forstner bits for braces

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Forum topic by kiwi1969 posted 05-03-2009 03:19 PM 5724 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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608 posts in 3470 days

05-03-2009 03:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill-driver drill press

Being new to the hand tool gig i,ve been researching bits currently available. Ive found an American company called Convalco who make what is claimed to be the closest new forstner bit to the original made in the late 1800,s. but here,s the thing, the original could be used in a brace but from what i,ve read these new ones should only be used in a drill press. Is this correct? or do they tell you the drill press story to cover themselves from any litigation. I,ve used forstners in cordless drills without any trouble before so why can,t I use them in a Hand brace?

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

6 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117127 posts in 3605 days

#1 posted 05-03-2009 05:29 PM

I thought I was the complete tool nut and new about every thing about tools but sorry you have me on this one.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Craftsman on the lake

2795 posts in 3466 days

#2 posted 05-03-2009 07:27 PM

First of all, my braces only accept the square tapered tang of a brace bit. Second, isn’t a brace bit basically a forstner bit with spirals going all up it’s length? I mean yes it looks a little different on the end but it cuts a flat clean hole like a forstner.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3470 days

#3 posted 05-03-2009 08:01 PM

your right Daniel, the augers have lead screws and cutters so can’t make a flat bottomed hole. My brace is new and seems to take round shanks no problem. As these bits should be run at low rpms anyway I don,t see an issue, just like to get some thoughts.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3702 days

#4 posted 05-03-2009 08:41 PM

I have a couple adjustable flat bottom hole makers for a brace. Not the easiest to use. The lead screw doesn’t mess with the flat bottom that much from an auger bit. Forstner bits have a dimple in the center too, something needs to keep the bit from wandering.

You can technically use round bits in a brace (I’ve used some small drill bits in the past), its not the best performance your going to see from a brace though when you get larger. The torque/speed difference between hand cranking and a drill press is going to cause a lot more spinning in the jaws. The square taper shank is to keep the bit from doing that.

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Chris Wright

540 posts in 3510 days

#5 posted 05-04-2009 03:53 PM

I don’t see why you couldn’t use a forstner bit in a hand brace. With out the lead in screw like an auger has, I don’t know how it would cut. As far as them saying “use in a drill press,” I think they mean that instead of a hand drill. The risk with using a forstner bit in a hand drill is that the bit could grab and twist the drill in your hand, possibly injuring your wrist. I say give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen?

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3470 days

#6 posted 05-05-2009 04:51 AM

Chris, I,m just going to try it with a cheap bit a see what happens. forstners cut with outer rim so dont need the lead screw. Thanks to all who responded.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

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