Tool Talk: Bridge City Tool Works HP-8 mini block plane

Tool Talk: Bridge City Tool Works HP-8 mini block plane

I finally got my first Bridge City Tool Works plane! Here is a review of the HP-8 Mini Block Plane plus all of the “suggested” items on the website. Here is a link to the plane below.
HP-8 Mini Block Plane

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  1. Harry Davis on March 24, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Bridge City is blowing smoke up the consumer`s chimney concerning the 10* micro-bevel.

  2. Garrock Waters on March 24, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    That is probably one of the dumbest, most impractical designs of a tool I have ever seen. How do you hold such a thing? Looks like it would cut you just by gripping it. Very poorly executed manufacturing and a failed design. I guess it gets the attention of newbies who have more money than sense. Even the cheapest Stanley block plane will serve the woodworker better than this POS. You paid what?

  3. JanXXVI on March 24, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    Does’nt look like a comfortable planer to use. And whats the point of those side rails? To keep the piece from slideing under you? If so, you still need to take an extra shaveing, cause the blade does’nt extent all the way to those rails, so there will be a gap that wont be planed if the piece moves. The other point might be if your planeing the side of a board, too keep the plane from moveing of and you accidently dropping it. But as your skill picks up you wont drop your plane, and you wont want to put those fences up and down to change between flat and sides og a board. Or is the point to shave only very narrow boards to the same thickness?

  4. Poorman's Stack on March 24, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Well, we have done seen this one working. How many total planes do you have?

  5. John Fisher on March 24, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Great review! FYI – on sale for $69 right now!

  6. David Jennings on March 24, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Oh dear!! A new kind of plane for people with more money than sense, but if you make it in pretty colours someone will buy them and think they need them. This really is ‘trying to reinvent the wheel’
    The adjustment mechanism is terrible with so much backlash that it just does not make any sense. The little pad on the blade for the clamping screw really should be captive to the screw cos theres going to be lots of them disappearing into the sawdust on the workshop floor. Why make it magnetic when you can just attach it to the screw with a simple ball joint. The ‘adjustable’ mouth is a joke and on quite a few does not even fit perfectly into the sole of the plane ( like yours ) wait till those gaps start filling up with resin all dust. The thicknessing skids are a joke as are only any good if you have a master gauge or have already produced a sample thickness piece to use for setting. The fact that you have potential variation on all four corner fixings mean it would be impossible to set up to the advertised 0.001" that Bridge City state. A stupid point to state even if working in Cocobolo or ebony as wood moves with the climate. Those skids should be joined together, preferably machined from one piece which bridges the plane, then you would at least have a chance of setting both sides perfectly parallel to each other. Then you have the feel of the plane in your hand which is no where near as comfortable as my 50 year old Stanley 60 1/2. There’s no palm rest so you end up gripping the sides but again there is no machined rest for your fingers. Last of all the price is just plain ridiculous which is clearly why you can find them with 46% discount. I would not even pay that price when the planes I have been using for 55 years are far superior but can be picked up on Ebay or Craigs list for £40 and with a small amount of restoration will out perform that pretty little piece of aluminium. Don’t even get me started on the HP9v2 and the HP12 – Bridge City must be deluded. Best thing any woodworker can do is buy something that has stood the test of time and will still last another hundred years and if sharpened properly will do the job perfectly and you can pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Just imagine what will happen to those planes if you accidentally knock them off the bench. They will never last as long as Stanley or Record.

  7. Roy BAILEY on March 24, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Seems very very expensive for a bit of Light weight Aluminium 🤔

  8. Chris Jones on March 24, 2022 at 6:14 pm

    It seems to me that this company is selling all their planes for like 60% off. Because they are being built in China. And people are getting horrible planes from them. $1,300 for a plane. And the sole can be scratched if you rub it on a board. It blew my mind that a hand plane from the home depot had a smoother sole than a bridge city plane!!!!

  9. John Hammond on March 24, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Since the angle of the blade is always the same, the point where the blade passes beyond the bottom surface of the plane will always be the same. It doesn’t matter how short the blade becomes. the relationship between the mouth adjustment and the blade will always be the same. So the mouth adjustment will not extend the useful life of the blade as it shortens.

  10. Justin Sane on March 24, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    that throat response doesnt make any sense. closing the throat doesnt extend the blade length. you can only protrude it so much…this gave me a bad taste.

  11. Putttn on March 24, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    Other than the skids I don"t see any advantage over the Lie Nielsen #102 at $125. Yes, the price is much lower but so is the quality. Resale value of Lie Nielsen can’t be beat.

  12. Mike Holmes on March 24, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks for the review. Interesting tool.
    Focus on the video not too good though.
    Also, it would’ve been great to see it in action by planing that strip of wood a little bit.
    Cheers. Mike.

  13. Hengry 1994 on March 24, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    For a bit under $100 & a nail file, shoot I’m in!

  14. Cerberus on March 24, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    I caught this one for 75 bucks and jumped on it. These are great little tools and sharp right out of the box.
    I’d definitely buy again and recommend.

  15. 12 Again Sports & Outdoors on March 24, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Nice! I thought I had seen that plane before! Cool that you were able to use that segment again. Hard to believe that they would allow the bottom to be scuffed up like that . . . especially at that price-point. Interesting information about the bevel angle. Very cool little tool! The bottom being a nail file, I literally laughed out loud.

  16. alan g k on March 24, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    badly made in china

  17. David Zeller on March 24, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    I don’t think you understand a few things about planes. The number of turns on the back knob before engaging is not the back lash or slop people talk about. They are referring to the amount of turning you do when reversing direction after you are in the engaged portion of the screw. Also, the gap that you can increase and decrease on the bottom relates to accommodating the shavings and does not set the depth of cut in any way. You typically want the gap as small as possible while providing space for the shavings to clear. Keeping that gap small helps ensure the best support/contact and resulting smoothness in finish and motion of the plane. Finally, the math that you say is too much to expect is common, especially with low angle planes, where many people have multiple blades to ultimately result in both low and standard angles in one plane.

  18. John Norris on March 24, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks for this review. I very almost bought one last week when u was in Lee Valley. After seeing your review I honestly don’t know how you can defend this piece of junk. I owe you one.

  19. getenlightened on March 24, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    Thoughts on this one vs. your Veritas Apron plane?

  20. JimiDuke on March 24, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Can you sharpen the blade using the Veritas sharpening jig or is the blade too small?

  21. James Densford on March 24, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    Excellent review – thanks. I had the same concern regarding the instruction manual stating that the back should not be lapped. They need to fix the manual pronto! What do you think about polishing the sole of the plane?

  22. robert turner on March 24, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    thank you very much i can dismiss this now especially as a lie nielsen bronze plane would be nicer

  23. Ben on March 24, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    The bottom surface isn’t a mistake – they consciously made a design decision to use the cheapest possible milling technique which leaves that brushed surface. You may have seen that surface on similar tools at Harbor Freight. It is indeed “flat” as they claim but not smooth as it should be. And it’s not irrelevant because those grooves can translate over to your workpiece and leave an ugly finish. I guess Bridge City Tools is just a business like any other, profit above all else

  24. Ayman Al-Harmi on March 24, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Hey Mathew nice review. I just got my second one, the first one being included in the Chopsticks kit. This thought I am having issue with. It cuts deeper on one side of the blade and I cant seem to adjust it any. Any ideas?!

  25. Steve Alderete on March 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for threat review. I bought this at 69.99, a like others have mentioned the packaging is perfect. I am new at woodworking and because of the small size, I use it as a pull plane. It works great that way, I get the full thin ribbons without the chatter.

  26. Zero138 on March 24, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    Fantastic review.

  27. Gary Gibbons on March 24, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Thank you for this review!
    Even at $80, having an unfinished sole and that much lash in the blade advancement isn’t premium. The strange explanation regarding the cutting iron angles given by customer service is annoying. How hard is it to state conclusively on the web site (and in the product documentation) what the primary and secondary grinds are, and how adding it to the bed angle equals the claimed cutting angle?
    So when it comes down to it, what you’re really buying is the adjustable depth guides on either side. I admit, they are interesting, and given a real need for small parts planing, could be useful. For me though, not really.
    You give them way too much credit at 4 starts in my opinion.
    I’ll take my business to Lie Nielsen or Veritas.