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By Boringgeoff
#1318112
Hello all,
I recently aquired this worn out 3/8" auger bit by W. MARPLES & SONS with additional branding "COX'S PATENT WINNER".
I've had no success finding an auger bit patent for Cox and am wondering if the significance of the word "WINNER" is perhaps it was an award?
Cheers,
Geoff.
Attachments
Cox's patent winner 002.png
Cox's patent winner 001.png
By Boringgeoff
#1318116
Ok I've found a patent from 1905 for a wood auger by an Australian Edward Cox. US Pat 778845.
This patent is for an improved lead screw, to quote, "My said invention is confined, chiefly, to the tip or worm of the auger-namely, in the set or taper of the spiral thread of such tip so arranged as to form a double thread, each thread conjoining at its termination with one of the two cutting blades or wings at the head of the auger......"
This example is badly worn but it does appear to have both edges of the screw continue directly onto the cutting blades.
Perhaps I've answered my own question.
Cheers,
Geoff.
Attachments
Cox's patent 002.png
By Boringgeoff
#1319045
Buoyed by the enthusiastic response to this most interesting post I have more to add. A correspondent in the UK is unable to find any mention of Cox's patent in any Wm Marples & Sons catalogues, he has suggested they may have been a special order for the Aus' market. This would make sense that the inventor would like to have a product to show for his time and money. As well as the US patent previously mentioned Cox also patented the bit in UK in 1903 (GB190315070A) Australia 1903 (13195)as well as France and Canada.
I've got dozens of auger bits, I'm going to have to make time to go through the Scotch type to see if I've missed any but I'm sure I've never seen this style before.
Cheers,
Geoff.
Attachments
Cox's patent 002.png
User avatar
By AndyT
#1319060
I've nothing to add except to say that you seem to have found yourself an area of tool history and collecting where there is almost no written material. Are you planning to consolidate all your research into a website or a book?
By Boringgeoff
#1319225
Thanks Andy, I havn't considered either option but I do have a friend who has published a number of books on Aus' tools, perhaps I should talk to him about it.
My main hurdle is not having a manufacturing background, for instance for Marples to tool up to make and brand these auger bits, what sort of quantities would be their minimum?
Cheers,
Geoff.
User avatar
By AndyT
#1319226
Ah, good question.
I don't, of course actually know the answer, but what I have learned as a broad generalisation is this.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, although steelmaking got more automated and larger scale, production of edge tools didn't, it stuck with small batch production, using general purpose tools and skilled labour.
So, for example, easy things like chisels and plane irons could be hand forged, by eye. Initially with hammer and anvil, later with a powered hammer. Drop forging into a mould (ie using special tooling) came later.

If you look at archive films and photos you can see this from the way that the workshops were set up. Often, they were very small, operated by "little mesters" independent of the big firms.

So they could swap from one style of tool to another according to the orders they had.

From the few films of auger making that I have seen, even when there was special machinery for twisting, it was still adaptable for different requirements.
By Boringgeoff
#1319233
I've got a couple of pampklets here, I think by Stanley and Irwin, on the steps in the process of making an auger and you're right, a lot of hand work involved. My first impression when I saw this auger was that the lead screw twist was simpler to make than the conventional style.
Geoff.
User avatar
By AndyT
#1319309
While we are on the subject of how augers were made, I'll just add this link to some downloadable leaflets from the Hawley Tool Collection

https://www.hawleytoolcollection.com/in ... Downloads2

The first one in the list covers augers and has pictures of the tools and machines used, but rather than link to the document I've posted a link to the general downloads page as most readers here will want the other publications too.

There's also a terrific film made by Ken in 1993 which was briefly available on DVD as "Masters of Metal" which covered auger making alongside some other Sheffield trades. As far as I know it's not available online, and as far as I can see the Hawley Trust has no plans to reissue it.
By Boringgeoff
#1322186
A couple more Cox style bits have come to light in Aus' one Ridgeway and the other Mathieson. Neither mention Cox which indicates they may be later than the Marples examples. Reading the leaflet that Andy posted from the Hawley Tool Collection on the making of an Auger I would hazard a guess that the making of the lead screw on the Cox would be simpler than the conventional screw. It looks to me as if you'd start with an arrow shaped projection then just simply give it a twist.
I also noticed a couple of spelling mistakes in my previous posts, this was because spell check had some how got switched off on my computer, I have reinstated it and now my sphelling is back to the standard I expect of myself.
Cheers,
Geoff.