This tool was found in a bucket of old Lepley gunsmithing hardware at the Alonzo Lepley estate auction in Southampton Township, Somerset County PA. It is clearly intended to be driven rotationally by a brace. This tool was previously reported to be hand-forged, but a re-inspection shows it to be of cast or machine-forged construction. It is made from ferrous material. It has an overall length of 4.4", and is 0.884" wide at the widest part.
I have long imagined that this was a wood boring tool, perhaps for making the cap recess in the buttstock behind the cap box door, but the imagined cutters were rounded. In October, 2008 N. Miller e-mailed me with what seems like a much better explanation. He wrote that it is "a spanner for something with matching holes that it can turn. Your item is probably in unworn shape and that is how it looks."
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