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Explanation of the Spring Pole

                  Explaining how the spring pole was used can  be difficult, but if the presenting
                  adult understands it, they can describe it easier by using the example as an
                  illustration with more gestures than words.

                                                                  Drawing by
                                                                  S.T. Pees and Associates

                      A lot of wells were started with the spring-pole.  This method required strong
                   legs and considerable time.  The outfit was simple:  a long pole, a weight to
                   anchor the butt end, a fulcrum, stirrup, manila rope, oak rods, downhole tools
                   including the percussion bit.  More tools and other improvements would  be
                   added to the drill string as time went on.

                      The stirrup would hang from the spring-pole very near to the intended
                   position of the borehole,  maybe 3 1/2 feet to 4 feet from the working end of
                   the pole.  It could be a piece of manila rope looped at the bottom or it could
                   resemble the stirrup on a saddle or look more like a playground swing.  The drill
                   string (a vertical series of tools and components) would be fastened about 3
                   feet from the end of the pole.  It would consist of manila rope or oak rods with
                   metal connectors, rope socket, a sinker bar, jars, an auger stem and a bit.  The
                   downward push of the driller's leg in the stirrup would bring the tip of the pole
                   down and allow the bit to smack the rock.  When the rock was smashed, or the
                   dirt loosened, a hollow pipe would be connected to pull it out and the well was
                   drilled just a little bit farther.  A highly motivated operator could drill up to 2 or
                   3 feet in a day under optimal conditions

                      Once the railroad was developed in Santa Clarita, more modern drilling tools
                   could be shipped in.  The first commercially successful oil well in california was
                   drilled here in Santa Clarita in 1877-CSO 4 in Mentryville.
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