Clifton 2" One Piece Cap Iron

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One of the easiest ways to upgrade your bench plane is to fit a thick meaty chipbreaker, or cap iron as it is correctly known. By stiffening the blade assembly, vibration is greatly reduced and a good fit with the back of the cutting iron reduces the chance of hang ups and blockages.

Most single piece cap irons are made by bending, which means they act like a spring when fitted and exert bending forces on the cutting iron. Clifton have always believed that the best way to hold an iron is flat and under compressive force, with no springing or bending in the system at all.

To this end, the new Clifton one piece cap iron is relief ground from a solid block of steel. The remaining surfaces are then precision ground, very slowly, so that they mate perfectly with the face of the cutting iron.

Because of this it is best to avoid lapping the flat side. If you need to fine tune the fit, a couple of light strokes with a burnisher on the bevelled side should be all that is necessary.

2" fits all standard No.4 and 5 bench planes.

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  • 4

    Posted by David on 27th Sep 2018

    I bought two of these, a 2" and a 2 /34", I'm very happy with both, and they seem to be good value. One point I would make though is that I'm not sure I agree with the recommendation not to lap the back, the machine grind finish was quite course along the leading edge, I didn't have a burnisher so I thought I would try a few swipes along my fine diamond plate. When I did this half a dozen times I checked the results and the uneven wear from the plate would suggest that the cap iron was not flat either. So I polished out the rough uneven surface on my fine plate. I wont need to do it again (unless it gets chipped or something) and it only took literally 30 seconds so its not an issue for me. I presume it would still respond well to burnishing the edge, and at least now its flat and polished.