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Curious tools to identify. Answered

Hi all.

A few weeks ago I was visiting my cousin and we ended up going through a tool box full of things left to him by his father we came across two that we were at a loss to identify.

The first is a brass cylindrical container about five inches long by 3/4" diameter with what I can only describe as a gouge attached to the inside of the screw down cap, it is blunt and shows no signs of ever having been sharpened so I'm fairly sure it wasn't meant for cutting.

The second has a few clues of it's own with a manufacturer name and a part registration number, it also has what looks very much to me like a small cutting wheel similar to the kind you would find on a glass cutter, the small section with the words "British Made The Ideal" slides along the slot it sits in and the tip at that end is a sharp point.

Any ideas folks?

Thanks in advance.


The tube thing may be a rifle oiler.


Thanks, I checked them out a bit more & that is exactly what it is.

It makes sense as Uncle John served all over North Africa during WWII, like many he held on to a few odd bits when he was demobbed, the odd thing is it has no War Department markings, my childhood memories and I'm sure those of many thousands of kids of my generation are littered with images of various tools & bits of equipment with the ubiquitous War Department broad arrow, I still have tools of my dads today that carry them.

I supposed it could have been worn away by seventy odd years of rolling around in a tool box, I'll have to take one of my more powerful magnifiers with me when I visit next and see if I can find any trace of it.

I'm still intrigued by what the second tool is. Not too many things have a cross profile to fit through that keyhole and if the slider is some kind of lock for another piece of the tool. Of course, all unidentified vintage tools asked here end up being some kind of fly-fishing fly tying rig of some sort. Good luck.

To be honest that's the one that has my imagination going too.

In his youth during the mid to late 30's and also post war before he went into cabinet making and later on construction carpentry uncle John worked with horses a good deal, quite a rare occupation for an east end lad, it has been suggested that it could be some kind of early saddlers multi tool perhaps with some attachments missing or still around that we haven't found or associated with it, the sliding part with the words "British Made The Ideal" has a fairly sharp cutting tool on the other side which sadly didn't come out too well in the pictures I took so I didn't include them but I can imagine it would be useful for cutting straps, in fact it isn't dissimilar to a saddlers tool I recall seeing demonstrated by the late great Jack Hargreaves on his show Out of Town (links provided for non Brits of a certain age or people outside the UK) the small wheel that resembles a glass cutter does resemble a smaller version of a marking tool given to me by a local saddler/farrier when I was a boy who I used to pester relentlessly to let me help out in his workshop, as young as seven I'd cycle halfway across town during the holidays just to sit and watch, now & then once he had found the time to teach me a little he'd let me do some stitching on tack repair work and when I was older he let me help with shoeing the horses, sadly he had to close down a couple of years before I left school so the apprenticeship he often said he would like to offer me never transpired, his old workshop & forge are now a private house only a hundred yards or so from my home, the forge itself which was a protected building was "mistakenly" demolished by the current owner a couple of years ago.

Most people around here don't even remember there was a working farrier and saddler here as recently as the mid 70's but to me the loss not only of that traditional trade in our town but the building and all that it stood for in our history was a tragedy.

Going back to the tool, I'm planing a visit to my cousin soon so I'll try to get some more pictures, apparently he has now come across some more odd tools so I may have more to ask about soon.

Thanks for the input, if I find out anything outside 'ibles I'll add it here.