In this post I will be finishing my coverage of bits for braces found in the Tison Tool Barn, including a bit gauge, a screwdriver bit, countersinks, and washer cutters.
First, I want to show a device that is not a bit, but which attaches to an auger bit. It is an adjustable bit gauge. It locks onto an auger bit, and stops the bit after it has bored a hole to a specified depth. This allows a worker to precisely bore a series of holes all to the same depth. This item is marked "STANLEY MADE IN USA C575." The bit gauge has two identical cast pieces, held together by two sets of bolt, washer and wing nut. The flared feet on one end stop the bit when they touch the surface of the piece wood in which the hole is being bored. This gauge fits on an auger bit up to 1 inch in diameter. This Stanley No. 49 adjustable bit gauge was introduced around 1904. Stanley began advertising a different bit gauge, No. 47, by the 1950s.
The Stanley adjustable bit gauge No. 49 in the left photo, and set on an auger bit in the right photo. Photos by Donald Albury.
Next is a screwdriver bit. A screwdriver bit mounted in a brace can be handy for driving or removing large screws, as the sweep of the brace provides much more torque than gripping a screwdriver handle by hand. This bit is 5-1./2 inches long and has a 9/16 inch wide tip. The bit has no visible markings.
A countersink bit cuts a conical depression around a screw-hole, so that a flat-headed screw will have its top at or below the surrounding surface.
The first countersink in the Tison Tool Barn collection bores a conical hole up to 7/8 inch across. This countersink has a hollow head with a cutting edge that shaves wood from the hole, unlike many countersinks, which scrape wood out of the hole. It has "PATD APR 12, 187~", "P MALVIK" and "P WHEELER" stamped on it. US Patent 101,796 was assigned to Asa Wheeler on Apr. 12, 1870 for this countersink. The countersink was manufactured by George B. Wheeler and, later, by the Stanley Rule and Level Company. I have found no information on the name P. Malvik..
This countersink bit has a cutting head with several radial vanes that scraped wood from the hole. It is 3/4 inch at the widest point of the head. "RAFTSMA" is visible stamped on the shaft. This is almost certainly a Craftsman bit from Sears, from sometime after 1927.
The next countersink bit does not have a tang, It probably was used with a powered drill. It has "80" (or "08") stamped on the shaft. The cutting head has a single cutting edge.
If you have ever taken a pump apart, then you have probably had the experience of hand-cutting a replacement gasket. Gaskets may be made of cork, leather, rubber, rubberized cloth, and other materials. (One contemporary supplier lists 41 types of gasket material for sale.) Washers, or circular gaskets, may also be made of those materials. The next two items are washer cutting bits, which allow the cutting of washers with concentric inside and outside edges from any material that can be cut by a knife blade. Both of these washer cutters have two adjustable cutters. One can be set for the outside diameter of the washer, and the other for the inside diameter.
The first washer cutter has a maximum outside diameter of 3 inches. It is marked "KING & SMITH'S PAT. OCT. 24, 1865" and "MF~ BY SAVAGE & SMITH, MIDDLETON, CT". This tool was assigned US Patent 50,600.
The second washer cutter has a maximum outside diameter of 4-1/2 inches. The only markings on the tool are an "H" in a circle, and the letters "HA" followed by some worn down or otherwise obscured characters. This tool was sold under the "Hargrave" trade mark used by the Cincinnati Tool Company. (My thanks to Bob Page and Mark Stansbury in the Antique and Vintage Tools Forum on Facebook for helping me identify this trade mark.) The Hargrave brand was used on clamps, chisels, punches, washer cutters, and other related tools. I have not found a model number for this tool, nor when it was made.
In my next post I will leave woodworking tools for a bit, and take a look at the monkey wrenches in the Tison Tool Barn.
I have been a volunteer at the Matheson History Museum. Feeling an affinity with old hand tools (some of which I remember from my youth), I have tried to learn more about the history of the tools in the Tison Tool Barn, and how they were used.
All text and photographs by Donald Albury in this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All illustrations taken from Wikimedia Commons are either in the public domain, or have been released under a Creative Commons license.
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