Hazard A Guess: Week of May 22, 2008

Hello from Hazard!

We reach back a few weeks to Item No. 832, because Mary June Crisco from Monterey, Va., just sent in her correct response (hey, not everyone reads the paper as soon as it hits their doorstep).

A cook for the Highland County Public Schools, Crisco still uses Item No. 832 every day: It’s used to cut a pound or larger portion of butter or margarine into serving-size pats.

(We can’t resist the observation that Crisco is a really great name for a cook!)

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Story Continues Below Photos

The answers continued to flood in on Item No. 833, the valve lapper or seater used on internal combustion engine valves, which we first identified last week.

As Bob Rachel of Akron, Ohio, explained last week, it is operated by putting downward pressure on the valve in the valve seat. The crank handle on the side is turned, Rachel explains, causing the shaft to rotate back and forth to lap the seat and the valve together.

Many thanks to the following readers: Ron McConnell of Brookville, Pa.; George Davie, Ambridge, Pa.; Jim Bogner, Lakewood, Ohio; Sidney Judy, Austintown, Ohio; Richard via e-mail; Ralph Pagel, Parma, Ohio (thanks for checking us out online, Ralph!); Lester Underwood, Bucyrus;

Chuck Hoyt, Medina, Ohio (who adds that he’s used his recently on lawn mower engine valves, “It was real handy on flat-head engines.”); Bruce Dozer, McConnelsville, Ohio; Allan Lines, Columbus, Ohio; John Blaha, Newark, Ohio; Wes Desatnik, Hudson, Ohio; Jim Hudkins, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Stephen Lonce, Mineral Ridge, Ohio; and Edward Wanchock of Sewickley, Pa.

Ed Wanchock adds some background (as did many others, thanks!): “The firing of engines deteriorated the seal where the valve meets the engine block. This had to be restored occasionally because the engine started to lose compression and not run smoothly.”

He also adds that an earlier model was simply a turned piece of wood, approximately three-quarters of an inch in diameter, with a rubber suction cup. “The mechanic rubbed it back and forth in the palms of his hands.”

Again, thanks to everyone who took the time to write in!

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I guess everyone was so happy to be able to identify Item No. 833, that they overlooked Item No. 834, which received nary a comment this week. Here it is again for your inspection.

We received the photo from Paul Despetorich of Pulaski, Pa. A friend found it in a box of tools he bought at an auction.

Send your answers to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to editorial@farmanddairy.com. You can also visit our Web site — www.farmanddairy.com — and take a look at this week’s Hazard, as well as recent columns, and can answer or comment right online. You can find Hazard a Guess on the “Columns” page under the “News” heading.

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