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Thread: Clifton Planes

  1. Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Pierce View Post
    In an article from '07, he reviewed three shoulder planes, and on the first page he said:

    I have no idea how much weight to give that. I'm not even sure it relates particularly to the Clifton shoulder planes. I seem to remember that Clifton got good reviews in a recent FWW review of smooth planes. It's really just a single anecdotal data point, and not much of one at that. Not sure why I even brought it up.
    "Too many defective Cliftons pass through my hands." Really? He certainly should have provided a little more detail to backup that sort of statement.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Philadelphia, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Pedisich View Post

    I believe the Clifton castings are annealed, which strengthens them. They have been drop-tested as well with success. We should all have wide T&G white pine shop floors though, just for plane safety
    That's good to know! And it may sway me to give Joel some money for one next time I'm in New York (though New York seems to magically take away any spending money I might have to put towards a new plane). At the moment I'm working on pine floors, but I'm moving very soon, and if I have a shop at all lord know what the floor will be made of. I once dropped my WR no. 6 on my concrete patio (it fell of the shooting board). All 7 pounds landed right at the toe of the plane and it bounced. Had to sand down one or two burrs from the crash, but the plane didn't crack or warp or anything. IDK what WR planes are made from, but from that point on I knew that having a plane that can survive an encounter with concrete was good thing to have.

    Anyway, I've always been intrigued by the massive blades and 2-piece chipbreakers on Cliftons, but then again, I also like the frog adjustments on the BD Lee Valleys, and the interchangeable frogs on the LNs. On paper, they all have different advantages and its good that we have so many options. One of these days I can hopefully make it out to a show and try them all side by side to see what I like the best. Or maybe I'll save some money and just keep using my old stanley smoother which if I'm honest with myself does everything I need a smoother to do.
    Last edited by Chris Griggs; 04-17-2012 at 12:09 PM.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Marietta GA
    I bought a #3 Clifton about a decade ago. It took about 30 ~ 45 min to tune the blade and true the sole. It will take sub-thou shavings and it's worked reliably the whole time. The blade is very good steel, takes a really good edge and keeps it. It won't keep the edge as long as A2 but certainly will give O1 a run for it's money.

    I use it exclusively as a smoother. I've used it on a wide range of hardwoods. Results have been what one would expect of a really good plane. I paid far less than the LN as I bought mine early in the first release to market. If memory serves ( and some times it doesn't ), I think I paid $245 for it back then. I would not hesitate to recommend them. The three piece blade/stay set design is wonderful. You can remove the blade, give it a quick set of licks on the honing board/belt, with out removing the cap iron base, and be back working in less than 2 min.

    It's pretty too ! Hoot!

    Given a choice of LN #4 or Clifton #4, I would take the LN. I checked the current price on both and they both are priced the same.
    I don't think you'd do wrong with either but the LN has the A2 blade but the Clifton has the 3 pc blade but the... etc.
    Last edited by Terry Beadle; 04-17-2012 at 12:36 PM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    I own LN, LV, and Clifton planes. My Clifton plane performs beautifully and is built to very high standards, you won't be disappointed.

  5. #20
    I own one and have sold two other off..
    Unless you got them at 50% off like I did, I would pass..

    The blades are first rate but the geometry for chip breaker is not great and the depth adjuster is almost coming off the thread when plane is set a small gap..
    The are OK and high quality but not good as a LV or LN plane IMHO..
    aka rarebear - Hand Planes 101 - RexMill - The Resource

  6. #21
    I purchased a #4 & #5 when they became available about 8 years ago. Both are well made and have not required any fettling. On the plus side is the thicker iron, the removable chip breaker and the bedrock type adjustment system. They seem a bit more solid and heavy than my older user Stanley's. The only complaint is that the finish on the #5's cocobolo tote exhibits crazing near the heel, however, that is cosmetic and does not affect performance.

    When I bought my two planes the prices were well below what you would have paid for the equivalent L-N planes. Looking at current prices, if I am going to spend that kind of money I will probably go with an L-N.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Kleso View Post
    I own one and have sold two other off..
    Unless you got them at 50% off like I did, I would pass..

    The blades are first rate but the geometry for chip breaker is not great and the depth adjuster is almost coming off the thread when plane is set a small gap..
    The are OK and high quality but not good as a LV or LN plane IMHO..
    Johnny, glad to see you on here!

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    I am glad to see you posting too,Johnny.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Chappell Hill, Texas
    I was wrong. My fav plane is a Record 78, not a Clifton. I do have a couple Clifton spokeshaves - a concave and convex. They're OK. Got them on clearance ~15+ years ago.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    From what I've heard there are sometimes QC issues and it's not like dealing with LN or LV who are 110% there with customer support. I'd feel easier with a LN or LV for a high ticket item -- I don't know (but I suspect) that they may have more QC issues but more to the point it's how easy (or hard) it is to resolve them.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Plano, TX
    I too have a Clifton 410 shoulder plane (which coincidentally came from Chris Schwarz when he was thinning his tools way back in 2004/2005) and have previously used the Veritas medium shoulder plane. I would put the machining on both at about par. Never used their bench planes.
    The means by which an end is reached must exemplify the value of the end itself.

  12. #27
    If one watches "how it's made" on clifton planes on youtube, it's interesting how similar everything looks to the LN process. Like nearly identical, except that clifton really does forge the irons with a power hammer in shop. They should be really good irons if they are tempered correctly, but they are exorbitantly expensive to buy individually.

    The tsunesaburo plane irons are really nice, maybe the nicest iron I've used for a smoother, but they aren't exactly out there in droves, and they come in one thickness (which suits me fine, but the wide iron users won't like the 2.2mm thickness that's similar to a stock stanley iron).

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