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Just another Brace Restoration

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Project by nobuckle posted 821 days ago 1613 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

About three weeks ago my family and I visited my cousin and his family. Upon ariving I found my cousin in his garage working on one of his lawn mowers. As I looked around the pole barn I happen to notice and old brace and bit hanging on some peg board above a make-shift work bench. I asked my cousin if it was his and he informed me that it belonged to my uncle at one point. He notice that I had an immediate interest and told me I could have it. Upon further investigation I found that both the brace and the bit were in deplorable condition. This started me thinking. Given the condition and the style I wondered if it belonged to my grandfather who then passed it along to my uncle. I’m sure that this must have been the case because I mentioned the brace to my dad and he affirmed that, indeed, his father owned a brace like the one I described. All of that being said here is how I received it;

The day I brought it home.

As you can see I had quite alot of work to do. I immediately disassembled it as much as I could. From the very beginning I knew that I was going to use this brace and so I was not concerned about removing the petina. Within a few minutes time I was at the wire wheel removing years of rust and grime. In doing so I damaged the original handle in the middle of the brace. No matter, it along with the top handle were destined to be replaced. Here is how they looked when I brought them home (I appologize for the blurred photos);


I’m not sure what the original handle material was but I knew that I wanted to replace it using Walnut. I like Walnut because you can give an old look almost instantly. At least the way I do it you can. I already had material for the middle hanlde but was lacking pieces of Walnut large enough to yield the top handle. A friend kindly provided these blocks of Walnut (two in case I screwed up on the first one);

How was I going to hold this material? I have no lathe chuck to speak of. I do, however, have a faceplate. At first I thought that I could simply screw the faceplace to the block of material, but soon thought better of it. I did not want to take the chance of splitting the wood or hitting a screw while in the process of turning the handle. I ponderd this for quite a while and then came up with this idea;

As you can see the material is held in place by snuggly fitting in between the blocks that make up the side rails. At first I had plan to simply screw the block into the fixture through the side rails, but at the advice of LumberJock Darell I ended up gluing the block into the fixture.

Darell’s idea was the way to go. It provided the safest way to turn the block into the shape I wanted. Thank you Darell. Once I turned the handle to the rough shape I had to consider how I was going to drill the handle hole. I ended up using my drill press. This was not my prefered method becuse I know that my drill press does not produce holes that are exact. I need this one to be exact but had to settle for close enough.

After drilling the hole I remounted the fixture back on the lathe cut the handle free using a parting tool and a hand saw. After a little hand work and some sanding I was satisfied that I had successfully created a new top handle.

Creating the middle handle required a bit more thought. I knew that I had to do a glue-up in order to yield a handle that would finish at the size I desired. Also, I needed to come up with a way to create the hole in the handle. I though about using my drill press and a forstner bit, but like I said earlier my drill press is no the most accurate when it comes to drilling holes. I opted to used my router table instead. Using a 7/16” round nosed bit I carefully created the hole in the middle handle. I was able to create the hole so that it fit within a few thousandths of an inch. In order to shape the hanlde I held the two halves together with some two-sided tape and then place them in my vise. Using a Millers Falls No. 8 and a Stanley block plane I created a cylinder like so;

Upon reaching this point I further refined the shape so that it resembled the original as closely as possible. This was accomplished using a my block plane and scraper.

Sorry for the shakeyness

When the shaping was finished I did some hand sanding. I then parted the two halves and glued them in place around the middle portion of the brace.

After I epoxied the original ferrel on to the new top handle I created an old look by burnish both the middle handle and the top handle with a buffing wheel (no compund).

This project introduced some challenges that caused me to seek new solutions. I appreciate the fact that I have the experience of the LJ community to draw from. Thank you all and thank you for looking.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"





10 comments so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2439 posts in 948 days


#1 posted 821 days ago

Good job. It is great to see an old tool brought back from the dead, and a nice memory from your grandfather to boot, excellent.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2940 posts in 2591 days


#2 posted 821 days ago

Nice restoration! Looks great.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2262 days


#3 posted 821 days ago

Thanks for that idea, Doug. I have a bunch these oldies laying around. Some could use the “DC” treatment.
Pb.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View Roger's profile

Roger

14096 posts in 1401 days


#4 posted 821 days ago

Nicely done

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View KOVA's profile

KOVA

1308 posts in 975 days


#5 posted 821 days ago

ERES UN GENIO DOUG!!!!!
ESA HERRAMIENTA QUEDÓ NUEVA, A ESTRENAR ;-)
UNA PREGUNTA: QUÉ TAL FUNCIONA LA CABEZA PORTA BROCAS???
DOUG ARE A GENIUS!!
TOOL THAT WAS NEW, NEW ;-)
A QUESTION: WHY SUCH HOLDER SET THE HEAD TIP??

-- KOVA, EL CARPINTERO DEL PUEBLO https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Carpintero-Del-Pueblo/148976618479733

View KOVA's profile

KOVA

1308 posts in 975 days


#6 posted 821 days ago

DOUG:
TE TIRO UNA IDEA: LA PRÓXIMA VEZ QUE TENGAS QUE CONFORMAR UN CILINDRO DE MADERA CON UN ORIFICIO A LO LARGO, PUEDES PASARLE POR EL AGUJERO UN TORNILLO Y ATRAPARLO CON UNA TUERCA.
EL TORNILLO DEBE DE SER MUCHO MÁS LARGO QUE LA PIEZA DE MADERA: LUEGO ESA PIEZA CON EL TORNILLO VAN ATRAPADAS POR EL PORTA-BROCAS DEL TALADRO DE BANCO ;-)
ENCIENDES EL TALADRO DE BANCO Y CON FORMONES O LIMAS O ESCOFINAS O LIJAS, LE VAS DANDO FORMA A TU CILINDRO ;-)
SI NO ME ENTENDISTE, TE MANDO UN DIBUJO (..)*
  • DOUG:
    I THROW YOU AN IDEA: THE NEXT TIME YOU HAVE TO CONFORM WITH A CYLINDER OF WOOD HOLE ALONG, you can pass through the hole and catch A BOLT WITH A NUT.
    THE SCREW SHOULD BE MUCH LONGER THAN THE PIECE OF WOOD: PART WITH THAT THEN GO SCREW TRAPPED BY THE HOLDER OF DRILL BITS;-)
    You turn on the DRILL PRESS AND chisels or files or rasps O SAND PAPER, SHAPING YOUR CYLINDER ;-)
    IF you NO understood, I SEND A DRAWING (.
    .)

-- KOVA, EL CARPINTERO DEL PUEBLO https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Carpintero-Del-Pueblo/148976618479733

View Enoelf's profile

Enoelf

192 posts in 860 days


#7 posted 820 days ago

Very nice. I have 2 braces from my wife’s grandfather, one is from 1890, not sure about the other one. They are prized tools that still see use today. Fortunately for me, when I took possession of them, they were in a carpenter’s tool box and had virtually no corrosion.
I don’t own a lathe, so forgive this question if it appears ignorant (it’s on the list, I have been looking for ways to build one). Couldn’t you have used your lathe to create a perfectly centered hole in both the head, and the handle?
Nice job on the restoration, I love the heck out of mine!
Thanks for sharing.
Well done.

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View nobuckle's profile

nobuckle

1120 posts in 1358 days


#8 posted 820 days ago

Thanks for all of the encouragement. I look forward to seeing some of the tools that you have that have been restored.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View KOVA's profile

KOVA

1308 posts in 975 days


#9 posted 820 days ago

ENOELF: http://ottobelden.blogspot.com.ar/2010/09/new-lathe-video.html#more
OTTO BELDENT IS A ENGINEER IN SAN FRANCISCO TO BE BUILT THIS LATHE AND I HOPE YOU SERVE ;-)

-- KOVA, EL CARPINTERO DEL PUEBLO https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Carpintero-Del-Pueblo/148976618479733

View Steven Gaffin's profile

Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 853 days


#10 posted 686 days ago

How did you remove the center handle from the brace? I have a stanley carpenter’s Ratchet and would like to replace the handle but can’t figure out how to grip the collar to twist it off.

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