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Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 11:09 AM

Dear Friends and Associates,

NORMALLY, when someone posts a "WHAT IS IT", the OP knows what it is ... I have NO IDEA.

I was at a shop a few days ago, and the owner asked me if I knew what it was used for. I have no idea, but I am sure one of you must.

I didn't measure it, but it is the size of one of the OLD soldering irons used to join tin. It has a wooden handle (similar to those old irons), but without the power cord.

Sorry my photo is lousy, but I make a quick sketch of how it articulates or adjusts. It cannot clamp or hold anything as far as I can tell, only by loosening and tightening the wing-nut and the center, the 'arms' can be opened and closed.

My only guess is, it was used to short something or shunt something (no burn marks, though), but no idea what.

Any ideas?

Kind regards ...

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#1

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 11:31 AM

It looks as though it may be a "one off": made by the person who wanted to use it.

Looks like some kind of gauge: perhaps for quality control (inspection); or, maybe just for someone who wanted to say put it nails at regular intervals.

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#2

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 11:56 AM

It does look like a "one off" job. I would say it was made to be a divider of sorts with a center and with two sides at variable, but always equal, distances from that center. It might have been used for setting standard spacings, such as for bolts for structural steel.

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#7
In reply to #2

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 4:55 PM

I don't think it was a "one off". There is embossed printing on the metal cross-piece nearest the handle, but most was rubbed to the point it was unreadable.

Kind regards ...

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#3

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 12:09 PM

Looks like a tool for tightening and loosening threaded retaining rings.

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 3:06 PM

I like this idea. Another WAG would be that this might be a pipe deburring tool.

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#8
In reply to #3

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 4:57 PM

I don't think it was a driver of any kind, nor a deburring tool. The handle is fat and straight, so no way to get any torque or leverage.

Kind regards ...

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 9:14 PM

FWIW - retaining rings usually don't require much torque. They're installed just barely snug-fit, enough to hold another item in place (like a glass lens).

It could also be a tool for holding a spring (or spring-loaded device) compressed during its installation.

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#23
In reply to #3

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 9:01 AM

good answer!!!

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#4

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 12:29 PM

Tried to push it into soft soil? It looks like it would make a first class planting device. The only limitation I can see, is it fits square seeds best (LOL). S.M.

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#5

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 2:17 PM

Looks like calipers to me, maybe for sculpting or masonry work. These could quickly transfer a dimension from a wooden or clay model to a stone sculpture.

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 4:59 PM

Possibly a measuring too, but the bars and the 'points' are all rounded and blunt. Also, if only for measuring, it wouldn't have to be so heavy.

Kind regards ...

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#10

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 6:38 PM

purely guessing looks like an adjustable spanner wrench to me

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#12

Re: Unknown Tool

05/07/2013 10:59 PM

Its a centre finder.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 1:02 AM

If calibrated,you can use it to measure internal diameter of pipes.

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#13

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 12:06 AM

Regarding those who say they think its a one-off, I don't think so, mostly because some of the metal parts appear to be black oxide coated, while others appear to be plated.

Since you indicate that the points are rounded and that it's fairly heavy, I'm thinking perhaps a spacer for uniformly locating small tiles while laying them.

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#15

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 3:26 AM

To me it looks like some sort of a grabber / puller gadget that could be used to pull or grab a pipe from the inside for example !!!

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#16

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 3:38 AM

Awwww. Where is PlbMak when needed?

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#17

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 4:01 AM

It looks like some sort of marking or layout gauge, but definitely not inside measurement, the points are wrong for that. Possibly an adjustable scoring device for soft materials like clay.

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#18

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 4:35 AM

I think it may be some kind of "GO/Not GO" gauges for poor applications that don't require good accuracy

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#19

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 6:08 AM

As a matter of interest: what did you use to do the sketch?

Was it a combined CAD/calculation package like TurboCalc?

Or did you draw all three positions separately?

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#22
In reply to #19

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 7:47 AM

Hi Randal,

Not so sophisticated. I use Adobe Illustrator for most of my sketches.

I only had my horrible picture as a reference, so I pulled that into Illustrator, then drew the separate elements on top of the picture as visually accurate as I could. Then I copied and pasted the assembly into three different areas. For each, I just created an arc / circle at the points of rotation, then rotated the component parts each along those arcs to their points of intersection. I made one as it was in the photo, then in another view moved it out to the widest position, then finally in to the most closed position.

Not at all accurate regarding dimension (although I can do that), but only an illustration to show how the parts of the tool moved.

MUCH BETTER, of course, if I had access to actual parametric CAD tools, but missing those, this is often good enough.

I do a lot of this kind of simple illustration to communicate "intent" or "application" when speaking to someone at a distance ... the old "picture being worth a 1000 words". It usually works.

Kind regards ...

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#20

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 6:16 AM

Circle measuring tool

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#21

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 6:55 AM

It's a tool for removing/unscrewing the backs off the new big watches. But seriously I have no idea. So far I think you are as close as anybody. A circle/chord gauge makes sense. If so there would likely be a scale on the reverse side of the center bar.

Jim

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#24

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 10:18 AM

It looks like an early version of the Snap Ring Pliers (similar to what USBport commented on). The snap ring pliers are used to insert and/or remove internal snap rings. We used to use these down at the (vibrator) factory I used to work at back in the day. If the customer's product broke and they didn't have the right tool (which they never did), they'd get frustrated and end up sending their device back to us for repair. Like I always said "If your vibrator is on the fritz, come see me (Lucious) cause I've got the right tool for the job (ladies)". I was always about customer Satisfaction. ; P Anyway, just my 2-cents. Hope this helps. You'll see that the screwdriver snap ring plier tool in the first link I'm providing looks similar to the photo you provided.

http://sell.bizrice.com/upload/20120307/Combination_Snap_Ring_Pliers_Auto_Tools_Car.jpg

http://sell.bizrice.com/selling-leads/835896/Combination-Snap-Ring-Pliers-Auto-Tools-Car-Repair-Tools.html

http://djvmerchandise.com/library/3OTC7300.jpg

http://djvmerchandise.com/pro1161558.html

See Figures 34-36 in the next link:

http://www.techtransfer.com/resources/wiki/entry/3885/

Lucious

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#44
In reply to #24

Re: Unknown Tool

05/09/2013 6:14 AM

Tools shown are generally called Circlip Tools to open and fix circlip -retaining clips.

Inside and outside

External+Snap+Ring+Pliers+Hvy+Duty

Inside plier squeezes and outside expands the clip.

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#25

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 10:28 AM

Could be circlip fitting tool, also like piston ring tool but points look to be inverted.

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#26

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 10:55 AM

The tool looks like it relates to something an engine mechanic may have used years ago. The other tool this one looks similar to is a jaw gear puller:

Lucious

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#27

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 11:17 AM

Hi All,

Lots of good guesses so far, but some aren't likely. It can't be any kind of a plier type of tool. The jaws can't 'squeeze' because there are no handles. In fact, even adjusting them was a chore. Because of how it articulates, it could be some kind of a center or centering tool, but it's very bulky. The material of the jaws and the center are about 0.250" steel. I took my original sketch and added some approximate dimensions.

Keep it going, but I still hoping for someone who knows for sure that it's a bifurcated gizornimplatz with a built in jibaffler bar

Kind regards ...

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 11:23 AM

when I first looked at this item based on what appears to be discoloration to me I Thought it was either a crimper or clamp used by someone who did a lot of soldering but I'll stick with my adjustable spanner for now

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#29
In reply to #27

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 11:36 AM

I think that the tell tale clues we need to know is where are the wear marks on this tool. This will imply how the tool was used. Can you see any wear marks?

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 12:52 PM

Hi RF,

Sorry, but the tool is not in my possession. I only perused it in workshop elsewhere.

Mostly it was dirty , but there were no obvious marks or wear on anything but the wooden handle. I can say it must have been in the same position for some time, because I need a pair of pliers to loosen the wing nut.

It had embossed marking on the cross piece near the handle, but it was too worn to read.

Sorry, your inquiry is very valid, but I can't offer much other than memory.

Kind regards ...

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#32
In reply to #30

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 1:21 PM

Then I suspect you have a genuine, bona-fide picture of a "whats-it". The owner of the "whats-it" might not let you back into their workshop, too. You changed the calibration setting they had for the past decade.

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#33
In reply to #30

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 2:26 PM

You've twice mentioned this shop:

Tire shop, shoe shop, television and radio shop, wood door shop... ???

Do you believe the tool was used there, or do you believe it to be transplanted?

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#38
In reply to #33

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 6:59 PM

Hi Doorman,

The shop repairs loudspeakers and electronics. In has no place there, so I imagine the owner either found it, or was given it, or whatever.

The location gave me no clues.

Kind regards ...

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#51
In reply to #30

Re: Unknown Tool

05/10/2013 7:46 AM

"...must have been in the same position for some time, because I need a pair of pliers to loosen the wing nut." says to me that the wingnut may have been rarely adjusted.

Leads me to think that it was set to a position for a particular application and left in that setting.

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#35
In reply to #27

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 3:41 PM

Thanks for earlier answer. Your use of Adobe illustrator has certainly managed to convey the "way" that the tool works very well.

Just one more small point. I don't know if you can return to the tool or get the owner to look at something: it looks to me as if the handle has a square end:-

I wonder if it can be opened to reveal some other attachments?

Or, if a spanner could be fitted to apply some torque?

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#45
In reply to #27

Re: Unknown Tool

05/09/2013 6:20 AM

Jaws has threads to squeeze. Have a second look please.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: Unknown Tool

05/09/2013 7:29 AM

Hi Haajee,

No threads. The jaws can only be adjusted then locked into a position. No way to squeeze.

Kind regards ...

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#31

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 1:15 PM

To hand tighten a locking ring perhaps.

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#34

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 2:59 PM

My guess would be a tool for checking the the outside curve of say a hand turned spindle. Set the tool then make your cut then run this gizmo along the spindle to check the size before starting on the next one.

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#36

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 4:34 PM

It appears that this tool would define the outer diameter of a pipe of specific size when adjusted properly. Push it against a pipe you think is the correct diameter. If it rocks on the center point then the pipe is too small. If the outer arms touch but the center is spaced away the pipe is too large. Could be a quick way to sort through a stack of pipes of various similar diameters to find the exact one you need. Not as fragile as a set of calipers, but quarter-inch thick steel plate? Gimme a break!

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#37

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 5:02 PM

Compressor site glass removal tool.

Had one of these as a Kid when I was in the field working on and rebuilding different HVAC compressors. Adjust the tips to be able to fit many different site glasses for Carrier, Mycom, Trane Westinghouse, Chrysler......so many different sizes one tool sold by United technologies. The site glasses would set snug (no real torque settings) with a o-ring or fiber gasket. The glass had a standard notched retaining nut with a fiber gasket between it and the glass.

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#39
In reply to #37

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 7:19 PM

Hi Stedou,

This might be an interesting suggestion. I just did some browsing at photos of "sight glass removal tools", and while none looked like what I saw, I could see some whose dual prongs might give a clue. None I saw were adjustable, so maybe you have something in your idea.

I also tried to search United Technologies, but if what I found is even the same company, they are far, FAR removed from such things now.

Kind regards ...

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#42
In reply to #39

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 9:50 PM

Have you tried searching with Google Image?

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#40

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 7:34 PM

It looks like a "it's this big" tool to use in place of your fingers which move when you get to where you want to replicate the measurement.

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#41

Re: Unknown Tool

05/08/2013 7:36 PM

Hi to all,

Some of you have mentioned tool might be used to check the OD of pipe. From one extreme to the other, such could check diameters from about 25" to about 3.5" at the middle of the adjustable range.

I noticed also, the ends of the tool are darkened, and there is a large wooden handle which could insulate against heat ...

It makes me wonder if possibly this was a tool used on a manufacturing line as a gauge / guide / inspection tool for metals coming out of a heat treat or extruder or forge?

Still just guessing.

Kind regards ...

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#50
In reply to #41

Re: Unknown Tool

05/09/2013 9:44 PM

Looking at your drawing makes me think that it might be used to measure the heat expansion of a ring being prepared for a shrink fit. Thereby ensure that it fits over the job without jamming?

Regards JD.

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#43

Re: Unknown Tool

05/09/2013 3:17 AM

Looks like a tool that could be used for finding and marking the centre of a square/ rectangular bar.

Does the centre/pivot point finger have anything that looks like a scribe of any kind of face/edge, that could be used to leave a mark?

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#47

Re: Unknown Tool

05/09/2013 8:31 AM

I'm going with it being a on-off adjustable spanner. Most likely made from some other tool with a large handle, which is where the embossing came from. Maybe from a chisel. The center piece is pointed to make clearance for the outer arms to close, and being shop made probably without benefit of CAD, were over-cut instead of making a precise fit.

This would explain why the points are all rounded, and also why it seems clunky for dividers. I've seen lots of examples of one-off tools being made this way by shops with special needs. I've even made a few myself.

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#48

Re: Unknown Tool

05/09/2013 9:50 AM

A few years back, ABC had a show on that features alien life forms that had started to populate Earth. The aliens had two hearts.

The device you have shown us is an adjustable knife for executing aliens of differing sizes.

What the heck, there are no degrees of wrong here are there?

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: Unknown Tool

05/09/2013 9:02 PM

True, but there are lies, whoppers, damned lies and statistics.

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#52

Re: Unknown Tool

05/10/2013 7:48 AM

How loose or tight were the pins at the pivot points? Were they loose and sloppy? made of stamped sheet metal? or tight and precise and made of machined parts?

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#55
In reply to #52

Re: Unknown Tool

05/11/2013 12:17 PM

Hi LV,

Definitely not a precision tool. Stamped, but not of thin material. The action was difficult, but I suspect only because the tool was old and dirty. Not sloppy, but because all the points were large radii, I cannot image the part being for a precision use.

Some have suggested a center-finder, but because the points were not ... well, not pointed, the accuracy would have been poor.

The part appeared to have been heated, possibly repeatedly, but not to the point the parts would bend or soften. Maybe "soldering iron" hot.

So far, all my own searches, and all the ideas presented, albeit good ideas, don't really seem the answer.

This one may go into the archives of the truly unknown.

Kind regards ...

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#53

Re: Unknown Tool

05/10/2013 10:44 PM

As a turner I often used Vernier calipers as a gauging tool as the work was still rotating. If the dimension was close I would stop and measure with a micrometer. Seems to me that if I had one of these I could better gauge the diameter whilst still rotating. Perhaps the discolouration is due to coolant? Was there any sign of wear on the tips?

I believe the centre post is used as part of its function 'cos if it wasn't, there would be no need for it to have the chisel shape. It would just be square or a radius. Now that I think about it as a turning (diameter) tool/gauge it could also be a radius. If it were a loosening/tightening tool this centre post would have to have square shoulders or better still screw in posts of different a/f sizes.

The fact that it is a proprietary tool ( you said it had makers marks ) and didn't take the world by storm would lend weight to it being a rough diameter gauge that can be used on a rotating workpiece because as such it would be dangerous to use with long streams of shavings coming off the tool and wrapping around the ( still rotating ) chuck and taking tool, fingers or hands with it.

Jim

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Unknown Tool

05/11/2013 4:18 AM

Is it possible that this is a combination scraper and sizing gauge for wood turning? Rough turn with a gouge then scrape it to the finish diameter with the center chisel point while the outer points tell the turner when the final diameter has been acheived. Something like that would let a turner with a basic lathe make duplicate turnings easier.

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#57
In reply to #54

Re: Unknown Tool

05/11/2013 12:22 PM

Hi BB,

Its a good idea, except the center piece, although it has a chisel shape as a large radius on the end.

Kind regards ...

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#56
In reply to #53

Re: Unknown Tool

05/11/2013 12:20 PM

Hi JR,

You might be right ... if there were a shop which, let's say, turned large castings, and the turnings were done in stages from rough to finish, this might be a valid tool.

It's as good a guess as any .

Thanks, and kind regards ...

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#58

Re: Unknown Tool

05/11/2013 12:37 PM

It's a tool for marking the center of square wood stock for turning in a lathe. It could also be used on round wood stock. The legs would be adjusted to conform to the outside of the stock; the center would make an indent in the end of the stock. Rotate the tool 90° and repeat. This is purely a guess.

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#59

Re: Unknown Tool

05/14/2013 9:07 AM

Do you suppose this tool would be useful for this process... Say about the 6.5 minute mark?

The guy was using calipers, but even I could see there should be a better way... and your tool might well be it.

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: Unknown Tool

05/14/2013 11:08 AM

Hi Yusef,

An interesting video. Yes, the "unknown tool" might be useful there, but I wonder also, since he is turning the barrel on a machine lathe to create the openings, why not do the same with the covers? Seems an easier way to get the dimension.

I was intrigued by several things, though:

1) Finding the radius by stepping off a hexagon with dividers ... it works, but I haven't thought of that for a long time

2) After all the work, I was surprised to see how crudely he measured the bilge, quarter, and head loops ... must be a true art to know just how to size them to get things tight enough

3) I really liked his HUGE belt sander ... had a friend with one of those, and it was amazing for finishing very large pieces ... he used to make table tops from angle-cut tree trunks / logs

Too bad he didn't go into much detail about making the staves themselves ... I would like to know how he patterns the shapes.

Thanks for this video ... it may not get us much closer to an answer about our mystery tool, but it was fun to watch.

Kind regards ...

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Unknown Tool

05/14/2013 3:14 PM

I thought they were called bilge-quarter-and chime hoops. Head hoops seems a reasonable term to me. The barrels I have out in the yard only have chime hoops on them, and they held whiskey back in the day.

Other terms are doubled up...I have heard a bung called a shive, and you drive a spile (also known as a tap) into the keystone. I think they call a spile a tap because you tap it with a hammer....

Oh well. Thought the CR4 people would appreciate hand craftsmanship woodwork...it may be rough but the results are waterproof, and thats all that matters.

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