Get in touch:Nous contacter :
  • en
  • fr

Sabotage!

Yes, today’s mystery tool is a Spoon Auger, and it is used for boring holes in solid wood…

These tools were also used in the production of Sabots which is the French word for clog (which probably derives from Savate from the Arabi Sabbat for shoe and bot, for boots). These ‘shoe-boots’ or sabots were the footwear of (no) choice for working people as pre-industrialisation leather shoes would have been prohibitively expensive. They were traditionally made of birch, willow or poplar, light woods that are easy to work. They would be made a size bigger than required so that straw, and in later times slippers, could be stuffed in to cushion the foot). The style of a simple, slip-on shoe to wear in the garden or on the farm is still popular today in rubber/plastic/leather versions such as Crocs, but some ’round ‘ere still choose to wear the wooden ones! This stylish pair of sabots live at Poacher’s Cabin and as you can see, they are much too big for Skip the Dog…

However, they are quite swanky with their embossed leather cover, seemingly featuring a harp design, and these horseshoe like rubber soles…

The word ‘sabotage’ is said to derive from 19th century French workers, who opposed the mechanisation of their jobs by throwing their shoes into new industrial machinery to bugger things up, but there is little or no evidence that this actually happened, and was probably meant metaphorically. Later, during a long period of industrial action in the early 20th century, French railway workers undertook a policy of non-cooperation, sending goods to the wrong place, mucking up timetables, and general intentional incompetence which came to be known as ‘sabotage’, clearly a trend that some railway workers persist with to this day!

Here’s an interesting lil’ film of a Dutch clog maker using his auger (and amazingly, still appears to have all his own fingers!!)