“Tough enough to handle the most intense experiments.”
“What's this part good for?”
“Bendy thing is made of metal!”
“It looks complicated.”
“I'M MADE OF TOUGHER STUFF”
“This is used to agitate the humors.”
“A crank that will stand up to punishment.”
“Let's get cranky. Ha!”
“You wanna come with me, huh?”
“Definitely for a cranking action of some kind.”
“Ta my eye it be a crank fer crankin'.”
The Crank Thing is an Item, one of four Things used on the Wooden Thing to travel to the next world. It spawns naturally in every world in its own Set Piece. It is surrounded by Evil Flowers in a small patch of Savanna Turf along with a Pig House surrounded by 3 Spiky Trees and an Axe at 100%.
There are two versions of it, one that spawns in Sandbox Mode and one in Adventure Mode, that differ from their color schemes. Players can craft a Divining Rod to help them track the Crank Thing.
The only purpose of the Crank Thing is to be used on the Wooden Thing. It's an important gameplay Item and as such it cannot be destroyed or stolen by Mobs, e.g. Krampus or Splumonkeys.
The Crank Thing's Set Piece.
Crank Thing added to the Wooden Thing.