Adjustable wrenches are commonly of the open ended type, and have one movable and one fixed jaw. With and infinitely variable adjustability within their limits, these tools will fit a wide array of bolt and nut sizes, types and thread systems. On the downside, they are bulkier and heavier than fixed wrenches, a fact which is made up for by being able to dispense with a complete set of tools for one.
Archives for September 2008
Also known as the bench drill or pillar drill, the drill press is a valuable addition to any woodworking workshop or metalshop. It has higher accuracy than either hand drills or portable electric power drills and can drill holes to depths of up to 6 to 10 inches.
You can buy an accessory attachment that converts your power drill into a make-shift drill press if you want, but for sheer power and ruggedness, nothing beats the real thing.
Used for drilling holes in both metal and wood, the hand drill (also called a wheel brace) has been displaced in many woodworking shops by the cordless power drill. They still have many uses, and are available at good prices relative to power drills.
Hand drive and gearing ratios together allow for a wide range of speeds applicable to different types of work and materials. A main gear wheel, cranked by the drive handle, in turns drives a single or double pinion that transfers drive to the chuck.
Brace drills, also known as bit braces, can be traced back to the early 15th century and their use by carpenters in Europe. The brace drill has it’s handle offset to the axis of rotation. Before they were introduced, carpenters drilled holes in wood by turning augers or gimlet bits in repeated rotations via handles.
The brace drill enabled continuous turning and made for quicker boring of holes. Early drills used low efficiency bits of shell or spoon shape; screw shaped auger bits first appeared around 1800. Also slow to develop was the modern springed-jaw chuck with it’s screwed shell, which came in around 1865.
Woodworking benches should be a basic part of any home wood workshop, but they go all the way back to Roman and Greek times; they can be seen in images from these eras being used by carpenters and other workers. No mechanical vises were no used in those times, but holdfasts or pegs driven into holes in the benchtop held pieces being worked. Wooden vises came into use in the early 1800’s; these featured wooden screw rods fitted into the legs of the bench.