A gift as precise as the work.
BREAKING TRADITIONThe tradition of wedging an iron to a metal plane bed with a fulcrum lever has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Although this retention method works fine, it does constrain the aesthetic possibilities for the plane body.
Several years ago we pioneered the use of a toggle lock mechanism in our shoulder planes, and expanded this concept last year to the CT-17 Dual Angle Block Plane. This mechanism allows for the sides of the plane body to be pierced (or skeletonized). These openings, designed specifically for your fingers, dramatically improve the ability to cant the iron in minute increments while reducing the overall weight of the plane.
THE TOTESBoth totes of the CT-18 are metal. History suggests these two components (when made from wood) are the first to degrade, or fail, over time—typically rendering the tool to an uncertain and often unusable fate.
The front tote "mushroom" is turned from mild steel, polished, and plated with black chrome.
The rear tote is investment cast 304 stainless steel with the interior cavities painted black. Shaped to invoke the illusion of movement, it also follows the overall essentialness theme of the plane.
Although it can be argued that rear plane tote shapes are subjective, we believe, after distilling almost two-hundred permutations down to a dozen physical prototypes, the opposite is true. Because it is common to plane with the body skewed to the direction of travel, a rear tote that fits like a glove pushing straight is almost always awkward when the body is skewed—we believe the hand should be able to "roll" on the tote as you change orientation as well as fit hands both large and small.
THE BODYThe symmetrical CT-18 plane body features an adjustable mouth also made from 304 stainless steel. The body is investment cast, twelve inches long (304.8 mm) heel to toe, features a twelve degree bed, with all profiles CNC milled. Lastly, the sole and sides are ground square to each other.
THE BLADE RETAINING SYSTEMSimply pull the sculpted "D" lever and the entire blade retention mechanism swings out of the way to facilitate iron removal. It is fast, fun, the pressure is adjustable, and you have never seen anything like it.
THE IRONSThe CT-18 Dual/Low Angle Smoother design allows for dual ground irons and two are included for a total of four distinctly different grind angles. With the plane bed milled to twelve degrees, the following three attack angles are possible; 42, 47 and 60 degrees. Also included is a scrub grind designed to be used for quick cross grain flattening of wavy or difficult grained stock.
The robust irons (0.225"/5.7 mm thick) are a full two inches wide (50.8 mm) and are hardened to Rc 60-62 from A2 tool steel. They are cryogenically treated and lapped to a mirror finish—no flattening required.
When bedded, the non-business edge is protected with an aluminum blade guard. This guard is mandatory when sharpening to avoid injury—it attaches to the iron with two rare earth magnets.
THE IRON DEPTH ADJUSTORThe iron is engaged to the depth adjustor via a pin nut attached to a 72 threads per inch lead screw. The radial knurled lead screw is housed in a split pivot nut turned from solid brass and the result is a backlash free mechanism that is field adjustable.
One full revolution of the depth adjustor will change depth of cut by 0.003" (.076 mm).
DEPTH SKIDSThe single distinguishing feature of the CT-18 over any other plane made today is the ability to add depth skids; essentially turning your plane into a 2" thickness planer.
The ability to thickness plane to a precise thickness up to 1.75" (44.45 mm) is an incredible benefit for box makers, making louvers, models, musical instrument makers, inlay strips...and the list goes on.
THE COMMEMORATIVE TOOL TRADITIONEach year we produced one tool exclusively for our Founder's Circle members. It is a celebration of our history together and the shared passion for function, quality and design. For those that work at Bridge City Tool Works, the Commemorative tools are also powerful reminders that we exist because of you.
We do our best to make each Commemorative Tool a peerless example of tool making without regards to cost cutting, optimal price points or other compromises. We believe the CT-18 satisfies all these criteria and maybe a couple of emotional needs that are hard to put into words.
Lastly, whenever possible, we like to embed a United States penny in each Commemorative Tool, not only as a reminder of the American origin, but as a symbolic gesture of good luck for each and every user. The penny in the CT-18 is embedded in the bed of the plane body.
A custom Walnut Case was also made to fit the CT-18.
This tool was introduced in 2012.
This item is no longer in production and is not available for purchase. It is listed here for reference purposes only. The last known published price is listed below.