Need some auger bits for my new Stanley/North Bros. 2101A Bit Brace

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Forum topic by gauntlet21 posted 01-19-2019 07:43 PM 1889 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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69 posts in 1175 days

01-19-2019 07:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: auger bits bit brace bits bits drill bits square shank

After boring some holes in my new workbench with a Veritas bushing and jig, Veritas 3/4” bit, and a Dewalt cordless drill, I’m not satisfied with the quality of cut at the entry of the dog holes. Some are perfect, but maybe 1 out of 4 has chipping that isn’t functionally a problem, just aesthetically.

I did my research and invested in a North Bros. 2101A bit brace and now am looking for some quality (not excessively expensive) square shank auger bits to go with my vintage purchase. I’m looking for maybe a 6-13 piece set that won’t push me past $75-90. I’ve seen some quality looking vintage Irwin 13 bit sets on eBay for about that price but was wondering if, like the bit braces, the bits manufactured today are not of the same quality as the vintage ones.

If there are some quality bits out there that are brand new I would like to hear about them. In the event that the only really good ones are expensive, perhaps I can piece a set together as I need them and purchase a few of the common sizes at a time.

I have never been to a flea market so despite the ample opportunities to find bits there, that just isn’t my cup of tea at this moment. I’m also not opposed to sharpening bits so if vintage bits are the way to go, I am not shy from touching up the edges with an auger bit file should a good deal require that kind of service.

I don’t intend on drilling more than 5” deep or so either so I don’t need the Ma Bell telephone pole special 18” bits with free long distance.



12 replies so far

View steve104c's profile


52 posts in 2203 days

#1 posted 01-19-2019 08:54 PM

I made a workbench/out feed table w/ 2 vices. Last year found a glass drill an estate sale for $12. They still make in a newer model that starts $ 750. Used a 3/4” forester bit in the glass drill and drilled as deep as I could and finished with hand drill. Because the started (dog)hole was perpendicular with the glass drill, it finished true with the hand drill. I have found lots of special tools at estates and have found that they have come in very handy and can be used in different ways than what they were originally meant for. The glass drill just sits over where you want to drill and the weight of the drill with little pressure works. If you find a weird tool, just think out of box and see what else you can use it for. Steve.

View runswithscissors's profile


3124 posts in 2990 days

#2 posted 01-19-2019 09:09 PM

Flea markets, garage sales, and pawn shops are places where you might find augers. Also, brad point bits should give you a clean hole. Those can be driven with cordless drills.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View noahm's profile


12 posts in 1521 days

#3 posted 01-20-2019 01:04 AM

I have gotten a few mixed sets on the bay that were Jennings and not too much since they weren’t matching “sets”. They make holes like a dream. Just look closely at the tips and overall wear. A lot of brace bits hardly had any use. You should get a little file to touch up any dull/worn ones—I think Lee Valley sells one for brace bits. I made all the holes in my bench (5” thick sycamore) using a 14” 2101. I have the 8”, 10”, and 12” as well. They sure are a nice brace.

View wuddoc's profile


359 posts in 4683 days

#4 posted 01-20-2019 06:38 AM

I’m not sure if a hex shaft end would work but Grizzly sells a set of auger bits.

-- Wuddoc

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

511 posts in 4933 days

#5 posted 01-20-2019 06:56 AM

Look up WoodOwl bits. I also have a couple of sets of Jennings, one was new, and new (vintage) Irwins. The Owls are the best augers around. I think Lee Valley sell them. Pricy, but they outperform all else.

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

View olegrump's profile


97 posts in 1187 days

#6 posted 01-21-2019 03:17 PM

Highland Hardware used to sell sets of auger bits. They probably still do. Here’s an alternative for you: Harbor Freight has auger type bits with hex shanks. They carry regular size and nifty set of “stubby” size bits. The hex shanks will allow you to chuck them in your brace very nicely. I got the set of stubby bits and have been very happy with them in my “cordless” brace drills.

View bandit571's profile


27457 posts in 3648 days

#7 posted 01-21-2019 05:05 PM

Like this?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View olegrump's profile


97 posts in 1187 days

#8 posted 01-23-2019 09:49 PM

Yep, Perzakly. Been tinkering with a contraption that is part saw bench, part chairmaker’s style low bench (making the drawknifing stop block removable ala Roy’s “Rustic Workbench” Episode). Been doing a fair amount of boring with one of my “cordless” tools like the ones pictured above. Haven’t been able to very much good old hand boring for awhile, so I’ve been enjoying the experience. For now, I’ve been using some soft wood doweling for pegs, but will be making some maple pegs with a brace and tenon cutter within the next few days. Woo-Hoo!

View SMP's profile


3163 posts in 870 days

#9 posted 01-24-2019 08:59 PM

Is it one with the multi chuck? If so, I have had good luck with the Irwin SpeedBor from Lowes. If it only takes the square, the Irwin solid center augers work well also but double the price

View jmos's profile


918 posts in 3334 days

#10 posted 01-25-2019 12:46 PM

I’ve heard this guy recommended for restored vintage bits (Not positive, but Renaissance Woodworker I think). Haven’t used them, so I can’t personally vouch for them. More reliable than a flea market.

-- John

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5062 days

#11 posted 01-25-2019 02:58 PM

Jennings bits as noahm said above and an auger file. Andy (Brit) did a sharpening video. Let me find them.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5062 days

#12 posted 01-25-2019 03:00 PM

This blog post has the information you need.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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