"Found while clearing overgrowth at the back of the garden. Any ideas"
A: "Looks like an old (maybe 6 volt) car battery. Be careful removing it. Wear gloves. By this point the acid is probably all gone and neutralized so you could take it to a metal recycler or auto store."
"What are these rack/sliders on my balcony in Japan?"
A: "It’s a folding clothesline for drying laundry…. Flips up, then you slide a pole through the openings to hang clothes. It should slide straight up then lean inward at 45 degrees. You can see the notch at the bottom there."
"What is this dish? Bought it at my local Thai restaurant. It came with romaine lettuce, cilantro, and chili pepper on the side. I ate the rest before remembering to take a pic to identify it lol"
A: "I looked it up based on the name you gave me and it seems the one I had was a pork version called Khao Kriab Pak Maw"
"Found at my parent’s camper site in VA. Solid steel. Any ideas?"
A: "Its a crown for a tent. I had the same one."
"I found this scrap piece buried under a shed in Norwell, Massachusetts. Roughly 4ft tall, lightweight metal and has an information plate with various serial numbers. What type of airplane did this come from?"
A: "It’s not a rudder but the right stabiliser from a twin-tail Beechcraft Model 18."
"Found under my lawn 1 foot down. Possibly brass and 4inches tall. 2 holes visible and one underneath. Any ideas? Thanks"
A: “Brass Gallery Railing” is what you’re looking for.."
"Found in the grass after my wedding"
A: "Record player (turntable) ‘cartridge’; ie:the part at the end of the arm with the needle that runs on the surface of the vinyl record."
"Anyone know what type of insulation this is in my attic?"
A: "It’s vermiculite, alone not harmful. At some point in history there was asbestos in it but as long as you’re not kicking up dust it’s fine."
"What has happened to my friend’s wedding dress? She didn’t get round to dry cleaning it after the wedding, and has kept it in the suit bag it came in. It is wet and sticky."
A: "I was told that if ANY food particles or drink drops were on my dress that it would do this over time. Don’t know if it molds, becomes “food” for bugs or what. I had my dress cleaned and put in a box but not the vail. When I pulled the vail out several years later, there were spots on it = probably from food or dinks. Weird how it turns colors."
"This brass/gold monogrammed device – more info in comments – inside is a wire frame with strange beads and some insulation?!"
A: "That’s an old cigarette lighter called a “catalytic” lighter. Catalytic lighters use methanol or methylated spirits as fuel and a thin platinum wire which heats up in the presence of flammable vapours and produces a flame."
"I inherited a box of dishes and cutlery and this was in the box."
A: "It goes to a 2 tier serving plate. Missing are the plates with holes in the center for these to screw into."
"What is this old rusted tub?"
A: "If that’s a crank handle on the side, which turns a mixing or churning blade around an inner cylinder, then it may be an old butter churn or ice cream maker"
"Which type of utensil fits in the barbell shaped holes in this cutlery box from the 1800?"
A: "Knife rests"
"Found under the carpet of a Mercedes I was tearing apart; thought it might be a factory tool? Dirty wireless mouse for scale."
A: "Paint nib file"
"Metal Thing from Abandoned Factory (Lego Man for Scale)"
A: "The look like the cartridges to drive fasteners into concrete via an explosive charge. They are likely .22 cal. blancks"
"Lettering (?) in chalk, beneath my floorboards."
A: "Carpenters use whatever is convenient to write down measurements and quick calculations. And why not, it’s either covered up, or hidden."
"Ceramic tea pet – maybe a dragon?"
A: "Chinese guardian lions or shishi, komainu in Japanese. Commonly known as fu dogs."
"What is this tool? It is made of semi hard rubber and has nails on each side for gripping?"
A: "Sanding block. The nail/spike holds a piece of sandpaper that wraps around the bottom."
"What are those pictorial cards used for? Subjects are the same on the back, in b/w. About 12 total."
A: "They are for this coloring/memory board game"
"Found on the rim of a canyon near Rome, Oregon. Both are firmly in the rocks, one has wire attached to it. The drop is 200 feet at least to the river below."
A: "While these were likely being used as anchors for some kind of bridge structure (or maybe some kind of wire ladder or lift), they look like repurposed drive axles from a differential gearbox. Good choice if you have them lying around, as they would be pretty durable, and the drive gears prevent any slipping upward of the wire ropes if they ‘bounce’. Commonly known as half shafts"
"Kids found this in their bedroom. When you twist the bottom piece the spikes go in. What is it?"
A: "It’s a small flower loom."