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Reader Scwetherbee has no idea what this tool might actually be. We confess it’s a mystery to us as well. It’s about ten inches long and the handle looks sort of like an old-fashioned frying pan. The business end features a pattern of teeth that are too large to be a file, but too flat to do any cutting. In short: we have no idea what it is.

My best guess is that it has something to do with horse grooming, but that’s just a wild shot in the dark. We’re hoping someone will be able to give us a positive ID because now we’re curious about what this tool might actually be for – other than back scratching. If you’ve got a guess let us know in comments.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]

 

15 Responses to From The What Is It Files

  1. Gil L. Braverman says:

    A fish scaler?

  2. Michael says:

    My thought – before I even read the story – was that it was an old farrier tool. Maybe something to clean the hoof bed.

  3. jeffrey immer says:

    you could use it to put sear marks on those pork chops this weekend

  4. Mike Price says:

    I vote for fish scaler.

  5. Doug says:

    This calls for an experiment at the fish market…

  6. Chris Byrne says:

    Yeah, I’m with Michael; it looks like a hoof scraper, or a boot scraper.

  7. Adam says:

    We use a hoof pick to clean out horses hoofs.

    It looks like it might be a leather working tool to create a basketweave pattern in leather.

  8. Scwetherbee says:

    I think Gil and Mike might have it. I never even thought of that. When I google “antique cast iron fish scaler” I get “http://home.att.net/~dfaglon/kitchen.html”, look at article #76. Vague though it is, the description fits.

    Its curved shape would probably make it unsuitable for heating up and searing those chops Jeff, but I like the idea since it’s suppose to rain by me Saturday!

  9. Jim says:

    Could it be a shedding brush for a dog? To pull the loose fur out?

  10. bidwell says:

    golf cleat cleaner…..

  11. JH says:

    I’ve got one of those and it IS a fish scaler.

  12. Sommelier says:

    It’s a fish scaler. I inherited one when I was a boy.

  13. Patrick says:

    I do believe when in doubt, any of these “What is it?” tools can be fish scalers.

  14. Snoopy says:

    Fish scaler FTW. Lookee here:
    http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?pf_id=13.001.175&s=JapanWoodworker

    “traditional Japanese design that has been in use for centuries”

  15. Matt says:

    Definitely a fish scaler, and if it isn’t it will work very well as one.

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