Flea Market Tool Finds-Something I've never seen-13-01-27

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Blog entry by Brad posted 546 days ago 1597 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are the latest cool items I picked up at my favorite flea-market booth dedicated exclusively to vintage tools.

First, a Bit Brace Extension, a Millers Falls No. 35. It’s in fantastic shape. I didn’t even know these existed until I picked it up. Anyone know what types of jobs they were used for in days gone by?

And some closeups.

Forstner bits being highly expensive as they are, I’ve taken to picking them up at estate sales and flea markets. Got a really nice 2” one (for my drill press) at an estate sale. And this 5/8” brace bit at the same flea market.

I followed Andy's advice on how to sharpen auger bits and this puppy cuts a really nice hole now.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

7 comments so far

View Brit's profile


5107 posts in 1445 days

#1 posted 546 days ago

Do you have to stand on a chair to drill a hole with that thing Brad. :o) Nice find by the way, you just never know when you’re going to need to drill a deep hole.

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

View madts's profile


1236 posts in 942 days

#2 posted 546 days ago

The bit brace extensions were used for boat building, drilling through the keel and bow timbers. Then drifts were run through to secure. Drifts are very large nails/ steel rods, of up 3 foot long.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Dallas's profile


2857 posts in 1089 days

#3 posted 546 days ago

One of the old electricians that worked at the same electric company I did had a brace and that extension hanging in his home shop.

He told me that in the olden days they used them to bore holes through studs, joists and rafters for knob and tube wiring.

A hole was drilled, a ceramic insulator put in the hole and the knob and tube pulled through.

It was for areas that they couldn’t hang the insulators on the outside of the wall.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14658 posts in 1170 days

#4 posted 546 days ago

cool find. Now if you ever decide to make a blow gun, you’re equipped.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Grandpa's profile


3048 posts in 1278 days

#5 posted 546 days ago

I was going to say basically the same as Dallas. I have heard that when electricty came down the road (Rural Eelectric Authority) (REA) they used extensions to drill through fire blocks in the walls.

View Brad's profile


813 posts in 1342 days

#6 posted 546 days ago

Thanks for the fascinating history guys. Andy, I would indeed have to stand on a chair as I’m short of stature. Don, a man can always use the tool accoutrements to make a blow gun. It’s one of those, you gotta make at least one, projects :)

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Mauricio's profile


6749 posts in 1754 days

#7 posted 546 days ago

Pretty cool scores Brad!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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