29 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2018 10:59 AM by dougw

    Weirdest Tool

    dougw

      There has been an interesting focus lately on tools and work benches. I think it would be intriguing to have members show pictures of the weirdest or most unusual or most useless tools in their kit.

      Do you have a convoluted screw driver or a set of misshapen pliers or a Smith chart slide rule or an abacus with a digital readout or a combination magnet/flashlight/scalpel? If so please share....

        • Re: Weirdest Tool
          fmilburn

          The photo below shows the front and back of a transmission band adjustment wrench for a Model T Ford that belonged to my father.  He was always tinkering and had all sorts of interests. I think we got a boat after he sold the Model T.  Not sure why he kept the wrench but I found it among his tools and put it in my tool box where it still sits.

          Model T Ford Part T-1917

          I don't collect antiques or normally keep stuff I don't use but this cobbler's anvil came from my grandfather's barn and I have had it since I was 16.  Everyone should have one :-)

          Cobbler's Anvil

          3 of 3 people found this helpful
          • Re: Weirdest Tool
            genebren

            Doug,

             

            Not so much a stock tool, but I did have to scratch my head when I first saw this 'hacked' tool from a collection I received from my Grandfather's estate.

            On the somewhat unusual side is this collection of small planes and pocket planes:

            Gene

            4 of 4 people found this helpful
              • Re: Weirdest Tool
                fmilburn

                I still have my father’s hand planes.  One of the things I will always associate with him was his joy in keeping a blade sharp and the ease of taking long clean shavings with his planes.

                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                • Re: Weirdest Tool
                  14rhb

                  Hi Gene,

                   

                  That hacked tool looks like it should be used for fencing - perhaps removing the heavy gauge staples holding wire to posts?

                   

                  Rod

                  5 of 5 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Weirdest Tool
                      fmilburn

                      14rhb  wrote:

                       

                      Hi Gene,

                       

                      That hacked tool looks like it should be used for fencing - perhaps removing the heavy gauge staples holding wire to posts?

                       

                      Rod

                      I think you might be right Rod.  These are my father's fencing pliers.  My grandfather taught me how to stretch barb wire and I spent a summer after school with these pliers replacing my father's fence.  The pliers are nice because you can hammer, pull, cut and even stretch with them if you don't need a long lever.  Like a lot of multipurpose toots they don't really work as well as a single purpose tool though.

                      Fencing Pliers

                      5 of 5 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Weirdest Tool
                    rsc

                    Here's a homemade boring tool.

                    Scott

                    4 of 4 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Weirdest Tool
                      DAB

                      Hi Douglas,

                       

                      I still have my relay contact burnishing tool and fluid from my days working with the telephone company GT&E from back in the 1970's.

                       

                      DAB

                      3 of 3 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Weirdest Tool
                        dougw

                        When I started this discussion I figured I could just scan through my eclectic collection of tools and pick out some really weird ones to photograph, but when I look at my tool collection I just see normal utilitarian tools. Perhaps others would find some of them weird, but to me they all have a purpose and a reason for being in the box. I did come across a little meter (made in the USA) that I have no idea where I got it and don't even remember seeing it before:

                        It has no power supply, so I took a look inside:

                         

                        It just has a 3.9K resistor and what looks like a fancy diode across a galvanometer. It appears the leads are formed to act like an antenna. It is probably true that if the meter shows danger there is an unhealthy level of radiation. My cell phone and microwave oven can't budge the needle, but the voltage applied by my meter to measure the resistance will pin the needle.

                        5 of 5 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Weirdest Tool
                          dougw

                          One oddity I came across on the back corner of my build bench is this thing:

                          I didn't realize it at the time I took the picture, but if you look really closely at the picture of my bench from this page it is there and recognizable. There is a lot of hidden stuff in that picture.

                          This thing happens to be a piston from my old Lumina. All of you car buffs will recognize that it takes some serious heat and some serious force to do this to a connecting rod. "Somebody" experienced a catastrophic engine failure in the middle of an intersection as this rod came through the oil pan, and she hasn't forgiven me yet. I keep it as a reminder not to neglect my tools and it is useful once in a while as a round 839 gram weight. I don't have any other tools that match that description. Paperweights can sometimes have interesting stories behind them...

                          2 of 2 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Weirdest Tool
                            jw0752

                            This is a piece of test equipment that I got when I owned a camera shop 40 years ago. This was old even then.

                             

                             

                             

                            Before there were electronic xenon flash tube there were flash bulbs. While the response of the electronic flash is very rapid flash bulbs had to be ignited and they would burn to maximum brightness before dimming. There was also the problem of having the switch in the camera close for a long enough time period to get the burning of the bulbs fuel started. The bulb also had best hit maximum burn when the shutter was fully open otherwise there may be shutter blade shadows on the imageI still have the instructions for the meter and they say it can be used for the following functions:

                             

                            Testing internal synchronized contact duration.

                            Determining the correct flash bulb for the camera under test.

                            Testing continuity in Flash Gun Cables and other electrical wiring.

                            Determining how many batteries should be used when side lighting or slave units are used.

                            Testing Batteries.

                             

                            I also looked through all my other tools and found them all to look quite ordinary to me.

                             

                             

                            John

                             

                            Fun Post Doug.

                            4 of 4 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Weirdest Tool
                              14rhb

                              I found my first soldering iron - it still works

                               

                              {gallery} Soldering Iron

                              Rod

                              4 of 4 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Weirdest Tool
                                neuromodulator


                                This is a machine to cut thin tissue slices called "microtome". I suspect its from around the 50s. I'm currently trying to restore it...

                                5 of 5 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Weirdest Tool
                                  e14phil

                                  Now this is a great thread! 

                                   

                                  Which reminds me Dominic Morrow of NottingHack runs a great twitter account called Tool of the Day. 

                                    https://twitter.com/toolotheday/media

                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                  • Re: Weirdest Tool
                                    neuromodulator

                                    This is a peristaltic pump, it pumps liquid through a wave-like pressing of a tube action. The tube is plastic, flexible, and in this cased coiled in the round thingy. These pumps are used in science and medicine, when you need to keep the liquid away from mixing up with previous liquids (that could have been left in the internals of a traditional pump). This model supports different speeds and forward and backward direction.

                                    4 of 4 people found this helpful
                                    • Re: Weirdest Tool
                                      neuromodulator

                                      More scientific instruments... This one is a transilluminator, its a strong source of UV radiation that is used in molecular biology to make stuff fluoresce. My plan is to adapt it to make PCBs...

                                      2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: Weirdest Tool
                                        snidhi

                                        I found a weird tool in my lab. In-house made by a bachelor student 20 years ago.

                                         

                                        but now it has been rendered pretty much useless.

                                         

                                        asasa

                                         

                                         

                                        Designed to strain the pins of through hole components before soldering.

                                        5 of 5 people found this helpful