19 May 2013 at 4:26 am #12182
I inherited a Stanley brace and box set of Russell Jennings auger bits that have sat in my drawer for over 10 years. Recently I decided to make a 3 legged stool featured in Paul’s DVD set. I did my best to sharpen the bit as Paul instructs in the book, however the bit starts spinning after digging about 3/8″ in pine. It barely cut anything on an oak test piece. I suspect the snail might be the problem, but the Russell Jennings snail is double threaded, and I hesitate to mess with it. I don’t think I’ve been more frustrated with hand tool maintenance as I am now. Any advice?
Jason19 May 2013 at 5:32 am #12183KenParticipant
Jason, this might be of some help20 May 2013 at 3:00 am #12196
Thanks Ken. that is helpful. I think I need to do a better with my sharpening.
Jason20 May 2013 at 8:10 am #12200Michael PetreParticipant
To sharpen/clean the lead screw I pre-drill a smaller hole, pack it with polishing compound and then drill slowly with the lead screw. Obviously, that won’t fix severely damaged screws but I noticed an improvement on my old auger bits.20 May 2013 at 3:40 pm #12233
I’ll give that a try too, Michael. I can tell you all that I am making progress. The lead screw had flats on thread. When I first saw it, I didn’t think anything of it… The threads are intact, but have flat tops. I’m racking my brain to figure out what caused that. Last night I took my finest saw file (4 x slim), and very conservatively filed along the threads. This improved the bit’s performance greatly. I didn’t remove the flats completely, but will work at it more tonight to bring the threads to a point. Hopefully that will improve things all the more.
Jason20 May 2013 at 4:38 pm #12234ScottParticipant
The threads are intact, but have flat tops. I’m racking my brain to figure out what caused that.
Perhaps there was a nail or some other obstruction in the bit’s path during a prior use? That may explain the flat edges on the threads…
-Scott Los Angeles30 July 2014 at 6:26 am #59882
I found this thread as I have the same exact problem with some of the auger bits I recently purchased… they drill in about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch and then just spin and don’t drill any further.
It looks like they may have been sharpened in the past. I’m wondering if the angle at the end of the flute was sharpened too steep. Paul warns against this in his auger sharpening video. If so, how do I know what the proper angle is so that I can try to file it back to where it should be?30 July 2014 at 2:42 pm #59892David PerrottParticipant
I had the same problems to! They go in a bit and stop. I have so many of them. I need to sort through them, and problem shoot.30 July 2014 at 11:54 pm #59915woodworker435Participant
Another problem that can cause a bit to stall is incorrect sharpening. If the exterior of the spur is sharpened, it will become a smaller diameter than the rest of the shaft. If a previous owner did this several times, the whole of the bit cannot enter the smaller hole created by the spurs.
Cleveland, Ohio U.S.A.31 July 2014 at 2:58 am #59920
Thanks for the suggestion. It’s not binding up, which is what would happen if the spurs where too narrow for the rest of the bit. It’s just spinning and not boring… so, I have to rule that out.
I think it is due to improper sharpening at some point though. I watched Paul’s video again, and I think it may be clearance angle at the end of the bit (as he is discussing about 5 mins in). I have to check the bits again to see if this is the problem.
The only thing I don’t understand is… if this is the problem why do the bits bore about 1/4 or so and then stop? It seems like they wouldn’t bore at all.31 July 2014 at 3:10 am #59922
Fwiw, I was able to solve my problem by carefully cleaning up the snail threads with a small saw file. The Russell Jennings bits have a fine double thread. It’s apparently easy to damage.31 July 2014 at 10:34 am #59928
Thanks, Jason… I’ll take another look at mine, but I think the snails were in good shape.1 August 2014 at 12:47 am #59939Frank JosephParticipant
The small screw in front leads and pulls the bit into the wood if its damaged it won’t lead the bit use a very fine file and clean that screw up as best you can. Try to get a sharp leading edege.
In South Jersey the good part of New Jersey, USA.2 August 2014 at 11:25 am #59969MTaylorParticipant
This is not directly related but I will put it out there. I have had extensive problems with new Irwin auger bits in mahogany. The problem seems to be an incorrect grind. It can be identified by looking at the bit head on. You will notice a diamond shaped “secondary” grinding. It falls past the screw but before the auger edge. It results in the square face of the diamond plowing into the wood and chips are not fed into the auger. The symptom is that it stops cutting after a few revolution and the screw pulls out of the wood.
I contacted Irwin and they replaced the bits at no cost however the new bits were the same.
A few minutes with a file corrects the problems and the bits work fine otherwise.3 August 2014 at 2:15 am #59994
Michael, I think that’s exactly what is happening with mine, but we are in the process of moving and I haven’t been able to take a look at them for the last couple days. I’ll let you know after I get a chance to sit down with them. Thanks.
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