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Small brass trowel-like mystery tool

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (103 items)

    I have no idea what the name of this tool is, or its purpose. I found it at a recycling depot and have no information or back-story about it.

    The handle is wood, slightly tapered, about 1/2" at it's widest and 3" long.

    The trowel-like part is solid brass; 1/16" thick, 4.5" long, 1.5" on the narrowest side, and tapers to a very sharp point.

    It looks well-used and I imagine it must be used for some purpose other than ornamental, but I'm completely perplexed! Maybe something specific to a craft of some sort?

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    1. fortapache fortapache, 7 years ago
      Letter opener?
    2. Kydur Kydur, 7 years ago
      It would actually make quite a cool letter opener! The point at the end seems a bit too sharp though - you could actually hurt yourself quite a bit if accidentally stabbed. Even those letter opener swords have a fairly blunt tip.

      But I like the letter opener idea and will stick with that until something better (or more accurate?) comes along.

    3. AzTom AzTom, 7 years ago
      I would say letter opener, maybe from the Masons. Most of the ones I have seen are quiet sharp.
      I like the way the handle bracket was cut out of the blade and bent back, clever.
    4. Kydur Kydur, 7 years ago
      A letter opener it is then!

      I did some image searches for "trowel letter openers" and "mason letter openers" and saw a lot of photos of similar items, although none with the peeled back cutout handle. Don't know if that makes mine rare and valuable or if it was a just a quick and dirty technique for mass production.

      I've marked the mystery as solved. Thanks guys!
    5. aghcollect aghcollect, 7 years ago
      It may also be a specialty tool for a sculptor (clay)
    6. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 7 years ago
      I think aghcollect has it right! At least that's what I was thinking...a Sculptors tool for large clay statues.
    7. surfdub66 surfdub66, 7 years ago
      Maybe an architects tool of some sort , dont look like its ever been used for sculpture as no wear at all , is that a letter E stamped just above the handle joint in pic 2 ??
      May have been a retirement trowel but then would be engraved..
      mabe something to do with cake making ??
      Obviously with the slanted edges the main option is letter opener (or icing cutter) just a few ideas to confuse :-)
    8. Kydur Kydur, 7 years ago
      Must be an optical illusion when it comes to the letter "E"; there's definitely no stamps or engravings of any kind. Although there is a small circle on the flat part of the brass just before it tapers to the tip (just barely visible in photo #2). I think it's just part of the manufacturing process.
    9. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      I know this is going to sound odd but I will say it anyway. Only times I ever saw a trowel like this was when I moved south. People doing sand sculpture on the beach during competition used them. Take it for what it is worth. Could be a pie cutter.

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