Hazard A Guess: Week of April 24, 2003

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Hello from Hazard!

A sharp-eyed Robert Serb Jr. from Vermilion, Ohio, correctly identified Item No. 678, which was a rather specialized tool that the general public would not have recognized.

The tool is a clamp used to assemble sections of cast iron baseboards, used in hot water heating systems.

Mr. Serb shares this explanation of the tool’s use:

“To use this tool, the sections of baseboard to be joined are placed end to end, face down, usually on the floor or other flat surface.

“Slightly tapered steel bushings (coated with pipe sealant) are placed in the mating holes in the ends of the baseboards. The short ends of the clamp are then placed over flanges on the baseboards.

“When the clamp handles are pushed down (apart), the cam-shaped surfaces of the clamp push outward, creating leverage, which pushes the ends of the baseboards together.

“The bushings create a watertight seal for the hot water that flows through the baseboards. Bolts are then added to fasten the baseboard sections together permanently.”

Serb used this tool during the 1960s when he helped his father install hot water heating systems in houses he was building.

Our sincere thanks for the explanation. It gives us all a better idea of how the tool was used.

Item No. 679 comes from Les Howell of Beach City, Ohio, who stopped by our office in Salem, Ohio, with a whole boxload of items to photograph for future Hazards.

If you think you know what Item No. 679 was used for, please send your response to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to: editorial@farmanddairy.com.

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