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Thread: Old stanley bit brace

  1. #1
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    Default Old stanley bit brace

    I canít help picking up old tools at the junk store and trying to put them back into service.

    This old bit brace costs me $3. Itís in serviceable condition after some cleanup and lube.

    Iíve been digging into the interwebs to try to find if there is a spring that will make the jaws behave better.

    At this point, Iím convinced Iíll need to make my own spring. But canít figure out exactly how it was supposed to be. Or whether, in fact, this brace had a spring.

    Is anyone familiar?

    B2103DE1-9C9F-4A13-920F-EEFF79C8109F.jpg

    DAB77162-A404-4251-968E-DDB70E94DACE.jpg

    5C289C8F-5F1C-4A2F-9FCB-8F46877A9235.jpg

    Maybe a spring like this. Maybe.

    1E835F5A-606D-4BE8-9058-208432435453.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    These are common tools and I have a couple including the incredibly useful but scarce joist brace, but until you posed that I was unaware of the variety of jaws available for them!
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    I can’t help picking up old tools at the junk store and trying to put them back into service.

    This old bit brace costs me $3. It’s in serviceable condition after some cleanup and lube.

    I’ve been digging into the interwebs to try to find if there is a spring that will make the jaws behave better.

    At this point, I’m convinced I’ll need to make my own spring. But can’t figure out exactly how it was supposed to be. Or whether, in fact, this brace had a spring.

    Is anyone familiar?

    B2103DE1-9C9F-4A13-920F-EEFF79C8109F.jpg

    DAB77162-A404-4251-968E-DDB70E94DACE.jpg

    5C289C8F-5F1C-4A2F-9FCB-8F46877A9235.jpg

    Maybe a spring like this. Maybe.

    1E835F5A-606D-4BE8-9058-208432435453.jpg
    Are there recesses and holes on the outside of the jaws. A picture would be helpful.
    The spring in the lower photo literally hooks into the outside of the jaw's and lays in a groove past the bottom of the jaw and goes round the stem of the chuck. I don't think that is what you have got.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    Best tool for driving or pulling large slotted screws.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    This is my Millers Falls No.33 with an "improved Barber ratchet". Probably made 1900-1950's.

    I'm guessing it's made of spring steel because of what its doing, and it's shiny like spring steel.

    The ends of the wire spring fit into the ends of the aligator jaws and it passes through a hole at the top to either side. Pretty simple.

    IMG_0836.jpg

    IMG_0837.jpg

    IMG_0840.jpg

    If you can't make a spring, just put a screwdriver bit in it and leave it in. Use another one for augers or a countersink. Its quicker that way anyway.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 09-18-2022 at 02:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    That looks like a total pig to reassemble.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    A couple of seconds. Just slide it in there brace end and screwup the thingamey. I went via the spare room and smeared some grease on it's organs.

    It's a slot in the end of the brace that it slides into is a slide fit. Its all in one plane the opening and closing.

    That Millers Falls has an enclosed ratchet head, so it can't get stuff in it. Makes it superior tooltiquery in Brace circles. 'Merica's finest.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 09-18-2022 at 03:06 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    [QUOTE=ron ll;6727651]Best tool for driving or pulling large slotted screws.[/QUOTE}

    Also superb for tapping holes that need a thread.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    I keep an eye out for the most manly 14" sweep one, but they don't seem to have been sold in the UK, only USA.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    It does have grooves. On the inside. I don’t have it with me at the monument to check the outside.

    will follow up

    6B6DA3CC-62C5-4FCA-81F7-532E88594CC6.jpg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    They are useful tools,
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    use music wire and one of those "wire bending jigs" available at HF and on the big "A",(~ 10$)just make sure that it is works for wire the size you intend to bend. ( they have two holes that are meant to be used to screw the jig down to a work surface. Freeing up hands to guide the project along. "K&S precision metals" is a good place to source the wire (one can buy, rather small quantities and a wide variety of music wire sizes, In a pinch, you might get by using the needle nosed plyers, alone. The type that have rounded grip surfaces made for making springs
    Last edited by the_gr8t_waldo; 10-01-2022 at 11:50 AM.

  14. #14
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    Jun 2003
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    If you are looking for a bit brace, look for the one marked Yankee Bell System 2100 (12") or the Bell System 2101 (10") or the 2100 (8") which fits nicely in your tool kit.
    Then look no further, this is the best brace ever made. It is easy to spot because of the high quality chrome and black Bakelite handles, there is none better. They show up on ebay and occasionally the seller doesn't know what he has...
    Note the "push buttons" to change or lock ratchet rotation.
    The smaller 8" brace and the Yankee 130 screwdriver are two boatbuilding tools that are "must haves" in my kit.


    E4BEED81-9D6D-4D76-99A3-09E7B95B66B9.jpg

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    That looks like a total pig to reassemble.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    A couple of seconds. Just slide it in there brace end and screwup the thingamey. I went via the spare room and smeared some grease on it's organs.

    It's a slot in the end of the brace that it slides into is a slide fit. Its all in one plane the opening and closing.

    That Millers Falls has an enclosed ratchet head, so it can't get stuff in it. Makes it superior tooltiquery in Brace circles. 'Merica's finest.
    I was talking about putting the spring back into the jaws, which is Toms challenge.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  16. #16
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    Aug 2022
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    Minnesota
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    67

    Default Re: Old stanley bit brace

    The spring wire in my 4$ no-name no-ratchet brace is .052" diameter [1.3mm].

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