Legacy Support

A discussion about the use of the plane. Also a great place to exchange ideas, tricks, and set-ups.

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Legacy Support

Postby pfanzler@gmail.com » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:04 am

I'd really like to take the plunge and get the HP-6v2. It seems like a versatile and elegant alternative to dedicated moulding planes, the dado sets can stand in for a plow plane for small jobs, and it's less fussy than setting up a router table for short runs. The thing that holds me back is having to buy all the soles, irons, and hones I'll ever need all at once, before they go out of stock. Heck, you can't even get a fence for it anymore- which seriously handicaps its utility. I'm sure I can get future parts on the "used" market (likely in the original box, with COA) if I sit on eBay long enough- but then I've wasted more time than the tool will ever save. The beauty of a tool like this is the versatility afforded by having interchangeable parts for different functions. The tool can grow with the user and be adapted to meet new needs. This is lost without legacy support. I understand the Bridge City business model to a certain degree, and limited edition tools that are introduced and immediately discontinued have their appeal when it's tool-whore jewelry like the CT-18 or nifty gadgets like the Kerfmaker. But when making a major investment in a tool whose very purpose is to be adaptable and expandable, it doesn't really make sense to only offer the interchangeable parts only for such a limited time. I don't have immediate need for the reeding (multi-bead) profile now- but I know I probably won't be able to buy it if I need it next year. And that's the rub. That's what makes Bridge City seem like a tool company for collectors- not users. Which is a shame, because they make the most useful, innovative and best built hand tools around. All the BC tools I own were purchased second hand so maybe I'm not giving them enough credit. Thoughts? Should I just wait for the v3? Maybe I'll be rich by then.
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Re: Legacy Support

Postby rwest » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:47 pm

Hello,

BCTW's business model is different from many companies and can be frustrating. The truth is is that they are a relatively small company making products for a pretty small niche of woodworkers. The reality is that keeping all of the profiles in stock all the time would be a huge financal burden (and would likely have forced them to only ever had made a fraction of the profiles;) currently there are 37 different profiles in circulation. The good news is that they make runs of bodies and fences on a fairly regular basis, maybe twice a year and John mentioned, in a blog post if memory serve right, that their supplier of soles and blades is willing to make smaller runs of older profiles when they're set up for making the latest one. There is a place on the item description to put your name on a sign up list.

I got on board at day one and have bought all the profiles and several more bodies and accesories along the way and buying the 2 or 4 profiles a year made it seem painless. I can't express to enough to anyone how fun and great the tool is, it is my favorite tool to use. The best advice I can give you is to buy the soles when available and put your name on the list of older ones you need.

I hope this has helped a bit,
-Rutager
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