20 Jul New Straightedge and Rules from Bridge City Tools
At Bridge City Tool Works, the company slogan is “Quality is Contagious”. In that spirit, the company has just released the latest generation of John Economaki’s straightedge (the SE series) and rules (SR series). These are exquisitely machined heirloom tools that come in gold triangular protective cases. The new versions have a high-grade stainless-steel blade and a physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating that delivers super surface hardness for wear resistance and low friction.
The new rules come in three lengths and each is marked with either imperial (I) or metric (M) dimensions. There’s a 6”/150 mm pocket rule (they’re names SR-6-I and SR-6-M respectively); a 12”/300 mm bench rule (SR-12-I and SR-12-M), and a 24”/600 mm bench rule (SR-24-I and SR-24_M). They have extremely accurate, laser-etched gradations in 1 mm increments on the metric rules and half mm markings near the ends. The 3/64” thick imperial versions are gradated in 32nds and 16ths. Both read left-t-right on one face and right-to-left on the other, and the 6” and 12” rules have laser-etched gradations across the end of the tool which is very handy when performing tasks such as setting a bit height and a fence simultaneously, or perhaps measuring the length of a small tenon. The hardness and accuracy of these rules makes them ideal for laying out dovetails with a marking knife. They are also perfect for checking the sole of a plane, setting up jointers, determining the extent of a warp or twist in a board and so on.
The 1 mm thick metric rules have an indexing black dot lasered into the surface every 32 mm, which correlates to European cabinet shelf support holes. And the surfaces of all of these PVD coated rules can be written upon with a pencil and easily wiped clean again.
The triangular prism package is more than an aesthetic detail. It contains a high-quality foam that protects the rules when traveling to jobsites or even when they’re just lying on the workbench.
Prices for the rules run from $41.50 to $92.50, and the company is also releasing a 24” long by 1-1/2” wide and 5/64” thick straightedge (SE-24, no lasered gradations) of the same superior quality as the rules. It is currently listed at $84.50 and the estimated ship date on all of these new tools is around September 30th.
Woodworkers who are looking at the tools for inlay or marquetry may be interested in WoodEzine’s free online marquetry course that is taught by British expert Alan Mansfield.