Spoon auger - a carpenter's tool

Contributed by Whitehall Cheam

Spoon auger - a carpenter's tool

This was a carpenter's tool for boring holes larger than those bored by a gimlet. It has a handle placed crosswise by which it is turned with both hands. There have been spoon augers found in Britain from the Anglo-Saxon and Viking eras onwards.

This tool was very important when making a timber-framed building, as every joint needed to have a hole bored through to take the wooden peg which held it together. Spoon augers were eventually replaced by an improved tool - the screw auger, although chair-makers used spoon augers into the 19th century.

A spoon auger like this one requires a starting hole which usually is made with a gouge or chisel, although some spoon augers have a sharpened tip. The auger depends on a continuous push to keep it cutting. The wood shavings remain in the hole until they are removed, unlike the screw auger, which was invented with a twisted blade which removes the wood scrapings as it makes the hole.

This auger is part of our display of carpentry tools of the kind that would have been used to make Whitehall around the year 1500.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline


View more objects from people in London.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.