View Full Version : OT - What is this tool?

09-21-2011, 08:51 PM
OK, What is this thing?
I don't believe it is a lawn aerator. This would be a compactor, its too heavy and the points are solid not hollow.
Current guesses are - Ice breaker for a ship. Bark remover for old growth timber. Soil loosener for the bottom of a hand dug ditch or well.
The handle looks to be a replacement.

No one I have talked to knows for sure, ideas?????




09-21-2011, 09:02 PM
A fish spear? But a little heavy duty for that.

A tool for stretching belting or something similar?

09-21-2011, 09:38 PM
Loosening blocks of ice in the old ice houses.

09-21-2011, 09:45 PM
Loosening blocks of ice in the old ice houses.

I worked in an old ice house during my first year of college 1968 to 69 we never had one of those.

09-21-2011, 10:05 PM
Someone probably stole it before you got there.:rolleyes:

Paul Alciatore
09-21-2011, 10:21 PM
When all else fails, read the manual.

09-21-2011, 10:31 PM
It's a - a - lawn aerator.

09-21-2011, 10:47 PM
The first thing to my mind was a device for killing moles.

Reminded me of automatic, spring loaded mole traps/killers.

Grind Hard
09-21-2011, 11:30 PM
Clinker breaker for a furnace.

09-21-2011, 11:32 PM
Someone probably stole it before you got there.

+ a whole bunch...;) :D :D :D FOTFL

09-22-2011, 03:01 AM
Belongs to Freddy Kruger.

09-22-2011, 04:35 AM
A high-production dibble ?

Ian B
09-22-2011, 08:43 AM
Hate to be boring, but I think it's a lawn aerator. it's even designed so that you can get your foot in there to push down harder. You can still buy them: http://compare.ebay.com/like/180691342811?ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar


A.K. Boomer
09-22-2011, 09:02 AM
yup - aerator for sure. you don't have to pull out empty plugs in order for them to work - did you see the aerator sandals - very nice:rolleyes: ---- try walking across the hardwood floor in front of the wifey with those on and next thing you know you'll have a gardener named "Sven"

09-22-2011, 09:30 AM
The aerator idea is one that keeps coming up, however....I don't think so and here is why.

The head is cast iron, and heavy like a splitting maul. There are many examples of lawn aerators that are lighter weight. You don't need 6 lbs of metal to make tiny holes in turf. The idea that carrying that kind of weight around as practical for the user doesn't make sense to me.

Also, for the manufacturer, being in a competitive business, having that kind of costs sunk into something that his competitors could make out on a fraction of the material would be foolish.

The solidness of the head/handle and the spikes/head makes me think it was used to pry something apart. Also the excessive weight would be helpful in slamming the thing into what ever its supposed to go into.

I like the idea of separating ice blocks in a cold storage situation. This would explain the reasoning behind its weight(striking) and strength(prying) and the obvious foot hold.

09-22-2011, 09:34 AM

hand held version????

09-22-2011, 10:28 AM
It's an underground sprinkler expansion tool, aka lawn areator. It looks to be heavy enough that you only have to use your foot on very hard/dry soil.

09-22-2011, 10:54 AM
This must be the Devils Fork. Hurry send it back.

09-22-2011, 11:00 AM
I'm guessing aerator too, designed so that you can just lift and drop in quick succession. If you had to push it with your foot every time, it would take forever to aerate much lawn.

The bent prongs suggest that they're not very springy, and they're short and round, so it seems uhlikely that it would be for chipping, prying or separating stuff, and they're too blunt for a fish or eel spear, as well as being unbarbed.

But the ice block separator still isn't out of the race. This would be another application where short tines and a heavy head might be best.

09-22-2011, 11:12 AM
A frog gig ...for monster frogs. :)
(the barbs have been worn away)

09-22-2011, 11:14 AM
I think it would be a fine tool for digging out swarf from behind the machines and out of the bin.Pat

09-22-2011, 11:23 AM
After a second, closer look, I've changed my mind (again, somemore).
The tines look to be too narrow(dia.) and short to be an areator, now i'm thinking a garden seeding tool, poke it into the ground and drop seed into the holes.
The form would leave a depression around each seed for water and basically form a small irrigation row. Beats using a sharp stick.

John Stevenson
09-22-2011, 11:50 AM
It's a scraper for Bridgeports or a decarbonising tool for Harleys.

09-22-2011, 05:35 PM
I contacted the two guys listed at the bottom of this web page/blog.


They had this to say -

I am quite sure it is an ice cleaver for splitting blocks of ice during ice harvesting. There are several similar versions shown in the Woods and Gifford-Woods catalogs. Bob, look at Figure A77a on page 104 of our book for a smaller hand-held version. Dave, holler if you want to get rid of it. :>) Bob

I did not see anything that looked ''exactly" like what I have but..... if you feel your life is getting a bit dull --you can collect Ice Tools. GE never allowed me to think about the importance of ice 100-200 years ago.

Their Book ----"There are approximately 950 items with almost 2100 pictures and illustrations presented."


09-22-2011, 07:09 PM
If you had two of them you could put one foot in each and walk around the lawn aerating it like using stilts. Are there any wear marks in the foot hole ?

09-22-2011, 07:25 PM
I have to agree with the idea that this is an ice block tool, either used on the lake while cutting ice into blocks or separating blocks in an ice house.

09-22-2011, 07:26 PM
Giant frog spear!

09-22-2011, 07:28 PM
I have to agree with the idea that this is an ice block tool, either used on the lake while cutting ice into blocks or separating blocks in an ice house.

I don't know about that. I used to work with ice and cutting ice slabs out of lakes. We never used anything like that. The easiest fastest way to split ice was with an axe. A 2x2x6' ice slab could be very very easily split in half with one light hit of an axe. That thing doesn't look like it would work well on ice.

09-22-2011, 07:45 PM
Geez, it was JUST a suggestion!!:D

Gonna be interesting if we ever find out for sure what the mystery tool is.

Ok, a coal unplugger of some sort from the railway steam engines?:rolleyes:

09-22-2011, 07:53 PM
A little tip on searching for something using Google Search. after you make your search selection if you go to the LEFT hand column and click on "Images" you will get pages of photos of the item you where searching for. That been said, there was nothing in the antique Ice tool section that looked like your tool. But there was several tools in the antique Lawn aerator tools section that resembled the tool you show.:)

09-22-2011, 08:05 PM
Ok,,, a tool for breaking down the "Frozen" pyramid in an outhouse that develops over winter.

(They just keep building up-and up,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,):D

09-22-2011, 08:16 PM
I say it looks like weight for the scrap metal bin.

09-22-2011, 08:42 PM
Maybe it's for aerating frozen soil thereby validating 2 guesses at one time! :)

09-22-2011, 08:51 PM
A red neck beer can opener, punches 4 holes in 4 cans first thing in the morning.

09-22-2011, 09:29 PM
A red neck beer can opener, punches 4 holes in 4 cans first thing in the morning.

I didn't see the letters PBR in the casting so it can't be a beer can opener

09-22-2011, 10:28 PM
My guess is that the handle is not original and it may never have had a handle. I remember in the old Columbian rope factory they had things that looked just like that set up to guide the rope strands into the braiding machines.


09-23-2011, 01:04 AM
think the site 'home shop gladiator' may have the answer!

09-23-2011, 08:46 AM
JoeLee - this has also come up - that maybe someone stuck a handle into some attachment belonging to something else...which could be.

Splitting Ice blocks - Could this be a scoring tool - like cutting glass.
I have never split an ice block. Someone posted you can do this with an axe, but how straight?

It is a good conversation piece while drinking beer (outdoors!) where at least one person will demonstrate it as a medieval spear.

It is still a mystery to me.