A new whatzit

I didn't plan on making this a regular thing, but -------
I Found this one at the Smith-Sales.com on-line auction desk in Baldwin,
Wi.
http://www.spaco.org/Whatisit/HammerIndexer.htm
It had them stumped for a couple of weeks.
Let me know if you have an answer, please.
Pete Stanaitis ------------------
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The details in the pictures are hard to see.
From the bottom, there is a pointed key sticking out of that outer shaft. Is that key the same piece as the square shaft the hammer hits? So if it's raised the square shaft will also be raised, and the hammer can hit it down without shearing the cotter pin holding that shaft in?
How does the ratchet work? Does it automatically step with each hammer blow? Or is it just spring loaded so that the outer shaft can rotate in only one direction?
Is there any chance the hammer was designed to swing outward (180 degrees from the picture) when it was being used? i.e., instead of intended to hit that square shaft?
The outer shaft seems to be on a pivot from the base plate. Is that correct? Could that pivot be what allows the ratchet to auto-step as it moves up and down slightly?
The hammer head alignment doesn't seem like it will be flat with that square shaft when you lower it. YOu don't have a picture with the hammer head down. Is that correct? That and the fact that it seems to be a very large hammer for a small delicate square shaft makes we wonder if it actually was intended to hit that piece.
Ah, I wonder if the intent was for that floating shaft on the end to be a pivot for the rest of the jig. The key and the hammer might be used to wedge that piece into a center hole on the work piece. The rest of the jig could then be pulled around in a circle with the ratchet preventing it from going backwards. The adjustable shaft in the center would then be the tool that was run around the outer edge of whatever the thing was, perhaps to bend a band around it, or to seal a lid on it or something like that?
Or, maybe, the hammer was only used to remove the jig from the hole it was stuck in by taping on the square shaft. And when turned outward, the hammer would act as a lever to pull the jig around the work-piece.
The "work-piece" would be something round with a hole in the center that needed something done to the outer edge. Wheel? Barrel? Gear?
Curt

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Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com http://NewsReader.Com /
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I asked on facebook and got this answer:
Corky Kittelson:
Okay since I have one and spent the time trying to figure out what it is. Well okay, it's a steam tube expander for a steam tractor/ boiler. These were used when replacing the steam tubes and the bulkhead was too loose, out of round or leaking, they used this tool to expand the tube, next they used a roller tool to close the last fraction. I hope that helps!
This seems to fit with your comment Pete!
However, I still have found nothing on the internet to confirm this. I have found 100's of tools for expanding (flaring) boiler pipe but nothing looks at all like this tool! I do see how that could be what the tool is for, I just can't find anything to confirm it.
--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com http://NewsReader.Com /
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Well, Curt, It's a small world after all! I just spent the weekend with Corky Kittelson and about 30 other blacksmiths at the site of the Tunnel Mill Craft School just south of Rochester MN. We have an annual gathering there. Corky is a Guild of Metalsmiths member as am I. We talked about your contact with him on this whatzit issue. The internet sure is an interesting animal.
Boiler tube beading tool, it is! See the updated page, if interested: http://www.spaco.org/Whatisit/HammerIndexer.htm
Pete Stanaitis ----------------
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That's neat! I still can't find any reference to such a tool on the Internet! I see you at least found one reference somewhere! There are too many modern versions of the same tools so the net is filled with general reference to boiler tube tools but I've not found one of that design.
Did you identify about how old it is?
--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
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No, I did not attempt to idnetify the tool's age. Since we now know that it was used for boiler making and repair, I figured that was enough for now. Twin cities (Mpls/St.Paul , Mn) natives tell me that once upon a time there were 26 railroad roundhouse/locomotive-train repair facilities in the area, so that alone would account for a lot of those tools being around here. And, of course, that says nothing about the countless steam traction engines and heating and industrial boilers that would have needed them. I must point out that a couple of "experts" told me that this one would have been for a relatively small boiler. I just now returned from the auction house where I told them a little about the history of that tool. Oh, yeh--- I took in a 100# swage block with stand to sell.
Pete Stanaitis ---------------

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