The old time woodshop journals #10: 3 dollars, 3 classic braces

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Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 06-23-2012 07:42 PM 7221 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Tin cutters and old yankee revival! Part 10 of The old time woodshop journals series Part 11: Transitional inspiration and a revival for a galoots tool tote »

It was a humid mid morning…...I mean so humid that most of the outside auction tables were packing things up to head back home from all the uncomforable temperatures and lack of sales. As soon as we exited the truck my Father and I felt as if we were going into a suana, the small breezes were even warm….not the best weather for an energy filled pick…lol

A few tables up on the left there were two very beat down and rusty braces on a table of assorted junk, I picked them up, gave them a look….”the braces are a dollar!” said the man braking away from his conversation while packing crates back into his van. Since I have been getting these cleaned up and getting nice results I thought to myself…well…...the chucks worked….hey I was game…..sold!

I did not even get ten steps after the sale when a guy on the right side of the isle asked…”you want another one?” I said…well..looks pretty nice..”How much did you get those two for?” he asked me. I said….”a dollar a brace” He said “cool…..same here, one dollar” This one looked to be in better shape as well…..nice!

The remainder of the humid walk was a total no show as far as more hand tool treasues to be found…..but I surely was not complaining….great scores…..3 dollars, 3 braces….I saw potential and set about my path homeward bound!

Now I have a poor habit of sometimes not completely looking over a piece such as a brace, saw….whatever it may be…..and not reading and looking for all that I can see. The positive side of that is..I always seem to look for the bottom line basics…is the saw straight?...the chuck clench?.....etc. But I always forget in the excitement of it all to look for any pat. no’s, medallions or badges….although I realize many times you are not going to even see that especially when these grabs are so filled with rust and grime. This was one of those cases…..where my cleanup would produce some very rewarding results!

As I fired up the wire wheel these pieces were really singing in appreciation… a snake sheds his skin these braces began to almost timewarp back into a revived look again.

I was very excited to see these were all Millers Falls braces…..and two of them had pat no. of 1911 both a #32 and #33…....I was thrilled to get these and have the proper tools to clean them up!

The thrid was a #1710 although the pat no. was not to be found on here. I beleive it could be anywhere from 1935 to 1981, even though it looks to be pretty old.

Here are some of the pictures or more of a slideshow to view my finds and our revivals.

Really glad to have saved these, they all work very well and will look great hanging in my shop. I look forward to using them on various projects!

I always get this silly thrill when cleaning these old tools up….when you almost see a part no. or medallion…but not just yet…you have to clean a little more… you get that feeling or anticipation of a scratch off ticket scenario…..what will this be? old??.....haaaa, well I suppose it’s an innocent pastime although found by many to be a bit whacky…..lmao.

Now….. I am thankful for that horrid humid weather forcing sellers to just practically give these away so they don’t have to haul them back and forth anymore…..3 dollars, 3 classic braces!!

Hope you get yourself some fine finds as well friends, give them a spin and a new life!

Great shavings ahead,


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

8 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2436 days

#1 posted 06-23-2012 08:45 PM

Nice finds and great prices too You did a great job on spiffing these up.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Don W's profile

Don W

18755 posts in 2595 days

#2 posted 06-23-2012 08:52 PM

Wow, they came out great. I made a few finds today as well. Hope mine clean up as nice as yours did.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Brit's profile


7387 posts in 2871 days

#3 posted 06-23-2012 08:57 PM

Ah, another of my favourite tools. Nice job you did on those Joe. How about a photo of your magic wire wheel? I think I need one of those.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 2229 days

#4 posted 06-23-2012 09:14 PM

Great job Joe, I am a bit of a sucker for Millers falls stuff and am a bit envious of your finding three at once… they look great.. nice job on saving more tools… keep up the digging..Papa

-- Papa...

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2832 days

#5 posted 06-23-2012 11:35 PM

It’s alive !!!! They live !!! They’re awesome !! Very sweet !

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 2630 days

#6 posted 06-24-2012 12:59 AM

Wow super finds indeed Don, I am sure you will enjoy these!

Hey Andy….I have been using a wire wheel attachment on a bench grinder. You have to take your time….and wear goggles…..but this works nice for a basic resto. Haaaa…..I have seen your amazing resto work…..hats off….you are like the british zen master of restored handtools…..lmao. But this is really nice and very enjoyable if you want a basic nice cleanup….these really do look pretty good as your work them on the wheel. Take care my friend and thanks for all of your great work.

Thanks everyone for looking in, keep having fun with it all!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2868 days

#7 posted 06-24-2012 04:01 AM

Joe I would like to know your cleaning methods. The braces are very nice, nice indeed.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3117 days

#8 posted 06-24-2012 02:05 PM

Joe, nice finds and now ready to be used.
No reason not to smile.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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