Hazard a Guess on this blacksmith made tool


Hello from Hazard!
We received three responses on Item No. 1072, all serving up different uses for the goggles Linda Bertanzetti, of Columbiana, Ohio, recently found in a box.
Jon Powell, of Warren, Ohio, believes the blinders were used in the initiation process of a group like the International Order of Odd Fellows. The members would be kept in the dark until the proper time when the eye holes were opened. “The first thing he saw was likely a human skeleton,” Powell writes.
Joseph Darling, of Amsterdam, Ohio, thinks they look like early welding goggles. You can open and close the viewing holes so less welding flash gets in. Orville Ritchie, of Columbiana, Ohio, suggests something similar, that they were possibly used in the steel mills to view the blast furnaces, etc.
Better take another look, and see if anyone can confirm one of these responses. As a reminder, they are leather and steel, lined with red fabric (against the face). The picture shows the metal cones that encase the eyes. The wing nut on the top opens and closes the viewing hole, and an adjustable leather strap holds the piece tightly to the head, Bertanzetti says.

To get you started on Item No. 1073, take a look at this tool submitted by Michael Cappel, of Newcomerstown, Ohio, who has worked stone for more than 35 years and has never seen a tool like this.
The overall length is 15 inches, and the length of the chisel is 8 inches. The chisel width is 4 inches, and the shaft diameter is 1-1/4 inches.
Cappel says the entire tool appears to be blacksmith made. “The tool is made so that it can be rotated inside the handle. The shaft of the chisel is square and fits in the handle, which is also square. This allows the chisel to be used either in line with the handle or perpendicular to the handle.”
Cappel bought the tool as part of a pair, and the other piece was a stone cranell, or what some call a stone ax. The person who sold it to him said he had purchased the two as a pair and was advised to keep them as a pair.
“Stone cranells are somewhat common,” he writes, “however I have never seen them paired with chisels.”
Can anyone identify the tool?
Email your responses to editorial@farmanddairy.com; or respond by mail to: Hazard a Guess, c/o Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.


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  1. Item No. 1073 is a tool called a hawsing iron and is used on ships. Fred Moore’s guess in the last Farm and Dairy about it being a caulking iron set me to searching, and he’s correct. The following is a description of the tool from the Penobscot Marine Museum web page.

    Hawsing iron, used in shipbuilding for caulking seams, particularly deck seams. The long handle allowed one caulker to stand holding the iron while another drove the caulking home using a two-handed mallet. The caulking had been previous set in place using a small mallet and a hand-held iron. Deck seams are especially difficult to caulk and keep tight as the sun dries out and shrinks decks.

    By searching on the net for “Hawsing Iron,” lot’s of information turns up.


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