Monday, November 07, 2005

Braced for action

Well it's all go toolwise chez Alf at the moment. Delicate negotiations are on-going vis-a-vis a trade of goods. My part of the deal is this Chapman brace and Irwin pattern bits. But first they have to be cleaned... Actually the bits aren't too bad. Some I've already done, and others came in the baize tool roll in the picture, and have kept remarkably rust-free in consequence. Nope, it's the brace that's going to be the stinker. The ratchet is, inevitably, seized up, but other than that the working parts are all free and, well, working. But there's a coat of rust over everything, and the plating's there in places and peeling off in others. As a preliminary test I've put a small wooden handled screwdriver in the citric acid bath to see how it effects the woodwork - in theory it's apparently okay to put the whole thing in the citric acid, but this is nice hardwood and I don't want to ruin it. Failing that, it's just a question of elbow grease. I've done it before:
On the left, you can just make out the Stanley #901 brace as found in the Tool Chest; below that the result of much elbow grease. Super brace that, and judging by how little I was able to find out about it, not that common. It has the Parker patent ratchet, dates sometime between 1911 and 1935 (but more towards the latter half) and would have set you back a whopping $2.45 in 1914. Stanley's most expensive brace I think. The guy who assembled the tools in that chest seemed to have had a laudable tendency to buy the best tools available, for which I can but thank him.

There, and you thought I was just fixated on planes and saws...


  1. Just signed on to say, "Great site." Just finished making a simple miter shuting/shooting board and was explaining about it on one of the USA forums and someone pointed me here for some additional ideas. Lots of great info here.

  2. Thanks, Jerry; always nice to have a new reader :~) Got a link to your shooting board? I'm -slowly- trying to gather together a range of shooting board links for inclusion in the site.

  3. I started off using the plan from Jeff Gorman's site which is similar to the one you have for the multi use one here. Ended up simplifying it for use doing 45 degree miters and will make another for 90 degree end work. Don't have anything posted on my website on it yet as I'm running short of space there and will be migrating the pics to another site and linking to them. Here's my site.


Owing to vast quantities of spam this blog is getting, I'm afraid only registered users can post. All comments are moderated before publication, so there may be some delay. My apologies.