Throughout its history, TATHS has always provided a service to identify puzzling old tools. Queries can come from anyone - museum curators, collectors, or someone clearing out a relative's shed. Whatever the source, TATHS members like the challenge of identifying and explaining mystery objects! These "Whatsits" have been published in our quarterly newsletter - and still will be - but this section of the website will feature a selection of them, generally with bigger pictures than we can print in the newsletter. If you have any answers, or just guesses that might be helpful, you can add them in the comments. To submit a query, take some photos and email them with your question to our Queries Editor, Brian Read, at

Dan Putnam recently purchased a small lot of shaves that included this particular example. He believes that it is some type of coach router, but despite searching he has been unable to find any other examples of this type.

A fascinating question from Andy Marczewski and an even more fascinating explanation by Jane Rees. 

Robert Lock  was recently given an old (beech) coffin plane fitted with an  original aluminium sole - very badly corroded over the years.

Colin Jordan would be interested to know if any members have information about an Asprey's tool box which he purchased some years ago. There are a few items missing and he is keen to know more about them.  

Ellis Woods has just come into the possession of a pillar drill. After cleaning it up he found it to be made by Tardrew & Sons Bideford.
John Caraffi has provided some photos of a moulding plane acquired recently that has been puzzling him.

Ted Cole has written to ask advice on a plane  in his possession that is not mentioned in the (2nd) edition of  BPM. .

A moletrap 1024x768Joanne Griffin found this object burried in her allotment. I think it is a moletrap but I would wecome confirmation


Bob Evans  

Ted Cole is looking for information on this SAM COX plane that's in his  collection. He thinks it is an early plane maker from  Bristol.

Dru Muskovin writes from Crab Tree Farm in Lake Bluff, Illinois, U.S.A to ask for our help.

Steve Rogers from New Jersey is anxious to track down a maker's mark.

Eveline van Breemen from the North Lincolnshire Museum Service Would like to confirm (or deny) that the item in the attached photographs is a floor board cramp. She is concerned that it may have been misclassified.

France Smyth, documentalist at the Madawaska Historical Museum, is looking for more information about the makers of antique bits marked "Sheffield".

John Morrison recently bought this moulding plane. But it is not what it seems...

Bob Evans would be grateful if anyone could identify this wood found as part of the restoration work on the Newport Transporter Bridge. 

Harry Dodd  would very much appreciate any insights into the purpose and mode of operation of this tool. At first sight, it appears to be for shaving or trimming narrow strips of something flexible but, as you will see, close examination raises more questions than answers.