Clico Tooling Ltd. - Clifton Jack Plane No. 5 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Clifton Jack Plane No. 5

Clico Tooling Ltd. - Clifton Jack Plane No. 5

The Clifton No. 5 jack plane is based on the classic Stanley Bedrock design with some variations, including a two-piece cap iron.

$270 (As of 8/1/2001)

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Editor's Review:

by Ernie Conover

review date: August 1, 2001

Clico Tooling Ltd., a Sheffield, England, manufacturer, is offering a line of planes based on the classic Stanley Bedrock planes, first made in 1898.

I found plenty to like about this plane. Both the frog and frog bed are machined to exacting standards, and they work flawlessly. The sole and cheeks check out flat and square. And the handle and knob, made of bubinga, feel great in my hands. The blade is a fine piece of steel, with a nicely ground edge.

One of the best features of any Bedrock-style plane is that the mouth opening can be set without first removing the lever cap and iron. Just loosen two screws at the back of the frog bed, then move the bed either fore or aft via the captive head screw in the middle. The blade moves with the frog, thus adjusting the mouth opening.

Clifton has one clever feature that wasn’t found on Bedrock planes. The Clifton cap iron has two pieces, with the shortest piece closest to the front of the plane. The two pieces interlock, so when the lever cap is removed, the short piece simply lifts off the blade, while the cap-iron screw keeps the long piece secured to the blade. That way, the blade can be sharpened without having to remove the cap iron. And once the blade is sharpened, this cap iron also makes it easy to reassemble the parts.

Editor Test Results:

Sole Flatness N/A

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Clico Tooling Ltd.
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 0114 243 3007
Adjustable Mouth N/A
Blade Size 2 in.
Materials Steel body, Bubinga handles

The summary review states it well. I have also found plenty to like about this plane. Fit and finishVery good overall. Components are well machined so assembly after sharpening is a pleasure - it just clicks together without any slop. The sole and sides are nicely ground. The cap iron could have better finished edges but I polished up mine with some wet & dry paper as I'm fussy like that - purely aesthetic. Brass components make it a pretty looking plane - if that is important although I wouldn't admit to it.FeelVery solid, and comfortable to use. BladeSharpens easily to a mirror finish and a great edge - somehow has a good 'feel' to it during sharpening. Holds the edge well for an O1 blade.2-piece cap ironsome don't like them and replace them with a standard cap iron. Personally I 'feel'that the plane is more rigid with the Clifton cap iron. It is something you get used to and it certainly works well. Whether it offers significant advantages for sharpening I don't know - I completely disassemble it when I sharpen. AdjustmentAs stated in the summary review, this is easy although I rarely adjust the mouth - just leave the opening fine.ResultsBetter than anything else I have used including my well tuned ECE Primus smoother although if you look at more thorough comparisons between the high-end planes, there is probably very little between them.

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