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.
Or a mobile home..often used in earthquake country
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.
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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:
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.
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
Stupidity is not considered a handicap, park elsewhere.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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
So if it's the length that's giving you pause, anchors do come that
But that spike at the end would cause problems in trying to start it
'Tis a puzzlement.
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:
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:
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
This site confirms that the tool on ebay is indeed a post hole auger:
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
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