Re: What is it? XCVII

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I have a post hole digger of this type, not having any fluting to bring out the soil but a heavier shaft and fixed wooden handle. Since the shaft and eye seem so light, I wonder if it might be an anchor for use in some kind of loose material? I can't really imagine what material. Don Young
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On Sun, 15 Jan 2006 22:40:59 -0600, Don Young wrote:

Sand.
Cheers! Rich
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Yeah, that's what I meant to type.
Art

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Or a mobile home..often used in earthquake country
Gunner
The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong.
In the past few decades, a peculiar and distinctive psychology has emerged in England. Gone are the civility, sturdy independence, and admirable stoicism that carried the English through the war years . It has been replaced by a constant whine of excuses, complaints, and special pleading. The collapse of the British character has been as swift and complete as the collapse of British power.
Theodore Dalrymple,
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I thought that there still might be a chance of it being an ice auger since that's what it was marked and the seller ususally has all of his tool tagged correctly, but after checking with some ice fishermen who all agreed that it was not one, I've changed the answer on my page to either an earth anchor or a post hole digger.
Since no one is guessing on number 558 I'll go ahead and give the answer, it's a broom hammer. The use of one is briefly mentioned on this page:
http://www.arts.state.al.us/actc/articles/broom.htm
Rob
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The R.H. entity posted thusly:

All the post hole augers I have seen (I have one, but they are very common around here), have flutes that come up all the way, and for the same reason as an ice auger... to carry the waste out of the hole.
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wrote:

Don't know about earthquake country, but in our area of Western NY, if you live in a mobile home, it MUST be anchored. Law came out back in '70s, I think. That's when trailer parks started putting tie-downs cast right in the parking pads.
--
Nahmie
Stupidity is not considered a handicap, park elsewhere.
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Joe Barta wrote:

I'm changing my mind. The thing that bothered me was the length... 50". That just seems too long for an anchor. And the diameter of the bit just isn't big enough for much of a post hole digger. Plus it just seems too flimsy to be used to dig deep holes into earth or anchor anything that requires such a deep anchor.
My final answer is one that was given by others... an ice auger for ice fishing. It's the right length, has a removable handle for easy carrying and drills a hole just big enough to set a line into (although if you catch a huge fish you might have a problem ;-)
Seems to me that the cutter should pretty easily carve a nice hole into ice without much torque required.
Is that your FINAL answer?
Yes... ice auger.
Joe Barta
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You sure? http://tinyurl.com/atqaw
--humunculus
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Here's another shot. I think its a type of 'canopy anchor'.
http://tinyurl.com/8fatd
--humunculus
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humunculus wrote:

Yeah, I'm sticking with ice auger. They are all similar, but you'll note that one of those someone else pointed to is 30"... closer to what I'd expect for an anchor. And as someone else pointed out, the eye is different... more for turning and less for anchoring.
The digger part is also different. In your picture the digger is more of a screw than a scraper. In the mystery auger the digger part is shallower... more for burrowing a hole than driving into the ground.
Some say burrowing a hole into the ground... but I don't think it's strong enough for that. Plus, if you were to bore a hole 30" into the ground, the handle would be about 20" off the ground. Doesn't seem like a good design.
Anyhow, to me, it seems too big to be an anchor and too flimsy to be an earth auger. I'm still left with ice auger. I don't think it actually "digs" the ice. More like scrapes a hole though it. Looking at pictures of modern ice augers you'll see a shallower angle for the cutter head... just like our mystery auger.
Joe Barta
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Yeah, but there's that problem with the tip. Modern ice augers don't have a little guiding drill tip, they start augering right at the start. I can't imagine that getting through ice that will 2-inches later be scraped. Somehow there must be a guiding hole to steer the auger. However, it could more easily push thorough sand or loose soil.
I also wondered if it was for reaming out pipes...
--humunculus
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Well I have lived in ice fishing country for almost 80 years and have never seen a device like this for drilling holes in ice.
I perceive a problem when this tool breaks through something like 2 feet of ice and doesn't clean the bottom of the hole. How in hell are you going to get the damned thing back out of the hole? The old timers had the foresight to run the flutes up far enough so one could keep it centered and remove the drill. You would spend more time removing the drill than you would spend fishing. Of course with the wooden cross handle one could let it sit on the ice while planning the next move.
My guess is post hole digger or anchor. If it was used for a canopy anchor one could drill down a foot or so and then place a pipe over it with a rope or cable coming up to tie down the canopy.
Ice augers have a sharp shaver. This device does not.

<Stuff snipped>
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Try googling "champion flat auger" under images. Closest thing I can find.
--humunculus
RH: I suggest you run a 'Best of What Is It' with all the unidentified items from the past. Very cool...
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That's a good idea, I'll probably do that fairly soon and maybe post a separate page of all the close-ups, and possibly other categories if I find the time.
--
Since I've yet to see an earth anchor in which both ends look like the tool
in my photos, I've changed the answer to post hole auger. As with all
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But I've seen earth anchors that were 4 feet long at the local farm supply store. The length is a function of what kind of load you're going to fasten down, and what kind of soil you're going to be driving it into. Around here, we've got very loose, sandy soil or soft, loamy soil that goes down at least 6 feet.
This company <http://www.jimssupply.com/anchors.htm has them up to 66" long.
So if it's the length that's giving you pause, anchors do come that long.

But that spike at the end would cause problems in trying to start it through ice.
'Tis a puzzlement.
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I agree that the way the small spike has been made, it doesn't look like it would be effective for drilling through ice. Also, I got replies from eight different ice fishermen on an ice fishing forum, and all of them say it's not an ice auger.
Though one of them did recognize it and posted:
"It's a swamp anchor for power poles. My dad was a lineman for 27 years so I've seen a few. It's screwed in the ground in soft boggy or wet areas that power lines go through. The loop on the top is for the guy wires to stabilize the pole."
This makes sense and I was ready to declare my vote for earth anchor, especially since I've seen quite a few similar ones on the web, including this 48" model:
http://www.alabamatower.com/proddetail.asp?prod=GAS604
I then decided to take one last look on ebay for old post hole diggers and earth anchors, I came up with nothing on the latter, I was surprised to find a similar old post hole digger that was patented in 1869:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ANTIQUE-FARM-TOOL-POST-HOLE-AUGER-DIGGER-PATENT-1869_W0QQitemZ6244627487QQcategoryZ13872QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
It's not the exact same as the one in my photos, but the pitch of the blades is very similar, whereas most of the earth anchors that I've seen have a steeper type blade that looks to be made more for drilling than for digging holes.
This site confirms that the tool on ebay is indeed a post hole auger:
http://www.vaughanmfg.com/history.html
This is also verified by going to the U.S. patent site and looking up the number given on the previous link, it's called an "Improved post auger". Maybe the one in my photos is from before this time, since the part by the handle is not built as rugged as the new improved version.
I'm now favoring the post hole digger answer, mostly because I haven't seen an earth anchor with the same type blades, and also based on the auger from 1869.
Rob
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