Mystery Tool: Gimlet

During the years we’ve been working in the Greenbelt, we’ve found some interesting “trash”. These have been my favorite finds:

A few weeks ago, one of our team leaders found an interesting item when he was working on the site. I sent a photo if it to my neighbors and asked if anyone knew what it was. Several people thought it was a woodworking tool.

Numerous times over the past year, a woodworking school that is part of Seattle Central Community College has caught my eye. I noticed it enough times that I was beginning to wonder if I would be taking a woodworking course in the future.

Years before, I had learned that in nature where there is a poisonous plant, the antidote to the poison can often be found nearby. I also learned that we need to live in awareness because the answers to problems are all around us. When I was told that this might be a woodworking tool, my seeing the woodworking school seemed very synchronistic.

I had no doubt that my best chance of finding out what the tool was to go to the school. When I arrived there, the receptionist took me to the classroom of one of the older teachers.

The instructor thought it was an awl but he wanted to put it in a rust remover overnight. That was fine with me. The next morning, I returned to the school. The teacher had hoped he would be able to remove enough rust to be able to see some writing on it. The tool was still too rusted to be able to accomplish that goal.

After removing some of the rust, the instructor told me the tool wasn’t an awl; it was a gimlet. He had originally thought it was made in the 1920’s but after realizing it was a gimlet, he said it was much older than that. So it must have been made in the 1800’s!

Wikipedia says:

gimlet is a hand tool for drilling small holes, mainly in wood, without splitting. It was defined in Joseph Gwilt‘s Architecture (1859) as “a piece of steel of a semi-cylindrical form, hollow on one side, having a cross handle at one end and a worm or screw at the other”.[1]


A gimlet is always a small tool. A similar tool of larger size is called an auger. The cutting action of the gimlet is slightly different from an auger, however, as the end of the screw, and so the initial hole it makes, is smaller; the cutting edges pare away the wood which is moved out by the spiral sides, falling out through the entry hole. This also pulls the gimlet farther into the hole as it is turned; unlike a bradawl, pressure is not required once the tip has been drawn in.


The name “gimlet” comes from the Old French guinbeletguimbelet, later guibelet, probably a diminutive of the Anglo-French “wimble”, a variation of “guimble”, from the Middle Low German wiemel, cf. the Scandinavianwammie, to bore or twist. Modern French uses the term vrille, also the French for a tendril.[2]

Once the tool had been identified, I wondered what I would do with it. I often keep interesting trash but this item felt dangerous; it reminded me of an ice pick. I checked etsy.com and ebay.com and found that they sold gimlets for $6 to $30. And those were antique woodworking tools in good condition.

Green Seattle Partnership and the Seattle Parks Department don’t have museums for interesting trash so I decided to give it to another Forest Steward. She is part of a project that will eventually be making a sculpture of tools they have found in the Greenbelt.

I’m happy that the gimlet will have a new home; one where it will be appreciated.

Where the Wild Things Are

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Frequently, when I reflect on Sreejit’s Dungeon Prompt for the week, I end up writing about something very different than what I had originally intended to write about. This week was no exception. The topic was “Where the Wild Things Are”  and the directions for the prompt were:

Tell us all about one of the more wilder things you’ve done in your life that looks a little out of place when put up next to the rest of your life’s journey.  Or take it in another direction and tell us about your monsters, or demons.

Initially, I intended to write about my early days with Amma. As the deadline approached, however, I realized that there were many other times in my life when I did things that other people might consider “Wild” or perhaps “Strange.” I decided I would share some vignettes of those memories. Continue reading “Where the Wild Things Are”

The Black Doves Came To Me!

black_peace_dove-svgI just had the most amazing dream. It was filled with so many snipets. Some were joyful and some were uncomfortable. Some could have happened in the present or might happen in the future, but others brought in elements of the past. One snipet felt mystical, like being in a magical kingdom. Continue reading “The Black Doves Came To Me!”

Photo Journal of a Snail’s Adventure

Last week, when I removed an overgrown chive plant from my garden, I discovered it had been covering two snails. One appeared to be missing a big part of its shell and mucous was pouring out of that area. It looked like the other snail was eating the mucous. When I separated them, the wounded one didn’t move but the other one did. I followed its movement taking photographs along the way.

Notice in the photos below that the snail is approaching a crevice in the piece of concrete.

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Turning to the right.

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And then pulling his shell up.

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He has almost made it to the top.

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Success!

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As I continued to watch, I decided to follow him by video.

You  are about to enter a snail’s world.  [The snail you see at the very end of the first video is the wounded snail. The snail from the photographs above is the star of the first video (47 seconds) and all of the second one (2.59 minutes).]

I thought he was headed in a particular direction but I was wrong!

After about 20 minutes, the wounded snail began to show signs of life. In time it started on its own journey. So was it really wounded? If not, had they been mating?

I looked for information and videos on snail mating but nothing that was described or shown looked like what I had seen. There is so much I don’t know. I appreciate the glimpse into the wonders of nature that this experience has given me.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun (for me!)

On Living and Dying Day 8 by Alfred Poole

When I woke up this morning, I found an email notice in my inbox saying this post had gone up on The Seeker’s Dungeon. As I read through it, I received what was probably the biggest surprise in my life, and an incredible Mother’s Day present.

For those of you who don’t know, Al is my ex husband and father of Sreejit and Chaitanya. Our life has gone through so many phases. Sometimes our paths merged or were side by side, sometimes they were close together and for many years there was a lot of distance between us, even though we still worked together in raising our children.

I think this post is a great reminder to me, and others, that you never know where life’s road will take you and that healing of relationships can and does happen.

I feel very blessed.

The Seeker's Dungeon

Ode to the daffodil – a giver of light.

By Alfred Poole

Every spring in my city of Seattle, Washington, hundreds of children, adults and seniors take to the downtown streets and neighborhood centers with one task in mind: to freely give everyone they meet a daffodil and smile.

Unlike the hundreds of religious pamphlets, political treatises, and many product samples that are given away, daffodils are almost never rejected or discarded.  Even strangers to the custom, or untrusting personalities, find it difficult to resist the flower’s allure. For this humble yet magnificent flower is always the bearer of light, God’s gift to all of us to freely enjoy and embrace. 

The daffodil’s qualities and life lessons are extraordinary.  The flower can take root almost anywhere, rising on its seemingly vulnerable slender green stem in dark places, and unfriendly city sidewalks, as well as gardens all over.  Everywhere they bloom…

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Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

On June 29 and 30, Amma conducted programs in Atlanta for the first time.  At one point, my daughter Chaitanya asked if I wanted to visit Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church and the other buildings at the MLK National Historical Site.  I jumped at the opportunity. We went during the short break between Amma’s morning and evening programs.  Our plan was to see as much as we could this year, and view the rest the next time we go to Atlanta. The first place we visited was Ebenezer Baptist church.  Starting in 1960, Martin Luther King, Jr. co-pastored that church, along with his father.  As we sat in the pews, a recording of one of Dr. King’s speeches filled the air.  I closed my eyes and imagined myself being present at the time the speech was first given.  I would have been content to stay sitting there for hours. When I looked around, I noticed many people were taking photographs.  I resisted doing the same, but in time changed my mind; I wanted to be able to share this memorable experience with others.

At King Hall there were many exhibits about the lives of Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King.  In addition, the hall contined rooms that were tributes to Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia

In Rosa Parks’ room, there were many pictures and mementos.  I was particularly drawn to a quilt that was hanging on the wall.

Among the items in Mahatma Gandhi’s room were one of his walking sticks, a pair of sandals, a portable spinning wheel, and framed quotes.  I was not aware that Dr. King had so much respect for Mahatma Gandhi.  I also didn’t know he had traveled to India.  Dr.  King once said: “To other countries I may go as a tourist, to India I come as a pilgrim.”

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Next we went to the place where Dr. and Coretta King’s bodies are interred.  It was beautiful and felt like very sacred space to me.

We had planned to visit the home where Dr. King was born, but once there we discovered they only let visitors in twice a day and you have to get tickets ahead of time.  We did appreciate having the opportunity to see his house and stand on his porch, but will have to wait for a future visit to go inside. 20150629_162706 We spent the last half hour of our visit at the National Park Visitor Center.  Below you will see parts of the huge mural that is across from the entrance to that building.  I wish I had had time to look carefully at all that was contained in that artwork. Inside the Center there were enough exhibits to keep us busy for most of a day.  Several of the displays were interactive.  An example is in the picture below, where visitors were able to walk alongside statues of the civil rights marchers.  We will definitely spend more time at this Center in the future.

The night before our visit, I read about the National Historical Site in the tourist book in my hotel.  I found a story that really surprised me.  In preparation for writing this post, I learned more about it. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, not everyone supported the decision.  The first ever integrated dinner in Atlanta was planned to celebrate it.  Black business owners signed up to attend but the white business establishment wanted nothing to do with it.  J. Paul Austin, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, and Mayor Ivan Allen brought some of the prominent white business leaders together.  The message Paul Austin gave them was:

“It is embarrassing for Coca-Cola to be located in a city that refuses to honor its Nobel Prize winner.  We are an international business.  The Coca-Cola Co. does not need Atlanta.  You all need to decide whether Atlanta needs the Coca-Cola Co.”

The event sold out within two hours! 20150629_165301 During our time at the Site, I experienced deep emotions and many memories.  That era had affected me and my life decisions profoundly.  There is no doubt that Martin Luther King, Jr. contributed significantly to making me the person I am today. I feel blessed to have visited Dr. King’s memorial site and look forward to returning to it in the future.