I was liberating some old hand tools from my grandfather's shop again, before grandma throws them in the garbage, and found some more interesting things. This time I am sure that this one is a woodworking tool!

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It looks like a tool that's a tapering tool that could be used to make tenons on chair legs or something similar. It seems clear that it is meant to be used in a brace. Seems hard to try and cut a tenon though as I would think the tool would easily drift.

Following is the only markings on the tool as well as a view from the bottom that shows the blade.

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What do you think this is called and more importantly what is it used for?

  • 1
    I don't recognize the tool, but I applaud rescuing ... You might tell your grandma that there are people interested in buying tools generally and sometimex old tools in particular even if some restoration is needed. A good hand-tool should stay in use until it is completely worn out, which can be genetations.
    – keshlam
    Feb 17, 2016 at 15:28
  • 5
    I can't comment on the tool either, but Exchange 5.5?
    – PeterK
    Feb 17, 2016 at 18:25
  • 1
    (If it was me, I'd rescue the whole workshop first and sort it out later.)
    – keshlam
    Feb 17, 2016 at 20:45
  • 6
    @PeterK I needed to find a book I would never open to use as a monitor stand.
    – Matt
    Feb 18, 2016 at 2:07
  • 1
    @Matt: These are immensely useful woodworking tools, too -- I use my hardcover Exchange 2000 programming book with a 44lb kettlebell on the top for pressing down small veneer laminates (no kidding :)
    – PeterK
    Feb 18, 2016 at 7:03

2 Answers 2


Hollow auger

U.S. Patent 203,384 is for a "Hollow auger" or more specifically for improvements to a hollow auger. "What's a hollow auger?" you ask. Well, as @Keshlam suggested it is a device for cutting tenons on chair rungs or spokes as demonstrated by a similar device on a You Tube video. It's a device that, rather than drilling a hole, it drills what fits into a hole.

The patent claims that the improvement is that this version of the hollow auger is adjustable so as to "obviate the necessity of using a separate auger for each sized tenon."

I will leave it to @Matt to figure out exactly how this one works, but it will require a brace for turning the cutting mechanism and a vice for holding the workpiece.

With tongue in cheek, I suggest that this device might also be an answer to my question from several months back: How can I make my own dowels?

  • Good research pointer!
    – keshlam
    Feb 18, 2016 at 9:34
  • I found his out as well when I Google'd the patent number on the base. Was going to answer today if no one else did. Good work
    – Matt
    Feb 18, 2016 at 13:30
  • This tool would not be good for making dowels though. Tenon yes but it can only cut in a few inches
    – Matt
    Feb 18, 2016 at 13:31
  • 1
    @Matt Short dowels it is!
    – FreeMan
    Feb 24, 2016 at 21:18

This tool is a tapering tool for chair, or table legs.

How to use:

With the leg in a vise, square end to one side, the tapering tool is brought slowly and carefully (adjusting from the square end) down to the foot end one layer at a time. It is adjusted using an adjustable hand wrench.

I am old-school (75 years old) and I used this tool when I was a youth of 12 years.

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