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Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

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Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby Woodbloke » 13 Jul 2019, 21:31

I recently sold a few odd n'sods elsewhere in part to fund the purchase of a Clifton Block Plane. I'd fancied one for a while and heard good things of it a while ago from Paul Chapman, late of UKW. One was duly ordered from Classic Hand Tools and it arrived in record time the very next day.

It's a heavy wee beastie and difficult to use one handed, plus I found the Norris style adjuster in a smallish plane awkward to laterally adjust the blade....it's much easier to tap it with a small knockometer. That wasn't the worst thing though by a long shot because when the mouth was closed up really righty-tighty as you'd expect for a block plane, the blade couldn't be set parallel with the sole....it was 'up' on the lhs.

Now I checked it and double checked it (possible burrs, a speck of dust raising the cutter etc etc) but every time it was the same result; the blade was out of kilter with the sole. The only possible cause was poor bed machining which raised the cutter a fraction on the lhs (as you sight down the sole)

When I'd payed nearly £300 for a block plane, I expected it to be absolutely bloody perfick straight out the box. This one wasn't :evil: , so after a very brief call on the dog n'bone yesterday morning, it's now merrily on it's way back to CHT and a full refund will shortly be appearing in my bank account - Rob
I no longer work for Axminster Tools & Machinery.
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby TrimTheKing » 13 Jul 2019, 21:37

That’s a shame. You going to get another to see if it was a bad one or you had enough?

I remember years ago Paul was pestering them to do one and they had it in the offing but I didn’t know it had come out.

I do like the Clifton green and have listed after them before. Shame to see this though.

Are they still a British company?
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby Woodbloke » 13 Jul 2019, 21:53

TrimTheKing wrote:That’s a shame. You going to get another to see if it was a bad one or you had enough?

I remember years ago Paul was pestering them to do one and they had it in the offing but I didn’t know it had come out.

I do like the Clifton green and have listed after them before. Shame to see this though.

Are they still a British company?

Not going to chance it with another one Mark; if one was 'bad' there's every chance that the whole batch could be down the pan. They're now owned by Thomas Flinn & Co but still made in Sheffield. It was a shame 'cos it came in the post at 5.30pm and was on it's way back to Ipswich the following morning by 8.45am - Rob
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby Andyp » 14 Jul 2019, 07:00

Rob, one of the delights of my el-cheapo Stanley block plane is the ability to hold a piece of wood in one hand and chamfer the corners with the other. A block plane so heavy that it needs two hands sounds a little incongruous to me. Not to mention the price!
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby Woodbloke » 25 Jul 2019, 18:04

The refund appeared very promptly, part of which was instantly disposed off on a LN 60.5 block plane which was, as you'd expect, perfick straight out the box - Rob
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby max power » 04 Apr 2020, 11:13

Shame to see one of our few remaining British tool manufacturers being slated without an attempt to make them aware of the problem :cry:
They would have been more than happy to make things right and very much doubt you would have found the same issue again. I have a number of cliffies as well as lie Nielsens and Veritas and the Cliftons are at least the equal of any of them.
The problem with these type of internet assassinations is that they are out there forever and can lose a good British company business even though they weren't given a chance to address your concerns
Last edited by max power on 04 Apr 2020, 13:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby Woodbloke » 04 Apr 2020, 12:31

max power wrote:Shame to see one of our few remaining British tool manufacturers being slated without an attempt to make them aware of the problem :cry:
They would have been more than happy to make things right and very much doubt you would have found the same issue again. I have a number of cliffies as well as lie Nielsens and Veritas and the Cliftons are at least the equal of any of them.

No doubt CHT informed the manufacturers of the issue, so sending the tool back to the supplier for a refund was the correct thing to do - Rob
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby max power » 04 Apr 2020, 14:01

Obviously CHT will have sent the plane back and got a replacement, but did you make them aware of your concerns before performing a hatchet job on them ?
I'm not implying in any way that companies should not be held accountable for faulty goods, but I doubt this was more than a one off, otherwise there would have been numerous complaints about their block planes.
If you did complain and got no response then they deserve all they get, but if as appears, you didn't then you haven't given them a fair chance.
I'm very quick to rectify my work if a problem occurs and is pointed out, however minor.
I'd be rather miffed if I was getting slated without being made aware though :(
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby Woodbloke » 04 Apr 2020, 15:14

I did what I did and got a result that I was happy with. I have no intention of progressing this thread any further - Rob
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby max power » 04 Apr 2020, 15:44

Me either, fortunately most people are reasonable enough to give small companies the benefit of the doubt.
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Re: Clifton Block Plane...disappointing!

Postby kirkpoore1 » 05 Apr 2020, 05:19

That's a lot for a block plane. I can see why you're disappointed. Some stuff is easy to fix, and I might have done further analysis before sending it back. But then, that price might have scare me off in the first place, since it's a lot more than I paid for my Veritas low angle jack plane.

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