Gristmill What’s It


From 2019 Issues

What’s Its From the December 2019 Issue

177-1  This is part of a woodworker’s Roubo workbench vise.


177-2 A microtome, used for cutting very thin sections of material for viewing under a microscope.


177-3 This tool appears to be for cutting a groove around a dowel.


177-4 A spindle from a cotton picker, these are sometimes repurposed to be sold as land surveyor spikes (markers).


What’s Its From the September 2019 Issue

176-1 This is a tent slip. The patent states: “My invention relates to the slips connected with the cords or guys by which the tension of the canvas is regulated to suit damp or dry weather.” Patent number 234,896

176-2 These tools are drill drifts, they are used to force a drill from a tapered chuck


176-3 This item was used for cleaning/screening debris from two Pa. Canal locks,
it also doubled as a rescue device to pull someone from the water.



176-4 A belt fastener for machine driving belts, patent number 226,546

What’s Its From the June 2019 Issue


A beekeeper’s Parker fastener for applying foundation to honey boxes, patent number 1,699,253

175-2 no answer yet


175-3 A typewriter type soldering gauge



A pivoted-jaw tool, the patent description:
“The object of this invention is to provide a pivoted jaw tool
having a new mechanical movement for obtaining a great advantage
in leverage, which movement will be very simple and positive in
its action thus rendering the tool applicable for various uses
such, for instance, as a nut cracker,
pincers, wrench, punch, and shears or other cutting tools.”




What’s Its From the March 2019 Issue

174-1 This is the Bell System 438A tool that is used on Western Electric E-1
handsets to remove the transmitter or receiver caps. You tighten the tool by
rotating the rectangular piece to adjust for the proper diameter, then lock into place.


174-2 A vehicle throttle depressor, patent 2,795,151, the patent states:

“This invention relates to automobile foot throttle depressing means and 
more particularly to manual automobile foot throttle depressing means adapted
to be interposed between an automobile foot throttle and foot brake pedal so
as to depress the foot throttle and hold it in any one of a plurality of selected
positions so that the automobile engine may be operated at any one of a plurality
of selected speeds without the necessity of an attendant remaining in the vehicle.

 Practically all automobiles being manufactured at the present time do not include
a hand throttle which heretofore was usually installed on the vehicle dashboard
and which could be set manually to operate the vehicle engine at a desired rate
of speed. The absence of the hand throttle has posed a special problem for automobile
dealers, particularly those dealers who maintain a stock of used cars, in that the
automobile engines must be operated every day to maintain the engines and other
parts in good operating condition. As an illustration, if an automobile were
permitted to stand without having its engine run fairly regularly for any length
of time, the battery would soon become discharged sufficiently that the engine
could not be started except by an outside source of electrical energy.”

174-3 A hops pole puller, “This invention relates to a new and improved device 
for the purpose of pulling hop-poles, and has for its object simplicity and 
economy in construction, together, with facility in the manipulation of the device, 
and the withdrawing of the poles, without the necessity of shaking the same, and 
causing the hops to drop from the vines.” patent number 87844




174-4 A watchmaker’s hand puller