Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Mystery Tool - Solved!
I love it when a mystery gets solved, but I kind of hate it when I should have known it all along!
After the first post, Damien commented: "Looks like a free standing handle that fits a round axle with two sides flattened at the end." I immediately got a picture in my head of a round chuck with two flats, but I kept thinking it had something to do with sewing machines.
And then on the second post, Alfred commented "I wonder if it is a wrench for an awl. Some older leather working awls have a split chuck with a tightening screw that probably fits the opening in your tool."
After reading that I gave myself a huge dope slap and ran out to the shop where I have several cobbler's awls that I use to start screws etc. Grabbing one, I tested it out and it's a perfect fit. Awesome! Not only is the mystery solved, but I have a new and useful tool. In the past I just used an adjustable wrench to change awls (sharpened nails actually) but it tends to slip off - the new closed wrench will be much better.
Just to double check, I looked in my library and found an illustration under "Sewing Haft" in the "Dictionary of American Hand Tools" that clearly shows just such a wrench changing the awl on a haft or handle.
If anyone has a copy of "Dictionary of Leather Working Tools and the tools of allied trades", by R. A. Salaman, we could probably find the actual name for this tool. Until then, I'm just going to call it a "cobbler's awl wrench".
Fun! Thanks everyone for your ideas and sleuthing! And way to go Alfred for nailing this one!