- 7 December 2017 at 7:02 pm #396335
A pair of weeks ago I bought very unexpensive an old hand brace, probably 60 or more years old. I can’t tell about the manufacturer because it has no marks, except an “nº 126” in the sweep. The model number uses the abreviation “nº” for “number”, not “no.” as I think is written in english language, so I think that it’s an spanish maker, but it’s almost exactly like a series 120-124 Millers Falls brace. It is a really strong brace, without slacks, play or weakness, and I’ve restored it almost completely. It looks like new now. It’s a really gorgeous tool.
It only has a problem. Probably due to years of use, the jaws are rather worn and don’t get aligned when the chuck is tightened. Yes, they grip the bit and the brace works well, but thinner bits get bent sometimes. I’ve tried to fix the problem changing the spring and I’ve put a new one made from piano wire, but the problem persists. Thinking about replacing them, I’ve found in Internet a pair of jaws for a Stanley 144 Mk 3 & 4 brace, new and unused, but I don’t know their size. The jaws of my brace are 2 3/8″ (60 mm) long, about 3/4″ (19-20 mm) on the widest part when closed and 7/16″ (11 mm) thick. I’ve tried the jaws of my Stanley 78 on this old brace and fit and work.
Now the question: if anybody here has a Stanley 144 Mk 3 or 4 hand brace, could tell me the measures of the jaws? If they are similar to the ones that this brace has, I would buy them and it will be ready for other 60 years of use.
Thank you all in advance.8 December 2017 at 9:57 am #396804
I’ve looked for in Google. It looks like the 144 one is smaller than the 78, so the jaws for the 144 could be too small (short) for the 78… but I can’t be sure, because the photos and descriptions I’ve found aren’t very clear. I haven’t found enough information about this.8 December 2017 at 10:47 am #396822Larry GeibParticipant
Are you trying to use the brace with round bits or the square conical ends like Irwin and Jennings brace bits?
One thing to check is that the inside of the chuck housing isn’t scored. If it is, or there is hardendened grease inside, the jaws won’t function well. The jaws open and close by contact with the inside of the chuck housing.
If it is scored, you have some time with the various grades of emery paper in store for you. Work on it until it feels smooth to the touch.
Then use a LIGHT coating of fresh lithium grease.
Also, file any burrs of the slot the jaws fit in.8 December 2017 at 5:06 pm #397129
It doesn’t seem to be a problem with the inner part of the chuck, since I’ve tried two jaws from other two braces I have and they don’t misalign when are tightened. The misalignment only takes place with the jaws that come with the brace. I’ve seen that they only join at the very tip.
I’ve checked the inside of the chuck and I’ve cleaned and sanded it until it has been soft and uniform, and the problem persists. There are no burrs in the jaws housing. Everything seems to be ok, ‘though it is clear it is no so. It’s a pity, because after restoring the main body of the brace and the wooden parts it looks like new and has a fantastic sensation of well-done tool. Thank you very much anyway, Larry.
I’m thinking about buying a pair of new Stanley 144 jaws, hoping that their size is similar to the Stanley 78 jaws, and try. The worst thing it can happen is the new jaws don’t fit.9 December 2017 at 6:15 pm #398006
At last, solution has come from another flea market. I’ve found a stuck Stanley that had a pair of absolutely new alligator jaws, probably replaced in some moment, that fit in my old brace perfectly. I’ve paid 6 euros (about 5 pounds or 7 dollars) and I have this old brace completely restored and ready for action now.
But that hasn’t been the best thing. A pair of places after, in the same market, I’ve found an Stanley Baley #4 1/2 made in USA. “Patent APR 19 – 10” says behind the frog, and looking for its age in Internet I’ve found that the latest ones were made in 1928!. It is at least 89 years old, and it’s in so good condition that I almost coulnd’t believe it, above all it is very uncommon to find USA tools here, and when you find them they are normally in very bad condition. The plane still has the label in the rear handle. I’ve paid 30 euros.
So it’s been a good day for me today. Thank you everybody.
11 December 2017 at 1:59 am #398979Larry GeibParticipant
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Julio T..
Send me the 4 1/2.
It wants to be repatriated. 😉
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