Vintage Tools

Bit Braces



Woodworking with Jason Stamper


Interesting Little Bit Brace

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In my continuing series on the bit braces I purchased in an eBay lot we come to the little unmarked one.


This brace is quite small at only 8.5 inches from top handle to chuck, and looks to be cobbled together from other parts. It’s pretty much a face only a mother could love.

The top handle looks to be salvaged from another brace as its workmanship is much more precise than the rest of the brace. It is made of a beautiful wood that appears to be rosewood.

Furthering this idea of the top handle being salvaged is the crude way in which it is attached to the brace. Basically it appears to be secured with a washer, or iron ring, and then the center of the brace was simply peened over to keep it on. While this cobbled together arrangement is a little loose, it does still work.

The side handle of the brace is slightly swelled to fit the hand a bit better. The “throw”, or distance the side handle is offset from the centerline, is about 3 inches. This would make the “sweep,” or twice the distance of the “throw,” at 6 inches.

As a side note, braces are labeled by their “sweep,” so this would be labeled as a 6-inch brace. Thanks to the principle of the lever, smaller braces have less torque, but can be turned a bit faster. That means this brace was not originally meant for heavy work.

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Goodell-Pratt Braces

Millers Falls Tools


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