Please help identify this vintage kitchen tool

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by georgetowndc, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. georgetowndc

    georgetowndc

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    I found this in the kitchen drawer of a friend that has passed away. He studied at Le Cordon Bleu. I have no idea what it is. Your help is much appreciated. It measures 4-3/4" from top to bottom. The wooden handle is about 2-1/2".

     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Is the head aluminum or plastic? 

    To me, it looks like a section of aluminum heat sink that was repurposed, maybe as whisk. If plastic, maybe it was a moulding or connector that was repurposed.

    Did your friend have any particular food hobbies? Brewer/distiller maybe? and he used this for handling the mash?
     
  3. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I have never seen anything like that before.  I kind of agree with phatch's assessment that it might be a homemade job, but for what I couldn't guess.
     
  4. jake t buds

    jake t buds

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    With what other tools was it with in the drawer? Does the top plastic part have any distinguishing markers, embossed lettering or numbering? Does it have a rough edge from being cut or was it molded as such? Are there any identifying markers that suggested it's use? Scratches or dents or food/ muck buildup in the corners? Does it have any heat damage. 

    Is it flexible? The "handle' doesn't look like it's held in place firmly. I'm thinking you could hold the top part down and just lift the handle out.  I don't think it was used with the handle as the preferred method of action. Maybe it's used just to move it into place? It definitely seems ad hoc. 

    A measuring device, perhaps? 

    It looks like it might be some sort of structural component for extruded box molding? It appears to follow the shape of a square. 

    My best guess is something to do with pastry and baking. A mold of some sort or maybe a tool to achieve decorative results, like clay tools in pottery. 

    A neat mystery, though. 
     
  5. georgetowndc

    georgetowndc

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    Thank you all for your input.

    The top part is metal — probably a heavy aluminum—and the tool was in the kitchen drawer of tools. There are no markings on the top metal part, which has sort of sharp edges, but looks like it was molded. No food on it and it doesn't look like it was heated. The ladies at a local Williams-Sonoma store, first thought it looked like a rosette maker, but the handle is too short. My friend did not have any food hobbies like brewing.

    It is not flexible and is held firmly in place. (see new photo) 

    I thought it might be pie crimper or something to do with pastry.

     
  6. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    While it could be a homemade rosette form, the placement of the handle would make it awkward to work with.  The handle normally would be in the center, rising above it. Whatever it is, the more I look at it the more convinced I become that it is a homemade thing.  I also wonder if it is a "kitchen" tool.  I know that I have a number of other tools in my kitchen so it really could be for anything.
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Since it's aluminum, I'm going to stick with heat sink as it's original purpose.

    It looks like he used an old phillips head screwdriver as a punch to bond the handle to the head.

    With that small handle and the solid center I'm going to guess it was a home-made soldering heat sink. Did he dabble in electronics?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  8. georgetowndc

    georgetowndc

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    Thanks, Pete. Yes, it may not be a kitchen tool.
     
  9. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Dip it into a sweet batter then put in deep fryer for a Dutch type pastry.
     
  10. luc_h

    luc_h

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    The slots look like they can hold several things is a ring or a flower pattern (like hold several coffee cups by their handle?!)

    or it's a multiple beer bottle opener!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif

    Luc H.
     
  11. jake t buds

    jake t buds

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    OK!!!

    Meat tenderizer!!!
     
  12. panini

    panini

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    I agree with @phatch   it looks like an old heat sink
     
  13. cerise

    cerise Banned

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    I am so sorry for your loss of your dear friend. It appears to be a homemade device - unlike anything I have seen. Tenderizer or pie crimper came to mind as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  14. jr home chef

    jr home chef

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    it appears it is used to hold things (due to the symmetry), or do something with heat. I am truly baffled.
     
  15. panini

    panini

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    I think something that a lot of responses on this are not taking into consideration is the actual size of it. The whole thing would fit in the palm of your hand. It might even be some sort of small whisk or potato masher? No, can't even hold the stick in your hand. I'm baffled also

    Still, old audio heat sinks are similar. My son had a whole box of these type things when he worked on old audio.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  16. lagom

    lagom

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    Maybe consider the idea that it's not even a kitchen tool.
     
  17. teamfat

    teamfat

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    A trivet of sorts.
     
  18. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Possibly a sterno trivet for a chafer.
     
  19. dcarch

    dcarch

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  20. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    If its a sterno trivet, (or ANY trivet for that matter)  why would you need a wood handle?

    To me it would just get in the way, both in use and in storing it.

    Defintely not a brewing tool, cant think off how you would use it in that capacity. 

    If it were made of cast iron or steel, might be a rad way to mark small steaks. lol 

    And it appears  too small and light weight to "beat" or "pound" anything, like in tenderizing. 

    Cant "spin it", not  with that handle sticking out. Same with "rolling it" on something, like dough.

    Submitted for your approval, a trinket from the twilight zone, fer sure. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif  

    ETA: 
    I know, it's a self-sealing stem bolt. So that's what they look like. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

    Seriously, Id agree its a good chance it's been re-purposed, adapted with a makeshift handle and dumped in a drawer,

    probably never to be used again. :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015