Monday, October 26, 2020

Monday Mystery, Sorby Auger

A reader sent in these images of an old auger he has, with the question, what is the tool's actual name?
  It seems to be (more or less) a 1/2" spoon bit but with a flat end, it makes a nice 90° square corner hole. As a hand-operated auger, it would seem to be not a very efficient way of drilling a hole, but it does give the advantage of not having a lead screw to limit the drill depth. 


Dave said...

I think it's a shell auger; specifically a lamp auger. After a wooden lamp post was turned on the lathe, the tailstock was cleared and the auger was held against the bottom to bore a hole through the center. The lathe did the work and the "shell" provided clearance for chip build-up.

Here's a picture of a new one you can buy (not Sorby):

and here's a pdf of the original Sorby instructions:

Graysailor said...

Dang! The ONE time I recognize something I get beat to the punch to describe. lol.

Unknown said...

Excellent! Thanks!

Mister G said...

I'm still thinking about this. It looks like a 19th C tool to me and when "lamp" is referenced, I can only think of an electric table lamp, turned on the lathe with a hole up the center for the cord with possibly a flat bottomed hole for washer and nut. But they would not have come into being till much later?