Hand Tools

Re: Which new bits?
Response To:
Which new bits? ()

Wiley Horne--So. Calif.
Hi Joe and all,

Not an expert. Not an expert. Not an expert. That said, here's my opinions:

1. Braces

Hard to talk about bit choices without starting with braces. Some braces will only work well with tapered shank bits. There are other braces which have universal chucks and will close well on round shank bits, as well as tapered shank. These universal chuck braces include all the North Bros. and Stanley 'Yankees', Millers Falls 772 Lion chuck; Peck, Stowe & Wilcox 'Samson' chuck; and I seem to recall a Stanley 813G with the same property. I have had all of these at one time or other, and eventually began sorta collecting North Bros. and North Bros., Division of Stanley--all made in Philadelphia.

Every brace conversation I ever saw drew a number of those swearing by Fray Spofford braces. I like them too when I have perfectly open working space. But like if you're building a bench or are hunched up in some kitchen cabinetry, you can wind up in some d_mnable places and wish you had a ratchet brace.

Braces make great drivers. Whenever I can use a square-drive screw I do, Robertson screws or the ones McFeelys sells. A brace + square drive screw is wonderful. Doesn't cam out on you. Of course, furniture hinges don't lend themselves to these screws on an aesthetic basis, or so it is said, and so I think.

2. Drills

a. These LV lipped brad point drills are as good as money can buy, in my experience:


b. For piloting screws in hinges, I need numbered drills, the small range.

c. For augers, I've only used Jennings pattern. They come in two styles. The ones for dry hardwood are the No. 100 series--they have a pilot thread which is double--has two headings. The ones for carpentry are No. 101--they have a single lead screw. I bought on that auction site--at the time a nice set of 1/4"-1" would run about $100-$125. I haven't checked prices in 10 years though.

Here is an interesting piece by Mike Siemsen where he talks about all things auger, including Jennings pattern vs. Irwin:


I'll follow up with a link to those German bits.....l


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