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Originally posted by butcherguy
It is a shuttle.
Used for weaving.
It looks like it is supposed to resemble a piece of military ordinance. Since it is made entirely out of wood, I might guess that it is some type of training aid.
It seems to me that the removable slats keep yarn (or string or thread) contained and the "working end" exits through the groove. When ALL of the slats are removed, the "not a loom shuttle" can be refilled simply by winding thread around the dowel and the slats replaced. I have a vague recollection of something that looks like this being used as a huge darning needle to repair fishing nets in the days of the tall ships. As thread is consumed, slats are removed and relocated to other open positions and a little yarn is therefore freed to continue the process.