas story… Continue reading

Holiday Shout Out – New Tool From Bridge City Tool Works!

"Life is short--smile while you still have teeth!"— Unknown

Drivel Starved Nation-

I am pleased to share the latest edition to the HP-10 Convertible Plane, which will allow you to cut coves/flutes and cores in four sizes.

Cutting flutes is an essential element of decorative woodworking. The Greeks and Romans were masters at employing flutes in both their architecture and furniture. Why you ask?
Continue reading

The Woodworking Joint Used in the Arms of Ming Dynasty Chairs…

"With but a few exceptions, we don't have this personal study under masters any more. Craftsmanship has sunk very low. We no longer have any universally creative persons who are able to guide young learners not only in technical matters but also, at the same time, in a formal way." — Walter Gropius

Drivel Starved Nation-

My latest trip to China was my favorite to date. When you are on an informative trip, fun is easy to find. When the weather is perfect, trips like this become magical.

The highlight for me was the gift Mr. Yang, the Hong Mu Master presented to me. It is a sample of the joinery used in his masterpiece pictured below;

As explained by Mr. Yang, his students are not allowed to build a chair until this joint is mastered;

Incredibly, mastering this joint can take up to a year. The rosewood supply he has is finite, so there is no tolerance for waste when it comes time to make a chair. And because there is no finish, the joints need to be perfect to become invisible. It truly is an amazing display of craftsmanship. The joint itself (I wish I would have asked if it had a name) is a thousand years old I am told.

Here is a short video by Academy Award Winning Cinematographer Wanna Be Consuelo;

Each chair arm has 6-8 of these joints. They are incredibly strong and could be completely functional without adhesive… they are that strong.

Pretty cool yes/no?