The new jack rabbet plane on the back cover represents our most complex plane casting to date. Pierced by an abundance of holes for blade-registration screws, two nicking spurs, a throat-stop adjustment screw, and a dual-rod fence that can be mounted on either side, this plane body has had more machining steps performed on it than any other we’ve produced to date. It also expresses the intellectual property embodied in no fewer than three current US utility and design patents – certainly more than any other hand plane in production now. It is also fitting that we are introducing this plane during our 35th anniversary, as it is certainly representative of three and a half decades of experience in the woodworking tool business, and reflects the skills and learning acquired from the more than one thousand individual R&D projects initiated to date.
Much has changed since we shipped our first catalog order in the fall of 1978. We were years from having our first computer, virtually all of your orders arrived by post, and a single person could cover the showroom and still get most of the packing done as well. We heated our warehouse with a wood stove and communicated with vendors in other countries using cryptic short-forms transmitted by telex (ironically, using many of the same acronyms our kids now think they invented for texting). Today, the majority of you key in your own orders through our website, and communicate with us instantly by e-mail. Here, we haven’t heated with wood for many decades, and our order-pickers speak directly to our computer system using wireless headsets.
What hasn’t changed over the past 35 years is our commitment to keep listening to what you want and don’t want, what you like and don’t like, the problems you encounter and the frustrations you have. Your comments have shaped how we do business, and that will continue to be the case – no matter how we receive them.
Robin C. Lee