Very nice tool set with an un-known purpose, any ideas? - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    I'll repeat the suggestion earlier (#17), that the top empty slot may have held a wire drawing die. If so, all the tools in that top compartment make sense together.

    And if the commonly used tools were for fine wire work (jewelry, stitching, etc.), then the lower compartment may be to adjust some related bit of machinery. Possibly a small rolling machine? What puzzles are those tiny needle-like parts and their companions. Could they have been used to secure the ends of wire for drawing; with different sizes as the wire is drawn thinner? To secure the ends of wire in use?? Or used more like needles to wire-stitch something together???

    FWIW, I believe harp (etc.?) strings were once made by drawing.

    Here's an antique, French, example of a tapered wire drawing die -- about the right size to fit that slot?

    antique drawing plate for wire - Google Search

    no, just don't see the jewelry connection.

    BTW, draw plates are actually often used with hand drawtongs, (having personally drawn thousands of feet of wire and never owned a draw bench, neither have any of my jeweler/craftsperson friends, sorry rivet, you are just all wet there), but totally agree, a draw plate was probably never in this kit.

    while some of the tools are common to jeweler's tools, such as the round nose pliers, (not chain nose, chain nose have one round and one squared off jaw), but the kit as a whole isn't even close to a jeweler's. the hand vise would be useless as a drawtong, and as to a rolling mill, well that's just nuts.

    the overall presentation of the kit, with the fitted case, suggests its a traveling tradesperson's kit, and designed to impress the client that the bearer was worth the fee.

    still thinking tuner's kit, the other thought, of say a Jacquard loom repair kit, well, just not enough tools for that I'm thinking.

  2. #42
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    Off the wall suggestion.

    Wall Street style tickatape service kit. Those tickatape machines must have been fabulously expensive for such a simple machine, and the service engineer would have been equipped with an equally expensive tool kit .....

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  4. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billtodd View Post
    Off the wall suggestion.

    Wall Street style tickatape service kit. Those tickatape machines must have been fabulously expensive for such a simple machine, and the service engineer would have been equipped with an equally expensive tool kit .....
    Not so off the wall. The set is in a fine case, implying it is to be used in a genteel environment, a manor house, a bank presidents office, etc.

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    My bad on chain nose, never having owned the real thing, but lots of round nose.

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    One feature not discussed here yet, are the two blue steel taper pins in one of the later photos. Clearly used a lot, as the large ends have been trimmed up on a grinder in the past. I suspect the real-world use of this set of tools involved using those a lot, for something. Using them as a *pair*.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    One feature not discussed here yet, are the two blue steel taper pins in one of the later photos. Clearly used a lot, as the large ends have been trimmed up on a grinder in the past. I suspect the real-world use of this set of tools involved using those a lot, for something. Using them as a *pair*.

    Are those taper pins?

    To me they look like punches or the like, straight for a good part of the shank, then tapered to a small flat. The ends appear to be two different sizes, but I cannot be sure.

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    My guess would be jewelry or similar. I have an old hand vise that is nearly identical to the one in the first photo and the pliers with the rounded jaws are AFAIK called wire forming pliers. I have a more modern pair with the same jaw shape and I'm guessing the other pair have smooth flat jaws.

    My opinion is that the set was for working on Sterling silver wire and sheet for making jewelry. In my younger years I made some for gifts and also sold some for spending cash.

    I think the piece with the dome shaped ends is a dapping punch for shaping compound curves. They are usually used with a leather sand bag.

  9. #48
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    Perhaps a magnified view of the pin or -like objects and their three companions would yield some additional clues?

    First question might be do they seem to be mass produced (stamped etc. - and thus destined for some purpose we may eventually know) or hand crafted. It's a somewhat eclectic collection of period tools - but obviously assembled and cased for a purpose. If only one were made, we may be left guessing.

    Second question might be are there any tell-tale marks where those pins or pegs might have been wrapped (with wire, was my guess), lightly hammered (to flatten wire or insert them as pegs?), etc.

    Wouldn't hurt to see the end of awl as well. One assumes it has a pointy end was (maybe) used to either prepare or enlarge a hole for wire or string or to manipulate those peg/pins? Any tell-tale wear marks to suggest if it was used to punch something soft (leather, wood?) or pull something hard (inserted into those pin holes???).

    Third might be any idea of in what orientation or how they were used or fastened? What's with the hook-like ends - hard to see but some look like knitting, tufting, or crochet ends (as Limy said) - others not?

    What about the central hole - some seem to have a boss? Finally, there just might be some residue left to indicate what sort of wire or ??? went to them? Silver or gold, for example, might leave a bit of residue. Spring wire might leave wear marks.

    A fourth question - while they seem to have different lengths, hole sizes, etc. -- is the blunt end the same size in all of them as if they were all held in much the same way? These didn't just hang in air.

    The three companion objects look to me like they might have been used for retaining or stretching wire/string/?? Any tell-tale marks on them?

    Ditto the pin vise? Any wire, pin, peg, or ?? wear marks?


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