Tool Tuesday: Bitstock

Our group worked together to make bitstocks John brought in a couple of old ones and we studied some photos to come up with this fairly standard design. We made them from hard maple. The body was sawn out and shaped by hand. While the body was still a rough blank we bored a 1/2 inch hole in each end , we made sure the holes were along the same axis and centered in the stock. The lower hole was made square with a mortise chisel. The upper hole was left round.

Completed Bitstock, 16 1/2 inch overall length, 3 inch sweep

We then turned the parts for the pad and the bottom socket. The pad is held in by a pin drilled in along side the shaft of the pad and catching about 1/16 inch of the edge of the shaft. The shaft was then rotated while the drill was turning to cut a groove around it's circumference. Be careful, turning one way the shaft will climb out of the hole, turn the other and it pulls up tight.

Bitstock Pad

The socket is left loose on our bitstocks but should probably be held in somehow, maybe just a screw would do the trick. The dark ferrule is a piece of steel pipe from a dog kennel fence and the brass ferrule is a flare nut that was screwed on to the part and then turned with wood turning tools.

Bottom end apart

The socket was created by drilling a hole the size of the small end of an auger bit tang and the length of the tang deep. An auger bit was then chucked up in the tailstock of the lathe with the tang end out. With the lathe running we used the tang as a reamer to create a tapered round hole almost the depth of the tang. While still in the lathe the tang was then heated with a torch and pressed in to the tapered socket to burn in the square socket. The bits hold quite well and can even be somewhat difficult to remove. We made the socket removable so we wouldn't have to replace the entire body when it wears out. I don't use a bit much larger than 1/2 inch in hardwoods and 5/8 in softwoods. It works great!

The socket