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Bridge City Hand Planes

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Sideways

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I looked at some bridge city tools at Axminster a few months ago. Glitzy anodised aluminium that showed defects right from the box. Massively overpriced toys, not tools :-(
 

D_W

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custard":38lii63w said:
The Bridge City block plane looks to have some interesting and (for some woodworkers) relevant features. A double ended iron, with a different angle on each end, is such an obvious benefit it's surprising it's never been offered before. And the "skids"concept, for thicknessing small components, is a great idea. Like many woodworkers I make skids by using double sided tape to attach shimming blocks to the plane sole. It works well enough, but it's a bit of a faff and doesn't always offer the repeatability that this design has.

Well done Bridge City. Their high prices means they're not appropriate for everyone (and I'm the first to recognise that they're not "necessary" for anyone), but it's great to see that the spirit of ingenious improvements to hand tools didn't die with the Victorians.
At the cost of planes, if a certain thickness is desirable, it's generally better just to dedicate an entire vintage plane to a single thickness.

I am not a student of historical work, but have noticed that in a lot of the japanese small work, small constant thickness bits get a specialty setup dedicated to them. I'd imagine the idea of the adjustable feet came from John E looking at japanese stuff (given that he was moved to sell a bunch of japanese saws at one point in the past with his name on them).
 

AndyT

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The rear handle on the smoothing plane has been bugging me since this thread started.



I couldn't place what it reminded me of, with its square, metallic shape.

But I've found it now; an obscure British made plough plane, nickel plated brass, made by Mitor of Harpenden. There was a discussion about them in this thread where DigitalM posted a couple of photos and the show up on eBay from time to time.

download/file.php?id=61918&mode=view

download/file.php?id=61928&mode=view

The Mitor plane is an interesting oddity. There seems to be almost no information about them online. In the thread linked to, I wrote that the name was derived from the people behind the company, Miles and Mantor. I must have learned this from a Worthpoint entry referencing an article in US tool collectors' publication The Gristmill, which apparently says they were formed soon after WWII.

Their plough had some innovative features - the irons were stored in a rubber caddy inside the handle and - uniquely as far as I know - there was a bullnose cutter position at the front, as on a 78/778 rebate plane, presumably to help cut a stopped groove.

But it seems that sometimes a shiny handle and some new ideas are not enough to catch the fickle plane buyers - Mitor were in business for only sixteen years. :(

I wonder if there's a lesson there?
 

Ttrees

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Blister City Kinder surprise plane.
But they've left out the optional infill kit that fits into the handle.
I will buy a torrified birdseye maple tote infill when I get mine for Christmas. :p
 

TFrench

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AndyT":3akf03lx said:
The rear handle on the smoothing plane has been bugging me since this thread started.
I thought the same and decided it was because its the same shape as the millers falls "buck rogers" plane handles.
 

dannyr

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I found Bridge City quite interesting in their early days, but agree with the general sentiment here that they're really for collectors or very expensive gift givers rather than users.
Personally, if I'm collecting, (I fool myself that they're all 'users', but if pressed have to admit otherwise) it's for the history of the tool, its use or beauty, invention/manufacture, not to buy something made as a 'collectible'.
if I've got the attachment right, here's something new that looks like a B C T product but is made for a reason as part of a CNC tooling line. However, I bet some collectors will snap it up.
If I've not got this right, just search 'Orange Vise Ca CNC'. --------Oh, just seen that my upload is not allowed as a copy so do the search and upload if you can do it better than I.
danny, sheff
 

dannyr

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thanks bm101 - some bench vice, eh?
hey, I just saw your by-line - have to get out my old John Prine vinyls sometimes a bit sentimental, but - does it for me
danny
 

TFrench

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If we're talking vices, this was an interesting test by fireball tools (he makes brilliant fabrication tools).
 

nabs

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TFrench":1x2bmzd9 said:
If we're talking vices, this was an interesting test by fireball tools (he makes brilliant fabrication tools).
hard to watch without wincing, but oddly entertaining! It is a pity he could not have tested more vintage vices. I suppose the newer vices - at least the high-end ones - must benefit from better quality machining and materials, but I wonder how much difference it makes?
 

TFrench

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I guess no one wanted to put nice old one up for destruction :lol: More than anything, I was impressed with the repair on that old prentiss for holding out longer than the rest of it! I'd be curious to see how my dovetailed leinen would hold up - its incredibly strong.
 
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