Adjustable Bit for Hand Brace

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 05-30-2013 12:29 PM 2089 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2380 days

05-30-2013 12:29 PM

(If you aren’t sure, what i”m talking about, it’s this…

I’m considering getting one of these…Is it a bad idea…an exercise in frustration and bad cutting? It certainly looks like it has the potential to be. Do these actually work? The one I’m looking at has a feed screw, then that adjustable cutter.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

7 replies so far

View JamesT's profile


102 posts in 1908 days

#1 posted 05-30-2013 01:03 PM

I’ve had one in my tool box for more than thirty years, can’t remember ever using it or where/why I bought it. Maybe at a yard sale with other stuff?

-- Jim from Doniphan

View Sandblastguy's profile


42 posts in 2107 days

#2 posted 05-30-2013 01:35 PM

I have two or three that have been around my shop and my fathers shop and even my grandfathers. They have provided many years of reliable service. They are the old fashion way of putting in door locks and knobs. Mine have installed several of both. When the lead screw breaks through the far side stop and start on that side to avoid tear out. It’s a good investment and I think you will be happy with your new hole maker.

-- Sandblastguy Orangeville On. Creating Art From Nature

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2967 days

#3 posted 05-30-2013 01:37 PM

My dad used one to install door lock-sets; about 50 years ago.
They work okay. Cleaner holes than a spade bit.
I plan to get one some day, not a high priority.
I think it would be useful for when you need a hole between standard sizes.
You have to keep the spur sharp.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3081 days

#4 posted 05-30-2013 01:47 PM

I have used them for several years, when you crank them out to 3” diameter, you get a good work out. As
crank stated they are real good for all those in between sizes that you keep running across. I just used on
that was made with a round shank in my drill press to make mounting holes for the odd sized dowel I was
using to make a towel rack. I usually have to drill a few test holes to get the bit dialed in though.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View carguy460's profile


802 posts in 2331 days

#5 posted 05-30-2013 02:19 PM

I’ve got a few that I inherited, but have yet to use. I’m not too sure how functional they would be for me since I have a complete set of auger bits and spades…

-- Jason K

View EEngineer's profile


1102 posts in 3609 days

#6 posted 05-30-2013 03:56 PM

I have several of these that I inherited over the years. I took one of them and cut the square shank off so I could chuck it up in the drill press. They are really handy when you need a smidge over/under standard hole sizes.

They work fairly well. In a hand brace you control the cutting speed and the speed is low. In the drill press, well, let’s just say it can get scary! Even at the lowest speed they tend to grab the wood and throw it! I always make sure it is at the lowest possible speed and that the workpiece is held well.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Tim's profile


3803 posts in 1957 days

#7 posted 05-30-2013 06:58 PM

These work better than you’d think, but they really are designed to be fed at a hand driven rate with a brace. The one I have works even though it had been dinged up quite a bit by a former owner. Cutting a 3 inch hole in anything other than soft woods such as pine would be a real feat unless you have either well above average upper body strength or a 14” sweep brace which aren’t all that common. The pitch on the lead screw is a bit steep for hard woods for large holes.

Drill a pilot hole with a hand drill to avoid splitting the wood with the lead screw.

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