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davidc1075

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I slipped off work today, and went to the show at Alexandra Palace. I only had a few hours unfortunately so I didn't manage to catch any of the demonstrations but as I was passing them they all seemed to be very well attended.
First stop was the Clifton stand, I was after a shoulder plane and looked at the Clifton 420 and the 3110. Was very impressed with both of them and the staff were very helpful and friendly. Great to be able to actually try before you buy. I also tried out the 4, 4 1/2 and 5. Now I have heard and read so much about paper thin shavings but these were even better than that. I had read the review in The Woodworker between the Lie - Nielsen Clifton and Veritas. A minor complaint of the Lie-Nielsen was the comfort of the handle if you have big hands and for me the Clifton was perfect. Well I think you know where I am going with this one and yes I did buy it and the shoulder plane. The cost, well they did have what they called B grade models, these are ones that have a slight scrape on the body etc but nothing more serious. I would cause more damage getting it out of the box!. The total cost for the two £220, the 4 1/2 was the demo he got out of the box so it wasn't marked or damaged and the blade was so polished it was like a mirror it means I don't have to do it. So I went away very pleased.
One thing I would like to mention is and unless someone is going to tell me they are owned by a multi national foreign company is at least the are British any this tipped the balance for me and they also said to give them a call should I have any problems ( a trans altlantic call might be a little more expensive!). I hear so many people complain the we used to make such great tools in England but not any longer so at least I am doing my bit to support craftmanship here and I am Irish!
Had a look around a few of the machinery displays, Record and Jet looking for a bandsaw but neither was doing any deals that you couldn't pick up elsewhere so no bandsaw, anyway would have been a bit difficult to get home as I didn't bring my van.
A few router bits later, checked out the Trend stand who wer e helpful and friendly but it is normal price less the VAT( no different than my local toolshop just dont ask where he is in case the tax man is also a memeber of this forum.
Got a good deal on a Metabo 450 duo random orbit sander. These come with two Bessey 600mm uni clamps. This was the same deal as Travis Perkins were doing recently. I managed to get the two 600mm k clamps 60 various grade discs, Metabo screw case and sports type bag and a digital rangefinder for £175. Not bad considering Axminster sell it for £155 for the snader alone. The company was next to the Bessey stand if anyone else is interested. Bit of a stuggle home will be out in my workshop tomorrow.

By the way anyone going by Tube, get off at Wood Green and the bus stop is dircectly across the road. I think it is a W3 you want and it takes you to the door. Ps bring a drink and packed lunch, the food is expensive. Dave

There didn't seem to be as many exhibitors I noticed a few empty spaces but maybe they will be there Sat Sunday
 

trevtheturner

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So, you're going back on Sunday with the van then, Dave!? :wink:

As you mentioned looking for a bandsaw, it might be worth looking at the SIP 14" before you decide. I looked at, and played with, one recently and was impressed. My present one, an E/B BAS 315, is fine for preparing turning blanks and freehand work, but it has a really grotty fence which flaps about all over the place!

The SIP, which has a larger 8"+ depth of cut, has a superb fence - easy single lever clamp fixes it at both ends, dead solid with no movement whatsoever when locked and it sits properly square on the table. The machine has all the other good features you might look for and comes out at just under £300. With a Dure Edge blade I would expect it to be a superb machine. Soon as I shift my E/B I'll be getting one.

Clifton planes? Yep, they are made in Sheffield. I've bought Clifton, for their quality, 'cos I've got big hands too, and 'cos they're British made. I am delighted with them and cannot fault them.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Noel

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"but it has a really grotty fence which flaps about all over the place!"
Trev, so true, absolute rubbish fence and lower guide adjustment total nonsense. If you find a buyer, ask him if he has a brother who might need one too.....

Noel
 

trevtheturner

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Hi Noel,

Absolutely agree with you about the lower guides, too. :roll:

If I find the brothers, I'll let you know. :wink:

Cheers,

Trev.
 

davidc1075

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trover I hadn't thought of SIP but they were there and had a very large stand. I totally agree with you about the fence issue. My site saw is the same, how difficult is it to make a fence that is parallel? It seems that we have moved on in terms of electronics and backwards as far as engineering(machinery) is concerned. Have you tried Ebay to sell the old machine I have been looking at bandsaws there for the last few months and they all go for good money, something to think about. Can't wait for the wife to go out shopping with her mum so I can go and have a play.
 

GCR

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I went to the show today as well. Slightly disappointing from my point of view, too many powered hand tools and not enough fittings, wood and hand tools. The Clifton stand was busy, I am already the proud owner of a No4, I was looking for a shoulder plane but the Clifton staff did not seem interested so I moved on... The best bit was the craft show next door which I thought was much better than last year. My wife came away full of enthusiasm so I think I have some bonus points!

Bob
 
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