"Projects" at georgesbasement.com

5. Taylor-Patent Brace
Originally the pad of this nicely made Taylor-patent brace was extremely loose.  There was both radial and longitudinal play. It had been held on with the usual arrangement of a washer peened in place on a reduced-diameter section of the frame.  There was no way of adjusting the end play.  I took that arrangement apart, annealed the end of the stem, peened it and adusted its end to accept a split collar designed like the retainers used on automotive valves.  The first row of images below describes making the split collar and its retaining ring.  Not shown is the bronze split sleeve that I slipped over the stem to remove the radial play at the lower end.  I fit another bronze sleeve inside the pad at its upper end.
Making the split collar
Closing the saw kerf in the split collar
Boring the split collar
Parting off the split collar
Parting off the split collar retaining ring
The cross-hole is to make
closing the saw kerf easier.
When I closed the saw kerf, I hit it too hard ...
The lathe dog held the three pieces of the split collar in place for the drilling.
I parted off the three pieces successfully without losing any of them !
Here I am parting off the retaining ring that fits down inside the recess in the pad.

Below, there was no way to machine the stem of the frame, so I simply annealed the stem, peened the end to a stronger configuration, and then filed the reduced section to an approximate cylindrical shape to accept the keys made from the split collar.  Not shown: The process of making the two bronze sleeves that improved the radial fits.
Original pad taken apart
Stem of frame annnealed for peening
Ring retainer in place
Repaired pad back together
The pad, stem and other pieces all apart.
I annealed the stem (blue color.)
Here the retaining ring is in place, "keeping" the keys.
The finished pad, smooth-running & solid.

There's more !  The bit latch was utterly missing, probably because its spring had failed ...
Making the bit latch from a chunk of plow steel
Plow steel flipped over
Making the bit latch
Bit latch detail
Drilled spring seat in bit receiver
Bit latch in place
The finished brace
I started with a chunk of plow steel.
Trimming for easier clamping.
Reducing the body thickness.
Lots of sawing and filing later ...
Latch in place & finished brace.
While I had originally planned to case harden the latch with Kasenit, my choice of raw material turned out to be a very hard piece of plow steel, judging from the recessed hole for a square-shanked bolt.  I made a maximal spring by choosing thick (0.041 inch) spring wire, which necessitated a small (ca. 0.10 inch) arbor around which to wind the spring with a Hjorth spring winder and my Ultra-Rapid geared brace.  It now takes about all my thumb strength to depress the latch fully.  I drilled a shallow hole inside the recess for the latch to hold the inner end of the spring, which is fully as long as the dimensions of the brace allow; the upper end goes up inside the thumb pad.  A taper pin allows the latch to be taken apart for adjustments.