Clifton needs to make a router plane

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


22 Mar 2020
Reaction score
Does any one else think Clifton should make a router plane , think I would be nice in they made Preston 1399P pattern router plane or even if Clifton designed and made their own router plane. I cant be the only one thinking this.

it took them a while to make a block plane but they got there in the end
Walke-Moore still do make it as far as I am aware, but they seem to have supply problems. (Were my pockets deep enough I wouldn’t hesitate.)

I agree however that there is a definite opportunity for Clifton to exploit.
I think it's easy to underestimate the development and tooling costs to manufacture something like a woodworking plane, and easy to overestimate potential sales, especially for something already sold by (at least) two other premium makers. It's a financial risk for a small business to take, and in the current economic climate, risk-taking is a luxury a lot of businesses feel they can't afford.

Is there a case for someone to start making small quantities of such planes on a bugetary shoe-string, charging a premium price? Maybe, but the competition from Veritas and LN is an obstacle to sales.

I suspect that as the supply of good second-hand planes starts to slow (which it must at some point, because supply is finite), business opportunities for new offerings will start to look more promising, but that does rather depend on how the hand-tool woodworking market develops - if more people take up hobby woodworking or develop craft businesses, the market will expand. If the future becomes computerised everything, it might diminish. Who can predict which way things will go?
The tooling cost for a router similar to the Walke-Moore tool, would be very high, for casting and associated parts. It is a lovely product, but to produce, it would have to be a labor of love. In other words, quite risky.

However, to do a fully machined product on a CNC, would be more cost effective and minimize carrying inventory that might go unsold. This would be similar to the business model used by Woodpecker Tools, for their line of tools: design, take orders, produce and ship.
Print on demand makes all sorts of obscure books available when wanted without tying up capital. Machine on demand tools could do the same.
I think Clifton are more then capable of designing and manufacturing their own pattern of router plane and also think there's good business case for a Clifton router plane ,Thomas Flinn and co are busier then ever before there must be lot people out their who want to buy British made tool instead of north American ones .
Can't see it. Anyone who requires a high quality router plane can buy one of the LN range which are very good and not crazy expensive. They have a few variants as do Veritas. If Clifton made one, then all that would do is divert some sales from LN - and even then only if price competitive.
the fact the walke moore has sold out speaks volumes, they are probably better though than the originals in terms of how it's made, I would only buy a mass manufactured one if it equalled LN or veritas quality control standards.
Like the old Preston rectangular router...
Yes ,I don't think Clifton need to make Preston 1399P pattern router plane but it would be nice and Clifton already make Preston patterns shoulder planes the
1366 bull nose plane, 1355 bull nose plane,1368 shoulder plane,1368A shoulder plane, 311- 3 in 1 shoulder plane ,
I would be interest in a UK made router plane. Supply from US is severely restricted atm. Whether from Clifton or Droogs I don't mind and I favour a 'Preston' model as LN / Verita have the 71 style covered.
A Clifton/WM/Tees Valley Preston style router plane would be interesting. I have the LN 71 but can see the two complementing each other for, say, different stile dimensions when trimming tenon cheeks.
Fact of the matter is an organized business must make money to remain a viable business. Too many boutique makers (here in the states) begin making/selling items, expecting buyers to pay premium pricing to support their hobby (Function of the woodworking bloggers, most of whom have found it easier to talk than to do).

We’ve had many small saw startups flame out, after a year or so, when they learn the market is not robust enough to sustain asking prices 3 or 4 times what Thomas Flinn or LN, asks for their saws, which are the equal, if not superior, to any sold today.
I think modern record with the screw adjusting cap iron are from the sobo factory.

Whether the QC is the same I don't know.

They are a step up from silverline and a step down from anything else modern.

Think grizzy are from same factory.

Cheers James
Can't see it. Anyone who requires a high quality router plane can buy one of the LN range which are very good and not crazy expensive. They have a few variants as do Veritas. If Clifton made one, then all that would do is divert some sales from LN - and even then only if price competitive.

You could say that about any of their planes.
The difference is they would be offering a British option to the market 😀
Given the highly specialised nature of router planes, there's never going to be a worthwhile market for a new high end one. And given the age profile of woodworkers, myself an example, there is going to be a steady supply of good quality used router planes coming on the market as we topple off our perches.
You can probably start queuing up for the contents of my workshop fairly soon, and it includes quite a nice oldish Record RP.

Latest posts