Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wooden braces

It took me a long time to acquired my first one, a Sheffield plated brace, from Ebay back in the days...

Lately, they seems to pop up more often in my local searches, go figure...!!!
I wrote earlier about the development of the brace, here

I only made provision for one wooden brace in my ongoing Boring till, but I now own 4.

All lined up to give you an idea of relative sizes

The first one to arrived about 15 years ago, via EBay, was this Sheffield plated brace manufactured by Abbot.

It feature the button chuck, which relies on a notch cut on one side
 of the tapered square tang of the brace bit.

Next was another local finds, last year, while out buying handsaws, responding on a Kijiji sale... When I asked if he had anything else, this is what I spotted.
This one was manufactured by Barton

Also featuring the ubiquitous button holder.
Since there was no real standard, the location of the notch required varies.
In this pic, the bit inserted does not goes deep enough.

Then came across this bit pad unmarked drill.

It uses the familiar clothes pins, spring pad, 
which are Missing In Action on this one :-(

Would have to try making some, some day.

So called because of their ressemblance to the 
older traditional wooden clothes pins.
Pic from Etsy

Similar braces also are seen with a simpler tapered interference fit pad, no spring.
That work fine while drilling, putting pressure on it, but if the bit get stuck, it would pop out from the brace, hence why someone came up with those clothes pins springs.

And more recently, this past Monday actually, came across this unmarked chairmaker brace. So called because they used spoon bits, the prefered chairmaker boring bits. The bit is a tad bent, but when I tried it, it cut a nice round hole, will not try to straighten it and risk breaking it...

The hole it drilled effortlessly thru cherry.
With the added rim being countersunk by a Stanley No 18 bit.
Both cut surfaces as is from the existing, unretouched, cutting edges.
A testament to the robutness of this design, 
"protecting" the cutting edges this long.

This style of "Chairmaker's braces" were prefered by the chair makers who only used a few sizes of holes, and could get by with 2 or 3 of those braces. The bit being permanently attached, it is always ready to go. That style lingered on for a long time after it came and went.

Sized just right for the delicate spindles 
of a Windsor chair for example

These last two came up during my regular bread runs to Bridgetown. I love the white bread made by a small bakery there (Graves), well worth the run. And since Bridgetown is already, roughly, half way to Annapolis Royal, I often goes there for my tools...err I meant chocolate runs at my favorite little shop. They have home made chocolate, a used books section and some antiques, with a small section devoted strictly to tools. Perfect business formula for me, it hits all my buttons... Oh and Jean and I like the chocolate also and Rudy comes along for his daily car rides :-)

And I guess that makes me a regular customer... :-)

Bob, bracing for a shortage of room in my upcoming boring till...
Humm I think I need a bigger wall :-)


  1. Bob,

    You need help :-). Hi, my name is Bob.....


    P.S. Great information, thanks.

  2. LOL Ken
    Nahh, what I need is time, time to play in the shop :-)

    Bob, drowning in tools :-)