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278437 gary allan may 2024‑05‑18 Re: Cooper's Bung Borer
Gentle Galoots:
Learning so much--

   In the fifties, my grandmother used to threaten to 'go get' her bungstarter,
which my grandfather had left behind. He was an industrial arts teacher at a
tiny Oklahoma college, and probably DID go upside a head now and then. I've been
told that they are made with that shape to strike between the fingers while the
bung is positioned in the bunghole.
  I've I had not heard of kegs and barrels arriving already tapped, but sure,
when beer's travelling just across town it would be a great 'marketing move' to
deliver ice-house cold with the tap outlet already bored and corked, proper tap
supplied by the vendor. Not everybody enjoyed the tapping task, or was even up
to it, especially not the repositioning of the barrel. If it's 55 gallons of
maple syrup, it's 600 pounds easy---
  OTOH---When the teamsters were driving maple syrup and bourbon to load on
ships heading across the Atlantic---or rolling it across the plains in wagons---
from Vermont and Kentuck, I bet the 'tapping' was generally left to the buyer at
the receiving end.
  And if you wanted a clean-boring dependable tool; "Every Galoot Knows" you
could not outdo a Swan.

                         enquiring minds *still* want to know----gam in OlyWA


    On Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at 09:07:07 AM PDT, Michael Blair 
 In the coopering research I've done since 2014 this is the first time
I've seen anything called a "bung or tap auger."  Either it's for boring
a bung hole for filling a cask, bored into the strongest stave, or it's
a tap auger for boring a tapered hole in the head of a cask for setting
a tap.  These, classically, are two separate tools, and so regarded.  

So from my perspective (a solid mid 19th Century perspective) Swan is
advertising a cooper-esque "multi tool."  It's kinda bizarre, since the
cooper builds the cask and bores the bung hole, the vintner fills the
cask with wine, and the bar man drills the head and installs the tap. 

When you get right down to it, the tap auger isn't really a cooper's

The Swan catalog here dates from 1904.  This style of taper auger is too
recent for my use -- interpreting mid 19th Century coopering (and
general wood work). 

Mike in Woodland

Recent Bios FAQ