HP-7 in Stainless Steel

Last year we made 50 CT-14 Stainless Steel Planes that have turned out to be one of our most talked about tools.

So, what to do?

We gutted the original HP-7 design creating a new Fox Tail companion. Here’s a pic of the pair.

As of this post, we are discontinuing the original HP-7. We will introduce a “new” Fox Tail HP-7 with a brass body (identical to the plane on the right).  I think we have 2 or 3 original HP-7 Shoulder Planes remaining.

Prices and availability to follow.

For those of you who purchased one of the 50 limited editions of the plane on the left, details regarding the 50 stainless steel planes (plane on the right) should be arriving  in your mailbox soon–politically, (left/right), this is milk toast deal.

And for those of you who purchased the original HP-7? Well, it too has become a limited edition in a roundabout way.



PS: I played competitive hockey for over 20 years. Congratulations to our neighbors to the north–one of the greatest sporting events I have had the pleasure/pain of viewing. Considering our relationship (name two other countries on the planet with such friendliness), I am thrilled by your victory and proud of our team. Sunday was a great day for all with gold in their hearts–Congratulations from the BCTW team–wish we made hockey sticks…

15 comments on this post:

  1. John-

    Are you really thinking about making hockey sticks out of stainless steel?

    I don’t think they would be leegill.


    Below average is good enough for me.”

  2. Cooter-

    Don’t mean to be a butt head, but “leegill” is spelled “legal”.

    No, we are not going to make hockey sticks out of any material.

    Thanks for the post.


  3. Maybe Cooter was thinking of “bluegill”?

    Love that stainless, skeletonized HP-7, John. I’m looking forward to seeing the skeletonized brass one, though I think I’ll stick with my original.

    Thanks for the kudos on the Canadians winning the Olympic hockey. It will go down in history, along with Paul Henderson’s winning goal when we played the Russians in 1974 (?). Amazing game. I happened to be grocery shopping while this game was on, and everywhere I went people were glued to TV sets. It was nice to see that – even in a sunny iceless place like San Diego – people took an interest in the game. Fortunately I caught the last period, and overtime. Yow!

    How ’bout a rosewood and juara hockey stick?

    - Peter

  4. You, too!? I still play hockey, though never terribly competitively. …and playing in Arizona costs a lot of BCTW dollars.

    Now, if you could just use your ingenuity from the KerfMaker to develop a GoalMaker, I’d certainly be the first to sign up. Megan likes it when I score a goal…

  5. I agree – Go Canada! What an exciting game.

    The new HP-7 is lovely. Nice work.

  6. John,
    This makes a beautiful and very collectible set. I’m in – got the letter yesterday. Thanks for the box.


  7. Paul; Give up hockey. Give up Megan. I know it is hard to do, and I have only managed 1/2 of what I recommend.

    The savings you will incur will allow you to be a BCTW customer for life. What is not to like about that?

    Listen to what I say, not what I do.

    Buy more.


  8. Well, I fell into, count ‘em, -two- BCTW slippery slopes this week alone. Good grief… would be nice if you could throw in a BCTW puck, as a keeper, not a user.

    Megan fell for Rutager’s profiles so I had to man up with the HP6v2. Next up, another KM-1; it apparently has “just the right” pressure ;-)

  9. Yes, it’s true, Megan fell for my profile. So now I always have to stand sideways to her. Just no way that was going to work out. “Go back to Oregon” is what I told her! She forgot to take her Kerfmaker, I’m keeping it!

    Beautiful new shoulder plane, Since I’m fortunate enough to have gotten an ASP-25, I absolutely had to get the companion to it. I told Natasha that there was nothing she could have called me or said to me that would have been offensive enough to stop me from ordering it, I feel like I was set up! FYI, even with that knowledge she was as polite as usual.


  10. John – I forgot to ask while I was up there, but what’s the motivation for the skeletonizing of the HP-7? Is weight an issue with SS, or do you just think it looks cooler?

    - Peter

  11. Peter-

    Aesthetics is a function to me–it looks better in my/our opinion. It is clearly more expensive to do, and worth it from our perspective. I like the original form because it blazed a new trail in plane mechanics and ergonomics for us. That said, I like it even more because it led to the new design–which of course will lead to something else someday–but not for these two planes.


  12. John,

    When you said you only had 2-3 of the HP-7 left, I ordered one. I am excited to get it. I am looking for a little history on this plane. Which came out first, the HP-7 or the CT-14? Also, between the two are there any differences besides the width and aesthetics? Do they function the same?

    For those that collect, can you tell us how many were actually made and sold? From what I’ve read and seen, some of the tools you made were numbered. I own quite a few tools or yours and not one is numbered so you obviously stopped doing that. Why is that?

    Thanks John.

  13. David-

    The HP-7 preceded the CT-14. It was inspired by my first sighting of a fox–l got within about thirty feet of the critter and it was so cool it permeated my thinking for months. (When I get these images in my head, they almost always influence my designs. Right now I am obsessed with crashing my model helicopters and you will soon see this influence…)

    The CT-14 is wider and the market for wider shoulder planes is small. Both our shoulder planes work great, but the biggest difference is in the ergonomics. In our forum “Design Showcase” I posted a pic of a coffee table I designed over thirty years ago (yikes!) that employed a lot of shoulder plane work. After this job, I hated my shoulder plane because it was just awful to hold for length of time I needed to use it. The vast majority of shoulder planes available today in the USA reflect their European heritage and when it came time for me to consider making one, I knew there must be a better way if I was ever going to use it. Thanks to a chance encounter with a fox, my vector got bumped.

    Data on run quantities is planned for our book and will involve much work for me to ferret out because we started without a computer system in 1983, added one in 1984, again in 1989, changed it in 1995 and again in 2008, and we will have a new in place in 2010…

    Numbering began when we started the Founder’s Circle in 1991. There were thousands of members and it soon became apparent that people wanted their unique number on each tool. At first this worked out fine, but then we were soon besieged with requests for unique numbers (one guy wanted all his tools engraved with the number 1,000,000) and it became burdensome for us. And, there were many costly mistakes. I am glad we made the decision to abandon that aspect of the program.

    That said, on small runs like the stainless steel shoulder planes where there are only 50 of each being made, these in fact are sequentially numbered.


  14. John,

    We these stainless steel planes be on displays at any of the shows you attend?

    Speaking of, will you be attending the Lie Nielsen Hand Tool event in Cincinnati Ohio June 4th & 5th at Popular Woodworking? Pretty Please =)?

  15. David;

    We take the stainless steel version of the CT-14 whenever we travel. We will be at both the Chicago and Cincinnati events.


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