Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Routine drill

Weather's not so hot here in Blighty at the moment. When I say "Not so hot", I don't just mean figuratively speaking either. It's bloomin' perishin'. Just the thought of laying hands onto the cold metal handle of a #044 or a #78 rebate plane chills me to the bone. So in a bid to avoid actually having to venture out into the icy wasteland that is my workshop, my mind turned to things to muse over without leaving the comfort of the fan heater at my feet.

Now all the time discussions crop up on the various fora and message boards about certain things. Can't think of any at the moment, except one... But anyway, it happens. And every time I think "I have just the thing (usually a photograph) to answer that query somewhere, if only I could find it". But I usually can't, so I don't. But I thought might it not be handy to build up a library of blog posts that could act as a reference for that sort of thing. Like... Oh, just thought of another one. Chisels. A basic photographic guide to different chisel (and chisel handle) varieties. Handy, yes? Can't off-hand find a pic of the leather washer on a registered firmer chisel? Find one here, kinda thing.

Naturally I don't have a wide range of clear chisel pictures about my person, but I do happen to have quite a few of different bits for the humble brace. Excellent; everyman's (and woman's) guide to brace bits. Except The Muse is feeling a little chilled too, and it's turning out more boring than Boring. So it needs to marinate a little and will turn up another day.

However, this did throw up an unexpected question from a non-woodworking friend. One that left me feeling a bit stumped, actually. Viz:

What's the difference between a drill bit and an auger?

At first glance, I bet you opened your mouth and said "Well, that's eas-" and then maybe it wasn't. Or maybe it's really obvious and I'm just being a clot. That wouldn't surprise me; I don't function well while my teeth chatter. Either way, the comments box is Open. Do your worst.


  1. .

    According to my dictionary, one meaning of an auger is used to describe a device or shape with a form of spiral.

    I expect that this would include all cutting drills that have an archimedes-type spiral to clear the waste material.

    On the other hand a spoon, shell or hollow-type bit does not.

    Is there really that much snow down there....?
    There is up here!

    Howard in white and windy Wales


  2. I am under the impression that an auger bit has a lead screw, which draws the cutters onto the job. Not that it matters to me any more for they are difficult to obtain. I presume that everybody uses power tools these days.

    By the way, have you noticed that tool catalogues list braces, but not the bits to fit them.

    Happy days.

    Michael from Corsham.

  3. I'm going with the lead-in screw as the defining attribute for an auger.

    So true too about the lack of decent augers around, actually the scarcity of anything of woodworking tool quality here in New Zealand borders on criminal.

    Thankfully the occasional 2nd-hand shop will have some pre-loved ones that respond to a bit of TLC.

    As for Forstner bits (perhaps a topic for a future "musing"?), I'm on the verge of giving up completely any hope of finding any of even passing quality.


    Stephen in sunny (sorry) NZ


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