When someone says "framing square," we all probably think of the same object. But before it became a mass-produced tool in early 19th century America–and the tool we all think of–medieval European timber framers used framing squares to lay out bents and ribbed vaults for houses and cathedrals. It didn't originate with them either, though, because Roman carpenters used framing squares to build hip roofs and formidable warships. And before that, wooden squares dating back to 1500 B.C. have been found buried ceremoniously in the tombs of master Egyptian builders.
The framing square is as simple in design as it gets, yet its markings point to uses far more complex than its obvious appearance implies.
So what? you might be saying, a tool that does more than one thing. And really, who cares? In this era of computers, calculators, digital tools, and laser-guided layout, why bother learning this dead-language tool when instant answers to complex problems are just a button-push away? I can give you the answer in one word: Foundation.
The Keys to the Kingdom
I'll always remember the first tool kit I assembled as an apprentice carpenter and the old, well-seasoned carpenter who told me to buy it. He instructed me to show up with a 16-foot-long 3/4-inch-wide tape, 2-foot spirit level, 1-inch chisel, 22-ounce Plumb hammer, 10-point Disston handsaw.
Click here to read full article from Tools of the Trade