What is it?

I've been collecting unusual objects for quite a while, and several years ago I started posting them on this site as puzzles for visitors to figure out what they are. Most of the items are mine but a few belong to others, if you aren't interested in tools there are plenty of other type objects that have also been posted.

For first time visitors I recommend this archive for a wide variety of some of my best pieces.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

726. "Ideal Tool Co., Rochester N.Y."

4-5/8" long overall, the pointed part can pivot approx. 25 degrees in any direction,

and the main piece can be loosened and rotated 360 degrees:

727. Submitted by a visitor looking to verify the identity of this item:

728. Another photo from Martin, this tool measures 17" from the tip to the bottom of the aluminum section, the exact use for the hook is unknown:

The pole is broken off shortly past the edge of the picture and on the other side along the aluminum tube is a steel strap 7" long, riveted in two places and bent in a curve at the top end, as if it might have held a rope.

729. 2" long:

730. The image below is part of a small project that I made the other day, the puzzle is to determine the nature of the project:

731. 2-7/8" long

The information below has been posted for visitors who are new to this web site:

Every Thursday morning when a new set of photos is added, I crosspost a link to this site on rec.puzzles, rec.woodworking, and rec.crafts.metalworking; so more guesses and discussions can be found on these newsgroups. Look for a thread entitled "What is it?" followed by roman numerals.

Visitor submitted photos are welcome, though I have a couple of requests for future submissions:

-Please put "What is it?" in the subject line of the email, I get a large amount of spam and delete everything without a relevant title.

-I prefer that rulers not be included in the photos, so please just give the dimensions of the object in the email along with any other pertinent info.

My email address can be found under my profile, along with links to some of my other web sites.

There are lots more photos in the archives, the easiest way to look through them is to go month by month with the links on the right.

A number of people have asked about my camera, I use a Sony model DSC-F505V, it's not very new but it has a decent macro lens on it:


Last week's set is seen below, click here to view the full post:


  • 727. Looks like a wool carder, when the cover is taken off.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/27/2006 8:51 AM  

  • 729. To set spark-plug gap

    By Blogger GreenHex, at 7/27/2006 12:52 PM  

  • #730 looks like the floor of an Ames room.

    By Blogger Roscoe, at 7/27/2006 9:43 PM  

  • 726. A tool for determining the perpendicularity of a drill press or milling machine table.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/28/2006 7:18 AM  

  • >727. Looks like a wool carder, when the cover is taken off.

    This is probably correct.

    >729. To set spark-plug gap


    >730 looks like the floor of an Ames room.


    >726. A tool for determining the perpendicularity of a drill press or milling machine table.

    It's a mechanical indicator, but I'm not sure if it's for determining perpendicularity.

    By Blogger Rob, at 7/28/2006 1:51 PM  

  • 726. Maybe for finding the center of a hole?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/28/2006 2:08 PM  

  • >726. Maybe for finding the center of a hole?

    I think that this is correct.

    By Blogger Rob, at 7/28/2006 2:25 PM  

  • 731. For scraping paint off of windows.

    By Anonymous Titaniumfrog, at 7/29/2006 1:22 AM  

  • >731. For scraping paint off of windows.


    By Blogger Rob, at 7/29/2006 5:53 AM  

  • 726: Looks like the ball end is hinged and the pointer moves on the scale (probably calibrated in MM).

    Is the ball spring loaded?

    Maybe it is a dial indicator, but wihout a dial to work in tight places.

    By Blogger GreenHex, at 7/29/2006 7:38 AM  

  • >726: Is the ball spring loaded?

    It springs back into place, if that's what you mean, and it measures up to .01".

    >Maybe it is a dial indicator, but wihout a dial to work in tight places.

    Yes, its's a predecessor to the dial indicator.

    By Blogger Rob, at 7/29/2006 10:08 AM  

  • The item in question is apparently an indicator. I have a complete tool that is stamped on the end with "8E-1800 IV 3 TRU VALVE GAGE" that utilizes this item in conjunction with a beam and V block set up. The complete tool with a 4" x 11" literature came in a wooden box that has a sliding door and has a triangular sticker that states "ANOTHER SPECIAL SERVICE TOOL, TOOLS FOR TRUCKS AND BUS SERVICE". There is an example valve the type from a cylinder head that is cut in half long ways held in the V blocks mounted on the beam and held in place by a coil spring just tight enough so that the valve could be rotated and with the indicator mounted correctly would show if the valve was bent. This tool kit is probably old as dirt and came from the estate of a neighbors father; my neighbor is in her late 70's

    By Anonymous John, at 8/06/2006 9:05 PM  

  • 726. It is a Single Scale Ideal Indicator, made by the Ideal Tool Co., 335 Sagamore Dr., Rochester, NY. The scales were either single or double (two sided). It was used with an Indicator Clamp, Indicator Holder or Center Tester. The single scale w/ holder originally cost $3.00, the double w/ holder $4.00. The company no longer exists in Rochester. It was used in precision machine tooling.

    By Anonymous bill, at 1/06/2007 6:57 PM  

  • 728. Home made overhead window opener/closer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/30/2012 12:18 PM  

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