A gift as precise as the work.
The HP-12 Dual Angle Bench Plane, designed by John Economaki, founder of Bridge City Tool Works, is unlike any other smoother—past or present. This lightweight plane is one of the most versatile and usable planes and may be the only bench plane you’ll ever need!
Sole Length: 12" (304 mm)
Sole Width: 2-3/4" (70 mm)
A2 Iron Width: 2" (51 mm)
Iron Thickness: 7/32" (5.7 mm)
Maximum Thickness Planing Capacity: 1-3/4" (45 mm)
Main Body Size: 12" x 2-3/4" x 5-1/4" (304 x 70 x 133 mm)
Weight: 1.35 lbs (0.611kg)
Weight with Depth Skids = 4.80 lbs (2.175 kg)
HP-12 Dual Angle Bench Plane - Expected shipping date: Mid-August 2019.
The 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. It also makes it difficult to house an iron with dual grinds.
Several years ago, John Economaki pioneered the use of a toggle lock mechanism in shoulder planes and expanded this concept to other types of planes. This mechanism allows for the sides of the plane 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 result is a distinctive visual appeal unique to Bridge City Tool Works.
The HP-12 Dual Angle Bench Plane features all metal front and rear totes which fit nicely in both small and large hands. The front tote “mushroom” is more hand-friendly than the more common "balloon" totes and is turned from aluminum, bead blasted and anodized black. The mushroom tote is threaded into the throat plate allowing for precise adjustment of the mouth. The rear tote is investment cast 304 stainless steel and the angle is perpendicular to the iron edge directing the forward motion of the plane straight at the cutting edge.
Included with the HP-12 are two irons for a total of four distinctly different grind angles. The 42 degree attack angle is for low angle work. The 47 degree attack angle is for standard work. The 60 degree attack angle is for difficult grains and a scrub grind is included and 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 2" wide (50.8 mm) and hardened to Rc 60-62 from A2 tool steel. They are lapped to a mirror finish—no flattening required. When bedded, the non-business edge is protected with an aluminum blade guard which is mandatory when sharpening to avoid injury. The guard attaches to the iron with rare earth magnets.
The body of the HP-12 is 12" (304.8mm) long heel to toe and features a twelve-degree bed and all profiles CNC-milled. The sides are also CNC-milled from 6061-T6 aluminum and anodized for a beautiful and durable finish. Each side is press fit to the sole with dowel pins and retained with cap screws. We are hopeful that these materials and processes will allow this plane to serve its owners for several hundred years.
Integrated into the body is the unique blade locking mechanism. The easy-to-use sculpted “D” lever has a blade retention mechanism which swings out of the way to facilitate iron removal and allowing one to easily cant the iron in minute increments.
The sole and the adjustable mouth on the HP-12 is made from 416 Stainless Steel and annealed for durability. The iron is engaged to the depth adjuster via a pin nut attached to a 0.5mm thread pitch lead screw. One full revolution of the lead screw increases the depth of cut by 0.1mm (0.004”). The 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 by hand. Blade canting can be achieved by shifting the lead screw side to side but in practice this is not as preferable, or as fast, as canting with the fingers through the sides of the plane body.
The single distinguishing feature of the HP-12 over any other plane made today is the ability to add depth skids; essentially turning your plane into a precision 2” thickness planer. Ideal for box makers, for making louvers, models, musical instrument makers, inlay strips…etc. The skids feature rounded soles which not only reduce friction but allow you to set them at different depths for creating accurate tapered stock (louvers) without having to sand. To set the skids, you can use shop made shims or, as is our preference, pin gauges. It is entirely possible, and easy, to make multiple components with a thickness that does not vary more than 0.003”!
The HP-12 comes complete with plane, depth skids and two irons.
For John Economaki's in-depth review of the HP-12, please visit John's blog on our website@ https://blog.bridgecitytools.com/.