Tool Review: Jennings Pattern Auger Bits by Fisch
Contemporary bits for traditional braces
There is still a place for brace bits in the modern shop, such as when drilling angled holes in chairmaking. But searching through the rusty offerings in antique shops to find auger bits suitable for fine furniture making is a real challenge. Enter Fisch’s square taper shank augers designed for two-jaw braces, offered as part of a partnership with Tools for Working Wood.
These bits come sharp and ready to use in sizes from 1⁄4 in. up to 1 in. They have a fine lead screw that is designed for use in hardwoods, but I tested them in a variety of woods: white and yellow pine, white oak, maple, mahogany, walnut, and wenge. The long lead screws had no trouble pulling the bits into even the hardest woods, and their length allowed me to firmly establish angles other than 90° before the spurs contacted the surface—not always the case with other auger bits.
The spurs themselves created very clean entry holes, though there was occasionally some minor tearout in the pines. The cutting lips and spirals created and spat out shavings with great efficiency, helping the bits pull themselves through the stock, meaning there was far less need to clear chips than usual.
—Bill Pavlak is a journeyman cabinetmaker in the Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop at Colonial Williamsburg.
From issue #267—Mar/Apr 2018
More on FineWoodworking.com:
- Talking Tools – Brace yourself
- The Brace and Bit – This old standby can do more than just bore holes
- Spoon Bits – Putting 17th-century high technology to work