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263511 John Ruth <johnrruth@h...> 2017‑10‑12 Today's Flea Market Finds: Notched Bits for a Multi-Tool Handle or an Early Brace

Thanks to the generosity of Kirk Eppler, I am able to share with you the image
of the seven notched bits for either a multi-tool or an early brace which I
encountered at today's early-morning flea market:


(Image #15 in that album, file name IMG0867.jpg)

*One split-nut driver (!)

*One straight screwdriver or maybe this is a screw starter to make a hole to
start a wood screw. As I write this, I'm favoring the latter. It's business end
has a dull double-bevel edge of about a 45 degree included angle. Looks like a
larger 3/16" diameter version of a brad starter. Maybe it starts square nails?

*Three center bits. One is the smallest center bit I've ever seen. These are,
amazingly, actually sharp, BTW.

*Two are gouge-like bits which favors "multi-tool" as the real source, but brace
bits that look somewhat like this do exist. ( can't

One good thing about writing this up for OLDTOOLS and proofreading it is that I
can clearly see that I have some bits that hint at "Multi-Tool" but surely the
center bits are for a brace.

Many of them have a "B" stamped on the trapezoidal shank. I interpret the "B" as
an ownership marking.

Only two have other markings. One center bit has a partial stamp which would
read "CAST STEEL" if it had been properly stamped.  Another center bit is marked
"H. HAYES" in an old-fashioned typeface with serifs.

I talked the vendor down from $7 to $5.

This is an example of one of my rust-hunting mottoes, which is "You NEVER know
what you'll find at a yard sale or flea market! So, make it a point to be
there!"  These were found at an in-town Elks Club Flea that meets Tuesday,
Thursday, and Saturday.   Thursday is their "slow day" - there were less than a
dozen vendors.  There were still vendors arriving as I left for my day job.

As I arrived, I thought "this is going to be slim pickings!"  - and then this
dropped into my lap, along with an Ames shovel and a hand-held tailed apprentice
which came from a Wisconsin city famous for beer.

You just NEVER know!

John R.

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