Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Found on Facebook


On the book of faces, it seems like of late I have been seeing more posts where an acquaintance of mine, ‘friend’, if you will, comments on something someone they are ‘friends’ with has commented on, so I see a image posted by someone at least three wide degrees of separation away from me. Sometimes, it is just weird. Sometimes, it is weird, and entertaining! This week, I managed to see two different images that turned out to be quite useful for Quandary time, both posted to some sort of blacksmithing club page, where the poster was looking to identify some oddball thing they found. The image you see above, and the one following the just are the first. See if you know the answer! Plus, get a look at least weeks, quickly solved by OA5599! Nice job man!


Below you’ll find the whole image of an early phonograph needle! Like I mentioned, OA5599 was all over this one, and also discovered that the whole image in question turns out to be quite popular on the webs, popping as the No. 1 answer in a search for ‘phonograph needle’. Looks like a little search test might be in order before running an image! However popular the image, he eyed it for what it was straight away! Now check out the images for this week, and see if you know the truth!


If you happen to have access to any oddball sort of tech related items, or just a blurry camera and an eye for weird photo angles, please don’t hesitate to send your ideas in! Simply email HycoSpeed@gmail.com and throw Q³ in the subject line and I’ll get right on it!

  • ptschett

    Brake spring pliers?

    • <img src="http://penforhire.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/2102-vice-grip-2nd-spring.jpg&quot; width="450">

      As the owner of several vehicles with drum brakes, I agree.

      • Really? I'd heard the Magliozzi brothers talk of such a tool but I thought they were putting us on. I've always gotten through just fine with my needle nosed vice grips. I don't know what part of a brake shoe change would be exciting and worth looking forward to if I had a pair of these. Slow train to Dullsville, man.

        • Ah, but that's not a photo of my pliers. Mine are missing most, but not all, of the recurved tip, which simultaneously makes me look like a grizzled veteran mechanic* and reintroduces the proper level of projectile-grade excitement.

          *They were my grandfather's. I suspect even he picked them up used.

        • OA5599

          Yes. The handle end of the tool typically has one end to release quarter-turn retainers, and the other end is for levering springs around posts.

          <img src="http://www.zeckhausen.com/images/brake_install/BMW/E39/Movit/rear/13t_SpringTool.jpg"&gt;

      • Yep. Recently acquired a car with drum brakes again. It was necessary, because I already have the pliers.

  • sawer-massey

    blacksmith tongs for making tapered points on nails

    • I knew the blacksmith tongs part (blacksmithing is a bit of a hobby of mine) but I had no idea of exactly what type, I didn't even know there was a specific set of tongs for forging nails.

      • I'm not so sure there is. Nails were either hammered to a taper from square bars (Forged, square nails), sheared out of plate (cut, flat nails) or snipped from wire stock (common, round nails.) By the time round wire based nails were common (!) no one was forging the points.

        Not to say these tongs couldn't be used to make a pointed thing out of a round thing. They look like they could draw pencil rod into all sorts of convoluted shapes with just a blowtorch. Hard to tell without seeing the shape of the other tong, and how they meet up.

  • I'm tempted to say it's a one-off tool, but it looks galvanized which is more of a mass production thing. It also looks to have started out as something else and been beaten into this new shape. There's a smooth, racetrack profile section coming from the pivot that comes from rolling round rod to give it rigidity in one plane, then a lot of damage and worrying (still with that galvy look) down to that curlicue, which may have lost it's sheen in the making or in the use.

    If I found it at a flea market I'd guess someone's pet jewelery or even lampwork tool. Now for some lampwork tool porn.

    <img src="http://www.lisakan.com/Images/Japanese Tools Profile.jpg" width="600/">

    Like a chorus line.

    OMG! Purple anodize and machined from billet? Where's my Slayer CD and Mustang 5.0?

    <img src="http://i-feel-pretty.com/bobcattorch.jpg&quot; width=350>

    (Also, tubing barbs FTW)

  • boss 245

    It is pair of brake spring pliers. I have some, but not at work to take and link a photo of. So her is an google image. These work great BTW, much easier than the needle knose pliers and they are very inexpensive. One end has special fitting to hold an push the brake show spring retaining washer on it, making remiving those easier as well.


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