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Bridge City Tool Works For the past twenty-five years we have been producing innovative and impeccably crafted heirloom tools for serious woodworkers and collectors worldwide. Made in America, all of our tools are produced in limited numbers and with minimal care should continue to inspire your children's children. I believe the look, feel and accuracy of each Bridge City tool will always influence you to do your best work. Quality is contagious. Regards, John Economaki President & Founder

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-17-2012, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Bridge City pricing-what do you think?

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Originally Posted by FredWest View Post
...

Here is what I do not understand. I have spent a very large part of my life with a complete inability to purchase much of anything. I have also spent a large part where I could buy most of what I want/need.

...
So... I guess this is what it means to be living large.



I think it great that there are those that can and do make such fine tools. What a lesser world this would be without their contributions.

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2012, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Bridge City pricing-what do you think?

I don't want to be too simple.. but I firmly believe it falls into two camps. One, some people are just bullies and a#@holes. They are just like that and there is no explaining it(Derek might can chime in with a pschy profile). Two, the other is plain and simple jealously. They can not afford one, therefore is must suck. I do believe 1 and 2 feed back into each and overlap at all intersections.

Actually, after much thought I may have to retract or modify #2. I think back to a year+ ago when I went to a local wood club and they were talking about how people are stupid for buying the green monster. Who would spend 450 bucks on a drill... And the guy that said it walked out to a 2010 Escalade EXT truck. I had to think, what idiot buys a luxury truck?? I think of that mentality as the person who puts a large muffler on a Honda Civic. But, instead of being judgmental it just makes me believe the person who would buy it does so because they can; and in my case I do so without financing it for 6 years.

I will have to think some more on #2.. but I do still think jealously is the root of it.

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Originally Posted by FredWest View Post
Shawn,

It seems to me that one of the largest problems that BCTW has to overcome is the bleeding edge technology. Every time John brings out a new tool he is savaged on virtually every forum except ours. It mostly has to do with price, design and or just a simple WHY? So it seems to me that for him to go out and do far more advertising would just open himself up to even more vitriol.


Fred
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-- My friend Fred taught me that relationships are like fine tool makers, what you pay is but a small part, what matters most is the time, passion, and care that was spent and the joy that you have.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2012, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Bridge City pricing-what do you think?

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Originally Posted by Corwin View Post

So... I guess this is what it means to be living large.
Well, I've been living "larger" and "larger" for years, but my doctor says I had better start going for "smaller" and "smaller". I'm listening to him because I'd really like to make it to forty.


.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Bridge City pricing-what do you think?

Easy enough.. just build you a bench from hand tools. actually, just build the top with hand tools only.

I am thinking Fred has already lost 30lbs and built some hernia muscles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joraft View Post
Well, I've been living "larger" and "larger" for years, but my doctor says I had better start going for "smaller" and "smaller". I'm listening to him because I'd really like to make it to forty.


.
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Bridge City pricing-what do you think?

Hand planning table tops makes me hungry
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Bridge City pricing-what do you think?

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I think you, Alex and Fred have got to the essence of it, Okamisan: you'd buy the tools if you could, but without the means, you're happy to admire their beauty, workmanship, and functionality. As am I.

Even John E. says that his tools may not perform significantly better than another high-end tool (I'm thinking planes here). But that's somewhat beside the point. You're not just buying a plane. You're buying something designed and built with materials and standards that are far beyond a "regular" tool. You're buying John's imagination, creativity, attention to detail, and deep insight into the tool's purpose. You're getting a product that is more than its run-of-the-mill brethren; you're getting a tool that has a personality, a history, a personal connection, and a tool that will not only work as well as anything you have ever experienced, but will look good - really good - doing it.

So given all that, why aren't the non-BCTW tool buyers just quiet about their inability or disinterest in buying BCTW tools? Why do they take the opportunity - usually hidden behind pseudonyms and avatars - to say negative things about a tool they've never held, never used, and probably never even seen in real life? It's ridiculous. It goes along with the apparently well-held belief that all opinions are equally valid. They're not. Ill-informed negativity is a blight, and should be strongly and emphatically put down.

I think that's part of our job here. We have built a community that is engaging, broad-minded, and willing to accept that there are tools out there that are excellent, but are beyond our means. Lucky, those who can afford them. But we need to counter those who spew uneducated vitriol. If we who can afford the tools would take the time to write about them - compare them to other tools, discuss their merits and drawbacks, be fair and unbiased - then perhaps our voice will float to the top, and people will listen.

One would hope that an educated opinion would pull more weight here than an uneducated one. Let's find out!

In the meantime, let's start a fund to buy Okami his first BCTW plane. Just think of the possibilities!
Pini,

That was excellent and from a purely logical standpoint should make all of the difference in the world. Unfortunately/fortunately our world is one of messy emotion plus messy logic all of which makes us human. Maybe here our words might float to the top but I can almost guarantee that in no other forum would that be true including to a large extent John E's own forum.

However, the thought of getting a or some BCTW tools in Okami's hands could go much farther than anything we write as Okami is and is seen as a true craftsman. So, supposing that he received a plane from BCTW and saw in it the same thing that so many of us do then maybe that will help change a mind or two.

Since you had the original idea and you live closer to Okami than I do, I think you should be the one in charge of gathering any funds. I am willing to donate $100 toward the Okami BCTW fund. Rather than have others declare or feel pressured in any way, I would suggest that any of you that are interested please just private message Peter with whatever you may wish to give. Please understand that nobody MUST do this and it is being done strictly as a friendly gesture. I am giving as a private person only and not as an administrator of talkFestool.

Fred
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2012, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Bridge City pricing-what do you think?

P.S. Don't tell Okami. We want this to be a surprise.
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Bridge City pricing-what do you think?

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Originally Posted by ShawnR View Post
Easy enough.. just build you a bench from hand tools. actually, just build the top with hand tools only.

I am thinking Fred has already lost 30lbs and built some hernia muscles.
Shawn,

I think you are correct, however, due to the large number of shavings constantly covering me, I may appear to have gained weight AND become a little crusty.

Fred
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 05-19-2012, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Bridge City pricing-what do you think?

I thought that I would add a couple of random, perhaps heretical thoughts about Bridge City. Sometime in the early years of BCTW I went to a regional show where John was exhibiting. He was giving away 6 inch rulers, still a treasured posession. I started buying tools after that show, even though I did NO woodworking experience and NO skills (still pretty close to true). The quality was that evident.

With that background, I'll make the following observations:

1. People who own fine tools owe BCTW a debt of gratitude whether or not they own a single tool of John's. He is one of 3-5 people who made the world safe for small, high quality tool makers. I do recognize that this comment only applies to the western toolmaking tradition.

2. My perception is that until he hit on the largely build to order model, life was often damn hard for BCTW. I think that it has partly been a labor of love for him. We're lucky that he perservered.

3. Not every tool that BCTW has ever made is the best that has ever been made. I've returned a couple (one I regret and one I don't) and the other day I used one that was improperly manufactured (a very old purchase) and quite irratating to use..

4. Despite the previous post, I consider almost all of my BCTW tools an inspiration and a spur to be better.

5. It is interesting to me how much of this thread has focused on BCTW handplanes. To me the single greatest tool to come from BCTW is the Jointmaker Pro. It is creative and new in a way that is VERY rare. The HP-6 is number 2 on my list. Its antecedents are clearer, but its execution as a system places it with the very best of "golden age" of planemaking. The new handplanes are works of art and, as Fred noted, significantly underpriced for what they are, but as tools they do not break as much fresh ground as the first two.

6. BCTW especially in the second half of its existence has displayed an exceptional degree of creativity, re-imagining things that seemed to have been long settled. The Kerf maker comes to mind as a recent example, but there are many others. Being that imaginative is not easy.

Best Regards,
Guy
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