Help Identifying Old Rusty Hand Tool - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Help Identifying Old Rusty Hand Tool

My neighbors just sold their home and are packing their stuff. They gave me an interesting hand tool, but I do not know what it is or what it is used for. It is rusty and appears to be old. It may not be related to woodworking - it could be for the kitchen, or farming, or some type of craft or whatever. I failed to find it in a web search.

The tool is 7 1/2 inches long. Both circular faces are flat. They are 1 1/8 (1.125) inches in diameter. The symbol "2H" is stamped on each handle.

I hope that some of the experienced people here will recognize it, and then share with us what it is and how it is used.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 11:16 AM
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To me it looks like tongs a blacksmith would use to pick up something hot like horseshoes to hammer them out.
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 11:24 AM
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I would guess a seaming tool for sheet metal
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post #4 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 01:43 PM
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It could be ....

A nut cracker?
Or a close second, a castration device. The bull walks around with this tied to nuts and eventually they fall off. It's been in the mud so long, which is why it's so rusty.

On the other hand, and the other end of the bull, it could be a nose leading ring like this:




I have a couple of those but I'll never use them.... no bull.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 02:32 PM
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Bullet ( ball )press?


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post #6 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
A nut cracker?
Or a close second, a castration device. The bull walks around with this tied to nuts and eventually they fall off. It's been in the mud so long, which is why it's so rusty.

On the other hand, and the other end of the bull, it could be a nose leading ring like this:




I have a couple of those but I'll never use them.... no bull.

You are close but on the wrong end, those are called "bull leads" you put one of the balls in each nostril, and the one on the top had a chain that you could cinch down and you had the bull by the nose. And yes they would follow you anywhere, but you generally had one pi$$ed off bull when you took it off

Not real sure how the bottom works but same principle

To castrate them you used a thing called an Elastorator, it was a set of pliers with 4 hooks on it that you would stretch a little rubber band out big enough for it's nuts to slide in then let pressure off the handles and the rubber band would cut off circulation They say it is the safest way to neuter them, might be but they didn't act like it LOL It would take about 4-6 weeks before they fell off
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
To me it looks like tongs a blacksmith would use to pick up something hot like horseshoes to hammer them out.
I think a blacksmith tool would have longer handles to keep away from heat.

George
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tom_kaye View Post
Bullet ( ball )press?


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No cavities for the molten lead.

George
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Catpower View Post
I would guess a seaming tool for sheet metal
I think the handles are too short to get any pressure on the front.

I can seem to think of what they are not, but have no idea of what they are. My first thought was also bullet mold until I saw no cavity.

George
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 06:53 PM
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Looks like a tool to press lead seals on wires.
https://seals.com/index.php/all-prod...lead-seals-665
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Alchymist View Post
Looks like a tool to press lead seals on wires.
https://seals.com/index.php/all-prod...lead-seals-665
That could be. However, the ones like that with which I am familiar had a pattern that was transferred to the lead. It was for safety wiring.

George
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 09:03 PM
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I wonder if it could be a custom tool for a glass blower. I couldnít find this particular tool but numerous ones that were in a similar style.
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post #13 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
A nut cracker?
Or a close second, a castration device. The bull walks around with this tied to nuts and eventually they fall off. It's been in the mud so long, which is why it's so rusty.

On the other hand, and the other end of the bull, it could be a nose leading ring like this:




I have a couple of those but I'll never use them.... no bull.
You are mistaken on this one.
What you describe is Burdizzos. As you state used for castration on bulls to avoid incision and blood. These were used more during periods when screwworms were a major problem in Texas.
The picture you post is a nose plier to use on cattle. Nose pliers are still widely in use and have nothing to do with castration.
Ive used both in the past.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchymist View Post
Looks like a tool to press lead seals on wires.
https://seals.com/index.php/all-prod...lead-seals-665
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
That could be. However, the ones like that with which I am familiar had a pattern that was transferred to the lead. It was for safety wiring.

George
Second pic - if I blow it up looks like the lower jaw has a slight recess, could have had a symbol or number in it obscured by rust?

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-25-2017, 11:21 PM
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Just to be clear .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
..........

On the other hand, and the other end of the bull, it could be a nose leading ring like this:




I have a couple of those but I'll never use them.... no bull.
I do know what they are for ....leading the bull by it's nose. I just didn't know what they were called specifically, a nose lead I guess?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-26-2017, 05:23 AM
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They're antique hair straightening tongs. You heat them up and use them like a flat iron would be used on hair today. Dixie gun works purchased and used a lot of these to drill them out and convert them to bullet molds.
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-26-2017, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by J_L View Post
They're antique hair straightening tongs. You heat them up and use them like a flat iron would be used on hair today. Dixie gun works purchased and used a lot of these to drill them out and convert them to bullet molds.
I think you are right.
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-26-2017, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchymist View Post
Second pic - if I blow it up looks like the lower jaw has a slight recess, could have had a symbol or number in it obscured by rust?
Sorry, no. I looked carefully with a magnifier and a flashlight, and asked my family to do the same. The two circular plates are flat, other than rust. There is no pattern or imprint on the plates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_L View Post
They're antique hair straightening tongs. You heat them up and use them like a flat iron would be used on hair today. Dixie gun works purchased and used a lot of these to drill them out and convert them to bullet molds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I think you are right.
I think @J_L is right too. Here is a Wikipedia article, and the image at the top looks very similar. Notice the device at the top of the first image, which appears to be a good match.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_iron

I also found this:

https://www.etsystudio.com/listing/2...50s-rare-metal

In the end, it isn't very useful to me in the garage or for woodworking. We are starting a small "eBay" pile. It seems like a good addition to that pile.

My thanks to everyone for their assistance, especially J_L and Steve.
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Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 12-26-2017 at 08:33 AM.
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-26-2017, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I do know what they are for ....leading the bull by it's nose. I just didn't know what they were called specifically, a nose lead I guess?
Not just bulls. Any type of cattle. Even show calves, dairy cattle, etc.
a veterinarian will usually carry a nose plier to use when they need to pull an animals head up to dose them with something put down their throats.
People still put large permanent nose rings on bulls to tie a rope or chain for control.
Every now and then I will see a man or a woman with a nose ring. For control?

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-27-2017, 09:25 AM
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Not nose "pliers" as I saw lots of them when I lived on a farm in Ohio. The loops had smaller holes for the rope to pass through. Plus the ends were rounded and not flattened as in the first photo. I would guess they are some kind of press for squeezing something like lead slugs on wire.

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