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Hand forged augers or auger bits have been made in Sheffield and the Black Country for over 150 years. The closure of Clico’s drill division in 2014 marked the end of domestic manufacture of these wonderful tools and as good ones are beginning to get thin on the ground, now is the perfect time to invest in a set.
Modern battery drills have now become so ubiquitous that people tend not to even consider the hand brace as an option, but for those adventurous souls that do, the peaceful enjoyment of almost limitless torque and the beautifully clean holes that result can be a refreshingly pleasant experience.
This type of auger is made by forging out a bar into a long flat tongue, much the same as making a chisel. The hot forging is then twisted on a lathe and repeatedly camped between a set of dies to even out the twist. The tip is drop forged to rough shape and tip finished by hand. They are then heat treated and straightened before going off to have the flutes hand ground and polished.
We have collected selected sets of traditional brace shank augers, focussing mainly on fine thread Jennings pattern bits as these tend to be the most popular type with furniture makers. There are often sets of Gedge pattern, beloved of Windsor chair makers for their easy starting in non-perpendicular holes, plus sets of Irwin pattern; noted for drilling softwood, plus a selection of countersinks, screwdrivers other bits and pieces.
These beautiful used hand forged augers have been carefully selected and reconditioned, all have plenty of life left in them Where possible they are in matched sets by maker and era, others have been made up into harlequin sets of similar design and style.
All are supplied in a new British made Workshop Heaven auger bit roll.