What Is That Thing?

I keep a running mental list of things I need to look for when I visit thrift/junk/antique stores. It includes items like sewing machines, a steam press (I am having to be really patient on that one), sewing accessories, various kitchen items for my kids, etc. One of the items I that has floated to the top of the list lately is a point presser/clapper. Amazingly, I do not have one. I have two tailor's hams and a sleeve roll, but no point presser. I am looking for one not so much for the point presser part, but for the clapper part. I have been told that it is useful for flattening seams on bags. 

I could get a new one. There are some nice handmade wooden ones on Amazon, but they are about $40. Wouldn't you know it, when I was wandering around the junk store in Bonners Ferry, I found one sitting on the floor under a desk. (There is a section in the back of the store with a lot of sewing items.) The price was just a fraction of what I would have paid for one new, and it was in great shape:

It has a stamp on the side:

I took it up to front counter and set it down, indicating to the proprietor that I needed to use the facilities and would come back in a moment to pay for it. When I got back, he and his buddy were looking at the point presser like it was some kind of alien.

Buddy: What the heck is that thing?

Proprietor: We have a theory, but we want to know if we are right or not. 

Buddy: We've never seen anything like that before. 

I took a few moments to explain the purpose of the point presser/clapper and they both nodded sagely as though they were now possessed of some great wisdom known only to a select few. I was happy I was able to enlighten them. 

I also saw four anvils at this store, none of which was less than $250. In fact, one—not even the largest one—was $1250. Who knew? 


The pork processor's wife called this morning to let me know the pork was done. I had told her that I would come up tomorrow and get it, but as it turned out, the husband came home at lunchtime and was done for the day, so he decided to go up and get it this afternoon. The weather is nice (read: not raining or snowing) and he has a better idea—it being his truck—how to stack all the boxes and ratchet-strap them down. I could have figured it out, but it's just easier for him to do it. After work, I went out to the various freezers (they are in the garages) and moved and consolidated what was left of last year's pork supply. I am always on pins and needles when we get the pork from the processor. I worry that we won't have enough freezer space. We have 1-1/2 empty freezers, though, so I think we'll be okay. 

Mrs. Pork Processor told me a funny story when she called. Apparently, her husband was out in the woods last week splitting logs and the top of the splitting maul came off and hit him in the hand. He had to go to see an orthopedist in Kalispell. The orthopedist that he went to see was my friend Tera's husband, Kurt. (He is a hand specialist.) During the visit, they put two and two together and figured out that Mr. Pork Processor was processing one of our pigs for Kurt and Tera. 

Sometimes I like to play the six degrees of separation game because it's such a small world around here. Usually it's less than six degrees of separation. 

I might sew tonight, I might not. We'll see. I have a few things around the house that need attention, and it's going to take some time to get the pork put away. 

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Reader Comments (8)

If you'd told me you needed a point presser, I would have sent you mine. I don't use it anymore. Mine has the same information on it - 695.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHusband's mom

Oh, I thought you sent me all of your sewing stuff a few years ago. I just assumed you didn't have anything left.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Szabo

I read the other day it's down to 4.6 degrees now, and lower on social media.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSB

SB, that doesn't surprise me.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Szabo

If you're up for it, I'd love to see a photo of what you are looking for/what you refer to as a steam press. Sometimes I come across things in my travels.

Also, did the thrift store guys ever say what their theory about the point turner was? I'm glad you found an older one. Like so many things the new ones just aren't as good in quality.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarcia in Austin

Marcia, one like this:

I know I have seen them at thrift stores before—of course, when I wasn't looking for one.

The two guys didn't say what they thought the point turner was, just that they had guessed pretty closely.

November 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Szabo

I have a friend who collects axes (not anvils!), so I guess it is fair for him to wonder why I collect sewing machines. I have found two tailor's hams in local thrift stores, and have also been on the look out for a point presser. Good find on yours!

I looked at your steam press link and then found a youtube video on its use from HSN. I may have to add a stem press to my list too. My mom had a ironing mangle when I was a kid (high volume ironing for 5 little boys). It was little intimidating because of the roller, hot surfaces and size.

November 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Thomas

Mangles are actually pretty common at thrift stores here. They don't hang around long. Makes me wonder if the Hutterites are buying them.

I am coveting a steam press for fusing those miles of interfacing for bags.

November 30, 2017 | Registered CommenterJanet Szabo

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