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Hand Brace Drill as a Screwdriver

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Osvaldd

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Got myself an old Stanley brace drill, now all I need is auger bits. I tried it with normal round shank drill bits and they just keep slipping, the jaw/chuck is not designed for them. However...
It appears to accept hexagonal screwdriver bits just fine. The amount of torque this thing has is incredible, drove a 75mm screw without a pilot hole in 3 seconds.
 

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AndyT

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You've just found one of the really good reasons for owning a brace or two. And charging up after a few dozen screws just needs a kettle for a good brew! :D
 

sunnybob

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As an apprentice in the early 60's we were still using braces to drive slotted brass screws into hard wood. Way before power drills, let alone battery power!
 

ED65

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Yes, this! Most braces with two-piece jaws, even some quite old ones, can grip hex shanks well enough that any hex tool can be used in them and it greatly expands their usefulness in the modern workshop. Not just for woodworking either.

As you say the amount of torque available is amazing, even with 8" and 10" sweeps. With 12" or higher sweeps it's almost unlimited if you've had your Weetabix that morning, although they're much thinner on the ground.

BTW you can expect to find the occasion brace with conventional jaws that can grip round-shank drill bits of a limited size range reasonably well, usefully expanding the range of hand-drilled holes above what common eggbeater drills can usually handle (1/4" or 6mm).
 

Orraloon

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Works great when you need real torque. I have used it a few times when the battery drill would not look at it.
Every so often you find old square taper shank screwdriver bits to fit them on ebay.
Regards
John
 

Phil Pascoe

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I have a slotted screw driver bit for my brace. I also have a snail countersink for my yankee 131 screwdriver. Showing my age.
 

Cheshirechappie

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As others have said, the vintage screwdriver bits with the square-taper shank are real 'work when all else fails' tools on occasions, especially for removing old, rusted-in screws when dismantling things. You do have to be careful not to twist the heads off medium and smaller screws.

One fault of the these bits as found is that the flanks of the tip are often at a rather steep taper for a screwdriver (either by wear or by bad reshaping at some point in their lives), so they 'cam out' very readily, damaging screw slots in the process. The remedy is to file the tip nearer to parallel on the flanks,; it also helps to fit the tip width as near to the screw-slot size as you can get. Try to do that without taking meat off further up the shank, though - just fit the very tip to the screw slot.

Another variation that seems to crop up fairly regularly is the 'two-prong' screwdriver bit for tightening the old-style 'split nuts' on saw handles. These suffer from the same problems as the ordinary ones, I've found - and saw screw nuts seem to vary greatly in their slot width and depth, so reshaping to fit YOUR saws might not be such a bad idea!
 

Benchwayze

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Works well when you have to remove a stubborn slotted screw too.

So does my 14" long turn-screw.
I managed to find mine online, and it was the only tool I had that would remove the screws on some shelves I was dispensing with. Wouldn't be without it; or my brace and bits. :D

John (hammer)
 

Rorschach

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Benchwayze":2cnli6mf said:
Works well when you have to remove a stubborn slotted screw too.

So does my 14" long turn-screw.
I managed to find mine online, and it was the only tool I had that would remove the screws on some shelves I was dispensing with. Wouldn't be without it; or my brace and bits. :D

John (hammer)
I hope you are not inferring that the extra length gives more torque :twisted:
 

Benchwayze

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No definitely not
Just saying that it's the extraordinary strength in my forearms and my powerful grip that does the trick. :mrgreen: The extra length of the turnscrew however does help and allows me to stand a little further back from the wall and avoids my considerable belly contacting the worktop underneath. I will have to read up on Torque and its advantages or otherwise. Although I'd be quite prepared to gain from your knowledge in this area. Thank you my friend.
Regards John. (hammer)
 

Rorschach

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:lol:
I was worried we might get into another sharpening type thread. :mrgreen:

Hard to beat a nice big screwdriver for stuck screws, something you can really get your back into, then again I prefer to use a breaker bar if needed, or a brace, assuming space allows it of course.
 

thetyreman

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I need to get myself an adaptor, I feel like I've been missing out, sometimes the power drill doesn't have enough torque plus the brace is silent, another excuse to go power tool free.
 

Rorschach

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If it runs true that could be a handy little thing to have on hand.
 

AndyT

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Nice find!
Looks just right for small bits and modern hex screwdriver bits.
 

Osvaldd

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Inspector":ght5een6 said:
What is the little knob on the side for? Part of a depth stop perhaps?

Pete
no idea, tried to unscrew it but it wont budge
 

AES

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I'm interested in this thread - especially about the more length = more torque comment - and NO, I'm NOT trying to stir anyone up,'onhest Guv!!

I have often got the feeling that using my Stanley "pump" screwdriver, closed of course (it must be the longest screwdriver I've got) that I CAN somehow get more torque onto a stubborn screw. As said, it's just a feeling, I've NO mathematical proof or anything. That's why I made an adaptor to fit my pump screwdriver (from an old electric bits holder), so I could use modern bits like Torx, etc.

It may well be that as I grunt at the top of the Stanley I'm simply moving away from true vertical, so getting a bit more torque on that way (triangle of forces and all that), but I've never really thought too much about it to be honest - it just seems that way to me.

But from a couple of comments above, it seems likely that this isn't so. Would anyone care to comment - WITHOUT stirring up a hornets nest please!

And BTW, yes, I too do use a swing brace to remove screws sometimes. Not got such a big range of bits for it though, although I s'pose I could make up a holder for modern bits for that too, never really seen the need though. (I don't do site work or anything that you won't find around a standard household).
 

Inspector

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The advantage a longer screwdriver gives you is the ability to keep it perpendicular to the head of the screw so it doesn't cam out of the slot/recess. An inch of sideways movement by your hand at 3" is huge but the same inch on a 12" is minimal. In some cases it lets you apply more force to keep the tip of the blade engaged.

As a mechanic I always reached for a speed wrench, a baby cousin to a brace, when I had to remove screws from access panels on aircraft. I always longed for ones with a longer throw and wish it had twigged on me to get a brace.

Pete
 
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