When Cool Surpasses Cost

As much as we all fill our sheds with commercially produced tools, made in commercial production runs, priced for the masses, it is the boutique market that produces the most stunning, and often most innovative tools out there.

There are a number in Australia – toolmakers, and their works grace the woodshows (and I’m lucky enough to own a few items – 3 HNT Gordon Planes, a Colen Clenton Square, Vesper Marking Knife), but one company in the US (Portland, Oregon) pushes the concept to the very limit. Bridge City Toolworks.

I’ve mentioned their products before (Drool Awards) and in the meantime they have continued producing, and innovating.

Not only do they produce some stunning tools, but they also show them off to their very best, using Photographer Joe Felzman, who is in the process of producing a book on the symbiotic relationship “The Tools of Bridge City Tool Works: 25 Years through the Lens of Joe Felzman”

It would be a fascinating read (although who needs words?), but I think my wallet would supernova after about 3 pages of temptations!

Their tools are not cheap, but then this article by Chris Schwarz eloquently puts that into perspective as well. And (fortunately) the Chinese are yet to rip off the designs either (surprisingly, there isn’t a Chinese knockoff Domino out there yet).

With the strength of the Australian dollar, I couldn’t resist any longer, and have ordered a Kerfmaker for myself.  Of course once I got onto their site, I saw some other new products that were also coming out, so let’s hope the Oz dollar holds strong for a bit longer!

Kerfmaker and Tenonmaker

What I’ve ordered is the Kerfmaker on the left, but once the Tenonmaker becomes available, that will also be rather tempting!!

Tenonmaker

And for those that may have missed it previously, their video on Squiggle Wood, produced on the Jointmaker

And the Jointmaker producing non-joinery features

And finally,

Isn’t Christmas just around the corner?  Damn, but that is one awesome looking jig!

You can see what I mean – what Bridge City do is not only produce innovative tools, but they go 10 steps beyond to make them look a million bucks as well. Stunning stuff. What is that exchange rate again?

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