North Bros. Mfg. Co. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, made a line of high quality braces, starting within the year preceding March 6, 1923. You can see the patent drawings courtesy of Google, via the excellent ‘George’s Basement‘ website. I cannot begin to describe the knowledge the author of this site has of braces, but one glimpse of the home page will give you a glimpse of just how deep the ‘tool-obsessive’ rabbit hole goes…
Personally, braces are one of those tools I’ve never become too freaky about. Unlike planes, with their fascinating unique qualities, I have always found braces a little dull. Even the different brass and ebony ‘Ultimatum’ confections leave me a bit cold, I mean, you can’t really tune them, they just twist round and round, right?
However, when I saw the North Bros “Yankee” 2100, I realised this was a brace I could learn to love! The design is beautiful, and if you strip it down, you can see that the component parts have really been thought through to give smooth-as-silk performance. The chucks on these bad boys have ball bearings all round, so they spin like a dream. Man, got to find one!
(NB: I have to extend my warm thanks to Isaac Smith of Blackburn Tools, who gave me permission to use his superb pictures of the Yankee brace for my post).
I buy old, good quality woodworking tools. If you have any tools you would like to sell, please get in touch using the contact form on the home page.