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Bit braces and round shank bits

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Forum topic by Armandhammer posted 01-13-2014 03:17 AM 2251 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


01-13-2014 03:17 AM

I’d like to get a bit brace. Which ones can use new round shank bits? I’ve read some can, some need tapered. I’d like to be able to use easily available new bits in case I can’t find older bits.

Also, I’ve been looking on ebay and there are quite a few different braces. I’ve been looking mostly at Stanley and it seems like there’s a never ending list of model numbers. Are there some that are more desirable than others due to better quality? I was bidding on a North Brothers but it shot up from $31 with me winning to $100! Is that worth it? Not that I’m paying that kinda money for one when I can get a perfectly good Stanley or other brand for a quarter of the price.


35 replies so far

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#1 posted 01-13-2014 03:28 AM

Or do the hex shank bits work like the tapered bits?

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realcowtown_eric

565 posts in 1400 days


#2 posted 01-13-2014 03:28 AM

yu gotta find one with a 3 jaw chuck.

or else frequent the flea markets and find tapered tang “bit stock” drills. like these…

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-4-Vintage-Small-Twist-Drill-Bits-for-Brace-INV-6225-/181295597757?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a360f48bd

Eric, who does indulge in such boring esoterica a little bit.

-- Real_cowtown_eric

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nwbusa

1017 posts in 1749 days


#3 posted 01-13-2014 03:53 AM

LV sells them new but they are not cheap.

-- John, BC, Canada

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3560 days


#4 posted 01-13-2014 03:55 AM

Also some of the better braces will hold round shank bits.

North Brothers or Stanley 2100 or 2101s Yankee Braces for example
Millers Falls HoldAll Braces or Lion Chuck Braces.
Pexto or PS&W Sampson braces. Look for 80XX or 82XX series braces.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3560 days


#5 posted 01-13-2014 03:58 AM

I have a short write-up in my blog

http://lumberjocks.com/WayneC/blog/38126

Also, on the early North Brothers 2100s. Around $100 is the going price if they are in good condition. They are one of the best production braces made. I have several of them and they are really nice.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#6 posted 01-13-2014 05:16 AM

The North Brothers went for $127.50.

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#7 posted 01-13-2014 05:39 AM

So are the Bell Systems versions of the North Brothers good to go?

I read your blog…so many different models. Excluding the North Brothers due to cost, could you or someone throw up a top 5 or 10 list for some really good users to look for? I’m scouring ebay at the moment and will look here in the classifieds as well as some old tool dealers on the net, but with so many options, my head’s kinda swimming here. I hate being such a newb. I’m trying to read up and learn about these things and at the same time quickly try to add a few tools to my collection so I can start working some wood.

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#8 posted 01-13-2014 08:09 AM

Stanley 923 vs 945?

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#9 posted 01-13-2014 08:11 AM

Also, same model, different chuck. In this case, the Stanley 923. One better than the other?

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3560 days


#10 posted 01-13-2014 03:17 PM

Stanley has a version of the 2101. Later in production the quality dropped off.

On the 923 vs. 945 I would be concerned about how well they would hold round shank bits. The top chuck appears to be better quality.

In addition to the Yankee Braces I would look for one of these…

Millers Falls – Holdall brace with Leland Universal jaws.
Nos. 729 – 734; 729A – 734A

Millers Falls – Lion brace with Leland Universal jaws.
Nos. 769 – 774; 770A – 773A
Nos. 870 – 873; 870A – 873A
Nos. 1769 – 1773
Nos. 1870 – 1872

Millers Falls – Master Ratchet brace with Leland Universal jaws.
Nos. 830 – 833; 830A – 833A
Nos. 8130 – 8133

Peck, Stow, and Wilcox (also P. S. & W and PEXTO) braces with the Sampson chuck and jaws. 8000 or 8200 Series (e.g. 8010, 8012, 8210, 8212)

Another Stanley to look for is the 813.

Have you seen Andy’s Blog?

http://lumberjocks.com/Brit/blog/24957

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#11 posted 01-13-2014 07:42 PM

Yeah, I did check out his blog. Lots of good info. I really liked the series he did on refurbing a brace. Gives me the confidence that I can do it myself if I find one that’s a bit crusty. I’ll keep looking. Just wish there wasn’t so many options. Would make choosing one a bit easier…lol

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#12 posted 01-13-2014 07:50 PM

How are the Craftsman braces that are made by Millers Falls? What model are they comparable to?

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3560 days


#13 posted 01-13-2014 07:51 PM

Have you decided what size you are looking for? What application are you thinking.

6” – Screws and fasteners
8” – smaller bits, more speed
10” – Most common general brace
12” – More Power slower
14” – Large bits even more power (e.g. Dog Holes)
16” or Whimble – Very large holes

Personally, I would look for one of the Millers Falls Lion or HoldAll models listed above.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3560 days


#14 posted 01-13-2014 07:53 PM

I’ve seen some of the craftsman that look like Lion Braces. Not owned one. There should be a ton of the old millers falls around.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3560 days


#15 posted 01-13-2014 07:54 PM

This looks like a Lion. Finish does not appear as nice as original

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Craftsman-Millers-Falls-No-10-Racheting-Brace-Drill-6-Auger-Drill-Bits-/281244401313?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item417b78fea1

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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