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Thread: Uneven Jaws - Spofford Fray Brace

  1. #1

    Uneven Jaws - Spofford Fray Brace

    Hello,

    I love my spofford 107 and just acquired a 114. One side of the jaws is higher than the other by about 1/8" . I've tried some gentle adjustment in an engineer's vice but the lady was not for moving. Any advice on this?

    It's hard to see how it happened in the first place, but if possible I'd like tho get it set up as it should be. Was going to put up some pictures but there doesn't seem too be any option to do so.

    Really appreciate any advice/tips.

    Thanks, Paul

  2. #2
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    Hi Paul, Just before posting a picture of the little window with a tree, 2 to the left of the little 'quote' balloon, it was noticed you are a "Member" as opposed to a "Contributor" meaning you wouldn't be able to see the image.

    You should be able to post an image, if that hasn't been changed recently.

    My recent experience with a Stanley brace with a similar out of line pair of jaws was found to be caused by the spring which holds them together being bent.

    Not sure how the Spofford #114 jaws do their thing.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    The Fray brace just has a split nose with a screw to pull the two sides together. It's not like a more modern brace with a chuck.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #4
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    Hi Paul, I'm really interested in seeing some pictures if you can, I've got a few Fray Spoffords as daily users and would like to attempt to help you.
    Cheers,
    Geoff

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Hi Paul, Just before posting a picture of the little window with a tree, 2 to the left of the little 'quote' balloon, it was noticed you are a "Member" as opposed to a "Contributor" meaning you wouldn't be able to see the image.

    You should be able to post an image, if that hasn't been changed recently.

    My recent experience with a Stanley brace with a similar out of line pair of jaws was found to be caused by the spring which holds them together being bent.

    Not sure how the Spofford #114 jaws do their thing.

    jtk

    I have a chuck brace with the same issue but it still holds the bits perfectly straight and square and doesn't seem to cause an issue, so I guess it's okay to ignore for now?



    Anyway, for the OP: Seeing as that is a split chuck brace (I've never had any direct experience with them), I'd imagine you need to identify where the issue is. It seems like one side must be bent forward/back, but if this were the case, wouldn't the nut be out of alignment? Pictures would certainly help...

  6. #6
    Thanks for all of the replies.

    Thanks for the tip Jim, but I don't seem to be able to upload an image. I'll try a link to the image and see if that works.

    https://imgur.com/a/zNGcmjm

    https://imgur.com/a/Y75RedF

    https://imgur.com/a/d7qmZjJ


    Hope you can see those Jeff. Would love to get some feedback

  7. #7
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    This is something I would try using my metal vise to straighten.

    Without a metal vise some hardwood blocks in my wood vise would be tried.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  8. #8
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    Just to be clear, the bit is held off center? Or is the bit held straight?

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Paul, I've never seen that before. Luke's comment about the alignment is relevant, because if you can square the two halves up is the thumbscrew still going to align ok, I wonder if it's been like this from new? In your first photo the handle of the brace is just visible in the lower background, is it out of alignment or is that just the perspective of the photo? I've encountered Spofford's with bent frames probably caused by overloading, you may be able to put yours in the vice, clamping on the front and rear of the chuck, then see if the frame is square to the vice. If it appears to be out of alignment you may be able to pull the frame back to square and solve your problem.
    I'm going to go to my shed now and look through my stash of Spoffords and see if I can illustrate what I've said.

    Cheers,
    Geoff.

  10. #10
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    ok, I went and got a Spofford 112 and tortured it. First removed the thumbscrew and put the chuck in the vice with two small pieces of offset ply, and tightened the vice to achieve 5/16in misalignment.
    IMGP1410.jpg

    When the vice was released the chuck sprang back to 3/16in misalignment. At this point it is impossible to get the thumbscrew back in and it wasn't able to be reinserted until I'd pressed the jaws back to within less than 1/16in.
    IMGP1411.jpg IMGP1412.jpg

    After I finished this exercise I removed the thumbscrew and was able to press the jaws back to perfect alignment and I and the Spofford lived happily ever after.
    Paul I hope this has been of some help to you.
    Cheers,
    Geoff.

  11. #11
    Thanks Geoff. (Sorry for misspelling your name above!) Luke, it does hold the bit straight, because of this and the fact the frame does not seem to be bent, I also began to think it was made this way. I'll have another closer look tomorrow.

  12. #12
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    That's ok Paul, I'm used to it. My original thought, reinforced by the trial I carried out, is that it was originally made that way, because if you squeeze the jaws back into line, I doubt you'll get the thumbscrew back in. If that's the case it means it must have somehow slipped past quality control. When you have another look at it take note of the branding on it as that will give a good idea of what era it was made.

    Cheers,
    Geoff.

  13. #13
    You're right Geoff. The thumbscrew looks perfectly aligned, as is, and besides this jaws flaw, it looks good so I think I'll just crack on using it. The only visible part of the makers' stamp is "& co."

  14. #14
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    Paul, weird as this may sound, if it is a genuine factory misstep, you have a collectors item there.

    Cheers,
    Geoff.

  15. #15
    Well it'll be a user, but no harm!

    On another related note, the two halves of the handle are very loose under the pewter rings. Any advice for tightening the whole lot up a tad?

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