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Any idea how to get the chuck apart on this brace?

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Forum topic by Tony1212 posted 03-28-2020 04:06 AM 466 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tony1212

428 posts in 2471 days


03-28-2020 04:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: brace drill bits bit brace

I was hoping to start a restoration tomorrow and figured I’d look through the internet to see how to get this apart.

As far as I can tell, it’s either a Peck, Stow & Wilcox (possible Pexto) or some sort of Stanley 919. But I can’t find anything on restorations, maintenance, or replacement parts (not that this one needs replacement parts, it seems very nice if a bit rusty).

I can’t find any mark on the brace itself, but that may be hidden under layers of rust. But there are a few unique things about it. The ratchet mechanism is open and visible. It has a collar ratcheting direction switch. The jaws are like nothing else I see on blogs and vlogs talking about such braces. The top of the brace is inset into the wood, so you cannot see any metal from the sides.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs


12 replies so far

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Tony1212

428 posts in 2471 days


#1 posted 03-28-2020 03:11 PM

From some more research, it looks like it might be a John S. Fray No. 126.

It has the exposed ratchet wheel, the weird chuck, the individual big jaws, and the .

I still have no idea how to clean out the chuck. Mine is packed with sawdust and grease/oil. As far as I can tell, it does not come apart.

I’m going to put some naval jelly on it to see if any stamping can be seen with the rust removed.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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Johnny7

481 posts in 1827 days


#2 posted 03-29-2020 03:40 PM

If it’s not too late, I’m going to advise against the Naval Jelly.
It leaves an awful, dull grey finish.

Use a brass-bristled brush.

I have taken many a brace apart, but never one of these.

Is THIS your chuck?

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SMP

2008 posts in 642 days


#3 posted 03-29-2020 03:47 PM

Usually there is a set screw or pin you have to remove but looks in the first picture there is a hole already missing the screw? So what happens when you try to unscrew all the way? And if you look inside once open? Any screw in the back?

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Mr_Pink

193 posts in 1108 days


#4 posted 03-29-2020 05:07 PM

I have a Fray chuck that looks similar. I got the jaws out eventually, but otherwise couldn’t get the chuck apart.

Mine was locked shut and packed full of something that looked like river silt, but with a little (read: a lot) oil and time I got it moving and cleaned out. I doubt you need to take yours apart.

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bandit571

25594 posts in 3420 days


#5 posted 03-29-2020 05:15 PM

I have 2 such chucks in the shop….except mine were made by Millers Falls I could go and look them over, IF you want…they be hanging up, at the moment..

And a 6” sweep…

Let me know…

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

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Tony1212

428 posts in 2471 days


#6 posted 03-29-2020 06:31 PM



If it s not too late, I m going to advise against the Naval Jelly.
It leaves an awful, dull grey finish.

Use a brass-bristled brush.

I have taken many a brace apart, but never one of these.

Is THIS your chuck?

- Johnny7

Yeah, too late. But I hit it with a nylon wheel and it’s pretty shiny. It is very pitted, though.

That is a very similar chuck, but the jaws in my chuck are separate. Much more like the John Fray jaws in the first reply.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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Tony1212

428 posts in 2471 days


#7 posted 03-29-2020 06:33 PM



Usually there is a set screw or pin you have to remove but looks in the first picture there is a hole already missing the screw? So what happens when you try to unscrew all the way? And if you look inside once open? Any screw in the back?

- SMP

I think that hole is for oil, not a screw hole. Unscrewing it all the way pushes the jaws out of the chuck. With the jaws out, it is still too dark and full of rust/dirt to see much of anything. That was why I was hoping to get it apart so I could clean all that gunk out.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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Tony1212

428 posts in 2471 days


#8 posted 03-29-2020 06:36 PM


I have a Fray chuck that looks similar. I got the jaws out eventually, but otherwise couldn t get the chuck apart.

Mine was locked shut and packed full of something that looked like river silt, but with a little (read: a lot) oil and time I got it moving and cleaned out. I doubt you need to take yours apart.

- Mr_Pink

Yeah, my chuck was full of stuff, too. Dirt, rust, wood dust, etc. I got the jaws out but it’s still not pretty down inside there.

I de-rusted the bottom half of the brace, but it is very pitted. I think I see works on the lower bar, but I’m not sure. Where is the maker’s mark on yours?

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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Tony1212

428 posts in 2471 days


#9 posted 03-29-2020 06:39 PM



I have 2 such chucks in the shop….except mine were made by Millers Falls I could go and look them over, IF you want…they be hanging up, at the moment..

And a 6” sweep…

Let me know…

- bandit571

Yeah, those look like the right chucks. No need to go pull them down for me. They are very nice looking drills. I got the bottom half de-rusted and it is very badly pitted. I’d have to spend a couple hours with a file to get all of the pits out. I plan to actually use it, so no big deal if it’s not the prettiest.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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bandit571

25594 posts in 3420 days


#10 posted 03-29-2020 08:45 PM

Well, here ya go…since I already did..

6 inch sweep Keen Kutter brand…fully boxed…circled is an oiler hole, and the set screw to hold the ball bearings in..

10” sweep, older, non-boxed prawls. Has an extra oiler hole…Metal bands are Pewter.

Head or top handle. Has no oiler hole, however, IF you apply a light bead of oil where the two metal parts connect, then give things a spin….the oil works it’s way inside…things turn way much better..
Jaws?

Ran these all the way out..until they stopped….seems they are pinned in place on the inside of the chuck….jaws will hold a normal twist drill’s round shank just fine….and securely.

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

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Tony1212

428 posts in 2471 days


#11 posted 03-30-2020 01:11 PM

Thanks, Bandit.

The chuck on mine looks very similar. I even found the little bearing setscrew,though it is pretty much flush with the chuck collar.

My jaws are a bit different, too. Yours has “teeth” whereas mine are smooth.

I also have an oiler hole in the top head collar.

I got half of it (from handle to chuck) de-rusted and mostly shiny. I’ll get to the other side either tonight or tomorrow night. I’ll get more pics. I prettied it up, but it still in rough shape.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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Tony1212

428 posts in 2471 days


#12 posted 04-13-2020 02:03 PM

Alright, to close the loop, here is the finished restoration of the brace. I still could not find any name or number anywhere on it. It must have gotten eaten away by all the rust because it was DEEP.

My wife made a roll for the bits that I cleaned up as well. But once I pull together a full set of similar bits I will make a box to put them in.

At the same time, I was restoring an old Craftsman 1071 that had a missing cap. Just for fun, here are some pictures of that.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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