Production Updates & CT-17 Sneak Peek?

CT-16 Delivery Update

Well, looks like the black chrome palm braces won’t hit doorsteps until the first/second week of April–I do know this, we will have some blems.

I have been asked on several occasions why we sell blems–it seems others in our industry view this as some kind of brand damage and I could not disagree more.  Here is a real life example regarding the CT-16 Palm Brace…

After the chucks, handle and cap are plated with black chrome, they are shipped off for assembly.  One of the boxes containing about 40 caps arrived with the caps somehow dislodged from their egg crate packaging. Consequently, several have scuff marks.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of all the resources that went into making these parts going to waste–the transportation costs, raw material costs, plating costs, etc, are not something we treat lightly. So, we will assemble these scuffed caps onto their mating components, mark and discount the tool accordingly. I know others disagree, some vehemently, but this makes sense to us, and has for 27 years running.

Conflict is inevitable. Misery is a choice. Choose peace.

Creativity/Design Workshop

For those contemplating my Design/Creativity workshop in June at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, you can view/print the syllabus here.

We have 13 Skeletonized HP-7′s in Stainless Steel remaining.

We are making a limited run of 50 stainless steel shoulder planes and as of this writing, 37 are committed (the plane on the right in the image below). If this tool interests you, give us a call 1-800-253-3332. This item does not appear on our website.

We will be Demonstrating in Chicago April 9th and 10th…

We will be joining Lie-Nielson Tool Works and others at one of my favorite small show venues,  J. Millers woodshop. Click here for more details.

We have 4 of these, first-come, first served.

Apparently we pulled our remaining brass plumb bobs and dipped them in black chrome. If this interests you, we have a whopping 4 left. Call Natasha–I did not even know we did this–one of Michael’s ideas. And this too is not on our website.

My Mechanical Fetish…

As many of you know, I have fallen into the black hole of R/C Helicopters and I am destined to perish penniless–the sooner the better I suspect.

Now I happen to think that these things are works of beauty. AND they FLY! Well, not for long in my case but nevertheless…

All one has to do is examine the workmanship up close and you can’t help but be awed. And in my case, seriously inspired.

Every component of a helicopter has to be contemplated for weight, strength, repair-ability, and several other factors. This aspect of helicopters is what intrigues me and while on my work retreat in January, I designed Commemorative Tool #17 with these influences foremost in my design process.

Now, I am not going to tell you what it is yet, but I share the image below as proof that I am making progress. Yes, this is stainless steel.


20 comments on this post:

  1. John,

    Sorry to ask so personal a question, but any word on pricing for the universal jaws, and the CT-17? Just looking for a rough estimate, (plus or minus a couple hundred), so that I can leave the appropriate amount of room on the Visa, (which is still warm to the touch from my ASP, stainless HP-7, CT-16,CS12V2, and JMPV2 purchases….


  2. Dave;

    The Universal Jaws will be under $150. We are re-sourcing the Universal Jaws (aluminum plate is expensive) and looking at whether the tolerance stack on extrusions creates more issues than it is worth.

    The CT-17, as of this writing, is an unknown.

    Shouldn’t you be catching bad guys instead of following my worthless blog? Just checking…


  3. Hi John,

    Since I’m 0 for who knows how many on guessing what a new tool is or does, I’m keeping what little dignity I might have and not taking a guess on the CT-17.

    I was wondering though; What tools will you be bringing along and or demonstrating in Chicago? I’m thinking that it might be a good opportunity to get some pointers on the use of the JMPs and to see some yet to be released stuff.

    Thanks, Rutager

  4. John,

    Haven’t you heard? Private contractors are taking care of the pirates nowadays:

    On the other fronts, ‘catching’ bad guys ends up being more of a problem than it’s worth…we still can’t figure out where to put them afterwards. I’m a much bigger fan of a more permanent solution in most cases.

    That’s a great price on the universal jaws! (to be honest, I was cringing and expecting a larger figure).

    And your worthless blog keeps me up to date on how I’m going to squander my kid’s college fund.

  5. Rutager:

    Just between you and me (and the minions who have nothing better to than follow this drivel) driving to Chicago for the sole purpose of meeting Jameel is worth the trip.

    I can’t share what he is up to with his JMP, but I can say to you, of all people, you WILL want to support whatever beer habit he may have. Oh, he has a brother too. You still win.


  6. John,

    When determining whether or not to sell a damaged tool as a blem do you have certain criteria or standards that guide you as to whether or not the tool is too damaged to sell? The damages on the blem’s I have purchased are not noticeable at first; you really have to look for it. Once you find it you think to yourself, is this really a blem? Then you say “Damn, this company has high standards”. With that said, will the CT-16 be the same way? How bad are the damages? I’m personally thinking of buying a 2nd one so I can use the blem and store away the perfect one.

    To everyone else on this worthless blog; i’m curious to see if anyone else that follows it will also be at John’s class. It sure does sound like a good time and a great benefit to us as woodworkers.

    Regarding the CT-17, I’ve printed the picture out so I can turn it to the left, the right, upside down, to see if something can come of it. I don’t have a clue but I will say I think this tool will be a casting. I say that because of all the curves and sleek lines. If I had to guess just from the picture alone I would say it’s some kind of lever that will be attached to the tool. It looks to be too thin to be anything other functional item. To compare it to the heli; I would have to say right now it looks like the black body in a way.

    So, how close am I John? =)

  7. John,

    I forgot to ask, regarding the class; is there going to be any “hands on” work or is it mostly “paperwork” if you will? Also, I highly doubt it but is there going to be a tool list or material list? It might sound like a stupid question but I don’t know what you have in store for us.

    The CT-17, it’s not a beer bottle opener is it? =)

  8. You are warm on the casting. Good call on spinning the image because that is exactly what I did before I posted it!


  9. Well, since you confirmed you rotated it then I will say I can see the heli in this picture for sure! If you rotate the picture 90 degree’s clockwise you will see a horizontal line. That is the heli’s blade. The Radius portion of it is the body.

    To see it you have to compare it to the heli picture, to see it even better you have to mirror the heli picture left to right and if you can understand what I am saying everyone should see what I am talking about.

  10. I have a blem BCTW tool, and I still can’t figure out where the blem is. Regardless, a few days after I get them, they’re blemmed. Using a tool will do that…

    And just to encourage you to start saving your money, I know what the CT-17 is, and I’ll tell you this: you want one!

    It’s the coolest.


    - Peter

    P.S. John – did you get my emails yesterday? Surely you don’t have anything better to do than answer them?

  11. I am more of a user than collector. I love blems. I screwed up and didn’t order a palm brace. Any chance I could order one of the blems? drool drool drool…..



  12. Bob-

    I don’t know how many blems we will have, and we have a wait list on this tool. Best advice is to add your name to the wait list because these folks will get first crack at whatever overage/blems we have.

    By the way, EVERY woodworker is a tool collector, whether they admit it or not.


  13. “By the way, EVERY woodworker is a tool collector, whether they admit it or not.”

    And that’s the truth!

    John, besides the tools in your office do you personally have a collection of all the tools you ever made?

  14. Years ago a customer asked me if I collected Bridge City tools to which I answered “no”. He went on to explain what a mistake this was, asked me to look at tool making in America and find another company that produced tools crafted as finely as ours. He also shared that America has a way of thumbing their nose at quality (I think that is changing) when it comes to tools and that we were really “different” from a historical perspective. I thought about that for awhile and changed my mind.

    So, yes, I have 3 complete sets. One for each of my kids and the third set is to be donated to the Smithsonian when I croak.

    I still believe that tools have an important function when not in use. And that function is to have such a presence that one is continually inspired to do their very best–anything less is inexcusable.


  15. Hi. My name is Smithsonian. I’m really pleased that you’ve arranged to donate your tools to me.

    If someone named “Vinnie” happens to be hanging out in a black car near your house, pay him no attention. It has nothing to do with wanting to get the tools sooner.

  16. I will not bump off my Tool Potentate.
    I will not bump off my Tool Potentate.
    I will not bump off my Tool Potentate.
    I will not bump off my Tool Potentate.

    … until he writes me into his will…

    - Peter

  17. John,

    I will bump off pfranks for you to keep you safe and I will very thoughtfully take his place in your will. :o :o


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