Making Contact

As ever there are always emails coming in from your guys. Often in response to the workshop ‘woody nooz’ newsletters.

Peter Bragg responded to a piece about planes:

Dear David,
I have tried and tried over the years to buy British but every time i have picked up a clifton plane it just does not feel right to me, when i pick up one of mr toms it is perfect, but i do totally agree with you about the blades. Even using the tormec it just wont hold a perfect edge. i presume this is due to the high levels of chrome and nickel in the steel, it is very difficult to grind cleanly without is just smearing.The question i have is do clifton blades fit lie neilsen planes? then it would be perfect!

Further to my previous letters to you about being a convert to animal glue, i dont know what all the fuss is, it doesn’t smell that bad! just one folow up you might like to do is about storage/life span of the glue, can you just keep the pot going for ages or will it develop into a quatermass experiment of the workshop?

kind regards

Peter Bagg


Hi Peter,

You are so right. the H2 blades hold an edge for ages but it is a dull edge. Clifton make the only Hammered Forged Steel high carbon blade that i know of. Yes with bait of fiddling it will go in the L N plane bodies. The Clifton back iron is O K and very stiff if you don’t like the split design try the Hock back iron Personally i am OK with the Clifton .

The hide glue will keep in the pot so long as it is heated up occasionally. It gets a bit stiff and heavy as you use it so add a bit of water then hear it up; this way a pot of glue should be available at all times. I don’t smell the death, everyone else seems to comment however.
All the best,



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