What is this cool thing, any suggestions on what to do with it?

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What the heck is this thing and what was it used for? I know that I have seen one of these with a top part but cannot remember what it was supposed to be. On the top of the two "arms" are notches, one on each side, not big enough to hold a table top. Any ideas on what I might do with it? I only paid one dollar at a yard sale.
q cast iron hot water heater stand, furniture id, painted furniture
  40 answers
  • Kcama Kcama on Sep 04, 2015
    It's a cast iron hot water stand - it would hold a tank of water next to a wood burning stove...before they had hot water taps. They usually have a circle top. I have a gazing ball in mine.

    • See 2 previous
    • Billie Rohl Billie Rohl on Sep 06, 2015
      Hah! I should have asked that first, I thought it held a mirror. That would be a heck of a mirror! Lol I am now off to Google cast iron hot water thingy, or whatever the others said. How far apart are the arms?

  • Cindy Corean Cindy Corean on Sep 04, 2015
    Depending on the size, it could have been a stand for a globe, possibly at a college or in a very large library.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 04, 2015
    There is so ironic I bought the same piece last year at a garage sale by mine had a top on it.

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Sep 04, 2015
    I'd clean it -just a bit - to make sure not rust or paint comes off.. depending on the height, I's add a glass top and use it for an end table or coffee table.. its a cool piece..

    • Fab and Pretty Fab and Pretty on Sep 04, 2015
      @Wanda sinnema a tippy top! I'm lost as for how to balance a glass top. I just find this piece so interesting. Here I'm asking questions and it's not even mine!

  • LILLIAN LILLIAN on Sep 04, 2015
    I have a couple of these from my mothers old house. Holds heavy duty sinks. I'm making planters out of them they already have drain holes.

  • LILLIAN LILLIAN on Sep 04, 2015
    You can uswe it after painting, put a garden globe in it would look special

  • Lucy Lucy on Sep 05, 2015
    It looks like a stand that would hold an old bell. Too bad the bell is gone.

  • Kcama Kcama on Sep 05, 2015
    If you Google "cast iron water heater stands" images, you'll see lots of them (some with the original ring tops) and lots of ideas.

  • Mona Mona on Sep 05, 2015
    Could be a solar clock stand?

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 05, 2015
    They modified the top with a piece of wood. I eventully am going to use it in my garden> I love to repurpose odd pieces that way.

    • Susan Bechamp Susan Bechamp on Sep 28, 2015
      @Janet Pizaro If it already has a wood top, are you game for a chessboard? Maybe a sundial?

  • Laine Laine on Sep 05, 2015
    Possibly was the base for a mirror at one time

  • Maija Maija on Sep 05, 2015
    Hang necklaces on this

  • Justme Justme on Sep 05, 2015
    looks like it wants to be a lamp to me. let us know what you decide to do:-)

  • Becky D Becky D on Sep 05, 2015
    It looks to me like it might have been a stand for a garden orb of some kind, thinking maybe one of the open metal work ones. The slots on the top may have housed a rod of some sort that the orb would have connected to somehow to the orb so it spun freely.

  • Lee Ann Perez Lee Ann Perez on Sep 05, 2015
    Could it have held a mirror that flipped over for a magnification side?

  • Tye Tye on Sep 05, 2015
    base holder for candles. :-)

  • Betty Miller Betty Miller on Sep 05, 2015
    If it is iron it may have held a bell. Like school bell or there were smaller one;s at farm steads. It was mounted on pole and the bell on top of it. The ball would sit in the grouves and usually rope attached to ring it.

  • Darlene Perdue Darlene Perdue on Sep 05, 2015
    Maybe a old sun dial ..

  • Kincaid99 Kincaid99 on Sep 05, 2015
    You could glue on a small base or screw it on then attach a small bowl and make a candy, candle or mini bird bath or feeder

  • Billie Rohl Billie Rohl on Sep 05, 2015
    It is a mirror stand.

  • Carol Morrison Carol Morrison on Sep 05, 2015
    If it came from a front of a building it could have been used to tie up a horse. My grandparents had a cement block with a post and ring attached in front of their old Victorian house for that purpose.

  • Denise Denise on Sep 05, 2015
    Turn it on its side, hang on wall, use for towel rack

  • Trish Butler Trish Butler on Sep 05, 2015
    Looks like it held a round mirror.

  • Pammy Pammy on Sep 05, 2015
    Looks like it would make a cool sling shot... I say that to say I haven't a clue but I like it.

  • Renata Renata on Sep 05, 2015
    U beat me to it Pammy!! I thought it was big and could just see Dumb and Dumber slinging themselves out into the yard...lol

  • Judyms9 Judyms9 on Sep 05, 2015
    It looks like a pedestal that once held a vintage water heater.

    • Sandra Sandra on Sep 27, 2015
      Hi Judy. Don't have much to add about this subject as I am still looking for this online to try to see how this would look with a heater on it. So far I only have found one with 3 prongs. BUT wanted to say hello to a fellow Dearbornite. I live in Florida now, but get there as often as I can. I miss it.

  • Debbie Debbie on Sep 05, 2015
    I googled "cast iron hot water stand" and looked at the images. It appears to be what you have. Yours is missing a metal ring that sits perpendicular to the rest of it.. I saw that someone added a glass top that sits on the (missing) metal ring to make a cool table.

  • Jean Moore Jean Moore on Sep 05, 2015
    I've got one that I use as a bird bath. Bought a copper bath 2 yrs ago and the bowl broke off the stand. Kept the bowl and set it atop the stand.

  • Patti Patti on Sep 05, 2015
    A cast iron water heater stand....NEVER heard of that. I looked at what debbiehoffpauir suggested on google. That is cool. I still don't really understand exactly how it worked, but I love interesting old things and that IS interesting. Thanks for teaching me something new. It's amazing what you can find.

  • Mary Testin Mary Testin on Sep 06, 2015
    I'm not sure how big it is, but I've seen bases like that for holding beautiful glass plates or discs in the garden. A cheaper alternative would be you could make a disc from plexiglass and seal torn tissue paper or napkin flowers onto the disc. It would imitate a glass plate. You need to add some brackets on top to hold it in place, but you could screw them in.

  • Sandi Brenciaglia Sandi Brenciaglia on Sep 07, 2015
    Thank you all so much, now to start thinking about what to do with it.

  • Gina Gina on Sep 08, 2015
    If it isn't really big, it could be an ornate mirror holder.

  • C C on Sep 10, 2015
    I use my hot water heater stand as a sundial holder. I have a fairly large collection of sundials and try to display them in different ways.

  • LOUISE LOUISE on Sep 10, 2015
    They used them to hang iron bells on them,they have arms on them that fit down in the notches on the stand on the farm when dinner was prepared they would ring the bell for the workers to come in and eat.there were no tractors back then so bells could be heard for miles,no telephones either so if needed help U just rang the bell.

  • Sandi Brenciaglia Sandi Brenciaglia on Sep 11, 2015
    that makes sense of the notches!

  • Holly Holly on Sep 11, 2015
    Could you use a glass oval or tublar shaped bowl and some wire to use for candles, flowers, colored balls etc....

  • Marypet Marypet on Sep 15, 2015
    I think it might have been a base for a table lamp...like a banker's lamp.

  • Gai2302345 Gai2302345 on Sep 18, 2015
    It held a swivel mirror

  • Sandra Sandra on Sep 27, 2015
    Maybe a wrought iron maker could make you a top for it and then you could use it as a holder for a plant or a gazing ball.