HNT Gordon and Co. Classic Plane Makers Australia was established by Terry Gordon in 1995 after several years of development work. Terry was a keen woodworker and navigator in the Air Force when he decided to follow his passion in the woodwork industry. Hand plane problems were a constant struggle in his woodwork projects, so he set out to find different alternatives and new designs. After living in Malaysia for 3 years with the air force, he began to meet the locals and observed them using their planes with balance and ease to produce a tear out free surface. These Asian style planes intrigued Terry, and he went on to learn about the benefits of these tools. In addition to this, large amounts of studying old tools and lots of experimental work was conducted on blade angles to determine what worked best on Aussie hard woods. It was found that a blade pitch of 55 – 60 degrees works best on hard and curly grain and by reversing the blade to bevel up an angle of 85 – 90 degrees forms a scraper plane to tackle those woods you can’t plane. This high blade pitch was not being produced by any manufacturers at the time, which is what made our planes unique when we came on the market.
Terry began his range with the little palm smoothing plane, and went on to make additional bench planes including jointers and jack/scrub planes. Between 2007 - 2012 the family business was at a stage where we could afford to expand our range, by introducing moulding planes, spoke shaves, dado planes, radius planes and tail vices – bringing our range of tools to 40 various types in total. In 2012 HNT Gordon Planes employed their first apprentice to learn the tricks of the trade – Terry’s son Nelson Gordon.
Terry and Nelson went on to increase the brands range of tools to 50 types, including special purpose planes, joinery planes and the moving fillister plane. In 2015 Terry’s daughter Tamaris decided to join the business part time whilst studying to take care of office and logistic matters. Tamaris will be joining us full time in 2018. In 2015 Terry’s nephew Julian also joined the team as an accredited fitter machinist, proving to be a huge asset. By 2016 we needed an extra set of hands, and hired Chris Maron – a graduate from the Canberra school of Art and Design.
We are currently in the process of installing a new CNC mill to increase productivity – to enable us to provide our valued customers with quality vices at affordable prices. We continue to grow as a small business, and pride ourselves in provided quality tools that are hand finished to an exceptional standard.
At HNT Gordon & Co. our Business principles are:
- All our bench planes will plane and scrape difficult timbers with no tear out, and they are optimised for hard/cranky timbers but will work equally well on soft wood.
- We will only use high quality materials with a simple/functional design to offer customers affordable quality in tools to help improve your woodwork.
- We have done considerable development work to learn how to harvest, dry and stabilise Australian hardwoods (in particular gidgee) to give us a superior quality wood for plane making that has ever been used before. In conjunction with this we have learnt how to combine this wood with brass using modern glues to enhance the function and life of some wooden planes. As a consequence of this work we offer an unconditional guarantee on workmanship and materials without hesitation.
In today’s throwaway society, we are proud to produce a quality product that will last generations. Too often today we are seeing cheap, poor quality imported products ending up as landfill after only a short period of service. This is not good for our environment, and we endeavour to make a difference. At HNT Gordon we do a yearly run to collect timber from inland Australia, and we are exceptionally selective about the trees we cut down to reduce waste.
We have our workshop and show room in Alstonville NSW, which is within 30 minutes to Byron Bay. The showroom will be open to woodworkers to try HNT Gordon planes and view planes and vices being made. All planes will be available for sale and visitors will be able to hand pick the plane of their choice. Other related accessories for woodworking will also be available. The showroom is generally open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm. When Terry and staff are attending the Wood shows, the showroom may not be open every day. Please call ahead or email us prior to your visit to ensure a representative is available.