New hand brace maintenace

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #676471
    Jukka Huuskonen
    Participant

    I just bought a new hand brace from Fine tools, (Jaw brace DeLuxe 10C/3 with integral ratchet and three-jaw chuck):
    https://www.fine-tools.com/bohr1.html

    Should I use some grease/oil on the threads for opening/closing the socket? If so what would be recommended?

    -Jukka

    #676522
    Craig
    Participant

    Jukka,
    Wax.
    Beeswax, Paraffin wax, furniture wax etc. Works well.
    Craig

    SW Pennsylvania

    #676608
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Jukka,

    A tiny bit of light lithium grease will also help on the threads and in the jaw mechanism. The jaws are probably already lubed and won’t need attention for years.

    The other working bits like the ratchet, handle, and head can stand a drop of light machine oil once in a while.

    I’m not familiar with your model, but many old Stanley and Miller Falls braces had oil holes for the head and ratchet bearings. Attached is a picture of the head of an 1890’s Miller Falls brace showing the oil hole for the head bearing. There is also a hole near the ratchet.
    If not just oil the pawls. The oil will work itself in.
    After 125 years it works as well as the day it was made. If cared for, these things will last several lifetimes. I’m the third or fourth owner of mine.

    #676653
    Jukka Huuskonen
    Participant

    Thanks Craig and Larry,

    So some paraffin candle on the thread should do it 🙂 Haven’t got any lithium grease at home.

    I haven’t yet received that brace, hopefully coming tomorrow, but probable next week, so I don’t know about those oil holes, the cheaper version I had, didn’t have those, just an open ball bearing on top handle. I had to return that one (actually they just reimbursed the price for that better brace, no returning) due to socket threads starting to peel off and problems on bits slipping from socket. And after tightening socket so that bits stay in, I had to use hot/cold packs to get the socket threads to open again…

    Hoping this brace works better. At least it doesn’t seem to have same type of chrome/whatever plating in it.

    #676908
    Selva
    Participant

    @Jukka Is the cheaper version you referred to from the same manufacturer (“made in France” one)? Looks like the same as the one Lee Valley sells too (not the Delux one). Rob Lee from LV did not have much praise for them — in a forum he wrote years ago about their new brace offering: “The new braces are pretty much worth what you pay for ’em…. they’re not high precision tools, and we offer for folks that need ’em. Having said that – old braces can be worth more than you pay for them…” He was alluding to buyers who don’t like old tools and want “new”.

    I have an old Stanley 965-N which works okay though the chuck jaws don’t stay open and dangles inside when loosened (some spring missing or an old design). It takes a bit of fiddling to insert the shank of the bit. Have been looking for an old Stanley 2101A or similar on ebay. But its hard to judge the condition of what ebay sellers offer and shipping costs are exorbitant to Canada most of the time. As we have nothing useful in flea markets near where I live, tempted to get a new one with a feedback that’s better than a “so so”.

    Thanks,

    Selva

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Selva.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Selva.
    #676931
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    Apologies if I’m interfering, but having two of those that LV offers, here are my two pennies of experience.

    Both have three jaws, with the first one I bought working well enough. The thread of the tightening mechanism of number two does not run smooth, though it does hold the bits equally well.

    Round shanks require more tightening force, and slippage has occurred when I’ve used 3/4″ and upwards forstner bits. (Finding imperial sized forstner bits with hex shanks would be really welcome¹). My auger bits all have hex shanks, and the only problem I have is turning some of them in hardwood. A brace with a wider swing would be nice to have, but they are apparently nearly as rare as Frapin 1905.

    Once the bit is held tight there hasn’t been any noticeable wobbliness – nothing at all, actually, compared to my unsteady boring.

    The ball bearings have received a few drops of oil.

    All in all, they work well enough, aren’t perhaps subjected to the highest standards of quality control, but are dead useful for boring long guided holes with an auger bit.

    ¹Having posted this reply, I of course found another thread with a comment that referred me to imperial sized auger bits with hex shanks, and what looks like forstner bits with a snail, also with hex shanks. Will the better half be travelling with checked in luggage on next trip to Europe???

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Sven-Olof Jansson. Reason: Additional information
    #676940
    Jukka Huuskonen
    Participant

    @Jukka Is the cheaper version you referred to from the same manufacturer (“made in France” one)? Looks like the same as the one Lee Valley sells too (not the Delux one). Rob Lee from LV did not have much praise for them — in a forum he wrote years ago about their new brace offering: “The new braces are pretty much worth what you pay for ’em…. they’re not high precision tools, and we offer for folks that need ’em. Having said that – old braces can be worth more than you pay for them…” He was alluding to buyers who don’t like old tools and want “new”.

    I have an old Stanley 965-N which works okay though the chuck jaws don’t stay open and dangles inside when loosened (some spring missing or an old design). It takes a bit of fiddling to insert the shank of the bit. Have been looking for an old Stanley 2101A or similar on ebay. But its hard to judge the condition of what ebay sellers offer and shipping costs are exorbitant to Canada most of the time. As we have nothing useful in flea markets near where I live, tempted to get a new one with a feedback that’s better than a “so so”.

    Thanks,

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Selva.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Selva.

    Yes, the cheaper version sounds like that. Mine has the plating peeling off, and I just got a cut on my knee, after a 10 mm long curved piece of plating had peeled off and dropped on the floor, didn’t notice it and kneeled straight on it. This deluxe version looked quite a bit better.
    Would love to get a real vintage version of a brace, but I know so little of vintage brace bits, that I thought it’s better to stick on a 3-jaw brace that can use modern drill bits.

    Apologies if I’m interfering, but having two of those that LV offers, here are my two pennies of experience.

    Both have three jaws, with the first one I bought working well enough. The thread of the tightening mechanism of number two does not run smooth, though it does hold the bits equally well.

    Round shanks require more tightening force, and slippage has occurred when I’ve used 3/4″ and upwards forstner bits. (Finding imperial sized forstner bits with hex shanks would be really welcome¹). My auger bits all have hex shanks, and the only problem I have is turning some of them in hardwood. A brace with a wider swing would be nice to have, but they are apparently nearly as rare as Frapin 1905.

    Once the bit is held tight there hasn’t been any noticeable wobbliness – nothing at all, actually, compared to my unsteady boring.

    The ball bearings have received a few drops of oil.

    All in all, they work well enough, aren’t perhaps subjected to the highest standards of quality control, but are dead useful for boring long guided holes with an auger bit.

    ¹Having posted this reply, I of course found another thread with a comment that referred me to imperial sized auger bits with hex shanks, and what looks like forstner bits with a snail, also with hex shanks. Will the better half be travelling with checked in luggage on next trip to Europe???

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Sven-Olof Jansson. Reason: Additional information

    Yes, even this cheaper brace holds bits just fine, as long as it’s tightened enough, but the problem is that then the socket tends to get stuck. Last time I had to use cold pack from freezer on the drill bit and hot pack on socket to get it open. I had no problems drilling with the brace (after it was tight enough), no wobbliness or other problems, except that I couldn’t get the socket to open anymore, which was kind a problem…

    #676956
    Selva
    Participant

    Thanks Jukka Huuskonen and Sven-Olof Jansson.

    From What Sven is saying I’m tempted to buy. Will see how it feels in the hand in the local LV store — in case its the same version as the one Jukka had trouble with the peeled plating. All said, I get the feeling that my unrated Stanely 965-N is probably is as good as these new offerings — though mine has dangling jaws, works well once the bit is loaded. A vintage brace — Stanley 2101A that every one vouches for, or even a 923 or an old Miler Falls is still worth looking for — but ebay is not my favourite shopping place.. With COVID the local antique tools show is also on hold.

    As for 2-jaws, you can get an adapter for hex shanks — I haven’t used one though. And I don’t have any round shank bits suitable for hand drilling. Using Forstner bits with a brace would take more expertise than I have and some pressure as there is no snail — those are meant for higher speed drilling isn’t it?

    Thanks again.

    Selva

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Selva.
    #678632
    Jukka Huuskonen
    Participant

    Got that new better brace nearly 2 weeks ago. And it is VERY much better quality than the cheaper one. Chuck locks and releases bits with very little effort (just like in Paul’s videos…) and it just feels so much better.

    Here is a vid of me drilling a couple of 19mm holes with the new brace on my version of Paul’s diamond sharpening station.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/aM3uprsXcFdJaDT8A

    -Jukka

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