Carpentry Tools: Tips on Using The Brace And Bit

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For the task of boring holes, there is this wonderful piece of machinery called the brace and bit. When boring holes in wood, a couple of turns would feed the bit into the wood without pressure. To drive screws, the pressure should be sustained. When working in corners or other tight places wherein a full turn of the crank is out of the question, a ratchet mechanism is supplied to ratchet the bit either to the right (to drive) or to the left (to withdraw) just by rotating the cam ring. 

Holes are frequently bored at the wrong angle since the woodworker simply does not know how uncomplicated it is to bore them perpendicular to the punctured surface. The only problems that go with boring a hole are getting it straight and not breaking rough the wood at the bottom of the hole. To bore straight you just have to sight on the piece of wood two times more after your hole is reasonably well started.  The same principle applies when boring horizontally.) One sight indicates whether or not you’re holding the bit straight in one plane; the other sight indicates the same thing in the other plane. 

When you have any doubts, use a try square to make sure the bit is perpendicular to the surface of the wood. For horizontal borings, cup the brace using the left hand, supported by the stomach. When settled, you have nothing else to do but to turn the handle and give a fair amount of pressure on the head of the brace. The tool does the job, you may bore just as fast as you wish, provided you are doing it carefully. That is, until you get close to the bottom of the hole. 

A problem comes up in boring through a board when the bit comes through the other side of the board. To prevent splintering, reverse the bit when the tip already appears. Toward the end, turn the brace gradually, watching or feeling for the point of the bit—and as soon as it gets through, stop. Then bore through from the other side. The outcome is a clean hole. Another way to avoid splitting on the reverse side is to clamp a piece of scrap wood over the exit area of the piece that is being bored. 

Before a hole is bored, be sure the wood is free from spikes, nails, metal, and dirt. These materials, regardless of how small they might be, can harm the auger bit. Once the points or spurs are broken or the tips rolled, the bit is useless. Bits must be cleaned, covered with a thin coat of oil, and laid in the toolbox when not in use. A good suggestion is to check out the size of the hole the bit will bare using a piece of scrap wood beforehand.

If a hole must be enlarged, some difficulty will be dealt with in centering the bit. Filling the hole using plastic wood or a wooden plug would solve this problem.

 When a flathead screw will be set in and counter-sunk, you actually need three different bits to do a right job. The first tool is a bit slightly bigger than the smooth shank of the screw being used.  Bore this to the depth equal to the length of the shank. The next part of the hole is made using a bit smaller than the threaded part of the screw. (Otherwise, the screw won’t do any holding.) The third bit that you require is a countersink, which broadens the hole at the top into which the head of the screw fits, so the screw would be flush with the surface of the board.

To do all these jobs precisely and quickly in one operation, screw sink tools may be utilized. They are available in sizes to match popular screw sizes.


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