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What are these(Allen wrench like thingies)? Answered

I found these in an old toolbox. They are hexagonal like an Allen wrench, but have a smaller diameter round protrusion on one end. They are all the same size in "diameter". That's a standard size Sharpie marker there for reference.



Best Answer 7 years ago

Those are the interchangeable points for a pair of snap ring pliers. You use them to change the angle and/or size points to open a snap ring.

Thanks Burf! I should have known this seeing as there was a nice set of snap ring pliers in the tool box as well.


Too bad, I was hoping they were 106 yr old alien thingies;-)

Exactly correct.

I "knew" what they were also but just could not quit bring it to mind. I should have looked at my big red tool box. I have a smaller set very similar to them.

Hm. Looks like two each of a set of different angles. (The two with the larger stub at the end appear to be a matched pair.)

No idea what the intended use was.

In case nobody else has suggestions: Where did the toolbox come from? Do you know what kinds of machines/materials/projects the previous owner worked with? I have a couple of oddities in my own toolbox -- including a couple of homebrew tools -- which I know my grandfather used to adjust the movie projectors when he was working in a theater, but I couldn't tell you exactly what each of them was actually used for since he never told me. Another projectionist might be able to answer that for me, and another person who shared this person's interest might be able to answer this for you.

The tool box like yours was my grandfathers. It had plenty of homemade tools including some knives that look straight out of a slasher film. You should post some pictures of your grandfather's projectionist tools. Someone might be able to answer some questions, and it would be interesting for everyone as well.

I may at some point, though probably in a location where I'll find more expertise in that specific topic.

I need to contact the serious film-collector community at some point anyway; I've got a few 35mm cores (presumably movie trailers) which should eventually find their way to someone who can preserve them properly. First step will be to get a projectionist friend to screen 'em so we can find out what I've actually got and what condition it's in. Proverbial Round Tuit...

(I'm still a bit disappointed that I didn't make the effort to get myself certified as a projectionist when I had the opportunity. Grandpa would have been pleased.)

You better hurry before film projectors start to get hard to find. I imagine that day is not too far off.

These look like the tools that come with certain surveying instruments to adjust the baseplates and/or level bubbles. The small protrusions fit into holes in the SIDE of the adjustment bolt, the head of which is cylindrical. See the bolts on the transit closest to the box handle in this picture. See the holes?

The angles of the pieces allow them to worm their way into tight places.


THose bolts/nuts are adjusted using a hook wrench like this but much smaller.  It's a semi-secure type so that not just anybody can fiddle with the adjustments.


7 years ago

Good high res pic. Perhaps the angles have something to do with purpose.
Two of those round protrusion are a larger diameter.

It's probably some sort of mechanical enabler, unlock trick ,old alien thing
from over six and a hundred years ago.