Search This Blog

Monday, 28 June 2010

Clifton Anniversary planes update

News just in from Sheffield - The first of the Clifton Anniversary planes are nearing completion and will ship in the next couple of weeks.

The planes are having the final touches applied - etching the cutting irons with the number of the plane that they will be supplied with etc. Planes that have been pre-ordered already will be dispatched first, the remainder will follow a week or so later.

The factory have asked us to supply them with Shield Technology VanGuard Anti-Rust Coating to provide extra protection for these tools as some of them may be stored for a long period of time.

We were lucky enough to grab an additional allocation of planes, so we still have one or two of each size available.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Carpe Diem

Amid speculation as to whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer will raise VAT to 20% in tomorrow's budget (Tuesday 22nd of July), we have extended our Father's Day promotion on all British made products until after the announcement. It would be pointless for me to change all the prices and then have to change them again 24 hours later. So if you are thinking about a Clifton Plane, Atkinson Walker Sawblade or some Ashley Iles Chisels, sieze the day!

Thursday, 17 June 2010


The person with the most correct answers wins a bottle of bubbly and a selection of FAMAG goodies! In the event of a tie, names will be drawn from a hat by our new Sales Manager, Chris, when the competition closes on the 30th of June. The winner will be reported here and informed by email.


1) Who invented the Forstner Bit and when? (2 marks)

2) What are the smallest and largest diameters of bits in the 3500 series? (2 marks)

3) What do the letters F, A and M stand for in FAMAG? (3 marks)

4) Should a plug cutter ideally be used in the middle of a board or close to an edge? (1 mark)

5) I want to bore through timber, thin metal and brickwork in a single pass, which series of FAMAG bits should I use? (1 mark)

6) What range of bit sizes will a 2202.000 Vario countersink fit? (1 mark)

7) The photo above shows a set of hollow Bormax forstner bits that allow the centre pin to be replaced with a standard drill bit. In what situation would this be useful? (1 mark)

8) Bormax3 are the only carbide tipped forstners in the world that can be used safely in which type of drill? (1 mark)

9) I want to drill a hole in some Lignum Vitae, should I use CV or HSS-G bits? (1 mark)

10) In which German town have FAMAG been continuously producing drill tooling since 1865? (1 mark)

Please email your answers to me or use the contact message form on

Sunday, 6 June 2010


I recently heard about a guy who was having problems with tools going rusty. They were stored in his van overnight so condensation forms on them each morning and he lives on a small island so the water vapour in the air is salt laden, making it more effective as an electolyte - one of the conditions needed for corrosion to occur. I contacted Paul Prince at Shield Technology who suggested the 'belt, braces and jockstrap approach' was called for, i.e. surface protection, contact corrosion inhibitors and VCI (airborne) protection - all in liberal measure.

I emailed Paul back suggesting that a huge VCI pot which would protect anything stored in a van would be a popular product - after all, how many tradesmen have vans? I lightheartedly suggested he could call it something like VanGuard. He said the concept wouldn't work as vans are too draughty and even if the pot were the size of a biscuit tin, a good stiff breeze would have all the corrosion inhibiting vapour drifting off down the street.

He did however come up with a new product which is the 'belt, braces and jockstrap approach' in a tin. It has a viscous high quality mineral oil base so it will provide barrier protection, plus it has both ferrous and yellow metal corrosion inhibitors and a VCI additive, so your treated tools act as VCI emitters themselves, if you miss a spot then the VCI chemical will condense on it and prevent the water vapour from acting. Wipe it on with a rag and store your tools in a sealed box so the VCI element can do it's thing.

To my great surprise he kept the name! Shield Technology VanGuard in 125ml and 250ml tins is now available on the website!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A Bit Different!

We have stocked FAMAG Bormax 3 carbide tipped Forstners for a while now, on the basis that no-one else was carrying them and they were just too good not to be available in the UK.

Recently I tried out one of their 1594 series HSS-G lip & spur bits and was quite astonished at how cleanly and quickly it cut. No picking out curls of compressed timber from the flutes here! In fact quite the opposite, a plume of chips erupt from the hole as you drill and the bit comes out as clean as a whistle - even in hard oily exotics.

The difference is that the flutes are not U-shaped as they would be normally, instead they are relieved behind the cutting edge - adding nearly 50% more space for the waste to clear, they are also very finely ground. Because the flutes are functioning correctly the chips clear properly and the bit stays cooler...which also helps with edge retention...which was already excellent because they are made from a material normally only used for metalworking bits. Percentage wise they are more expensive than most of the cheap imports on the market, but in real terms it's not a huge amount of money, the difference in performance however is phenomenal!

Anyhow, the net result was a little spending spree and the next thing I know we have the largest selection of FAMAG products in the UK. We have ended up re-organising the warehouse and installing new walling and shelving to fit everything in! Isn't it amazing how a little drill bit can change your life?

The impact on your life may not be quite as pronounced, but I hope you will give them a try. We have put several lines on special offer and are even offering some bits at below cost, because I believe there is no better advertisement for them than having one in your workshop and trying it for yourself.