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Yet another what am I !

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Bob Lamb17/03/2018 10:53:04
121 forum posts
34 photos

Bazyle said in his earlier thread "You guys are too good" I hope these two tools are a worthy challenge! No one I have shown them to so far has come up with a definitive answer (but there again nor have I). The first one was bought cheap from a market stall in Bridport Dorset so that may be a clue but it may not.

It obviously clamps onto a work surface or flat face of some kind but after that I am lost. It has a scriber on one end and a marking blade on the other so might it be for marking wood? Also because it clamps onto something it seems possible to me that whatever it is marking is the bit that moves?Someone in the pub just after I bought it suggested it might be something to do with barrel making? I am not convinced.

The point / blade can be secured in grooves at angles of 45 degrees the point can be moved along when the clamp screw is loosened.

Is there a use for it out there somewhere?






The second challenge looks home made. The "U" piece may be either a depth stop or for holding something against the other two triangularish bits. I hope it shows up in the last photo that the underside of these pieces look polished as if they may have been used to hone something on an oilstone or for polishing something in some way? They may simply have been sharpened to form a cutting edge. These triangles can also be adjusted by the screws on the other side of the frame. The previous owner was into clock and watch repair - any clues there?

I wondered if it was for cleaning out thin grooves in wood for putting beading of some sort in? It would be good to know what it really is and what it was used for.

In the (unlikely) event that someone has, for many years, been looking out for exactly one of these tools make me an offer I can't refuse but please let everybody know what they are first! Bob



roy entwistle17/03/2018 11:26:07
1174 forum posts

The first one is a trammel head, possibly for woodwork, there would be two of them clamped to a spar for scribing large arcs or circles.


Brian Wood17/03/2018 11:39:42
2187 forum posts
37 photos

I think the second one is a grooving tool which will cut on both the pull and push strokes, I have seen one elsewhere but forget the context.

If the first on is a trammel head, what is the purpose of the broader flat? I can't though think of another use!

Regards Brian

Speedy Builder517/03/2018 11:45:18
2006 forum posts
140 photos

Number 2 - A tendon saw tooth setting tool. The two fingers set the saw teeth first Left then right,etc

Bazyle17/03/2018 12:17:34
5224 forum posts
201 photos

I don't buy the saw tooth setter unless you have actually used one such. A groove cleaner perhaps but no side fence so not suitable for first cut.

The spike in the first one looks like a sculptor's modelling tool and might not be the original weapon, just something the right size for the hole.

ARAC17/03/2018 12:32:50
3 forum posts

I have two similar pointer/scraper blade tools in steel...they however have knurled bodies with the user ends clean.

From my school days I now remember that we used wooden sculpting tools of the same configuration for clay modelling.

Steel ones are good for scribing and light scraping/deburring.

Roderick Jenkins17/03/2018 12:33:13
1885 forum posts
481 photos

I've got an "Eclipse" branded scriber that has ends like that ( top image here.) I've always assumed that the wide end is for making long scribes against a rule but I'm unclear as to what advantage that gives against the pointy end. It might be better on wood but I would use a scribing knife for that.


roy entwistle17/03/2018 13:31:45
1174 forum posts

We used them as scribers in woodwork at school ( A long time ago)


Martin King 217/03/2018 13:34:22
685 forum posts
260 photos

Hi all,

OK, the second tool is a British patent inlay stringing tool that was of no use whatsoever, the theory being that as well as being able to be used both ways, the non cutting blade would act as a chip breaker. The whole thing is way too flimsy for any serious work. As with many rubbish tools from a work point of view, this one is not particularly common. I have had only 3 in 10 years. There are a couple of other variations on this, one usually coloured red by TYZACK (I think?)

No way a saw set!

The other tool is half a trammel clamp holding a marking out knife tool, it looks like it has been strained out of square? The marking knife is of some value if it is named, MARPLES or TYZACK would be nice, E PRESTON would be very nice indeed! The tool doubles as a scratch awl and a marking knife, very easy to put your eye out in close work!

Cheers, Martin

Martin King 217/03/2018 13:36:08
685 forum posts
260 photos

PS, Bridport Market can be tool heaven on a good day! laugh

Bob Lamb17/03/2018 14:20:38
121 forum posts
34 photos

Not much of a challenge. Roy's answer took just over half an hour - why didn't I realise it was part of a trammel? That is not a question to which I am seeking an answer!

Roderick - when I did woodwork at school I was told that a thin scriber point was to mark out the dovetail pins from the previously cut tails.The knife part on the other end was to cut the cross grain rather than just scratching it when marking the cut line. I agree about the danger of poking your eye out - we used to keep a cork on the pointy end! I still do on this one out of habit.

Martin - I have looked at it again for a maker's mark and have just seen the MOD arrow mark on the scriber together with the number H2310 and what looks like the date - 1953 but it is very feint. I think it was the long scriber which threw me off the idea of a trammel and this may well be a bitza. But I suppose if it was the MOD they might have been marking out some big circles. You are right - Bridport market used to be a tool heaven and I got some nice tools there after Westland was shafted by Heseltine.

The "British patent inlay stringing tool" as I will now call it just seemed such an unlikely idea and I have never heard of one before. I agree it would have been of no use whatsoever as I could see it either digging in horribly or worse jumping out of the groove and spoiling the work.

​Thanks for all the answers - I will put them back in the drawer for another few years....... will I remember what they are when I find them again?


John Penfold17/03/2018 14:40:53
23 forum posts
3 photos

Forgive the ignorance, but what would an inlay stringing tool do?

Bob Lamb17/03/2018 15:07:47
121 forum posts
34 photos

If you google veritas inlay stringing tool you will find a video of a slightly more sophisticated one.


larry Phelan17/03/2018 17:15:40
544 forum posts
17 photos

Came across the first one before,even made a pair of them,still use them for wood and metal work. Never met the second one,not yet anyway..

Bazyle17/03/2018 17:25:23
5224 forum posts
201 photos

Now I come to think of it, when used on a trammel the flat cutting end would work well at right angles to the beam when marking a circle.

John Penfold17/03/2018 17:57:15
23 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks Bob

Sam Longley 117/03/2018 19:01:10
751 forum posts
26 photos

I had a pair similar to the first item for setting out items too big for my dividers up to much larger steps. I had a set of light battens of differing lengths over my bench & clamped them to the battens for repeat dimensions when setting out a variety of items in timber. The points were used most, only one had the scribe & I swopped it for a short piece of pointed rod. On mine the clamp was more substantial. Often used it for striking curves of windows & circular stairs etc

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 17/03/2018 19:03:55

ega20/03/2018 12:26:11
1713 forum posts
150 photos

Bob Lamb:

Your second tool looks very like the "Tectool" shown in Salaman's Dictionary of Tools. The first part of the entry reads:

"Tectool Fig 704

The trade name given to a modern grooving tool. Two narrow cutters are mounted on a stock and slope in opposite directions to suit the grain."

Has anyone used one of these and is it "far less laborious"?


Martin King 221/03/2018 14:42:56
685 forum posts
260 photos

Hi All

Funny old world, got this at Dorchester market this morning, could not believe it after this thread!

beadtool 1.jpg

beadtool 3.jpg

This one has the extra fence also which is usually missing.

Cheers, Martin

ega21/03/2018 15:54:24
1713 forum posts
150 photos

Martin King 2:

This looks very similar to my picture. Can you confirm that your tool has no maker's mark?

I just wonder where Salaman got "Tectool" from.

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