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


Eaton, Rev. S.J.M., 1866

"----"jars", made of two elongated links or loops of iron hooking in each other ---- one connected to the auger stem.  This arrangement serves to jar the bit loose when it has a disposition to stick fast in the well."

"---- each stroke of the bit in the well, the upper links in the jars may sink down a foot or more, and as the power is applied it rises against the upper end of the lower jar with a stroke like that of a sledge hammer and thus will overbalance any ordinary disposition on the part of the bit to adhere to the walls of the well."

Eaton wrote that "the entire weight of the implements attached to the cable is from six to twelve hundred pounds".

"Another mode of operation was sometimes used in the earlier stages of the business, in which a chain was used, causing the most unpleasant and outrageous clangor that can possibly be conceived.  From its unpleasant and horrible noise and associations, it was called by the urchins the "chain-gang system."  It was a laborious process, and a terror to the whole neighborhood where it was employed, and soon fell into disuse, much to the satisfaction of persons residing within half a mile of the scene of operations."


Carll, John F., 1880

"The jars, therefore, form a very important member of the drilling tools, being the connecting link between the drill and the means of operating it."

"As the crossheads (of the jars) are each 8 inches long, and the slots 21 inches, there remains 13 inches of the slots unoccupied which represents the "play" of the jars."


Redwood, Sir Boverton, 1913

"The tools are connected in the order named, by means of pin and box joints, the collars being squared for the application of wrenches."


Ball, Max W., 1940

"The string may be from twenty to forty feet long and may weigh from two to five tons."


Leven, David D., 1942

 "The standard cable tool drilling movement consists of a constant churning or up-and-down process.  This action has often been likened to the lash of a whip.  The back lash or snap of the drilling line drives the drilling bit into the rock and drills the hole.  The tools, when in the drill hole, must swing over the bottom at its lowest point.  The rising and falling of the walking beam at the surface imparts a vibratory action to the elastic drilling line that causes the line to alternately stretch and contract.  By this movement, the drilling tools will lash out four or five feet and strike the bottom of the drill hole with terrific force.  Experienced drillers speak of the "fall" of the tools in connection with whether or not the bit is striking a solid blow."


Brantly, J.E., 1971

Brantly quotes Army capt. John Pope on the method that was used in water well drilling in the Pecos River Valley (Llano Estacado), Texas, 1855 to 58.  After much hardship and broken tools, a depth of 861 feet was reached:

"The boring is done by means of oak poles, 1 3/4 inches in diameter, in 16 foot sections joined in twos by heavy iron straps.  Each boring rod is therefore 32 feet long with a male screw at one end and a female screw at the other, both having very strong and heavy threads.  The drill has a straight edge of 3 1/2 inches, and is attached to an iron rod (auger stem) 30 feet long and 1 1/4 inches in diameter.  To the upper end of this rod is attached a pair of iron slips (jars), having a play of 16 inches, and to these are screwed on the wooden poles, up to the surface.  The upper end of the poles is attached by a movable chain to a spring beam worked by steam, and (boring at the usual speed) the drill falls fifty five times a minute.  The borings are pumped out by a sand pump of copper, nine feet long, which works with a rope passing around a drum attached to the steam engine.  The hole is pumped out on an average once in two and one half hours of boring."


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