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Hand Braces and Bits

DIY experts discuss the old-school method of drilling holes.

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primitive tool is a cage head style brace
Photo 2 of 7This primitive tool was probably made by a blacksmith for a craftsman.

Cage-Head Style(2 of 7)

This primitive tool is a cage-head style brace. The head is supported by braces that resemble a cage. The bit goes in the square piece at one end of the tool and friction holds the bit in place. To use it, place one hand on the head and the other hand on the crank in the center of the tool. Turn the bar in circles to drill a hole. This tool has a one-to-one gear ratio, meaning that one turn of the crank turns the bit all the way around one time.

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