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Russell Jennings Auger Bit Set

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We haven’t posted a tool for ‘Handtool Thursday’ for quite some time so we were glad that we recently acquired not only a great new tool but one that is great for posting too!

We’re talking about this set of Stanley Tools BX-D 32 1/2 Quarters No. 100 Spur Auger Bits. The genuine Russell Jennings pattern Extension Lip Auger Bits are made of special analysis steel, forged carefully. The bits in this set have the standard double thread point, and are unsurpassed for accurate work in seasoned woods not extremely gummy or hard.

They are marked on the shank with: Russell Jennings, Stanley, No. 100 RJ, 100 Plus. The bits are also marked with either Sheffield England or Made In Australia, along with the fraction size.

The set has 13 bits, size 4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16, in 1/16th inch increments. All the sixteenths add up to 32 1/2 quarter-inches, which is where the set number comes from.

They come in a neat, three-tiered flip-top box. The wooden box is in good shape, but worn. There is no label on the inside lid which, from photos of other sets we’ve seen, seems to be the norm.

Here are some more photos:

stanley toolswooden boxauger bitsrussell jenningsdrill bitsdrill holes in wood

The Russell Jennings auger bit set also came with this Stanley 02-923 10″ Bit Brace Made in USA:

stanley brace

We assume that this particular set is from the early to mid 50’s. If you can shed some more light on these sets we would love to hear about it!

A bit of trivia that we were able to pick up states that it was a blacksmith that originally invented this design but lacked the capital that was necessary to go into production. Because he had a habit for strong drink, cocaine, laudenum (liquid morphine) and other tonics, he accumulated a rather large debt to the nearby pharmacy (boy, were times different then!). To pay off this debt he traded his patent with the pharmacist, a Mr. Russell Jennings. Mr. Jennings saw a future in this new design and started a company that went into production of this style of auger bit and the rest, as they say, is history. We expect that at some point in time his company was bought up by Stanley Tools.

Back to the shop…

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