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Clifton Planes

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Daniel2

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Does anyone know what's going on with Clifton Planes?
Have they ceased production ?
I have been watching Workshop Heaven's site for months and months now,
but the whole range keeps showing as out of stock.
Can anybody shed any light ?
 

JohnPW

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Clifton's own website, Clifton Bench Plane no. 4 - Smoothing

says:
** Please note, due to high order levels, lead times could vary depending on when items are coming through production. This could be several weeks delivery approx. **
and no planes are shown as out of stock, which sounds like they're still making them.
 

Blackswanwood

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Axminster also showing them on 4 week back order which doesn’t sound too long to wait now our just in time ordering world is broken.
 

Peter Sefton

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Clifton are very busy making planes just trying their best to keep up with demand, most of us dealers are out of stock and hoping for production to catch up with the back orders, this is not just a Clifton issue.
 

D_W

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I think the average person probably needs to step back when they panic about the boutique makers making tools, for several reasons:

1) this isn't a high profit endeavor, no matter how expensive someone thinks a $400 plane is. that means that there's not tons of extra capacity to just add and subtract at any variable cost. I recall the era of the LN conflict with Woodcraft, and all of the supposition that LN was greedy and TLN is getting rich. What the real story was was that LN didn't want to risk adding capacity, and even when they did, they were waiting to find out if the *bank* even thought their expansion plan was feasible. As in, they were taking a loan to do it, not paying for it with their untold retained millions.

2) when we all get stuck at home and orders for boutique tools double, it doesn't seem like a big deal, because it's still not that many tools. Because of the pre-pandemic volume, it doesn't take that much to double orders. Even if staffing didn't decrease due to quarantines, etc, you can't just double production, especially when a lot of the work is skilled or semi skilled

3) as soon as there's scarcity, stuff on ebay goes up (I sold a bronze LN 4 at a straight auction early this year hoping to just get 80% of what I paid for it. IT ended up selling for $550 to someone in california. I got numerous nasty notes from people about how I was "shill bidding the auctions, because nobody starts penny auctions these days - it's too risky and only shill bidding scammers do it, and I hope you're happy when you shill bid it and you end up with no buyer". Well, the buyer paid right away. I made him a nice O1 iron free, and if he'd have asked for four, I'd have made him four. I asked why he paid so much for a plane that wasn't unmarked, and he said "I called LN and they said they wouldn't be doing a run of these for at least 3 months, and I don't feel like waiting to see if they do".

I gave him a modified cap iron to go along with the original spec cap so that he can run any 2" iron that he can find in it, thin or stock thickness. He was happy, I was happy. Everyone who sees that is going to cold buy a bronze 4 if they find one in stock somewhere, and then the problem perpetuates.

It would probably be helpful if manufacturers had a statement on their front page about going at regular production and the issues just being demand, but maybe they're not all that savvy. I had no clue of the LN shortage as I'd ordered a #62 to test a method and then dump after I collected the data that I wanted, and it came in 2 weeks.

I also think it's a pity when you can't make a penny no reserve auction on an auction site (I've lost doing that, too) and be accused of being a crook because "nobody does auctions on the auction site these days other than scammers" (that's also not true as there are a few music chains here that dump every single piece of blemished goods on ebay for penny auctions - they get such traffic, though, that it's hard to get much of a deal).
 

Daniel2

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Perhaps I'll contact them directly, then.
 

Craig22

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I have three Clifton planes, 4, 5 1/2 and 7, which I bought before Clifton was part of Flinn-Garlick.

Now the 7 has never cut quite as sweetly as the other two. When I surveyed the sole a week or so ago (against a certified straight edge), it falls away by four thou (0.1mm) at one side of the toe area - sort of lop sided. The 4 and 5 1/2 are dead flat.

I sent a picture of the sole, marked up with a Sharpie to Flinn-Garlick. I then phoned them - the relevant person was in a meeting and she'd phone me back. She did, half an hour later. Send the sole and frog back - they will have a look, and check the fit of the frog at the same time. Depending on what they find they will either replace it entirely, or surface grind the sole. I told them I'm perfectly relaxed either way.

You can't ask for a better service.
 

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