|Project by yuridichesky||posted 09-27-2013 06:44 PM||2819 views||5 times favorited||30 comments|
There’s a long-term project I’ve been working on for a while now – workbench
But some minor stuff goes on too, and I used time of this short project to rethink some details of my workbench build.
First things first: I already have two braces. First is the “classic” one: two-jaw chuck, ratchet, very heavy and old. I restored it from some solid piece of rust, and I like it very much:
Just one little thing: I own 3 (three) square-tip drill bits, all are flea-market finds.
My second brace is much newer than the first one, it has three-jaw chuck, ratchet, and I use it the most. It’s quite decent brace, I like it, but I’m not happy with it. I don’t use the ratchet at all, when I need to bore next to the wall or something, I use egg-beater, the chuck does not hold the bits well enough, and it’s heavier than it should be.
So I decided that I needed new brace: something skinny and lightweight, no ratchet, just chuck and two handles. (And this is I believe a typical case of woodworking bug diagnosis: tiny shop, two braces in stock, and desire to build third one.)
Here’s my starting point, some junk brace with Morse-taper mounting chuck:
First I replaced the chuck. I bought small three-jaw chuck with 1/2” threaded mount hole. Installation:
(left-handed threads here)
Next was handle:
Driving nails through the steel was complete nightmare. Bunch of small (from 1/16” to 1/8”) drill bits got broken. Couple of them were broken inside the hole – lots of fun! Three failed attempts in total.
Next was top knob.
Yeah, I know, thrust bearing is totally overkill here, but I just purchased half a dozen such bearings to upgrade my workbench vises and wanted to make use of them with the brace too.
Drilling carefully aligned holes was such pain in the neck… Two failed attempts…
Ready for glue-up and assembly. Wooden – beech BTW – parts’ finish is two coats of wax (initially wanted BLO, but it turned that I ran out of it).
Ta-da! Just exactly as I wanted: lightweight and robust. The chuck’s key is hardly necessary, the bits are secured in the chuck pretty well just by hand. And those thrust bearings… as smooth as a butter… :-)
Now back to workbench build, time to move it from “almost done” to “in use” state.
-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)