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Anonymous

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Hi everyone,

I am starting now to make the narrowest bench in the history of benches. It's wider than a sawhorse...but not by much! It has to hide behind the door on the balcony, see, so I've only got 45 cm to work with.

Based on the Good, Fast, & Cheap bench by Bob Key. I suspect mine may end up being none of these. I've spent £60 on wood and vises (about half on each). Which is not, in my book, Cheap, although it's not Expensive, either. Today I have measured and marked the frame and cut two mortises. Am practically exhausted! But it was good fun.

How do you hold a brace & bit straight up, may I ask? I seem to have an infinitude of mortises to go, and my drilling technique leaves something to be desired. My holes don't come out the side, but they to tend to wander into each other. Making more wood to painstakingly chop out.

Anyway it's my first Real Project and I'm excited. Yesterday I cut a rabbet with chisels. It wasn't much fun. What I wouldn't have given for a bull-nosed rabbet plane :). But it worked, our door has a threshold instead of a gaping hole under it where carpet used to be.

evie
 

engineer one

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quick tip evie. and congratulations on your move. i would suggest you
look for scrap in the future to cut down the costs.

anyway. at your next class get a 2-3in high block of 2x2, or 3x3, put it on the drill press, and drill a hole through it with the size drill you need for
your mortices. then when you go home, put the block over the centre,
and your bit and brace will be more supported. also put the bit and brace on a lower surface to ensure that more of your weight is over the drill rather than alongside. the bit and brace was meant to be used with ones belly as the pressure point, this allowed one to only worry about square in
one direction, up and down, since the eye allowed for the two other axes.

since you are only making small boxes, the size seems sensible for the moment.

may i suggest you next time also go look in b&q or whoever, and see about kitchen work top offcuts.
paul :wink:
 

Alf

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Evie,

There are a few other things you can try. One is to use the brace at such a height as you can rest your forehead on the head that's holding the pad. Also set up one, or better still, two squares to give you a visual guide. The third one is for use when you're boring the work with the brace horizontal. You can eyeball the side to side angle, but the up and down one is tricky. An old dodge is to have a ring on the auger shank (harness rings were common, but whatever does the job). If you're tilting down the ring will slide towards the work; if up, the ring will move towards you. When it doesn't move at all, you're level.

And you need a rebate plane, toot sweet! [-X :D

Cheers, Alf

Who sees a bench almost as narrow in constant use in a reclamation/builders yard, and it's just fine as long as it's near a wall. :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks for tips & reassurance. There seems a distressing lack of scrap in the area, although I did scout. Plus I am without a car, which makes everything more difficult.

Another question regarding the brace - the one I got is an old Stanley no 78 10 inch, it has a two-part chuck and the bits I have for it all have square shanks. I haven't seen any square-shanked bits for sale, well, ever, and I am wondering where I can and if I can get new bits for this drill. I have one brilliant bit called a wood auger, from what I can tell, but sadly the shank is not quite straight which isn't ideal in a drill bit. Otherwise I have only flat bits which take a lot of force.

evie
 

Alf

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evie":377hviii said:
I haven't seen any square-shanked bits for sale, well, ever, and I am wondering where I can and if I can get new bits for this drill.
New bits here. ("Brace" yourself for the prices) But bits of all varieties are plentiful in the secondhand market, at sensible prices. Mostly, though, they're in need of some TLC and so forth before you can use them, but mainly that's just rust removal. Although you have to watch that the lead screw is in reasonable condition, someone hasn't misguidedly filed the outside of any cutting spurs and, as you've found, that it isn't bent.

Hmm, doesn't sound as simple when I re-read that... :roll: If you're desperate, PM me and we could come to a mutually advantageous arrangement.

Cheers, Alf
 

bugbear

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put the [brace guiding]block over the centre
I'd say CLAMP the block.

The only bits (I'm afraid) that work in a brace are auger bits. They are sophisticated cutting systems.

Spade bits .... aren't, and require the power and speed of a 'leccy motor to work at all.

You *need* augers, but they are savagely expensive (and poorly made) in the current market.

I will second Alf; look for "clean" leadscrews and cutting "wings" that have not been filed AT ALL on the outside. If they have, the bit is DEAD.

Other than that, for most purpose, both Irwin and Jennings pattern bits work fine, and car boot prices should be 1-2 GBP each, with scope for discount on buying more than one. Sharpening them is quite easy with needle files and patience.

BugBear
 

Alf

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bugbear":19r14o4e said:
look for "clean" leadscrews
Better define "clean", methinks. A little dirt and rust can be dealt with using the old grinding paste trick.

Cheers, Alf
 
A

Anonymous

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Gah! :shock: More than I paid for the drill (much more!) but it's good to know they are out there.

Today I've been using the slightly bent auger bit because it's just SO MUCH BETTER than the spade bit, as Bugbear says. Even slightly bent. And holding the brace pad under my chin. This is working much better.

On the subject of drills, I also have a little thing that we in the US would I think call a push drill - my dad bestowed it upon me, and it's been very very useful over the years. (I'm from the States originally, I might not have metioned.) Yet I've never seen one over here. Sort of screwdriver sized and shaped, takes drill bits in a 3-part chuck, twists as you push into the wood. Do they exist? If not, why only in America?
 

Chris Knight

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Evie,

Little drills like that (Archimedes screw things) used to be very common and indeed useful for small holes I still have one in my toolbox somewhere but it took special drill bits that I can no longer find.
 

Adam

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waterhead37":2qpm7nw5 said:
Evie,

Little drills like that (Archimedes screw things) used to be very common and indeed useful for small holes I still have one in my toolbox somewhere but it took special drill bits that I can no longer find.
Hmm, I have one which I lost the "nut" from the end. I managed to find another one to go on it, but its a hexaganol jobbie and it looks out of place - the one before was knurled I think.

Am I thinking of the same thing? The bits are extremely delicate with a square drive no thicker than a matchstick?

Adam
 
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Anonymous

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The first one I'd call a "pin vise" and I use it all the time to make holes when assembling and pinning my little metal miniatures for Warhammer, I mean, for various things. My mom uses one with a needle for picking bits of rock off fossils, she's a paleontologist, what can you do.

The second thing you show I've NEVER seen before. Weird.

evie
 

Alf

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evie":lts83zgw said:
The second thing you show I've NEVER seen before. Weird.
Archimedean drill - still in the current Axminster catalogue, but presumably not in the next one as it's not to be found on the website. Popular amongst fretsaw users of "yesteryear" for boring the starter holes, for which they're very effective. Hopeless on anything of any thickness.

Push drills, while sold over here, never seemed to catch on enough for you to see them much - if ever. Certainly I've never seen one, despite quite careful searching. :whistle: The small Handyman Yankee screwdriver included boring bits for use like a push drill I see quite a few of, but the dedicated driver, nope.

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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Well, if you're still interested, I'll have a look next time I go to the US. I don't think they're hard to find - Dad bought mine at a local hardware store in the late 90s. It might be a while though, I think I'm going to go in the summer.

evie
 

bugbear

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Archimedean drill
At the risk of drifting gently to a new topic, archimedean drills have one very special virtue.

All the driving forces are perfectly parallel with the drill. This means that even teensy weensy bits can be used without risk on snapping.

Braces, breast drills and egg beaters all place substantial side forces on the bit.

For this reason, jewellers and horologists drill use a Archimedean drill sometimes.

BugBear
 

engineer one

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actually stone masons who do hand work use them quite frequently when
putting lead filling on to their engraving in the stone. they use them because the effort required is smaller than a normal bit and brace, due to the archimedean spiral screw.

paul :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

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Amazing! You don't see the Yankee (or later Stanley) 41 push drills over there?


These are very common over here and I have several. I try to keep them chucked with the most commonly used bits so I don't have to change.

Auger bits are also very common and inexpensive over here. If you can't find them locally, there is always ebay.

I picked up this boxed set of Greenlee Irwin pattern bits with the 8" and 12" 923 braces (I already had a mint 10" 923) and a few extras (expansive bit, countersink, bit extension, etc) for $18.




I used to put a lot of time and effort into tool hunting so it isn't for everyone but there are a lot of good tools out there to be found.

Another drilling tip: if you are drilling through mortices, mark the mortice on both sides and drill halfway from both sides. Your mortices will be much more accurate.
 
A

Anonymous

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Alf":xtvj0d1d said:
Roger,

I could get to really dislike you, ya know.... :roll: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
Whaaat! After luring me out of my old tools habits and into the Church of the Upward Bevel? (My LV LA Jack arrived yesterday)
:lol:
 

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