What is it? CLXXVIII

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Initially I thought it was a clay pigeon, but on second viewing, the sides appear too tall and the whole thing is not aerodynamic enough, and you're right - if there's any paint of them it's just a splash of color on the top. Others voted for the base of a judge's gavel, but those are usually varnished wood (more impressive that way) and the bases would match, so I can't see that either. Balance scale weights do look similar, but those are usually just cast iron or brass and not painted. It looks ceramic - I wonder if it's just the top of some jar or an insulator?
R
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it is real slap dash crap job, you can tell by looking at the inside corners. I was thinking ceramic as well, like it has a bad glaze on it.
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It's a clay pigeon. I'd bet my . . . something on it!
Clay pigeons are cheap, so a slap dash job is how it should be. A judge's gavel base would be made a LOT better . . . .
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Despite the cost of living it remains very popular

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What looks like corrosion is probably just chipped paint, but it's definitely a clay pigeon, they were made in a wide variety of colors, sizes and styles. This is a fairly old one, it was photographed at the Trapshooting Hall of Fame.
Rob
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1033 flail - for threshing. 1035 - shot tower - for chilled lead shot.
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damage. Similar things have been used with liquid in the cup to prevent insect access from floors to beds or food storage units.
Don Young
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R.H. wrote:

1031: Clay pigeon
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If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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    As always, posting from rec.crafts.metalworking.
1031)    This looks like a clay pigeon to me. I don't think     that I've ever seen one of this color -- but I haven't seen many     anyway. :-)
1032)    O.K. This thing is designed for releasing a cable under heavy     load. The pin with the ring holds it locked when you absolutely     don't want it to release. Then, you connect a lanyard to the     eye in the lever just behind the piston, pull the pin, and pull     the lanyard to release the load.
    The piston appears to serve to control the release rate --     perhaps so a flip of the lanyard won't release it -- it will     require a steady pull. Or perhaps (can't tell from this view),     there may be provisions for applying compressed air to the     piston the move the lever.
    In any case, when the lever moves far enough, the spring loaded     hook at the left-hand end snaps up and releases the load.
1033)    Looks like some form of flail -- for separating the grain from     the stalk.
1034)    Hmm ... a dead-blow hammer -- with lead shot (or something     similar) inside the tube. When the face of the hammer hits the     workpiece, the shot keeps hitting the back of the face for a     while after that, preventing the hammer from bouncing and thus     transferring the maximum energy to the workpiece.
1035)    Is that perhaps a shot tower? Molten lead was poured from a     series of apertures, and allowed to fall a certain distance     before landing in water. The shot cools enough in the air and     produces a rounder shot with little work compared to other     methods.
1036)    (a)    You look down into the hole and the mirror bends your         line of sight until it is parallel with the long         dimension of the level. It probably acts as a         right-angle telescope, and is sighted on a distant         reference of some specific height, and the rise or drop         is measured by the dial on the side.
    (b)    A similar function, without the built-in telescope, so         you either simply rest it on what you are measuring, or         sight along the top edge. The upper scale is obviously         calibrated in degrees, which makes me question the lower         one, since its pointer appears to be at 7.5 half inches         per foot, or 3.75" per 12", or 17.3540 degrees, which         certainly disagrees with the other hand indicating about         32 degrees. After all -- it does appear that all four         pointers are a single piece, and thus rotate together.
        I think that the partially obscured top label says         "clinometer", but I am not sure about the bottom one.
    Now to see what others have said.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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R.H. wrote:

Looks like 1033 is a grain flail.
The Mallets MAY be for barrel bungs.
Bill
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I'm not not at the above address.
http://nmwoodworks.com
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