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11/2/20 6:12 a.m.

I want to say marlin spike, but the offset handles elude me as to function. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/2/20 7:53 a.m.
NOHOME said:

I want to say marlin spike, but the offset handles elude me as to function. 

I agree, that's the most similar appearing tool that I can think of. Could be coincidence, or an accurate guess.

What's that expression? The same, only different. 

Mndsm MegaDork
11/12/20 10:09 a.m.

someone said tuning pegs a few pages back. I saw this video on reddit and I'm pretty sure they were right. Obviously not the same, but similar. 

1988RedT2 MegaDork
11/12/20 10:18 a.m.

It's gotten to the point where I feel compelled to open this thread every time it comes to the top just to see if someone has finally figured it out. 

I'd say rope tool is more likely than tuning peg, but hey, that's just like, my opinion, man.

Wxdude10 - Mike
Wxdude10 - Mike Reader
6/12/21 6:30 a.m.

As several others said, this looks like it is a marlin spike for making ropes.  Just saw this today on Reddit:

Making rope with a Marlin Spike

When I saw this video this morning I was like "That's the tool no one could definitely ID on GRM from the library.  Now where's that post....".

*Furious searching for this topic begins before my one working ADD addled brain cell forgets the post..*

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/12/21 7:25 p.m.

This is hilarious, because I was just thinking about this thread yesterday.

The link goes nowhere, though- Reddit says no such group exists. 

11GTCS Dork
6/12/21 8:49 p.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy :

Lol, of course. They’re hiding it from us.....devil

Wxdude10 - Mike
Wxdude10 - Mike Reader
6/12/21 10:39 p.m.

Wow.  That's weird.  It opened up for me.  

lets try this

You tube making a rope with a marlin spike

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/12/21 10:39 p.m.

Closer to what I'd call a Fid than a Marlin Spike, but I'm still not seeing the offset knobs. What particular type of marlin spike/fid would have those? Job specialty specific or regional-cultural? Sail making on a small island off the coast of Norway? Fishing nets on a stretch of South Pacific coast?

ShawnG UltimaDork
6/12/21 11:03 p.m.

They're tools from the tropical island of Tong.

Tong is 50 miles long and 9 feet wide.

Their chief export is rope.

I can't take credit for that, it's an old Jonathan Winters bit but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/19/23 1:10 p.m.

It's been a few years. Any insights?


SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
6/19/23 2:15 p.m.

Still convinced it's a hoax. More than ever.

I think it's one of the most wonderfully creative hoaxes ever conceived.  It has kept tens of thousands of people confused for years. 

There is JUST enough oddity and variation to rule out just about every idea possible.

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/19/23 3:29 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

It may just be a hoax or an early AI generated image. 

ToManyProjects Reader
6/19/23 3:41 p.m.

Okay, I didn't make those, but I've made things that could easily fit in the photo. I can't promise that they are the same, but I made knitting needles for my arthritic grandmother with offset knobs at the end so she could manipulate them more with her wrists than her fingers.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/20/23 10:55 a.m.

Just revisited TinEye, Google Image Search, and tried Bing Image Search. I think it was Bing that got me to the Reddit thread which also didn't know what they were. No matches in the related image examples on any of those engines.

TinEye had four nominal hits, but they were all this exact image on another site, and all tagged "goggles" for I don't know why.

I'm still hopeful there's a real and positive answer, and that this is just an excellent example of how hard a combination of image search and small sample size is.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/20/23 12:02 p.m.

Amusingly, Dr Hess suggested Marline Spike on the first page... 

Some day I'll get over to the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA.  If some strange hand tool exists, the chances of that museum having at least one of them are high.  The downside is it may take a week to find them (there's literally so much on display, it can be sensory overload).  Before I go, I'll make sure to load a copy of the picture to my phone to ask someone there. 

RossD MegaDork
4/21/24 9:39 a.m.

I was just watching the latest Tally Ho episode on youtube

And Bob is using what looks like these tools to "service" some rope!


GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/21/24 1:09 p.m.

It's not a perfect match, just after the 17min mark we can see him using a spiked tool with no side pegs on the rope (similar to the fids or marline spikes mentioned earlier in the thread), and then he uses a full bar with side pegs, but he never uses a spiked tool with side pegs like the Irritating Pegged Rods of Confusion.

Maybe they're a custom multitool meant to do the job of both those tools in one?

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/21/24 3:10 p.m.

Oh, THIS is back again. Great.

Appleseed MegaDork
4/21/24 3:57 p.m.

This thread haunts all who read it.

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