So why would you want a fixed mouth Clifton block plane? Firstly, it's less expensive to make than the adjustable version, so you save a bit of money. Second, it won't make a hint of difference on endgrain work (but moistening the fibres before you plane them will make a big difference - thanks Tom Fidgen for this tip). The only place you might see a significant benefit with the adjustable version is on long grain smoothing work where you have a grain reversal, and on the plus side, a single casting is theoretically more stable.
The new Clifton block plane is based on the proportions of a No. 9-1/2 (but unlike the 9-1/2 it is a low angle block plane). A little broader than the 60-1/2 with a generous cutting width of 1-5/8", the Clifton sits particularly well in a medium to large hand.
Clifton block planes are made from vacuum cast bronze, a technique that ensures a very high integrity casting with no voids or porosity. Like the Clifton bench planes each one is individually machined and then finished and assembled by hand.
The blade of the Clifton is made from roll forged O1 carbon steel and given the same superb heat treatment as the bench plane irons. Adjustment comes courtesy of an elegantly incorporated Norris adjustment mechanism complete with little nubs in the bed to hold the blade centrally and ensure that it pivots consistently.
The cap, laminated from solid brass and bubinga, makes a wonderfully tactile interface and brings an element of nature into your little gold bar.
Over time both the bronze and the bubinga will mellow and take on a beautiful rich brown patina, with polished spots where your fingers fall.
- Sole Dimensions: 2" x 6-3/8" (50 x 163mm)
- Blade: O1 carbon steel 1/8" (3mm) thick
- Cryogenically hardened to RC61 Weight: 950g (about 2lbs)
The timber used in this tool has recently been added to CITES appendix 2. Although it is perfectly legal and above board, the cost of obtaining the licenses now required to ship it outside of the European Union are prohibitive for individual movements. We are therefore only able to offer this tool for sale to customers within the EU.
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