“What’s It” Widget

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You might call it a thingamajig or a doohickey, but to The Patriot Woodworker members, it’s a “What’s It.”  This free online community, which emphasizes sharing and learning about woodworking, hosts a monthly “What’s It” contest in which members take guesses at identifying obscure items. Patriot Woodworker works in conjunction with The Mid-West Tool Collectors Association who provides the photos of interesting hand tools and implements.

Pictured below is the “What’s It” tool for the month in June. Any guesses? Answers included mastic spreader, texturing tool for stucco walls, horse’s comb, animal hide scraper and barrel scraper. But wait, in order to win the prize and bragging rights, the identification must be verified with a resource like a patent, catalog entry, tool book reference or respectable website on the subject. The Mid-West Tool Collectors determine if the verification proves an answer is correct.   

So what is it? Member “HandyDan” from Youngstown, Ohio, was the first to submit the correct researched answer: it’s an animal hide scraper, also called a fleshing tool. Dan’s source was PCS Outdoors, a company specializing in trapping supplies, predator calling and fur handling, where he found a similar item called a trapping pelt fleshing tool. The description says it is used to rough up the tough part of a pelt with the serrated side and scrape off the loosened fat and flesh with the regular edge. He had further correspondence with a representative from the company who replied, “I can see where some might think it's for plastering or spreading tile mastic, but I'm leaning towards the fleshing tool idea. One for the ‘rustic’ appearance of the tool. Two, fleshing tools are made to use by drawing it towards yourself with the handle. (In my opinion, the handle on this would get in the way of properly spreading plaster/mastic unless you were pushing it).” 

Tell him what he wins, Johnny! (Read in chipper game show announcer voice): A WoodRiver No. 62 Low Angle Jack Plane from Woodcraft, valued at $205!

Patriot Woodworker founder John Morris said, “Dan was very excited to win the beautiful hand plane, although through his own generosity he decided to donate it back to the community.”  Because Dan is more of a woodturner than a hand tool guy, the plane will now be available as a door prize to attendees at the Patriot Woodworker Annual Meet and Greet, which will be held August 25 in Indiana.

Dan posted, “Is that a nice prize or what? Such a beautiful tool.” “Grandpadave52” expressed appreciation for Dan’s donation: “Gestures such as this is what makes The Patriot Woodworker the best site on the inter-web to hang out. The never-ending generosity and friendships developed with folks one may never meet in person is simply amazing. Couple that with the ongoing support of our faithful sponsors Woodcraft, Laguna and Easy Wood Tools and the dedicated support team makes this site rise leaps and bounds ahead of all the rest.

Though verification of a “What’s It” answer is necessary in order to win the prize, the moderators encourage: Do not let these requirements prevent you from having fun and submitting educated answers on the subject without verification. We can worry about references later. All answers are welcome, as well as healthy debates regarding “What's It.”

To learn more about The Patriot Woodworker community, go to their website where you can sign up at no cost. If you have a whatchamacallit, post a question on the forum and see if anyone knows what it is. Or stop by your local Woodcraft store and chat with our knowledgeable staff who probably have some doodads of their own.

We hope you'll be inspired!

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