A Thing For The Heck Of It

Does anyone recognize this thing?

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Just used one to open my bottle of wine.

But I don’ t recognize it (yet).

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Clap on Clap off, The Clapper.

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Head spinning…

@Wo3Dan: fear not

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I believe this is the tool head for a metal shaping machine. It cuts on the outward stroke and the hinge allows the cutting tip to ride back over the workpiece before going again.

Now I recognize the chisel, the blueish vertical object.
It’s held in place by tightening the bold.
The arc shape slot is for adjusting precision placement when in use.
Woodworking tool object on a lathe.

It’s a rotatronometer.

@Shep got it first. It’s called a clapper box. @shawb described its operation. It would be mounted on a machine called a shaper used for working metal. You can see one of these in the video below. He doesn’t have it set up to clap in this one although in some of his other videos you can see and hear how it got its name.


That’s a lathe working with infinite radius and x/y/z swapped.

Although I now recognize the type of machine. Have even worked with them several times.
But with different “chisel fixtures”, not like this old one.

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I worked with a Bridgeport face mill for a couple summers, but I’ve never seen that machine in person. So, I’m guessing the idea is it holds firm in the pushing direction, but will flap up out of the way in the pull direction, kind of like an outboard motor? Cool.

Yep, that’s it. Probably easier on the cutting edge.

If you’re interested in steam power, that guy has some cool videos. Most of his shop runs on steam. I visited with him last summer when we drove to Philadelphia. It was cool to talk to him and see his shop in person.

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Here’s a video of another machine he has in his shop that has a clapper box. He was still working on it when I was there so I didn’t get to see it run.


What brilliant videos! Takes me back to A Levels and Uni although we didn’t have the steam power.

What an incredible workshop he has. That would be a fascinating visit. I could spend days in there!


I would have spent much longer there if I could have. He’s a smart guy and does a pretty good job of explaining stuff. I really learned a great deal about how steam engines work with the timing and you mustn’t forget James Watt’s balls. :wink:

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