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Boot sale puzzler. Tool ID if you can help please.

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Bm101

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First bootfair for some years this morning. It was all a bit casual. No early doors, we rolled up with the kids about 10am as much as a joint parental excuse for getting out of going to Audley End on a hot bankholiday weekend (Jeeeesus :| ) that had had the kids excited and they can remember a vague promise made 3 moons ago but cant remember why you're literally shouting at them for 20 minutes to 'put your F******G shoes on or so help me God I'm going to teach you a new game called Who's the best at getting the football off the Motorway.
Anyway that's a different story.



Seller 1: About 30-40 metre roll of cloth backed ceramic paper. 'Its used mate. Quid.' Ok then force my hand. First 2m is used. :wink:
Seller 2: Some decent condition round and saw files. 50 pence a pop. Need a dip in citric but no work.
A nice little wooden coffin plane, smallest one I've seen personally. Iron has no name but the back is ground and it's sharp with a good (regular) shallow camber already. Was obviously being used by someone fairly recently. I'm looking forward to trying this one out tbh. I'd appreciate any knowledge on this size for general interest . 5 3/4" x 2" sole. Perhaps they were very common at one time.
Little moulding plane, needs no explanation.
Total cost a tenner. That'll do Pig.
 

Bm101

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So the mystery item.
My first thoughts were mortice marker or some sort of trammel but I cant make it out. The handles would get in the way unless its for narrow stock... I suspect it has a very specific use.
I'm not getting involved because I'd like to see what you lot think. It has 'BHP 1955 GPO' marked on the top face in case it's tricky to make our from pics.
It's a well made tool, engineered and well fitting. Ferrules are riveted etc.
What do we think? :D










Bit of a poser or a dead obvious one?

Scribing Circles? :shock: I'm lost. So was the seller and his son on a tool stall. They had no idea either.
 

Pete Maddex

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Some sort of cable stripper?
I have seen ones with spike for stripping the outer jacket.

Pete
 

Bm101

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Could very well be Pete. the wingnut could be for the gauge I suppose? Certainly for pre armoured mains cable I can see it might be of us. I have a feeling it's not quite right though. In the hand it feels like a draw knife. It's well balanced. Maybe all tools were made a little better then though.
 

Bm101

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adidat":pq2ds8bd said:
Leather circle cutter?

Adidat
Who knows mate?!? :D The thing that strikes me is that the handles get in the way of most applications at least that I can think of.
 

custard

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Amazing buy. I use the same abrasive paper wound onto a drum sander and a full roll costs about £60 or £70.

Incidentally, I've always been told that you're supposed to fold cloth backed abrasive paper in one direction only to get a crisp straight edge, with the fold across the width. Something to do with the warp and weft of the cloth. I've no idea if this is true or not, but it's what I've always done!
 

AndyT

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Taking the easy question first, I have the twin of your little single iron plane and I don't think they are very rare. The 1959 Marples catalogue lists them as a "toy" plane at only 12s 6d, when a 'proper' wooden smoother was 28 shillings and an iron Marples No 4 was 47 shillings. So my theory is that they were sold either for small boys or for financially challenged amateurs. That said, it's a handy thing for easing an edge or taking the whiskers off a paint stirring stick. :)

As for the hard mystery, I have nothing to offer. I've asked my father in law, who worked on GPO telephones in the 50s, but he doesn't recognise it either. :cry:

I'm sure it will come in useful though, and it's good to be prepared for when that time comes!
 

Bm101

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Thought i might try it out as a tiny scrub plane and just reduce the size of my work exponentially Andy. :wink:
Then again I might put it on ebay and under a loose and vague but legal description sell it as a rarity to a collector on the other side of the pond. (hammer).\ I'm not a bad man by nature but I do have a mortgage to pay lol.
 

Steliz

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My first thought was that it resembles a mortice guage but with two handles so that it can be used in either direction.

The bit below the wingnut looks like it might rotate and the distance to the marking points can be adjusted. The distance between the points (or the mortice width) would always be a fixed measurement though. :duno:

Caveat: I'm only a weekend warrior. :wink:
 

ED65

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Can't help on the tool ID but wanted to say nice haul.

I have another small coffin smoother with a single iron too, mine's not an exact match but it might have had a replacement wedge at some point. I considered turning it into a midget roughing plane too as I can't see it worth the effort to try to make it into a decent smoother.

They were made even smaller than this BTW, all the way down to the size of thumb planes:



Bm101":3rlxaopm said:
Seller 2: Some decent condition round and saw files. 50 pence a pop. Need a dip in citric but no work.
Any file for 50p is worth taking a chance on, and it becomes a no-brainer AFAIC if there's a handle.

What do you mean no work though? Obviously you have to sand the handles way beyond factory spec and polish 'em like they were fine chisel handles. Oh, that's just me.
 

Bm101

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@Steliz, Yeh my first thoughts too but I don't thing it's right. The handles get in the way of anything other than a drawn action as far as I can see. It looks like that quid will forever be wasted till a situation where I need a tool I don't know how to use turns up. :D

@Ed

LOL! There's two types of people in this world mate. :wink:



Them Handles aint gittin' no love.



Bicarb then in the oven because I can't prove it but it's true.
(Also... take a look at that moulding plane iron. If that's not a fat guys face with a big mustache racked with guilt what is? :| I have made a new art form inadvertently. That's Bicarb of soda with some files in my sink. It looks like it was painted by angels.

While hot ( a little hot no heating) I add a bit of Ballistol because it was closest to hand.
Ballistol is lovely gear. My mate recommended it, I resisted because of price a bit, so he sent me a link and I thought that's not too bad actually. Thought it was a full size can then this turned up. (hammer) (homer)
Ah yeh. Seems it is a bit pricey after all.
Smells good anyway. :wink:



After cleaning, we see some brand names.
4 Nicholsons (Canada, not Sarf London fankfully) Happy days.
1 badly stamped that looks like the bottom half of FBI.
1 Bedford of Sheffield.
Turns out Bedford invented hollow rolled drilled steel. Whoda thunk it?
Amazing thing the internet.
https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/John_Bedford_and_Sons
No updates on the Mystery tool? :(

Regards
Chris
 

Tasky

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BHP is, I believe, the shorthand code for one of the old GPO exchanges, and the area served by it and its engineers.

The bit with the wingnut that is laterally adjustable, definitely has a roller. The two pins mark the width of a groove to be cut. A fence is used on a straight edge, whereas the roller would be more capable of following curves, inside corners and undulations, such as around a doorway.

Therefore, I reckon it's for marking the run of where to put trunking or inlay for a phone cable.
 

Bm101

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All hail Tasky! Genuine thanks.
Legend mate couldn't ask for a more concise answer.
Now to get my quid back by posting it on ebay as krenov one off mortising gauge.
:D
 

AndyT

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Tasky":39w251ow said:
BHP is, I believe, the shorthand code for one of the old GPO exchanges, and the area served by it and its engineers.

The bit with the wingnut that is laterally adjustable, definitely has a roller. The two pins mark the width of a groove to be cut. A fence is used on a straight edge, whereas the roller would be more capable of following curves, inside corners and undulations, such as around a doorway.

Therefore, I reckon it's for marking the run of where to put trunking or inlay for a phone cable.
Tasky, I presume this is a guess, rather than something you have other evidence for?
I can see that the tool could be used as you describe, but I think there must be a better answer that none of us knows.

1. As far as I can see BHP was not an exchange codename. I can't find a complete list but they were generally the first syllable of a place name or word, eg WHItehall, which BHP isn't.

2. Did telephone engineers ever need to install wiring in a custom routed channel? I've only ever seen their wiring surface mounted.

3. If the tool was for marking wood, why not just use a standard two-pin marking gauge?

(Edited to correct spelling of BHP.)
 

novocaine

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I'm not sure it's a marking tool at all. it isn't a standard linesman tool as it hasn't got the right designation on it, the handles are right though, that's what they looked like for a burnisher. it doesn't look like any tool I've seen for a strowger exchange, that isn't to say it isn't though (I've only played with them in the modern era rather than installed them).

it looks like a pin set or pin spanner, for tensioning a rotary spring on a mechanical exchange.
could also be a tool from the phone booth boys, they had all sorts of odd tools for doing random things to a phone box.

BHP is 247, 01247 is now unasigned but used to be Bangor county down, Northern ireland.

ANDY T beat me to it.
 

Tasky

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AndyT":3peru4ce said:
Tasky, I presume this is a guess, rather than something you have other evidence for?
Oh yeah, totally a guess. I have no idea, other than the reasoning given.

AndyT":3peru4ce said:
1. As far as I can see BHP was not an exchange codename. I can't find a complete list but they were generally the first syllable of a place name or word, eg WHItehall, which BHP isn't.
Generally, but not always...

Barking - BKG
Barnet - BAR
Biggin Hill - BHI
Crouch End - CED

I couldn't find which one BHP was (Novocaine seems to know more about it, though), but I did find this:
http://www.sallysbadges.com/shop.php?c=337
About halfway down, "1958 -1969 General Post Office GPO 941 BHP Postmans Security Breast Badge".

AndyT":3peru4ce said:
2. Did telephone engineers ever need to install wiring in a custom routed channel? I've only ever seen their wiring surface mounted.
Might do.
The pins here are a set width, suggesting it marks up for something of a standard size. Most common thing I can think of for a telephone engineer is cable... or maybe a bracket of some kind at the top of a telephone pole?

AndyT":3peru4ce said:
3. If the tool was for marking wood, why not just use a standard two-pin marking gauge?
The flat block wouldn't follow curves like this roller would?

novocaine":3peru4ce said:
I'm not sure it's a marking tool at all.
it looks like a pin set or pin spanner, for tensioning a rotary spring on a mechanical exchange.
Then why such sharp points on the adjustable depth pins?
 

Bm101

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Intriguing.

I took some close up photos of the (let's call them) cutters in case it helps at all.
I unscrewed them today to see if I could remove them but it took a Yankee to get the screws out. It's been liberally dosed in what looks like boiled linseed or similar. I gave the cutters a light tap with a smallish hammer but like Maggie Thatcher, they held fast and despite all reasonable persuasion were not for turning even with a pair of grips.
Rather than risk any unnecessary damage I left well enough alone.

They are well machined and have a flat surface on the back edge that thins to a point at the top that mirrors what you can see here.
Not really a cutting edge is it.



Top view shows mating.



Cheers
Chris
 

flying haggis

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could it have been used to wrap the cable onto the metal pigtail hanger things that support the ends of an overhead connection cable. the old cable was nigh on impossible to bend as it had a steel reinforcing in it. just throwing ideas around really as i nave no idea:confused:
 

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