Looking for bit brace advice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-01-2012, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for bit brace advice

I've got an old Stanley (?) bit brace that works well... if I can find a square shank bit for it. Sadly, and as most of you probably know, those are getting harder and harder to find, especially at reasonable prices. I did pick up a 1/4" hex adapter and a 3/8" socket adapter for it at the Woodworking show last month, so driving is covered. Drilling, though, is still an issue.

So I've begun looking for an older brace that's capable of taking modern round-shank bits. I could just buy a new Lee Valley/Veritas brace, but I don't much like the look of the plastic grips; I'd rather find a working old one, even if it's pretty much the same price. The problem I'm having is figuring out WHICH older braces will work... Does anyone have a recommendation as to specific models or keywords I should be looking for? (I'd love a Millers Falls brace, but I'll take what I can get...)
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-01-2012, 10:41 AM
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Look for a 3-jaw with springs.

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post #3 of 5 Old 03-01-2012, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

I've seen a few with "universal jaws" that claim to be able to hold a round shank. Are those advertising hype, accurate, or somewhere in between?
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-01-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amckenzie4 View Post
Thanks!

I've seen a few with "universal jaws" that claim to be able to hold a round shank. Are those advertising hype, accurate, or somewhere in between?
Square shank bits aren't hard to find. They are less likely to slip than round ones.






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post #5 of 5 Old 03-01-2012, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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While I agree they're less likely to slip, I've had a terrible time finding them new. I've found a few places online that sell large auger bits (1/4" and larger, mostly), but nothing smaller than that. And even those I can't get locally -- I absolutely HAVE to order online. Lowes can't get 'em. Home Depot can't get 'em. Neither of my local Ace stores knew what I was talking about when I asked if THEY could get them. My local Aubuchon went out of business, probably because they got confused when people asked where the hammers were. (True quote: "I'm not sure we carry those... what are they for?") Walmart doesn't have them, although they're listed on the Walmart web page so I might be able to get them to order me one.

If I need a new bit for a project, I don't want to wait a week for it to come in. I'd like to be able to run down to the store and buy one. I don't mind delaying my purchase on a major tool, but a drill bit?

That's not even mentioning the fact that I've already GOT a lot of round-shank bits. Some of them are cheap and need to be replaced anyway, but some of them are decent quality bits and quite sharp. Why replace those?


Basically: Yeah, I'd rather just use it with square-shank bits. But that's not an option for some things, and it's not a quick option for anything.
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