In the above video I share a tutorial on how to choose and sharpen augers and auger bits.
The most important consideration when buying vintage auger bits is the lead screw. If it’s blunt then you won’t have luck in getting your auger bit started into the wood. And that will lead to no hole in your wood!
You should purchase a simple auger bit file (like this one that I purchased). This special file has file teeth on the face but not on the sides. The other end has just the opposite configuration. This allows you to file the auger bit edge without filing the side of the cutter. You really need to watch the above video to see this in action since it’s hard to describe it. Just make sure you file the inside edges but not the outside, or you’ll change the size of your hole diameter.
If you’re interested in buying a T-handle auger I’d recommend augers over 1-1/2″ because they give stronger legs for benches.
If you’re interested in buying auger bits to use with your brace (hand drill), I’d recommend buying a set of either Irwin or Jennings bits. They usually come in 13 bit sets. The shiny sets will drill better. Although you can find them for cheap at flea markets, you can also find them here in complete sets:
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