Answers to September 2009 Mystery Tools


| November 2009

To view images of all four September 2009 mystery tools and accompanying patent illustrations, click the Image Gallery link to the right.

A. We’re stumped – and so are our readers. No identification for this item. Photo submitted by Robert Polk, Payson, Ariz.

B. Also a mystery: no identification for this item. Photo submitted by Reuben Gunderson, Strandquist, Minn.

C. Wire-splicing device for use in fence repair, as identified by Steve Clemens, Mazeppa, Minn., and Joel Blasius, Tea, S.D. Photo submitted by Darold Krenz, Bemidji, Minn. See patent 1,322,136 for a similar item.

D. Clinker catcher, as identified by Ken Martin, Papillon, Neb.; Bill Mattingly, Owensboro, Ky.; James L. Randall, Malott, Wash.; Craig Ricksgers, Linden, Mich.; and Joel Blasius. “After you burn coal you end up with  ‘clinkers’ in the bottom of the furnace,” Ken explains. “A clinker is coagulated slag or metal impurities that ‘melt’ from the coal as it becomes coke. Most clinkers consist of pyrites that are naturally included in coal. Periodically one has to reach into the bottom of the furnace with the grapple and remove the hot clinkers. In a home you might get enough to fill a metal 5-gallon bucket.

“On the farm in the winter, it was my chore when I got home from school to go to the basement and fill up the ‘stoker’ with coal  (a box with an auger to the furnace) and remove the ash and clinkers from the furnace.”