DID YOU KNOW…

Stanley planes are amongst the most collectible and valuable planes around but where do you find information on making your Stanley plane a better, sharper, more precise woodworking tool? How do you know what Stanley plane you have or what the value is? Well right here of course! We have a lot of information on the various Stanley planes and thier care and usage.

Want to buy or sell a Stanley plane? Check out the corresponding model number in our Stat Sheets section for the current value of the plane as well as it’s statistics. Chances are you’ll find a bargain hand plane or two for sale on eBay if you’re lucky.


Bridge City Tools – Innovation In High-End Hand Planes


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Bridge City Tools have been around for quite a while now. The first Bridge City tool - a rosewood and brass try square - was produced in 1983 by John Economaki. Since then they've gone on to carve out a nice little niche market for themselves by producing a range of functional and attractive woodworking tools. Their aim is to produce woodworking hand tools that are the benchmark of quality by combining a mixture of accuracy and high craftsmanship in their manufacture. The Company's concept has been to dominate the upper-end of the hand tool market by designing and manufacturing its own range of tools and by marketing direct to the end user. This combination of manufacturing and direct marketing distinguishes the Company from many other tool manufacturers and marketers.

Bridge City's tools are manufactured in Portland, Oregon, with the raw materials originating from within the United States. It is Bridge City Tools belief that by combining solid brass with beautiful rosewood and using predominately hand labor, it has recaptured the spirit and soul of craftsmanship in tools.

A fairly recent and exciting addition to the range of tools that Bridge City produces is a variable pitch bench plane, known as the VP-60. Although the initial run of the limited-edition VP-60 Signature Series is 400, each plane is sequentially numbered and signed by master tool designer, John Economaki. By having the pitch variable this helps to ensure that the plane can be used on a wide variety of lumber, from knotty pine to birds-eye maple and even unforgiving woods such as paduak, wenge and rosewood.

Like many of Bridge City Tools planes the VP-60 is skillfully dovetailed in bronze and steel and features a cocobolo tote and front knob. At around the same size as a Stanley number 4 smoother, the VP-60 is significantly heavier at 6 pounds. This adds considerable heft to the plane and the user only needs to push the plane along, rather than hold it down as they complete the stroke.

At the heart of the VP-60 is a robust A2 steel iron, hardened to Rc 60-62, cryogenically tempered, precisely lapped and sharpened to 29° (25° primary bevel with a 4° micro-bevel). This iron is ready to use out of the box. The VP-60 iron nests to a frog assembly that pivots from 30° to 60°. This provides for a full 60° of attack angles; 30° thru 60° with the iron bevel down, and 60° thru 90° with the iron bevel up. With a 60° range, the VP-60 truly becomes a pitch perfect plane, featuring every attack angle ever needed, including 30°. The width of the plane iron is a little over 2 inches.

Now while variable pitch bench planes are not new - after all one of the first Leonard Bailey planes featured a variable pitch almost a century and a half ago - it would be reasonably safe to assume that not many planes could match the quality of the VP-60. At just a little over $1500 it would be fairly comparable in cost to the Spiers and Norris infill planes of the past.

Another very nice tool of note is the HP-6. This nice little combination block plane can be used for rebating and also features a range of removable brass soles that can be used to chamfer or roundover an edge. The radius iron/sole combinations for the HP-6 allow you to cut a perfect corner radius on both soft and hardwoods that, apparently, needs no sanding. There are four radius soles to choose from, a 0.0625" radius, a 0.125" radius, a 0.1875" radius and a 0.250" radius. These sole/iron combinations can create perfectly tangent radius cuts in four or five passes with the iron set to full depth. The plane can also be used as a chisel-edge plane by removing the front part of the sole.

Now it comes as no secret that Bridge City's tools are not cheap, but as that great innovator of bench planes, Stewart Spiers, once stated - a well made tool that does the job properly and with a minimum of effort is ultimately cheaper in the end.

Click here to go to the Bridge City Tools website.

Stanley Bedrock Bed Rock No 604 Type 3 Smooth Bottom Bench Plane
Stanley Bedrock Bed Rock No 604 Type 3 Smooth Bottom Bench Plane $114.50 (10 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2h 6m
Stanley Bedorck Bed Rock Type 3 605 plane
Stanley Bedorck Bed Rock Type 3 605 plane $75.00
Time Remaining: 2h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $185.00
STANLEY BEDROCK 605C CORRUGATED TYPE 3 PLANE 1900 1908 RESTORED
STANLEY BEDROCK 605C CORRUGATED TYPE 3 PLANE 1900 1908 RESTORED $145.00
Time Remaining: 2h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $145.00
Stanley Bedrock 605 1 2 plane iron second SW
Stanley Bedrock  605 1 2 plane iron second SW $39.00
Time Remaining: 3h 42m
Buy It Now for only: $39.00
Stanley Plane Part Frog Screw Pin Set for Bedrock 603 604 605 606 607 608 8742
Stanley Plane Part Frog Screw Pin Set for Bedrock 603 604 605 606 607 608 8742 $14.99
Time Remaining: 3h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $14.99
Stanley Plane Part Frog Screw Pin Set for Bedrock 603 604 605 606 607 608 8745
Stanley Plane Part Frog Screw Pin Set for Bedrock 603 604 605 606 607 608 8745 $14.99
Time Remaining: 3h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $14.99
Stanley Plane Part Frog Screw Pin Set for Bedrock 603 604 605 606 607 608 8744
Stanley Plane Part Frog Screw Pin Set for Bedrock 603 604 605 606 607 608 8744 $14.99
Time Remaining: 3h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $14.99
STANLEY 2 S2 BAILEY PLANE IRON FITS No4 5 604 605 9 24 26 35 Bedrock NOS VTG
STANLEY 2 S2 BAILEY PLANE IRON FITS No4 5 604 605 9 24 26 35 Bedrock NOS VTG $42.24
Time Remaining: 3h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $42.24
Stanley No 603 Bedrock Smooth Plane
Stanley No 603 Bedrock Smooth Plane $170.00 (11 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4h 13m
EARLY STANLEY RL CO BEDROCK NO606 PLANE APR 2 95
EARLY STANLEY RL CO BEDROCK NO606 PLANE APR 2 95 $79.99
Time Remaining: 6h 43m