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The Drill String
Cable Tools
Temper Screw
Down Hole Tools, 1880
Rope Socket
Sinker Bar
Auger Stem
Wrench Circle

Auger Stem

This long, solid rod screwed into the box of the lower link of the jars and , at its lower extremity, screwed into the bit.  It was the heaviest and longest tool in the string, about 1020 lbs. and 30 feet in length (1880).  It lent rigidity and weight to the drill.

The length, diameter and weight of the auger stem varied considerably over the years, but the usual diameter in the Pennsylvania fields was 3 1/2 to 4 inches (1880).  In the 1860's the length was 12 feet, increased to 30 feet in the 1870's and to 32 feet in the late 80's.  By the 1900's, Oil Well Supply offered them up to 48 feet long (for deeper holes).

Auger stem shown with tapered pin.  Oil Well Supply Co. catalog, 1913.
The tapered pin (flat threads) of an auger stem, as left abandoned in the woods.  By 1890 taper joints (pins) were noticeably in use.  The history of modern tapers dates to the 1880's, 1890's and 1900.  Standards for taper joints were determined in the early 1920's by the American Petroleum Institute (API).  This solved a problem created by manufacturers who had their own scale which usually wouldn't fit another "brand". 

© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
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