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Any info on these trowels ?

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Tools and Hardware4713 of 6369DAVY CROCKETT POCKET KNIFEWhat is it?
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Posted 5 years ago


(197 items)

These wooden trowels I won in a large lot of boxes full of very old items at an auction last year. All the items were tagged for sale and had "booth number" also written on the tag. Due to the quality of all the items I would imagine it was merchandise from a flea or antique vendor at one point. These appear to be made of a hard wood and all slightly different, some have rounded edges, some square, some flat trowels and others convex. All have a thin sheen of dusty soiling. I asked someone a while back and they suggested lead packing trowels for packing oakum joints. I would think if that were the case they would have some curve to contour pipes. I though masonry but thought metal would draw out the moisture better, and final thought was pottery crafting tools.
Also, whatever they are they look in good condition and I see nice grains in the wood, would I decrease any possible value by washing them and a soaker coat and polish with Liquid Gold?

Mystery Solved


  1. MattyG MattyG, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the love Bellin68, I was thinking the same.
  2. MattyG MattyG, 5 years ago
    thanks for the love ttomtucker
  3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Looking forward to finding out what they are for. Intriguing! Beautiful!
  4. MattyG MattyG, 5 years ago
    Thank you vetraio50 for the love and comment. I just thought now, it would be nice to find out they were sculptor tools. Alexander Calder would be my step uncles Michael's grandfather.
  5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Now that's more than a thought!
    They look similar to wooden sculpting products advertised on the net.
    Al Calder "would be"....?
    An American idiom?
    "would be" = was ?

    But the tools themselves look really well crafted.
    Leave them be for the moment is my advice.
    Nothing to be gained by cleaning them.
    They have their own patination though use.
    Even the splashes of paint!

    I wonder what Hems will say?
    I hope Phil Alexander has a look too!
  6. MattyG MattyG, 5 years ago
    I will leave them as you say vetraio50 until solved. Al Calder works atop the Philadelphia City Hall and in Phila. Art Museum has a famous mobile.
  7. MattyG MattyG, 5 years ago
    The orange paint may have been a drippy spray can tip because I remember a few unrelated items in the old wooden Winchester Small Arms crate they they came in also had a few drops of the same color. The lot had many other post worthy items, including the box they were in, $8 for all at a massive outdoor consignment auction with 4 auctioneers at once, I was running back and forth all day but made out well, and within my puny budget : )
  8. MattyG MattyG, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the pic comment Bellin68, I missed that, lol, Thanks. Wearing Goodwill finds: Jos. A. Bank 3 button wool coat $15, Jerry Garcia tie from eBay 3.99 w free ship, pants were $4.99, but had to splurge on the shirt and Payless shoes. It was at nieces wedding last week. Went from Boyd's to Goodwill in 5 years due to the economy.
  9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Lookin' good, feelin' good and savin' the Planet, too!
  10. TRIKER TRIKER, 5 years ago
    They look like paddles used for lead work on auto body seams. I do know that work was done with wooden paddles. It's possible these were unused new one's.
  11. MattyG MattyG, 5 years ago
    Thank you TRIKER and ROBinHawaii, all my guesses were wrong, but the guy who suggested lead joints the day I bought them was close. In comparison to the ones for sale Rob posted, these do look better, just a coat of dirt. Thank again! : )
  12. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 5 years ago
    I have two of these in my shop. I bought them along with a melting pot, two pound pour ladle and an asbestos pipe collar. I used them to pack oakum into the pipe joint before doing the lead pour. The curved handle kept you from scraping your knuckles on the pipe. Now days I use them as a push stick when I am running narrow stock through the table saw. Mine have redish orange paint on the handle and are either maple or birch.
  13. MattyG MattyG, 5 years ago
    Thanks fhrjr2, I don't like those joints, my house had all lead drains and I still have a few hubs to scrape out.
  14. slackjack, 4 years ago
    These are definitely lead floats for early autobody work. Made of maple they were lubricated with tallow to prevent the wood from burning. Auto restorers use them today as they refuse to use plastic fillers. The lead is heated to a putty consistency and sculpted with the floats. A good craftsman removes little lead to attain the final finish. Best wishes.
  15. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 4 years ago
    I remember the days when lead body filler was the thing to do. If you do it right it works great. Done wrong first bump you hit it fell out. Now days everything is fiberglass, plastic and hard rubber.

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