View Full Version : A couple "what the heck is this" items

John Donofrio
10-13-2017, 5:23 PM
Have had a pile of stuff sitting in a box in a corner of the shop for a couple years now and these items have me perplexed. Google image search turned up nothing useful so I figure with the wealth and diversity of knowledge here, someone will have a clue. Thanks in advance.

Item #1:
369601 369602

It looks like the prong thingy is not supposed to be bent and the only text on it is "Made in England".

Item #2
369603 369604 369605

When you turn the handle the shaft oscillates back and forth in what seems to be a random degree of rotation, none of which are more than 90. The last pic is the end of the shaft and my suspicion here is that what's attached is not original.

Any clues?


Ken Fitzgerald
10-13-2017, 5:34 PM
Item 1 is a juice harp or Jew's harp. It's a musical instrument held in the mouth, plucked with a finger.

John Donofrio
10-13-2017, 5:48 PM
Very interesting. Thanks Ken.

Frederick Skelly
10-13-2017, 5:53 PM
Item 1 is a juice harp or Jew's harp. It's a musical instrument held in the mouth, plucked with a finger.

+1. Havent seen one of those since Grandpa passed.

Rick Potter
10-13-2017, 6:02 PM
I used to be pretty good on the Jew's harp, and still have one somewhere. Goes against the lips, not the teeth. Hurts when you catch your tongue in there. They still sell them, but they are now called a more PC, 'Mouth Harp'

Item #2, from the description sounds like it would work like a Yankee Screwdriver, or a push drill. They use a self cleaning bit that only rotates half turn or so, then reverses. Of course this is only a WAG.

Perry Hilbert Jr
10-13-2017, 6:03 PM
the jaw harp made sort of a boing boing noise which was often used with some bluegrass and country-folk music.

The other item I believe is an old valve grinder for seating valves during an engine overhaul back in the very old days. see here: https://www.etsystudio.com/listing/551853423/vintage-1920s-era-hand-valve-grinder-for

John Donofrio
10-13-2017, 6:36 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses. Ken nailed the first one and I believe Perry nailed the second. Perry's links appears to be exactly what this thing is. I'm quite sure I would have never guessed correctly on either one.

Thanks to all!

Steve Jenkins
10-13-2017, 6:44 PM
Item 1 is a juice harp or Jew's harp. It's a musical instrument held in the mouth, plucked with a finger.

Recognized it immediately. Brings back good memories of dad playing one

Mel Fulks
10-13-2017, 7:15 PM
I had one when I was a kid. Without a microphone only the player can hear it, think that's why Dad let me have one.

Kev Williams
10-14-2017, 12:15 AM

I've always known them as 'juice' harps, and associated them with hillbilly and banjo music :)

Jim Koepke
10-14-2017, 12:20 AM
Not sure what ever became of my juice harp.

I once worked for a small auto shop called Packard of California for a short time and there was one of those old valve grinder tools there.


Jerome Stanek
10-14-2017, 11:27 AM
The bottom one looks like a wire tying tool for rebar.

glenn bradley
10-14-2017, 12:11 PM
+1. Havent seen one of those since Grandpa passed.

I’ve still got water :-)

jared herbert
10-14-2017, 12:29 PM
I think the second one is a tool used years ago to grind valves in engines and to knurl the valve guides or something like that.

John K Jordan
10-14-2017, 8:34 PM
Not sure what ever became of my juice harp.

Just a few months ago I got a new one at a local music store. That is probably the least expensive musical instrument I've ever bought!


James Pallas
10-14-2017, 9:15 PM
You can hear a harp in action on reruns of the " Beverly Hillbillies". That kind of valve lapping tool had different size suction cup for different size valves. They weren't any better than the ones that had a wood handle you just rubbed between your palms. They were used to lap valves in after the seat and the valve were ground usually with a machine.

Dan Hunkele
10-16-2017, 8:51 AM
The second is a mechanical valve lapper. It seated the valves to the head after both surfaces were ground.