Brace or not to Brace?

So I picked up an old brace drill with intent to restore and use occasionally. Only marking I can find is the top ball has "diehl" imprinted on it. Seems intact, unbroken and functions well except for a slight wood squeak in the middle handle. Cost: $5.75
So two questions...
1. Anyone know of Diehl? Or another way I can research the brace?
2. What do I need to watch for when searching for auger bits?
My plan is to clean it up, pick up a basic set of bits (some short and a couple long) for those projects where a modern drill just won't do.
This one is a bit larger than I would have liked (have hand trouble) but it was the best available for ths price. The best one was $50 and in much worse condition.
*Side Note: I've got one of those friends who has multiple electric and battery drills and I think is related to Tim Allen. Last time he assisted me in a project, he broke two and still didn't get the depth we needed to hit. A side benefit of getting this brace into shape would be to use it to finish that project by hand and have him stand there and scowl at me and stomp off. The face alone is worth it.
Appreciate any knowledge thrown my way... `Casper
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Not in the context of hand tools.

That they have an intact screw. You don't HAVE to use auger bits, BTW, twist drill bits will work fine. Also, a brace is really useful in driving long screws, lots of torque. I often use mine to set Tapcons into concrete. I bought mine in 1943...bought it, 4-5 auger bits, a hammer, a saw and a smooth plane for $10.
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It is generally simply called a brace.

The lead screw is important - note the pitch, as it will differ for bits designed for hardwoods vs. designed for softwoods.
Good tips here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drill_bit#Auger_bits

Note that you need taper square shank bits for most Braces.
http://www.irwin.com/tools/drill-bits/hand-brace-utility-pole-auger-bits

Pretty much every antique store in the country has a few braces laying around, generally for less than $20.
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If I'm not mistaken, Diehl used to make Craftsman power tools for Sears, way back - 1960s and earlier. I don't recognize them as a handtool maker.

Auger bits come in several different styles. Ideally you want "double twist" bits - looking at the bit from the end, there are two flutes, 180 degrees apart. Single twist will work too, but IMO they're harder to start straight.
The bit should have two "ears" or spurs at the end - single twist bits sometimes just have one, and "ship augers" don't have any. For a hand drill you want two for easy cutting. These get gradually worn down as the bit is sharpened, so you want to look for bits that aren't too worn.
The center screw should have clean threads, and not too steep a pitch. This screw pulls the bit into the wood, and needs to be in good shape for the bit to work. You'll see bits with steeply pitched screws, those are intended for power drills (which can cut more aggressively). You will, sadly find bits where some idiot has ground the lead screw off - these are useless and can be thrown in the trash.
You'll want bits with a square shank. A brace can chuck a round shank, but for anything bigger than maybe 1/4" you can't exert enough force without the chuck slipping.

If you can find them, snag straight and phillips driver bits with square shanks. A brace is an excellent tool for driving screws.
Also, keep an eye out for a breast drill. Another good tool to amaze your power-tool buddies with.
John
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On 09/15/2016 12:29 PM, Casper wrote:

There's some info of Diehl at OWWM site but doesn't address any hand tools they may have made--or, there may have been another Diehl besides that one which basically made motors for Singer and the branched out into other areas. Eventually Singer bought them...I forget the whole history now but at one point the did build some early electric drills and the like for Sears and then eventually the remnants were bought from Singer and became the foundation of Ryobi USA. They still use the 315 product code for Sears.
I found nothing whatever on handtools, though, so good luck on that one... :)

...
Others pretty-much covered the bases there altho I'll reemphasize the square shanks are pretty-much mandatory for any real use; the chucks are simply not designed for a twist drill as they have no real clamping force other than to remove the wobble; the square section provides all the torque resistance of any amount.
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On 9/15/2016 1:29 PM, Casper wrote:

A nice edition to a brace if you don't have screw driving bits for the brace is http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p2300&cat=1,180,42337&ap=1 Brace Driver - 1/4" Hex 50J61.05
--
Jeff

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Here is a link to photos of the old brace that I picked up... http://s265.photobucket.com/user/AMDHamm/library/Diehl%20Brace%20Drill
I am unable to find any marking other than the one on the knob. Opinions?
`Casper
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On 09/17/2016 6:15 PM, Casper wrote:

Yeah, from that my opinion is that's an owner's identification mark not manufacturer's...
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Could be. No other markings. Some have labels on the knob. Any idea a brand then?
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On 09/17/2016 7:39 PM, Casper wrote:

Not really, no. The chuck casting seems a little different than many; if you're really interested in trying to track it down, see if can find catalogs online of early manufacturers and compare...as another says, I'm sure there are folks who are intimately familiar with all the nuances; I'm certainly not one of them--I use grandfather's on occasion that's still here and have a cheaper/more recent of my own but they're just tools, not a hobby or passion...couldn't say otomh what either of them is.
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On 9/17/2016 7:23 PM, dpb wrote:

+1 Characters not aligned, spacing varies.
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I'd agree with that, it looks like it was stamped with individual letters, whereas a manufacturer would have their whole name on a single die.
As for who made it, with no evident markings it's pretty hard to guess. There were a bazillion brace makers, and guys who get into that sort of thing can tell them apart by disassembling the chuck and looking at the fine details of how it was designed. But that's not me :-)
I would hazard a guess that it's a later model from one of the lower-priced lines offered by the likes of Stanley and Millers Falls - perhaps a Craftsman (which if I recall correctly were made by Millers Falls). I beleive the lower price lines often had an adhesive label or decal rather than a stamped manufacturer marking, which likely has been worn off thru use.
John
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On Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:29:59 -0400

sounds like it will be a shop talisman similar to what i mentioned a while ago

maybe get a little graphite in there or some wax

lots of good used ones on ebay and many are reasonably priced do not use the search results ebay gives you
you have to drill down to get to the real deals due to ebay tactics of presenting the high priced stuff for their pay to play customers

of all the old tools i use my brace the most easy to sharpen and durable and harder for the bit to wander compared to a high speed drill
they do have their limits but the limits will become obvious when you reach them
like trying to go through really well seasoned hardwood
this is the moment that you appreciate electricity and drill presses
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