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Mystery Tool - what is it?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by nighthog, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Hi all, I know unusual tools have been on other threads but I thought that maybe this needed a thread of its own. There must be plenty of odd things in the bottom of toolboxes among you all, so don't be shy, show me yours, and I'll .....

    ... show you mine. This tool was given to me over 25 years ago by a bloke who, I think, inherited it from his dad who had something to do with the motor trade. Here it is, exactly how I got it, still wrapped in the instructions with the very perished elastic band still stuck to it:

    Underneath, it looks like this:

    So, what do you reckon it is? And roughly how old?
    TwoManyXS1Bs and Jim like this.
  2. kshansen

    kshansen XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    Just wild guessing it is some kind of gauge used in the manufacture of light bulbs? Or other electrical items, such as coils.
  3. I can see where you're coming from, but nope. Too early to give any clues, though ....
  4. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Well just a couple of observations, the knurled knob would suggest it is for turning and the A-B indicators would suggest that it is for measuring something is either good or bad, off or on. Something along those lines.
    geedubya likes this.
  5. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    C'mon Yamadude ! Chime in and tell us what this is Lol :umm:
  6. Jim

    Jim The thrill of victory and da agony of da feet. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    The shiny end is a go/no-go gauge for a bushing and the holes are different gauges for stripping wire insulation. :umm:
    geedubya likes this.
  7. Brassneck

    Brassneck XS650 Guru

    Spark plug tester?
  8. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    It's a left-handed framis gauge for checking the gap on your dooflotchit. The right-handed version has the A and B hole reversed.
  9. Brassneck is closest! Aaaaaalmost on the money :)

    But what about the age?
    Brassneck likes this.
  10. Brassneck

    Brassneck XS650 Guru

    thinking 20's or 30's?
  11. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Some kind of tester for magnetos?
    geedubya likes this.
  12. solved_01.jpg solved_02.jpg solved_03.jpg 20's, I think. Brassneck, you were so close I reckon you can claim the prize (all you get is kudos, I'm afraid). Pete's close too ... it's an 'ignition spark tester'. Even if it does look like a sex toy ...
  13. Brassneck

    Brassneck XS650 Guru

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing
    geedubya likes this.
  14. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter


    I'll bet a lot of folks were grateful to not have to test spark plugs "manually".....
  15. kshansen

    kshansen XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

  16. Yes, I reckon so. I think the old one has a certain charm though! I must see if it actually works ... here are the instructions:
    UserGuide1b.jpg UserGuide2b.jpg UserGuide3b.jpg

    I think it's 1920's given the pictures in the 'user guide'. And at that price, it was an expensive bit of kit! Google tells me there were one or two similar products on the market but I have no idea which came first, dates, anything really but I'd like to know for interest's sake.
  17. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    That’s pretty cool. I like it!
    geedubya and MaxPete like this.
  18. kshansen

    kshansen XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    I'll have to rummage around to see if I can find some odd old tools to post
  19. DogBunny

    DogBunny Motorcychologist

    I picked this up for a couple bucks at the tool table at the Lonestar Rod & Kustom Round Up a couple of years ago. It is the modern version of your spark tester. You press the curve on the left in the pic against a plug wire. The thing in the middle of the tester that looks like a glass fuse is actually a tube filled with a gas that lights up each time a spark is made. The writing on the far right side in the pic says "Warning Avoid Moving Parts."
    Works great if you are in an enclosed garage out in the country at midnight during a new moon with all of the lights out. Otherwise, not so much...
  20. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    I like this pic.


    "If little finger stings, she's a-firin'"...
    MaxPete, Mailman, geedubya and 4 others like this.

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