Letters- Could be a tenon cutter or hollow auger for spokes

Responses to Dick McCarley’s mystery tool from June 2010—a tenon cutter or hollow auger

  • Ltrs-Drawing
    The drawing at left illustrates the use of a tenon on wooden wheel spoke. The arc at bottom represents a portion of the wheel’s felloe, or "felly" as Franklin notes.
    Franklin Blanton

  • Ltrs-Drawing

In response to Dick McCarley’s question on page 4 of the June 2010 issue, “Recognize this piece?”: I believe it to be a tenon cutter, used for cutting tenons for spokes or chair rungs. I have several, but mine have screw adjustments, not just three adjustments. This was used after the spoke pointer, which had an angled and vertical blade that pointed the spoke before the tenon cutter.

Donald Koll, Ogilvie, Minn.

The tool in question on page 4 of the June 2010 issue is called a hollow auger. It is used to cut a round tenon on the spoke ends of wooden wagon or buggy wheels. These round tenons fit into the holes in the felloe (or rim) of the wheel. There are several different styles of hollow augers. This style fits into a hand brace or drill press. An excellent resource is Wheelwrighting: A Modern Introduction, by Bruce and Joyce Morrison.

Tom Nelson, Douglas, Okla.

On page 4 of the June 2010 issue, the tool in question is used to cut tenons on spokes of wooden wheels for different sizes. The tool pictured tapers the spoke down to a half-inch. The rod in the middle is adjustable to cut the right length.

I hope you can read this: I will be 90 years old July 12, 2010.


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