Tree sap harvest pegs / spiles & rebuild hand cranked augers.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 05-13-2017 10:57 PM 2967 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Tree sap harvest pegs / spiles
& rebuild hand cranked augers.

Simple pegs for harvesting birch sap from recycled wood and hand cranked drill bits from old auger bits.

Beech parts from a trashed wine rag gets new life.
Just turning as I go, no plan just tapered to app. the same size, so it will fit the drill size and a head that will allow one to tie a bottle or bucket to the peg, or make a hole in the side of the bottle that fits over it.

Just play around as I said, don’t fight your tools…

Oil and wax.

Cutting them apart.

Drilling a hole through and opening it a wee.

I left them in linseed oil to soak up a little.

The happy bunch, some for me, some for my friends.

Next part was to make some augers for tour use.
I looked in the drawer, have quite a load, so it was just to choose.

And then destruction!
Cutting them down to a more handy size.

An old chisel end cap and a piece of iron pipe.

Held together by clay.

Now time to play with my welder.
(Boys and toys you know).

Giving it a go.

Yes I am a wood nerd, not a welder…

But it will hold fine and that is what is important.
The bad looking welding can be cleaned up with a grinder.

I think this looks fair for a tool.

And this fair for augers, now just some sharpening.

Here they are ready for trips in nature.

I made a pair of extra sets for two of my friends, here Claus smoking the corn pipe as I teach him how to make fire with different methods, while we hike by the Danish coast in the cold winter.
On our last tour we tried to harvest sap but the trees were not ready to give, so I hope we will get some of the spring sap.

Perhaps this can inspire others to harvest natures gifts.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

12 comments so far

View mafe's profile


13294 posts in 4304 days

#1 posted 05-13-2017 11:00 PM

Should I make a blog on how to make fire?

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View madts's profile


1958 posts in 3554 days

#2 posted 05-13-2017 11:38 PM

No. You are on fire. As for making fire all you need is two dry boy scouts that you can rub against each other.

What do you do with Birch sap?
Or do you mean Maple (Ahorn).


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Brit's profile


8384 posts in 4057 days

#3 posted 05-13-2017 11:42 PM

You might as well Mads. You’ve made a blog about everything else. LOL. I was searching for something today and kept seeing your photos in the image results and I thought to myself, Mads has made a remarkable contribution to our understanding of how old tools work and inspired so many woodworkers to appreciate the simple tools our forefathers relied upon so heavily. Long may it continue.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26653 posts in 4320 days

#4 posted 05-14-2017 12:36 AM

You need to make a fire piston if you don’t already have one!! That would be a good blog/video!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5267 days

#5 posted 05-14-2017 01:32 AM

Yes! Make some FIRE!

I remember, as a kid & a Gilbert Chemical set, I mixed something with glyserine and it made Fire… can you do that?

Video for a great Impact to see the Fire start and Flame… if you can… :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View FourOaks's profile


51 posts in 1838 days

#6 posted 05-14-2017 12:24 PM

Nice blog! My father is from Michigan and he told me that his grandfather used to harvest maple sap. I wonder if he used something like your pegs. Was the peg also used to help hang a pail or some type of container? Thanks for sharing.

-- Stephen, Atlanta Georgia,

View lew's profile


13412 posts in 4970 days

#7 posted 05-14-2017 12:43 PM

Great story, Mads!

Your welding looks pretty good from here. What do they make from the birch sap?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View iamtomkelvin's profile


14 posts in 1821 days

#8 posted 05-14-2017 01:40 PM

Sweet recycling of the augers…though it did hurt a little to see a grinder hacking them up…but it was for a good cause and an excellent result as usual…inspirational!!!

Good things…Thomas

View Notw's profile


1084 posts in 2968 days

#9 posted 05-15-2017 04:07 PM

I’m pretty sure I would read a blog on just about anything you would write about, fire, tree sap, tools…etc

View mafe's profile


13294 posts in 4304 days

#10 posted 05-16-2017 10:32 AM

Hi there,
Plenty of questions on how to harvest and so on… Even I did write I would not go into this, I will bring some info here:
Uses: the birch sap is fine for drinking as a supplement to your water on hikes, boil down to a sirup, in the old days it was used as a hair product (I did not try), also in the old days it was said to make you beautiful to wash in it… (at least you will attract bees and ants), the syrup can be eaten as is or used in baking. The list is as long as your imagination, some have made wine, snaps and much more.
Saved links while making my pegs:
This guy inspired me to make the shape with a round end:
Here how to make sirup:
Danish link to harvest:
English link to methods and tools (Thank you Druid, I did see that one also):
Just use your imagination and Google, there are thousands of links and ways.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4672 posts in 2492 days

#11 posted 05-16-2017 11:20 AM

Can you tap paper birch (aka white birch) or yellow birch?

The hardware store here sells loads of supplies for tapping maple. Stainless steel taps.

I had cousins that ran plastic tubbing to near by trees right into the “sugar shack”. The sugar shack is where the syrup was slow boiled down in a tray ( maybe about 2 foot square 3 inches deep ) setting on a flat top wood fired stove. It has been 50 years since I saw it, so details are a little fuzzy. Still it impressed this 10 year old boy.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View mafe's profile


13294 posts in 4304 days

#12 posted 05-16-2017 03:29 PM

Hi there,
I will find time to make a fire blog at some point, have plenty of material for it, I can start with the parts made of wood…
Madts, ha ha ha. Yes I am, but not rubbing boy scouts. Look in my last comment for use.
Brit, got mere there, I will skip scooter repair though… Thank you Andy, really. I also get surprised how often a MaFe picture shows up when searching the web, the strange thing is, that it can be gone in a second, just like us. Where the tools, or at least some of them, may live for long time after we are gone.
Jim, yes that is on my list but the list is looooooong… and I have so many ways to make a fire by now.
Joe, I had the chemistry set and the electronic set, I did love every thing I could put together or take apart, just like now… I don’t think there will be videos, I get shy.
FourOaks, yes you can hang a container on the peg, this shape allows you also to put a bottle with a hole in the side directly, to avoid small animals and dirt getting into the bottle.
lew, thanks, I have to say the welding I make hold up fine, even they take a little to make nice after. I put a comment on the use.
iamtomkelvin, yes I agree, it hurts a wee to cut them, but I have many (you can have one if you need). Thanks.
Notw, smiles, no I have red ears.
Combo Prof, no idea of the types… the once with really white are good. ;-) Wonderful story, that’s really clever, to go that direct, if the trees are close.
Thank you all for the comments.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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