TM reader Jim sent us a photo of this unidentified tool which he suspects is a “blacksmith’s bullet mold that didn’t turn out. Maybe a bullet mold blank?” My first thought is that he’s probably at least partially right. Its long handles, bent-tapered-rod construction, and hinge design clearly identify it as a blacksmith’s tool.
It could just be a very specific pair of pliers, though. The advantage to making your own tools is that you can make them for whatever task you commonly perform; maybe the maker wanted to get a slightly better purchase on something thin and flat.
The little triangle (and possibly the wedged line next to it) are likely what blacksmiths call a “touchmark” — a symbol that each ‘smith designs to sign his or her work.
Thoughts from some of our blacksmithing Toolmongers?