View Full Version : What is this?

08-13-2003, 11:36 AM
Ok, people. Identification required. I truly do not know what this is but have had it in my posession for many years. I don't recall exactly how I came to own it.

The 6 inch tri-square is for size reference. The item is chrome plated and seems to be very hard material. All machining of this item appears to be by grinding and the finish, while good, is not micro-inch. The marking on the head seems to be "J5C 9" or possibly "J50 9". It has three flutes with teeth, right hand. The head is a bevel gear.

I have a guess but have not been able to find anything in the category I think it is that even remotely resembles it.




08-13-2003, 11:49 AM
Don't know the exact name, but it's one of numerous 'finger's in mechanical cotton pickers. Those fingers rotate as the machine straddles the row of cotton, and as they rotate the teeth pull the cotton from the bolls. The bevel gear on the end is, of course, to drive the rotation of the 'finger'.

(I picked a lot of cotton (manually) as a kid and early teenager, before the mechanical pickers gained widespread useage here in the south.)

Not sure if the current pickers still use that same technology. There's one just like your's in my dad's garage he acquired somehow, probably 30+ years ago.

[This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 08-13-2003).]

08-13-2003, 11:50 AM
Is it used to remove scales from fish?

While we're playing what's this, take a look at this:


Any ideas?


08-13-2003, 12:16 PM

How certain are you? The flute teeth are slightly chipped and the point looks somewhat damaged with the chrome gone and the metal somewhat deformed/abraded/battered, just on the point. The shaft shows no wear and neither do the teeth of the bevel gear, only some rust. The bevel gear teeth are somewhat crudely shaped as if it was not expected to be driven for long.


That other doo-dad looks like something I would use to help manually pull a well string from a water well. It would explain the wiper in the slot below the pully. That would help clean the rope that is used to pull the pump and string.

08-13-2003, 12:24 PM
Evan, that wasn't a guess. (tho sometimes I do guess) But I know, for certain, what those are.
Now having said that, I'll admit that I can NOT say with certainty that the same type finger was NOT used for some other purpose as well. But it looks identical to what I know to be cotton picker 'fingers'.

08-13-2003, 12:34 PM
Evan, this link shows a picture (drawing actually) of those fingers. It's on about the second page of the text.
A better view is on page 5.


I'm not sure, but I think those fingers or spindles are considered consumables and are replaced regularly, due to the abrasive wear. That would explain the crude bevel gear.
[This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 08-13-2003).]

[This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 08-13-2003).]

08-13-2003, 12:39 PM

It sure does look like a cotton picker spindle to me too. Mystery solved. That has been nagging me every time I saw it for decades. Thanks.

08-13-2003, 01:18 PM
Some else suggested it was used to lower a coax cable and video camera into a well for inspection purposes. That use seems to make the most sense. The pulley would fit a coax cable nicely, and the wiper would remove excess water from the cable before it went on the reel.


08-13-2003, 02:53 PM
One thing I've always wanted to see, but never have, is a duck/goose picker. I've often tried to visualize them.

Ragarsed Raglan
08-13-2003, 03:16 PM

The duck/goose picker I owned a few years back had four legs and a head and tail, wet nose and answered to the name of Defer ('D' fer Dog!). The duck/goose f**ker was a Browning 12 bore over/under!

Sorry for the irreverance! I am always amazed at the quality and quantity of knowledge on this site. If only it could be bottled.....


08-13-2003, 03:36 PM
RR, I like that name 'Defer'. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
Had neighbors once whose cat was named 'Sidewalk'. I never learned where that name came from.

You're right, it is fascinating, that whatever question or issue (trivial or otherwise) raised here will always produce a good answer or explanation from someone. Usually I can only read the responses in total awe.


08-13-2003, 03:54 PM
This explains the origin of the phrase; "I wonder whatinhell this cotton pickin' thing is."

08-13-2003, 04:03 PM
Never thought of that, but I'm sure you're right JC.

(See there. ...another mystery solved!)

08-13-2003, 04:14 PM

They still use exactly the same parts. You can buy them for $2.39 ea for a John Deere cotton harvester. Looks exactly like mine.

My original guess was some sort of rock anchor, possibly for climbing, as permanent aid using a angled rachet drive to set it. It would probably actually work quite well for that if you could figure out how to drive it. That is, until I read about how they are carefully heat treated so hard that they are guaranteed to break before bending so they don't thrash the cotton pickin machine when it eats a rock.

08-13-2003, 04:36 PM
$2.39 ea?? Mygosh, at that price I'm tempted to get a half dozen or so myself, ... and I don't even need 'em.

08-13-2003, 05:12 PM
I've also seen these driven into asphalt streets for use as survey markers. I'm from Arkansas, and around my house they were certainly used for many things besides cotton picking....

08-13-2003, 08:25 PM
Yep that cottonpicker is for cotton picki'n,another use would be to incase with a sabot and pierce armour,plenty hard.

charlie coghill
08-13-2003, 10:42 PM
I was going to agree with Lynnl but it seems that he already has a lot of agreement.

A cotton picker is what it is.

08-13-2003, 10:52 PM
We don't have a lot of cotton pickers around here. A few nit pickers maybe, but no cotton pickers.

08-13-2003, 10:58 PM
Since I am now educated beyond my comprehension (thanks to this forum) should I enter politics, or become a gov. bureaucrat?

[This message has been edited by PSD KEN (edited 08-13-2003).]

08-14-2003, 01:12 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
$2.39 ea for a John Deere...</font>

Listen here my fine Icelandic friend - that $2.39 is less than a friggin' washer from JDP&E. I know it's hard to believe, but that "green paint" ain't really "extract of money" - much like Catepillars not being made from real gold - but you have to wonder when they give you a heart attack with the price! I used to be a Agricultural Parts Manager, trust me.

BTW, is that a Starrett square like Xerox used to supply to their technicians? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Shed Machinist
08-14-2003, 01:20 AM
Where i live there are 2 dogs everyone knows for 4 miles, D O G and Loser. People just "know" them.

08-14-2003, 01:25 AM

You wouldn't be insinuating that I would not turn in ALL the tools when I quit would you? I "used" to have a couple of really nice inside mikes with 1,2,3 and 4 inch extensions, too.

BTW, the spindles are actually cheaper, I even overstated the price for the platinum plated ones. They are $2.19. The regular are $1.89.


08-15-2003, 12:36 AM

Hell no, I ain't insinuating anything - just looks familiar, is all. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

My buddy used to be a xeroid. I used to dempster dive their parts drop garbage bin every chance I got. I still have a Starrett inside mic and one extension, several maglights (dead bulbs was all), tuning forks (for fax machine calibrtion - back in the "tube days"), Allen wrenches (apparently, dirty), gold oil, cleanign supplies, Starrett 4" square (new still in box), and an Anacom (new in box) - all rescued from oblivion.

I also scored countless typewriter chassis which I stripped the useful parts off (guidebars, nuts, bolts, steppers). Better that I find it and use it that to have it totally lost! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

08-15-2003, 12:42 AM
Sounds like the JD partsman has slipped two decimal places - if not you better buy them and frame them - "Something cheap from JD"! The lawnmower models cost nearly $100 here. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

They never gave anything away before...

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 08-15-2003).]