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How to Choose & Sharpen Augers & Auger Bits

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Blog entry by WoodAndShop posted 06-06-2014 02:44 PM 1217 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

By Joshua Farnsworth (Writer at WoodAndShop.com)

In the above video I share a tutorial on how to choose and sharpen augers and auger bits.

The most important consideration when buying vintage auger bits is the lead screw. If it’s blunt then you won’t have luck in getting your auger bit started into the wood. And that will lead to no hole in your wood!

You should purchase a simple auger bit file (like this one that I purchased). This special file has file teeth on the face but not on the sides. The other end has just the opposite configuration. This allows you to file the auger bit edge without filing the side of the cutter. You really need to watch the above video to see this in action since it’s hard to describe it. Just make sure you file the inside edges but not the outside, or you’ll change the size of your hole diameter.

If you’re interested in buying a T-handle auger I’d recommend augers over 1-1/2″ because they give stronger legs for benches.

See vintage T handle Augers on eBay

If you’re interested in buying auger bits to use with your brace (hand drill), I’d recommend buying a set of either Irwin or Jennings bits. They usually come in 13 bit sets. The shiny sets will drill better. Although you can find them for cheap at flea markets, you can also find them here in complete sets:

See Irwin Auger bits on eBay

See Jennings Auger bits on eBay

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-- Joshua Farnsworth - Free Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking Tutorials: http://WoodAndShop.com



8 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4263 posts in 1108 days


#1 posted 06-06-2014 04:28 PM

Joshua, a few words about fine lead screws vs course would be in order. The RJ’s found most places have fine lead screw suitable for some hardwoods but not the best choice for fresh gummy soft woods. The Irwins tend to have course lead screws which have less of a tendency to clog.

The one on the right is a Russell Jennings 100 with a fine lead screw, the one on the left is an Irwin and it has a course screw.

Great series of posts, please continue with your excellent work

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View Tim's profile

Tim

1270 posts in 618 days


#2 posted 06-07-2014 03:38 AM

Kevin, the 100’s have fine threads, but aren’t they double threaded? I would think that would mean they would advance just as fast as a coarse threaded lead screw.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2754 days


#3 posted 06-07-2014 03:49 AM

I’m still looking for a set of 101’s. :)

Have a set or Irwin and a set of 100s.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4263 posts in 1108 days


#4 posted 06-07-2014 10:47 AM

Tim, it’s not a matter of speed but rather clogging the threads. The fine threads tend to strip in very soft or resinous woods. The course threads have more thread surface so they pull through better.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View CampD's profile

CampD

1202 posts in 2143 days


#5 posted 06-07-2014 11:18 AM

Perfect timing on this thread as I just finished cleaning up a few old bits.
Now they need to be sharpened.

-- Doug...

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4263 posts in 1108 days


#6 posted 06-07-2014 11:19 AM

Wayne, Jon Zimmer still has a set for only $275!

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2754 days


#7 posted 06-07-2014 02:13 PM

Kevin, a bit rich for my blood these days. I’m hoping to find a $10 set at a yard sale or something.

I’ve seen a few parsons braces sell on eBay in the last week and have been crying in my ice tea because my tool budget is low. For example,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141308435552?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View WoodAndShop's profile

WoodAndShop

139 posts in 166 days


#8 posted 06-07-2014 10:10 PM

Thanks for your comments guys! Nice bits Doug.

-- Joshua Farnsworth - Free Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking Tutorials: http://WoodAndShop.com

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