• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Cox's Patent Winner

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Boringgeoff

Established Member
Joined
23 May 2011
Messages
175
Reaction score
26
Location
Western Australia.
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

Boringgeoff

Established Member
Joined
23 May 2011
Messages
175
Reaction score
26
Location
Western Australia.
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

Boringgeoff

Established Member
Joined
23 May 2011
Messages
175
Reaction score
26
Location
Western Australia.
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

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
12,030
Reaction score
492
Location
Bristol
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?
 

Boringgeoff

Established Member
Joined
23 May 2011
Messages
175
Reaction score
26
Location
Western Australia.
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.
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
12,030
Reaction score
492
Location
Bristol
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.
 

Boringgeoff

Established Member
Joined
23 May 2011
Messages
175
Reaction score
26
Location
Western Australia.
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.
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
12,030
Reaction score
492
Location
Bristol
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.
 

Boringgeoff

Established Member
Joined
23 May 2011
Messages
175
Reaction score
26
Location
Western Australia.
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.
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
12,030
Reaction score
492
Location
Bristol
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.
Just reviving this old thread to say that the film I was referring to has been freshly transferred to video and posted on the Hawley Trust YouTube channel, alongside many more historic gems. Hooray!

 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,177
Reaction score
682
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
The bit where they formed the thread on the point wasn't very clear......and it's the bit I wanted to see. I've a number of augers with badly damaged or worn threads, and I wanted a clue as to how to fix them.
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
12,030
Reaction score
492
Location
Bristol
The bit where they formed the thread on the point wasn't very clear......and it's the bit I wanted to see. I've a number of augers with badly damaged or worn threads, and I wanted a clue as to how to fix them.
There did seem to be a bit of a gap and a jump somewhere there. I think I can understand what those circular rotary files do, but it's hard to describe my visualisation. I think the operator must be rotating the auger and simultaneously pushing it forward so the file is guided by the groove already cut. Or maybe starting at the base of the cone and pulling it back.

Not having any rotary files, I've done minor tweaks to the noses of a few, using needle files, but I suspect the practical answer to a really damaged auger is to buy another. Second hand prices (or even occasional new old stock offerings on eBay) just don't reflect the labour cost of all those separate operations that are shown in the film.
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,177
Reaction score
682
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
Thanks Andy. And yes, needle files were the approach I tried. The thing is, there are only a finite number of these old augers in existence, so I am loath to chuck out any even if they are really stuffed. I've got multiple augers of ever size, so I don't actually need replacements, or need the damaged ones to be usable.....it's just that every time one goes off for recycling a little bit of our history goes with it.
 

Boringgeoff

Established Member
Joined
23 May 2011
Messages
175
Reaction score
26
Location
Western Australia.
Some interesting videos there Nigel, thanks.
Mike, I've used a very fine triangular file to tidy up the coarse threads, with varying success. Like you I am very reluctant to throw out old bits.
Cheers,
Geoff.
 

billw

The Tattooed One
UKW Supporter
Joined
26 Apr 2009
Messages
1,693
Reaction score
853
Location
Sutton Coldfield, UK
All that work into something that 50 years later is 50p at a car boot sale!
Which I suppose is better than products of today's standards that will have been in landfill or decaying at the bottom of the ocean for over 45 years by that point!
 

Cheshirechappie

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2012
Messages
4,878
Reaction score
161
Location
Cheshire
Looking at the photo of the worm (nose, thread, whatever) posted above, it's a very aggressive pitch. I can imagine one of two outcomes in use; either the auger will be very fast-feeding, or it will chew the part the worm is supposed to be cutting into a pulp and not be self-feeding at all. Fast feeding may sound desirable, but for all but the smallest sizes this goes with more torque needed to turn it, and a rougher finish.

There are all sorts of 'good ideas' that turn out not to be quite so good in practice. I have a sneaky feeling this may be one of them, hence the rarity of Mr Cox's patent winners.
 

Latest posts

Top