This straddle board parer is designed with a handmade gearing box. This parer is prime example of the sophisticated craftsmanship exhibited by many early parers. The parer was formerly in the Boone collection and then in the Abbott collection. It is pictured in Apple Parers as fig. 10-144 (Thornton, 1997, p. 219).
The gearing box is built with two types of mortise and tenon joints, bridle joints and dovetails.
The curved gearing box top is a great example of the art of bending wood. Once the top is removed the handmade gears can be studied.
The gearing mechanism provides a great speed advantage. The large gear has 24 wooden teeth or cogs that mesh with a modified gear that has 8 impressions of teeth carved into an axle. This same axle also has a gear with 16 wooden teeth that mesh with another modified gear with 8 carved spaces that carries the fork. The carved impressions of teeth act somewhat like the cylindrical rods of a cage gear. For every turn of the hand crank the middle axle rotates 3 times. For each turn of the middle axle the axle carrying the fork rotates 2 times. Thus for every single rotation of the hand crank the apple turns 6 times. As the parer rotates the operator uses a hand-guided paring knife to remove the peel.
The wooden teeth of the gears have tenon and mortise joints reinforced with square nails. This allows broken wooden teeth to be replaced without making a whole new gear.
The hand forged metal making up the handle has a makers mark. If you know who used this maker's mark, please refer to the contact page and send us an e-mail. Even the paring knife has detailed workmanship shown in a series of images below.