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These two metal doohickeys were in a small sealed plastic bag in my garage. They're about 3 inches long. Anyone know what they are?

metal doohickeys

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  • is there anything printed on the bag?
    – jsotola
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 1:21
  • 4
    how do you know that they are doohickeys? ... maybe they are whatsits
    – jsotola
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 1:23
  • They might be the two parts of a latch. The one on the right can move in-and-out and rotate in a circular cross section hole. The one on the left can only move in and out in a hole which is circular on one side and rectangular on the other. They are in parallel holes (horizontal or vertical) a certain distance apart and the one on the right is rotated to be under the one of the left and restrained. Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 16:27
  • Can we get a 2nd picture of the other side? The one on the left looks like the vertical piece is "hollow" on the other side, but can't tell from here.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 16:40
  • What are they made of? What else is stored with/near them?
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 17, 2023 at 18:30

2 Answers 2

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They look like the pins or clamps used by carpenters to hold wood on the work bench.

The bench has holes and they are tapped in with a mallet sop bits can be planed or sawn.

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    First thing I thought was holdfasts, BUT I've not seen ones with a profile quite like those, the one in the left looks square on the back of the shaft, and neither had a broad flat end to hold something down which would mar a workpiece Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 14:54
  • I'd have to agree with @UnhandledExcepSean. I'm sure I've not seen every holdfast design out there, but I've never seen any like these. Lots of edges that would make dents in all but the hardest of hard woods.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 16:39
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They might be the two parts of a latch. The one on the right can move in-and-out and rotate in a circular cross section hole. The one on the left can only move in and out in a hole which is circular on one side and rectangular on the other. They would be placed in parallel holes (probably vertical) a certain distance apart and the one on the right could be rotated to be under the one on the left and so be restrained.

In the picture they are upside down from their position in use. The curving opening on the left one would be out and used to lift with the fingers to release one or both of two panels to swing out on hinges.

This would allow the panels to be pulled apart in the same plane while preventing them from being pushed open. The left one would lift and slide over the right one, if the two panels would be pulled apart in the same plane.

Maybe this is a latch for a sliding panel door which is designed to prevent a human from getting locked into a space that a horse or a cow could not figure out how to manipulate. Might be a latch for a sliding barn or other door that could be opened by a human from either inside or outside.

Perhaps this would be useful on a door which is hinged but also has a sliding panel on the end, if there is any such door. The sliding panel could be pulled open without having to unlatch, . . .

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