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On Friday, Jan. 8, I went up to Fine Lumber & Plywood in Austin to attend a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event. it was a bit brisk — actually damn cold — for central Texas, but the Fine Lumber folks had set up heaters in their warehouse for the show, and it wasn’t too bad inside. Attendance on this Friday afternoon was light — due to the cold? — so it was easy to talk to other attendees, factory reps, and woodworking experts there.

I managed to get out without buying anything, but it was lots of fun getting a chance to try various Lie-Nielsen planes (they brought several as you can see in the picture above) with instructions and demonstrations by factory reps. I really liked getting long, almost transparent, curls off hardwood with a finely-tuned plane.

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Many of Bridge City Tool Work’s tools make it into our Tool Pr0n category, but their limited edition CT-16 palm brace has got to be one of the most frivolous offerings since the $100 plumb bob.

Bridge City Tool Works crafts the brace from steel, stainless-steel, and aluminum and then chromes the outer chuck, swing handle, and knob in black, a look which they call “stunningly beautiful.”  The handle of the 8-1/2″ inch long brace swings in a 4-1/2″ circle around the bit and accepts 1/4″ hex shank bits in its chuck.

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Whenever we mention Bridge City Tool Works on this site, the word “Tool Pr0n” gets thrown around quite a bit. Although their latest tool, the KM-1 KerfMaker, is a bit on the expensive side, it looks like a useful tool for anybody who has ever tried to make tab A fit into slot B.

The precision-milled aluminum KerfMaker cuts grooves and dadoes that exactly match your stock material thickness using your table saw, radial arm saw, or router table. Bridge City has an excellent video on their web site explaining how to use the tool, but we’ll give you the summary.

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