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Author Topic: Any ideas on what this is?  (Read 1919 times)

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Offline Nomad

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Any ideas on what this is?
« on: November 17, 2019, 12:24:20 PM »
While resawing some stuff the other day, we pried this out of an old hand-hewn beam.  It was embedded in the surface.
It's coal black.  It barely registers on a metal detector.  Can't scratch it with a knife, hacksaw, or file.  Both ends and one face are broken.  The rest is a polished curve with small raised lines on it.  It's about 1/4" wide.  The beam had been inside a building and was in good shape.  Maybe part of an old circular sawblade?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2019, 12:28:33 PM »
Interesting.  Curious results with the file and metal detector.  

Probably not of this planet.   Maybe the same material that is used in alien implants I've read about.   :D

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2019, 12:30:52 PM »
 :D
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Offline redbeard

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2019, 12:41:55 PM »
Something used from a Musket as Ammo back in the Day,
Probably entered the tree first then sawn into a beam.
Always fun too investigate odd objects.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2019, 12:47:18 PM »
The third picture down looks a bit like the base of a minie ball.  Unusual for it to be so hard, but in a pinch they'd stick anything down the barrel.

(Nomad - maybe a picture with a little more light would help?)
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Offline jeepcj779

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2019, 01:20:53 PM »
Could be a rock (mineral for snobby rock collectors). Anything with a hardness above 6.5 (steel file), like quartz (7.0 hardness) up to diamond at 10.0 hardness will not get scratched by the steel file. Can't say how it got into the finished beam.

Offline jeepcj779

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2019, 01:27:13 PM »
Might be rutile or one of the other titanium bearing heavy minerals found in NE Florida.

Offline Kainkelly

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2019, 01:49:37 PM »
Something used from a Musket as Ammo back in the Day,
Probably entered the tree first then sawn into a beam.
Always fun too investigate odd objects.
I was thinking the same thing, if you look at the bottom it looks almost as if it broke off of something.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2019, 02:39:10 PM »
Something used from a Musket as Ammo back in the Day,
Probably entered the tree first, then sawn into a beam.
Always fun too investigate odd objects.
Looks like a fossilized Mastodon tooth :D
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2019, 04:10:40 PM »
some kind of nugget :laugh:
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2019, 04:51:42 PM »
Something used from a Musket as Ammo back in the Day,
Probably entered the tree first then sawn into a beam.
Always fun too investigate odd objects.
Naw, the beam was hand hewn and it was barely breaking the surface.  This got there after the beam was in use.
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2019, 04:53:39 PM »
The third picture down looks a bit like the base of a minie ball.  Unusual for it to be so hard, but in a pinch they'd stick anything down the barrel.

(Nomad - maybe a picture with a little more light would help?)
Way too small to be part of a minnie ball.  Too hard, too.  Took the pics with a cell phone, so...
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2019, 04:55:31 PM »
Could be a rock (mineral for snobby rock collectors). Anything with a hardness above 6.5 (steel file), like quartz (7.0 hardness) up to diamond at 10.0 hardness will not get scratched by the steel file. Can't say how it got into the finished beam.
Agreed.  But how do you explain the raised lines and the polished surfaces?
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2019, 04:56:49 PM »
Might be rutile or one of the other titanium bearing heavy minerals found in NE Florida.
Possible, but I believe this came from Ohio.  Certainly not from anywhere around here.
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2019, 04:59:34 PM »
Something used from a Musket as Ammo back in the Day,
Probably entered the tree first, then sawn into a beam.
Always fun too investigate odd objects.
Looks like a fossilized Mastodon tooth :D
Where do you find pigmy Mastodons? :D
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2019, 05:02:35 PM »
Something used from a Musket as Ammo back in the Day,
Probably entered the tree first then sawn into a beam.
Always fun too investigate odd objects.
I was thinking the same thing, if you look at the bottom it looks almost as if it broke off of something.
It certainly is broken off, on three sides.  I don't understand this.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2019, 06:32:12 PM »
It looks like a broken gear tooth to me.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2019, 06:45:33 PM »
Gotta be a Highly Valuable Walnut egg.  I've heard that they are as scarce as "hen's teeth".  :o
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2019, 07:46:21 PM »
Something used from a Musket as Ammo back in the Day,
Probably entered the tree first then sawn into a beam.
Always fun too investigate odd objects.
I was thinking the same thing, if you look at the bottom it looks almost as if it broke off of something.
It certainly is broken off, on three sides.  I don't understand this.
Must be part of a tool....

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2019, 09:20:09 PM »



Actually there are several minerals that have surfaces like that right out of the ground. If it was embedded on the outside of the beam, it could have come from anywhere between Ohio (where it came from) and Florida (where I assume it was sawed last). That rock/black ceramic/mini-mastodon tooth/walnut egg could have been picked up from wherever the log was put down during handling.

Offline Kainkelly

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2019, 12:57:39 AM »
Something used from a Musket as Ammo back in the Day,
Probably entered the tree first then sawn into a beam.
Always fun too investigate odd objects.
I was thinking the same thing, if you look at the bottom it looks almost as if it broke off of something.
It certainly is broken off, on three sides.  I don't understand this.
Any chance this beam could have been from a blacksmith, or any sort metal/machine shop? It's possible this is hardened steel that got stuck with a (most likely sledge hammer) that would also explain why it's broken on three sides if it came off a corner.

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2019, 05:29:07 AM »
It looks like a broken gear tooth to me.
     Not a round gear, but maybe part of a gear rack.  That's the best idea I've heard yet!  If it shattered, it could've hit the beam hard enough to embed itself.
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2019, 08:31:04 AM »
Are you friendly with any local scrapyards? Take it to one with an alloy analyzer and ask to test it.

Do it while you're selling scrap or there will probably be a charge.
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2019, 11:17:11 AM »
Are you friendly with any local scrapyards? Take it to one with an alloy analyzer and ask to test it.

Do it while you're selling scrap or there will probably be a charge.
Not a bad idea either.  Does it destroy the sample?  How big a sample do you need?
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2019, 08:27:22 AM »
A magnet test would say more! If it's hard I really doubt even a frontiersman would have shot it in their prized possession rifle!!! My guess is a shot in the wind that it's a machinery fragment, best guess is part of a circle saw tooth locking part. 
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2019, 08:55:29 AM »
Definitely try the magnet test.  That will tell a lot quick and easy.

I don't work in a scrap yard, but do run a metallurgy lab.  When asked how big, I show them a bit that is half the size of a BB and say that I can work with smaller, but it is fast and easy if it is at least that big. Then I can use the handheld gun instead of the scanning electron microscope. 

I doesn't harm the sample to take a surface reading.  You shoot it with some X-Rays and the meter looks for the energy decay signature to determine the element(s).  (I mostly work with alloys.)  Takes about 5 seconds for most metals.  If I have to grind/polish to get through rust, carbon, etc. to get to metal, that is the only harm done.
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2019, 09:57:38 AM »
Meteorite!

(I'm only half kidding.  Could happen.)

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2019, 11:40:42 AM »
     One of the first things I did was check it with a very powerful magnet.  It is non-magnetic.  Sounds like it's plenty big enough to test it.  No way this thing was ever fired from a gun.  Much too hard, and the shape is all wrong. 
     Non-magnetic, barely reads on a metal detector, black, too hard to scratch with a file...  I'm wondering if it could be a piece of stone?  Shattered on three sides and the rest is a rounded surface, like the tooth of a gear.  Would be an oddly shaped stone, but possible I suppose.  Or maybe a piece of ceramic?  I'm mystified.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2019, 02:37:34 PM »
If the piece you were resawing had been in a welding shop or was loaded on a truck or trailer, it could possibly be a piece of welding slag!

When a welder was chipping away some of the slag, it could have launched some distance and then being hot, imbedded itself into the wood!

Just a little thinking "outside the box"!  ::)
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2019, 12:15:01 PM »
Chuck, that's as good a theory as anything else I've heard, or come up with myself. :D
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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2019, 05:01:06 AM »
    I believe I've figured it out. 8)  It is a piece of stone.  A piece of flat, water eroded stone like you'd skip across a creek or lake.  The profile matches perfectly.  How it got there?  I dunno.  Maybe the timber got dragged across some, or run over by a truck or something.  Need to find a mineralogist to verify that.
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Offline Normang

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2019, 09:19:17 PM »
Roswell??

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Re: Any ideas on what this is?
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2019, 08:04:48 AM »
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