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Auger handle restoration #1: Assessment

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Blog entry by woodcox posted 01-22-2015 08:12 PM 1437 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Auger handle restoration series Part 2: About a blank »

This will be a new venture for me in turning and blogging my work, so I’ll try to keep it as detailed as possible.

Lately, some aspects of green woodworking have become intriguing for me and the list of “I want to try that someday” is becoming long and forgotten. I have started with some spoon carving and hatchet work (from the log) to finished fixtures, or the scrap pile.

I think a shrink pot is a great project to try by hand, aside from the initial chainsaw work. Shrink pots are basically a hollowed green log or branch. A dry bottom piece is fitted to an inside groove a little bit up from the bottom edge. As the log dries it shrinks to fit, capturing the dry wood bottom within the groove. I suppose a lid could be made the same way. Some fine examples can hold water to a point I gather. Their log form and shrink to fit joinery are appealing to me. This simple thing has been all consuming lately. One of the fun parts is gathering Tools! Of them, a large auger was needed.

I loved the patina on this, it has kind of a baked flax or oiled look going with almost no rust. I really like the hardware too. Other than a little cleaning, the patina will stay.
As much info as I’ve dug up for it it seems to be an unmarked or a very good copy of a Millers Falls No.2 auger handle kit.
I believe this is from a circ.1925 M F catalog.

Alas, the handle is cracked apart in the center! I believe this is hickory.

Surprisingly it still holds together well enough to serve its purpose.

I’m beginning to think that this handle was not fitted properly for the grain direction to hold up to the lateral forces applied while using it. If the center hole for the bit to pass through was going another 90 degrees, I believe it would have survived the stress. Am I right about this? Most examples I’ve seen have the grain is going the other way.
This little detail has cost me to invest in a lathe. Doh! Which has been a serious vortex of its own. Corded by the way. A treadle lathe is beyond my state of crazy at the moment:)
That’s all for now. Up next I’ll delve further into material selection and turning preparations.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.



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