Hand Tool Preservation
Association of Australia Inc

Mystery Tools and Gadgets - Part 1

Visitors are invited to provide information (substantiated where possible) as to the name and purpose of items displayed here. If you can shed further light on any of the unanswered questions simply email

Click on any of the images below to see a larger version.

pic20

No. 20

Whatsit supplied by Alison Williams
Kalorama, Vic

pic19compasgadget1

No. 19

Unknown instrument, possibly surveying related, dia 145mm, graduated in 360 degrees. In a fitted box, with possibly a part missing from the square box.

Branded "H.G.Thornton, Manchester" (a famous firm of surveying instrument makers).

Picture supplied by I K Pierre-Humbert of Drouin, Vic.

Feedback received: "No. 19 is a single arm protractor. These were usually used by surveyors, drafting whatever plan. This is a very nice example". Identified by Craig Gillingham.

pic17 sm pic18 pic16 sm

No. 18 (and 16 and 17)

These images are of a gadget of unknown purpose, supplied by Alan Riley in Queensland. If anyone can shed some light on this item please contact the Webmaster.

what 9 sm

No. 15

What is this?

This is a comparative Brinel hardness tester. A square bar of calibrated known harness is inserted in the square hole between the ball and the punch body. The ball is positioned on the component to be hardness tested and the tool is struck with a hammer the square test bar is removed and the hemispherical mark left on the test bar and the component are measured for diameter and the values are cross matched on a table to give the HBN number. These tools are still very common.

Thanks to Michael Slattery and Ian Speer for identifying this one.

what 5 sm

No. 14

What is this?

This is a tool for removing “W” pins (a type of spring clip used to secure the ball in a ball and socket connection between individual High Voltage insulator discs in a string – as seen on transmission towers).

Thanks to Matt Reynolds for identifying this one.

what 2 sm

No. 13

The item is a “Ring Cutter” Generally used in hospital emergency departments for safe removal of rings. Especially when there is swelling due to trauma. Hook piece slips between ring and finger, light pressure applied by thumb on plate. Rotate wheel until ring cut. Metal blade cannot cut finger. (Trevor Jones)

what 1b sm

No. 12

The part that holds the cranked piece telescopes in on a spring.

bonum 2 sm bonum 3 sm

No. 11 (and 10)

Another Whatsit - this one marked "BONUM 2001". The pointed end looks like a short piece of star picket.

Feedback #1: "The Bonum 2001 is a general purpose scraper, the blade (star picket) should be located centrally in the head of the handle. It should be sharpened on a grinding wheel with final finishing on a flat stone to give a micro bevel. It works a treat with three cutting surfaces to be dulled before resharpening. I obtained mine from the deceased estate of a timber boat builder."(Gordon Lewins)

castiron sm Oxbow diagram cast iron sm b

No. 9

Cast iron Ox-bow pin.

Feedback: "This is an Ox-bow pin in the open position. It was used on the old wooden ox-bows to retain the 'U' shaped bow in the yoke." - Tom Partington USA.

The bottom image is a diagram of an Ox-bow (from the website: http://prairieoxdrovers.com/yokes.html)

emf plus pouch sm emf Gauges sm

No. 7 (and 6)

Some sort of gauge, from the electrical / electronics industry, going by the name 'EMF'.

Gerald Brookes provided:"EMF made welding rods (among other things). I was told, and it looks right, that these gauges would be used to measue a weld fillet in a 90 Deg join".

Grahame Collins  responded: "The item pictured on your whatsits page is a welder's Fillet gauge. It is a unit still in use today to measure the fillet size of what you would call a Tee weld. Fillet weld size determines cost pricing on welded work of large proportions as well as distortion control.
The would have been imperial dimension units but later models would of course been in metric. The EMF brand was a British company manufacturing welders and electrodes and ancillary equipment."

  Pic 6 - Some sort of gauge, from the electrical / electronics industry, going by the name EMF. See also above.
Answer:
Not many guesses recieved, but I will put this one to rest.

jacksons bjacksons a

No. 5 (and 4)

Tool marked 'Jacksons Patent, for nos 2 & 3 buttons' on one side and 'For D & E Button Plates' on the other.

Answer: "This is a wrench / key for adjusting the joining buttons on leather and other belting for belt driven machinery. Jacksons supplied this belting also."

lacer 1 lacer 2 lacer 3

No. 3 (and 1 and 2)

Interesting Gadget - but what exactly is it?

Feedback from Graham Clegg, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia:
"The item is a tool used to fit wire hook type belt fasteners to flat transmission belting. The hooks come on a paper card --in use the hooks fit into the brass divisions and are secured there by the loose pin. The belting is placed between the sharp pointed ends of the hooks and the hooks are squeezed shut in the jaws of a vyce, embedding the fastener hooks in the belt."

(Note: Whatsit numbering was originally related to images rather than items and some Whatsits have been consolidated resulting in numbering changes.)

Mystery Tools and Gadgets - Part 2

Visitors are invited to provide information (substantiated where possible) as to the name and purpose of items displayed here. If you can shed further light on any of the unanswered questions simply email

Click on any of the images below to see a larger version.

No40

No. 40

This is some sort of gadget or part of a gadget which has provision to clamp onto a table top or similar.

Pic submitted by James O'Dowd.

Please make contact if you can identify this item.

Gillotine a

Gillotine b

No. 39

Images supplied by Hamish Hill.

Some sort of guillotine with Japanese-type symbols on the wooden base.

Can anyone advise the specific use of this guillotine?

Doug thinks this is a tobacco cutter.

Book Binding

No. 37

Image supplied by Andrew Henshall.

Information on this item is sought.

pic 36 b

No. 36

Images supplied by Hamish Hill.

Info sought.

Answer from Bill Bardin:

"The tool marked 36 a & b is used to release chucks or drills from morse taper spindles on pedestal drills, lathes etc. It is pushed into the slotted hole in the spindle and the lever action slides the 2 tapered sections across each other making them wider and exerting axial force on the end of the morse taper drill. I used one many years ago in the State Electricty Commission's Richmond workshop".

pic 35 a

No. 35

Some sort of chopping or scraping tool, presented at the July 2012 Tool Sale.

Info sought.

pic34

No. 34

Charles Zammit has sent this image along of an unknown device, well-made in brass.

Can anyone identify its purpose?

Later feedback:
"A tool for glueing on snooker cue tips before they were threaded on" answer by Charles Zammit and Fred Murrell.

pic33

No. 33

Peter Wood has sent this picture of these side cutters, the jaws are not removable for sharpening.

Can anyone identify their purpose?

pic32

No. 32

Peter Wood has sent this picture of an unknown gadget. Note the moveable stop has a cutting edge at the point, not very well sharpened.

Can anyone identify its purpose?

Ross West thinks: "It is a can opener for large catering size cans. I have one similar but with a different cutter.
The spike on the end is driven into the can and then pivoted around with a downward pressure to cut the can".

A response from Peter Wood: "I tried it on a catering pack coffee can, and it worked a treat. I must admit, I held grave reservations for the safety of the can-holding hand, but all was well. Thank you for the listing and please pass on my thanks to Ross as well".
pic31 a pic31 b pic31 c

No. 31

Ross West has supplied these pictures of a cam-acting clamping device - looks user made, no maker's marks. 10 in long.

Can anyone identify its use?

30 a Multi 30 b Multi

No. 30

Terry Hanlon has sent these images of an adjustable locking plier/shifter only marked 'JAPAN'. He asks if anyone can identify the maker and when made?

29 a Sash 29 b Sash 29 d Sash

No. 29

Terry Hanlon has sent these imagess of sash clamps made in a brass alloy. He asks if anyone can identify the maker and when made?

pic 28 a pic 28 b pic 28 c pic 28 d

No. 28

Whatsit supplied by Roy Pearson.

Response from Huon Lemercier: "I believe the item to be a toe piece from an old style bear trap ski binding used on timber snow skis."

Thank you Huon

pic27a pic27b

No. 27

Whatsit supplied by Chris Beaver, Qld.

Unusual Sash Cramps - no adjustment holes, just small teeth like on a quick adjust wrench. Chris would like to know who made this. Only marks are 'T1' and '555'.

pic 26

No. 26

Whatsit supplied by Robert Wallis, Tas.

Found with some spar makers tools. No maker's marks.

 

Answer 1."Tool appears to be similar to that used by cheesemakers when harvesting bark to wrap around cheese. That is, it cuts the wood to correct dimensions for packaging cheese. I saw similar tool being used in a "Cheeselinks" show on ABC TV a couple of weeks ago. It was presented by Will Studd and he was with cheesemakers in France". (by David Bromet)

pic 25

Pic25 B

No. 25

Whatsit supplied by Graham McLeod, Victor Harbour

Marked D.R.P / NORM-MESS, Made in Germany.

This is a ring expander for cast iron piston rings, see advertisement for a local similar brand (Meco)

Identified by Craig Gillingham, who also supplied the catalogue listing.

pic 24

No. 24

Whatsit supplied by Patrick Berry TTTG, Sydney.

It's a strap duplicator, of the bushing type. At least one other type exists; they're used when inaccessible hole locations in one sheet of material need to be transferred to another for riveting  -  aluminium aircraft skins are a typical item.

Answer from: Ronald G. Darner
Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, USA

pic23

No. 23

Whatsit supplied by Alison Williams Kalorama, Vic


Possible identitification from Michael Sheehan "Item23 could be the mounting support for a candle lamp on a horse drawn buggy etc. The oval form on the end looks akin to the type of mounting used by such lamps".

pic21 pic22 Pic22 bSawguide3 Pic22 cSawguide1 web Pic22 dSawguide2 web

No. 21 (and 22)

Whatsit supplied by Alison Williams of Kalorama, Vic

Answer supplied by Dr Steven Thomas, HTPAA member: "This is an incomplete file guide for a Disston #2 saw vice which is used to maintain a constant angle to the file when sharpening a saw."

The complete Saw Vice is shown in the subsequent images.

Steven is looking for one of these devices. Contact can be made through the Webmaster.

Mystery Tools and Gadgets - Part 4

Visitors are invited to provide information (substantiated where possible) as to the name and purpose of items displayed here. If you can shed further light on any of the unanswered questions simply email

Click on any of the images below to see a larger version.

Whatsit No. 61 - handle on

Whatsit No. 61 - handle off

No. 61

This Whatsit is thought to be a clamp or press or at least part of one. It is assumed the lugs fit into something else though why there are 4 lugs isn't obvious.

Mystery Tools and Gadgets - Part 3

Visitors are invited to provide information (substantiated where possible) as to the name and purpose of items displayed here. If you can shed further light on any of the unanswered questions simply email

Click on any of the images below to see a larger version.

Whatsit No. 60

No. 60

Can anyone identify this mystery item? The only markings are raised letters DRP which is a German registration mark. It has been suggested that it may be a tensioner of some sort but if so, for what?

Whatsit YVMPS 1

Whatsit YVMPS 2

Whatsit YVMPS 3

Whatsit YVMPS 4

No. 59

This Whatsit is courtesy of a Yarra Valley Machine Preservation Society member who is yet to identify this item.

It has a spring-loaded hinge-like mechanism but is unusual in the way it appears to be fixed to whatever it is designed to fix to. It may be one of a pair but this is uncertainrmed Wire Tool. As can be seen the tool is made from two pieces one of which is wrapped around the other allowing it to pivot from what looks like a closed position to rotating completely back on itself. Ends of one half are pointed with the other ends more rounded.

It is marked "Made in England" and has the markings "REGD No. 171159". It also has a Pat No. which is indecipherable as it has been mis-stamped so the bottom of the patent number is missing. Similarly some additional wording next to the Pat. No. is unclear.

Whatsit No 58a

Whatsit No 58b

Whatsit No 58c - markings close up

Whatsit No 58d

Whatsit No 58e

Whatsit No 58f

Whatsit No 58g

No. 58

Formed Wire Tool. As can be seen the tool is made from two pieces one of which is wrapped around the other allowing it to pivot from what looks like a closed position to rotating completely back on itself. Ends of one half are pointed with the other ends more rounded. When folded closed it is approximately 18cm in length.

It is marked "Made in England" and has the markings "REGD No. 171159". It also has a Pat No. which is indecipherable as it has been mis-stamped so the bottom of the patent number is missing. Similarly some additional wording next to the Pat. No. is unclear.

Duco

Duco closeup

No. 57

Metal tool marked DUCO 12

Member Graeme Askew believes this is a spring compressor for very early side valve engines. probably motor cycle engines.

Graeme's clue led to a post elsewhere with the image below and a comment that DUCO had an association with Brown Motorcycles. The tool below was said to be "commonly found in the toolkits supplied with 1920's flat-tankers". (Ref http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=123165.125 )

Duco tool example

 

No56 ECmark1

No56 ECmark3

No56 ECmark2

No. 56

Stamp with initials F C on either side of a crown pictorial, with VIC below the crown.

Ross Manning has supplied the following:

This was used by the Victorian Forestry Commission to mark crown property that had been authorised to be removed. In the days before the catastrophic clear felling (when we actually had sustainable forestry practices) only trees marked by commission officers could be felled and removed. Penalties for unauthorised felling and removal was high. Woe betide anyone caught removing timber without the crown stamp.

The legislation still exists for use of this stamp:

"An authorised officer may use the crown brand— (a) to mark trees as an indication that felling of those trees is approved; or (b) to indicate the release of forest produce which has been seized under the Act; or (c) to indicate that the removal of forest produce from State forest has been authorised under the Act; or (d) to indicate that a log has been graded by an authorised officer."

No55

No. 55

Marked 'Winter's Patent'. It has a plane blade mounted at the top on the slide. What is it for?

No54

No. 54

This is a stone, possibly a sharpening stone, other side is flat. Any info?

Answer: "No 54 is a slide used on  lap guitars  to play Hawaiian tunes, the neck is a lot thicker than standard ones .  The slide is held in between 2nd and 3rd finger".

"A lot of these  guitars where cheap sometimes bought from an adverts on the back of comic books".   Ross West

No53

No. 53

What is this hexagonal wheel for?

Response from John Bates from TTTG:

"I believe that No.53 is a height adjustable strap clamp for milling machine or like. You will see that the pin in the hex wheel is off centre so as you turn the wheel the height of the clamp changes. The bolt goes through the slot to a tee nut and the flat section at the opposite end sits on the item to be secured."

 

No52

No. 52

What are these pliers for?

Answer: round leather belting joining pliers. The cutting blade is missing, it can be seen where it should be held in by the two screws in the concave opening at the top. The second station cut the belt. The third section pierced the belt for the joining staple and the front section crimped the staple shut. These were usually used for sewing machine belts, etc.

No51

No. 51

What is this knife for?

It has been identified as a Groove Knife - a gardening tool for getting at weeds growing in tight spaces such as between pavers.

No50

No. 50

Multi tool. This should have a wooden handle mounted on the broken off end of the screw piece.

No49

No49b

No49c

 

No. 49

The hexagonal centre piece rotates ever so slowly in response to cranking the handle.

Possibly a gun component?

From Craig Gillingham:

"No.49 may be one of the tools used for detaching the older style two piece spark plugs. There were a couple of different makers of these, attached is the KLG version."

Craig has identified it.

Note in the middle picture, there is a larger fixed hexagon in the body of the instrument. Look at the advert for FEW adapter, inspect the two different sized hex nuts that enable the plug to be separated.

In operation, the instrument would be lowered over the top of the plug, with bottom hex engaging the larger hex of the plug. Then the internal hex would be rotated to engage the smaller hex of the plug, and winding the handle would proceed to either unscrew the top of the plug, or screw it up, depending on direction of rotation.

Thanks Craig for your help.

 

No48

No. 48

Double ended spanner marked ARAB.

What was this for?

No47

No. 47

Surveyor's folding protractor?

No46 A

No46 B

46C

No. 46

A note from Bill Davis has solved this mystery.

The item is a spring winder. It is used to wind various sized springs from straight wire.

The brass star wheel rotates into various positions.

Bottom image is from the website link below - describes making replacement springs for a 3 jaw brace chuck.

http://www.georgesbasement.com/mfno2typestudy/MakingChuckSprings/MakingChuckSprings.htm

No45

No. 45

Looks to be a component of some gadget.

No44

No. 44

Possibly a holder for strap or horse reins?

No43 a

No43 b

No. 43

Lock grip type pliers with strange arrangement at the mouth - any ideas?

No42

No. 42

Looks like a stitch marker for leather work - any ideas?

No41

No. 41

Steel carpenter's brace. It takes a tapered square bit.

Question - what is the pointed part at the back of the bit holder for?

Next Tool Sale

The next Tool Sale is on Sunday 9th July 2017 9.00 am to 12.30 pm at  St. Anthony's School Hall (corner Neerim & Grange Rds) Carnegie
Melway Ref. 68 F4 or see map here.
Visit the Tool Sale page for more details.

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