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Tools and Hardware2110 of 3116WAGON & LONGHORNS Awsome Find
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Posted 3 years ago

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Bronco
(5 items)

Found this item at a thrift store. Have no idea what it is. Hope someone can help identify it. That flat part measures about 7" X 10" and appears to be made of copper. It slides back and forth on the steel frame about 4". The brackets that hold the copper plate are riveted t0 the plate. The round steel slides through holes in the two brackets. The horseshoe shaped part seems to be designed to hook over something. There is a single hole at the bottom of the horseshoe. The top of the copper plate shows signs of wear as if something was set on there. This contraption appears quite old as the steel shows signs of blacksmithing. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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  1. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
    Your two horseshoe shaped hooks, hook on the rung of an extension ladder and it becomes a platform. I have one that is a wide platform you can stand on. This one was probably used to set tools or a paint can on.
  2. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
    PS: Don't try using it on a modern ladder, it was made to hook on the old type round wooden rungs. Nice piece.
  3. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
    The dimensions are a bit off but I remember there being a seat that linemen could sit on when they were connecting telephone (low voltage) wires from a ladder. If this had a DOD or DOA number I would almost think it was a seat.

    I went out and had a look at mine and the design is quite similar except the platform. If you picked it up cheap you made a good buy.
  4. Bronco Bronco, 3 years ago
    I thought it might be some kind of seat also, but I don't think it would support that kind of weight. The ladder platform idea seems pretty logical. I just wonder why any one would go to the trouble and expense of making the platform out of copper unless it was for something fancy. I paid about 5 bucks for it. Thanks for your input.
  5. Bronco Bronco, 3 years ago
    Unfortunately, there are no identifying marks of any kind on this thing.
  6. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
    If you look at the pictures it isn't copper. Look at the flip side. It also isn't terribly old, but it is unusual by modern standards.
  7. Bronco Bronco, 3 years ago
    I cleaned a spot on the top and the bottom. The top spot is very smooth and shiny. The bottom has a lot of crud on it and the surface is rougher than the top where I cleaned a spot. Maybe the bottom looks so rough because of heat being applied to it for some reason. It must be brass or solid gold!
  8. RonM RonM, 3 years ago
    Looks like a ladder shelf to set a solder pot on.Solders irons are heated in the pot and are used to solder up the old time copper pole gutters and valleys on slate roofs.It could have also been used to stack roof slates on to start the bottom courses.
  9. Bronco Bronco, 3 years ago
    How long ago did they do that? It must be at least pre WWII. I wonder why it slides back and forth only about 4". Thanks Ron.
  10. RonM RonM, 3 years ago
    The table slides to accomodate different size slates. I would imagine a tool like this would probably have been in use prior to ww2.The tool doesn't appear to have any weld joints. The hole in the bottom was for a safety wire. Either loop could be hooked onto your arm,allowing you to carry slates and the tool with one hand.
  11. Bronco Bronco, 3 years ago
    Thanks of the info. I haven't been able to find anything like it on line. Do you have any suggestions as to where I might look? How did you know what it was?
  12. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
    Bronco, the average person would never see this type of item. They are commonly used by tradesmen. If you want to know how it hooks up do a Google for ladder jacks. That will show you the basics. Yours is a ladder platform. Platforms are more common and are used on swimming pool ladders, boat ladders and extension ladders etc.. The type you have is even made to use on scaffolding. They even make them for hunters to use in a deer stand. More modern ones are built to use on newer flat top rungs.

    Regardless of the age they don't attract much attention from buyers. Someone, somewhere probably collects them. I use mine and sure wouldn't sell it.
  13. walksoftly walksoftly, 3 years ago
    What is the distance between the top of the hooks & the bottom of the U where the hole is.
    @RonM I don't think those 1/2" rods would support very many slate tiles.
  14. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
    I see where you are going but the bottom hole (in New England) we used to wire it to the next rung. Distance didn't look right to me either for a standard ladder. Starter course of slate you can't lay more than three or four at a time then you move the ladder. Distance of your reach dictates the number you can set. My stand off has the same type set up but my platform goes well below the next rung down.
  15. RonM RonM, 3 years ago
    I've been repairing slate roofs on churches for 38 years.When serving under an old timer,we used special tools, many looked home made. I used to stand on a similar platform with a wood table. The first time on it,I was nervous as a cat.
  16. RonM RonM, 3 years ago
    Walksoftly,you only carry a few at a time,those slates are heavy.
  17. walksoftly walksoftly, 3 years ago
    My point exactly, I'm familiar with ladder stands, I wouldn't stand or sit on that. Any thoughts on the circular protrusion on the front of the plate?
  18. Bronco Bronco, 3 years ago
    The distance between the top of the hooks and the bottom of the U is about 71/2 inches. Where the rods connect to the horseshoe is a pretty strong connection. I would estimate that the platform would support 50 - 100 lbs. There are no welds, and the rivets holding the platform onto the underside brackets appear to be brass as does the platform. Where the tab on the platform is, to each of the closest corners on the left and right and down about an inch there is a reinforcement piece. It is riveted in place on the underside. This piece is made of the same material as the platform. It appears that this piece was part of a repair job intended to support the two closest corners to the tab. It looks like these corners were particularly subject to were and tear. Again, thanks for the input. I just think it's a cool and unusual piece. I will probably use it as a shelf in the house or become a slate tile roofer and bring it out of retirement.


  19. walksoftly walksoftly, 3 years ago
    7.5" too close for ladder rung spacing.
  20. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
    Ladder rungs are commonly 12" spacing. Count the rungs and you know the height you can reach. Double it for extension ladders and deduct three feet for the dogs to hold you safely. The hole at the bottom of the "U" would be used to either wire it or mount a cross brace. Cross braces were adjustable similar to a ladder jack so you could level them. Ideally the ladder would be at a 30 degree angle so if you just rig it without adjustments to level it, everything (including you) came down really quickly.
  21. walksoftly walksoftly, 3 years ago
    I not buying the ladder platform idea, unless someone can come up with a picture of this same thing mounted on a ladder.
    @ Bronco you state "Where the rods connect to the horseshoe is a pretty strong connection. I would estimate that the platform would support 50 - 100 lbs. There are no welds," That connection is not a very strong connection it relies on the snug fit of the material passing through the horseshoe & the material that is flared beyond the hole. The horseshoe appears to be made out of hand rail bar stock.
  22. Bronco Bronco, 3 years ago
    I wouldn't trust it to stand on or sit on at any height that's for sure, but it is a pretty strong connection. No play whatsoever. I think it would hold substantial weight right now, but I don't think it is designed for that purpose. At least not for that kind of weight sitting on the platform day and day out. I have polished the entire surface of the platform at this point and it is almost mirror like. It appears to have some hammer marks on it. They could be the result of making that part, I guess. I just wonder why they made the platform look so pretty.
  23. RonM RonM, 3 years ago
    The seven and a half inch distance from the hooks to the bottom of the "U" means that I am wrong. This tool would work on a chicken ladder. A chicken ladder lays flat on a steep roof and is secured at the ridge with a hook. Your tool could be placed on a ladder rung with the bottom piece with the hole resting against the roof.. A small wood block could be tack nailed through the hole to adjust for steeper pitches.
  24. RonM RonM, 3 years ago
    Typically a man carries 80 pounds at a time to the roof. A 9x14 inch piece of vermont slate weights six pounds.Fouteen of them weigh 84 pounds and stack twelve inches high.These would fit nicely on your table.
  25. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 3 years ago
    Looking at the iron work it appears to be hand forged, and the shelf looks like brass to me. I am thinking it might be a early hearth or kitchen item. Possibly a shelf to keep something warm near a hearth or cook stove. Just my 2 cents.
  26. Bronco Bronco, 3 years ago
    Thanks for your 2 cents rocker-sd. It definitely looks hand forged and the fact that the underside appears to have some kind of crud (possibly soot?) on it fits with your idea. I sincerely have enjoyed all the input from everyone. This is fun and I hope to get more involved with this site.

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