View Full Version : Fray brace...

Stephen Shepherd
09-12-2008, 9:08 AM
in need of a handle. A friend picked this up recently and needs to put a handle on it to make it easier to use. He has others but wants to replace this one as it is a nice brace.


It has been broken and repaired, not a bad job. (At the bend near the 2 jaw chuck).


It is a Number 126, interesting numbering system, does this happen with other braces?

I assume it is a split handle, did this model have pewter bands?


Mike K Wenzloff
09-12-2008, 9:20 AM
Hi Stephen--that is a geat repair.

Yes, that model had a handle with the pewter rings:


Take care, Mike

Mike K Wenzloff
09-12-2008, 9:22 AM
Edit to add a couple links to Sandy Moss' web site, to the Fray sections.

Models with jaw chucks:

Spofford chucks:

Take care, Mike

Stephen Shepherd
09-12-2008, 9:37 AM

Thanks, and nice collection of braces (show off) you have there. I noticed the zinc 'catch' you have on your workbench, do you use it much and how do you like it? (Hi-jacking my own thread).


Mike K Wenzloff
09-12-2008, 9:47 AM
Hi Stephen--I personally like the Spoffords more and have a couple of those as well...

The zinc catch. I use the thing as an end stop for really thin fairly narrow boards. I have an adjustable end stop made from wood I use for "normal" stuff that I prefer.

The zinc thing I like for the smaller stuff as opposed to the flat head screws I used on the bench before this one. One does need to sharpen them as they come pre-dulled. Else they will not bite into the end grain like the good ol' flat head screws do (screws come finer edged, smaller bearing surface so they impress into end grain better).

Take care, Mike

Tony Zaffuto
09-14-2008, 9:16 AM

I too have a Fray problem. I have a number of them set up with an appropriate sized center point bit, plus a chamfer bit by my bench at all times. The first Fray I got was a 14" model (can't remember the exact term for throw or swing) that was missing the pewter rings, and was held together with some tie-wire.

I made a very good facsimile of the pewter rings out of standard plumber's solder available today. I don't recall the exact composition but it has to be very low in lead content as it doesn't solder worth a crap. It does a nice job on Fray braces though!

I began by flattening the round solder to the approximate thickness but more importantly the correct width. Then after wrapping the solder around the handle I carefully cut a scarf joint with a knife and used an old fashioned wood burning pencil to melt the solder inside of the joint (held open enough to put the narrowest tip in). After enough heat was added I quickly, with the aid of my hand in a glove, clamped the scarf joint with my fingers. Looks very similar to the original rings on my other Frays.

To anyone who has not used a Fray and a center point bit, you are missing a quiet joy that is addictive as any saw (sorry Mike), plane or chisel problem you may have.

You all have a good Sunday!

Tony Z.

Tom Wiarda
09-15-2008, 8:38 PM
Here are 3 Fray braces I picked up this summer at flea markets. I didn't pay more that $5 each. The wood handles have shrunk so the pewter bands are a little loose. I like them and would like to find more. Post a picture when you have replaced the handle. Thanks, Tom