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Clifton Combination Plane

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Taffy Turner

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Anyone seen / got / used one of these?

I saw one advertised in a turning catalogue for £145 (I know - I don't know why it was in a turning catalogue either :roll: ), and it seemed like a good idea to me.

Basically it is three planes in one, a shoulder plane, a bullnose and a chisel plane.

Now I currently cut my tenons on a table saw and bandsaw. but have been toying with the idea lately of cutting them slightly over-size, and then using a shoulder plane to trim them to a "perfect" fit. :idea: (All this time spent hanging around this forum is starting to bring out my Galootish tendencies). :shock: Please bear in mind I am a novice in the use of hand tools though. :?

What I was wondering was, would the Clifton Combination plane be a good bet for doing this final trimming (and a few other things besides), or is it a case of "jack of all trades and master of none", and so would I be better off buying a straight forward shoulder plane, such as the Veritas ones so comprehensively (and stylishly) reviewed by ALF?

Also, what is the quality like on the Cliftons compared with Veritas or Lie Nielsons?

All advice and guidance gratefully recieved!!! :lol:

Gary
 

Chris Knight

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Gary,
I like mine but I defer to Alf in any comparison with LV planes. For me it is a good size for trimming tenons and I also use it as a bullnose. I hardly use the chisel plane mode and indeed, hardly use another, single purpose chisel plane I have. I prefer a (generally cranked) chisel for the sort of stuff a chisel plane is used for.

Like most Clifton stuff it is well made and finished.
 

Alf

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Gary,

That'll be the #3110 I assume? I know a few people have one and are pleased with it, but my experience of it is zilch I'm afraid. FWIW, like Chris, I don't have much time for chisel planes. As far as Clifton's quality goes, it has reportedly been a bit hit and miss in the past, but I understand it's much improved. But 'tis all hearsay unless I get one to review... As far as the Veritas ones go, not much I can add to the reviews - 'cept I fully intend to get the Medium next month to complete my little family, which might tell you something. :roll: You'd be getting a good quality tool whatever you go for - the only duff shoulder planes on the market are the Stanley #9X series, and as you haven't mentioned them you should be fine. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Midnight

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I should've posted this a while back....butt...

Anyway..
My first venture into shoulder planes was with the 3110.. and to be honest, first impressions weren't all that great.. However.. now that it's been sent to the manufacturer, reworked, tested and returned, I'd reckon it's a handy little tool. Manufacturers back-up can only be described as faultless, showing concern that I'd a prob and determination to resolve / remedy it to my satisfaction. It's not the easiest plane I have to get used to; set up can take a lot of fiddling, but once done it does a fine job..
 
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Gary,

I've got one and love it. I also confess to using the chisel configuration for cleaning up that little line of glue from joints when I don't take care to mask it properly beforehand :oops: Not having a cranked paring chisel, I find it's the best tool in my kit-bag to deal with this.

It's a versatile tool, well made and in my view a joy to use. I use it for adjusting tenon shoulders too and it cuts beautifully across the grain. Adjustment of the blade left to right is a bit fernickety, but that's a feature of the design of this type of plane rather than a specific problem with the Clifton.

Cheers,

Lee
 

Taffy Turner

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Thanks everyone for the information.

Yes - it is indeed the 3110 to which I refer.

Looks as if that one will be going onto the Christmas present list then.

Thank you all for your help - much appreciated.

Gary
 

bugbear

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Shady

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I'd like to support Clifton, as the only UK maker with any quality at all, but I'd go with Bugbear on this one. I do tend to believe in the 'one job and only one, but done well' approach when buying tools, rather than compromises that claim to do lots. But I have no experience with this plane, and it may be brilliant. (and before anyone leaps in, I'm talking about makers of 'affordable and obtainable' bench planes, so don't go pointing Karl Holtey out to me... :wink: ) Seems to me that we're pretty much limited to LN, LV, or Clifton...
 

Alf

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Shady":21opzbk9 said:
and before anyone leaps in, I'm talking about makers of 'affordable and obtainable' bench planes, so don't go pointing Karl Holtey out to me... :wink:
Spoilsport. :p Anyway what's with this "limited" talk?! Gosh, wish everything else in life was so "limited". Talk about a golden age of quality hand tools. :D

As far as buying Canadian goes, you could assuage any patriotic guilt by remembering the Commonwealth and so forth, if that helps. Or maybe a Clifton bench plane to make up...? :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Shady

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You're right Alf - in some ways it's a 'golden age' at the moment for affordable but fantastic planes. All 3 makers set the benchmark in various ways - I just find it a little sad that only one of them is UK based, given the history, and that although 'good', that is probably the least 'customer facing' of the 3: Where's the Clifton website allowing you to trawl their products? Where's the equivalent to Rob Lee trawling the boards on both sides of the Atlantic ? Where's the range of 'more than just the bench planes' extras that gets woodworkers discussing their range of offerings?

I really enjoy my LN and LV offerings, and I have a very nice Clifton Number 4 (and actually, dare I admit it, prefer their hand forged irons to A2 when it comes to sharpening - nicer feel to the steel). But, all other things being equal, it's LV/Veritas I look to for my best combination of affordable/good quality/innovative hand tools that will do the job.
 

Alf

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Shady":iw3k3s10 said:
I just find it a little sad that only one of them is UK based, given the history, and that although 'good', that is probably the least 'customer facing' of the 3: Where's the Clifton website allowing you to trawl their products? Where's the equivalent to Rob Lee trawling the boards on both sides of the Atlantic ? Where's the range of 'more than just the bench planes' extras that gets woodworkers discussing their range of offerings?
All too true. :(

Cheers, Alf
 

Philly

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Shady/Alf
To be fair though, you do see Mike from Clifton at most of the Shows with his wears. You get to pick them up and try 'em out- beats peoples opinions on the internet by miles, does a little bit of reality!
Regards
Philly (who bought his Cliftons after test driving 'em )
 

Shady

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Philly: that's very true - I saw him at the last Axminster show I went to, and he's a nice guy. I just feel that the whole customer service 'presentational side' is far better done across the pond... North American/Canadian companies seem more switched on to that sort of stuff, and it works for me.
 

Chris Knight

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I suspect Clico feel they are doing rather well with their planes at the moment having established a bit of a name for themselves in the USA but of course to rest on one's laurels is to step onto quicksand.

I wonder if it's worth dropping a line to them pointing out we would like to see them around here? With 600 members it's getting to be a marketplace worth thinking about.

I have always found them good value at the shows and very open/approachable but I am really not sure how much of their business the planes side accounts for. I have read that it is a hobby and yet I don't see they do a lot besides - although of course I may have missed something.
 

Shady

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You could actually be right there Chris: I think their main line of business is the 'Clico tooling' range, which I believe is all about precision metal working tools for people like the aerospace industry.

In that case it is a little unfair to bemoan their lower visibility - we just come back to the lack of a 'dedicated' UK equivalent to the other two. Why not ask them if they wanna 'come on board' here... My impression from the slowly growing range is that, even if it's a hobby sideline, it must be paying for itself. Now if they could just forget the stupidly expensive multiplane, and produce something like a number 9, I'd buy it... :)
 

Alf

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Clico (Sheffield) Tooling Ltd. A noticeable lack of on-line contact listed; not so much as an email address.

The impression I've got is that one or two of the bosses look on it as a hobby and suggest to Mike what they fancy making, and he spends all his time persuading them the world doesn't need another circular plane but there might be money to be made from (say) a block plane or two. I imagine the Multiplane slipped past him before he had the nerve to start reigning in their brighter ideas... :wink: I'm probably very wrong, but it's a good story anyway. :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

bugbear

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I had a long chat (at a trade show) with one of the senior guys at Clico/Clifton.

He had a very negative view of web/net people. He essentially said that he's too busy to get involved in long email dialogues with "woodwhackerguy@dude.net" about why they used cocobolo for totes and not rosewood (or whatever).

Wether he's right or not, missing an opportunity or not, I leave to judgements better than mine, but that was his stated opinion.

It is indeed conceivable that some discussions/debates on plane design and features could be lengthy (DAMHIKT)

BugBear
 

ike

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The 3110?. I love mine, it's such a handy little tool - beautifully made and finished. An indulgence - maybe, but a very useful thing.

Ike
 

Alf

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bugbear":vokrdecn said:
It is indeed conceivable that some discussions/debates on plane design and features could be lengthy (DAMHIKT)
Nah, after the first 6 months or so of furious debate they tend to peter out in my experience... :roll: That reported attitude of Clico/Clifton pretty much clinches Shady's case, does it not? :?

Cheers, Alf
 

Philly

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Alf,
Alright, I accept that it might look like Shady has got it sussed-but look at it this way-My Missus would prefer it if I stopped buying any more planes. Maybe certain people have been lobbying Clico NOT to market their wares too strongly? Maybe there have been threats made? :lol:
That's all I'm saying in case SWMBO is lurking........
cheers
Philly :lol:
 
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