Animals in the Workshop*

*Updated to correct fox-wedged tenon.

The natural world provides a huge vocabulary to help us describe what we do and make. Birdseye can be a pattern in maple, a textile and a chile. In the workshop, names of animals (or parts there of) are a shorthand to describe details on furniture, components of tools and workbench appliances.

With input from Chris Schwarz I put together a collage of animal-inspired woodworking features, tools and one misinformed rabbit.

You are free to print this, however, I can’t guarantee resolution on a very large print.

Suzanne Ellison

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Animals in the Workshop*

  1. Ken says:

    Mule ears? Never heard that one. I don’t get the grasshopper one. All the others are familiar.

    • saucyindexer says:

      The stiles of the chair are shaved and curve backwards resembling a mule’s ear. This is a feature of many Southern slat-back chairs.

  2. Richard Jones says:

    I have a feeling the top right image is meant to represent a fox-wedged tenon. It’s not: it’s a through wedged tenon. In a fox-wedged M&T, the tenon doesn’t pass all the way through the wood. In the fox-wedged M&T form the mortice is stopped or ‘blind’, and the wedges are driven into the tenon’s sawcuts by the bottom of the mortice as the joint is assembled.

    Sorry to be a pedant, especially if I’ve misunderstood the link between the fox and the associated joint – maybe it’s not a fox?


    • saucyindexer says:

      Richard, you are correct. I used the wrong image of several collected. I’ll try to fix it and update the post. Thanks.

    • paul fowler says:

      to ye stocks wit ya…..

      • paul fowler says:

        just returned from local flea/farmers market!
        one booth had 4 lump hammers on sale!

  3. jbakerrower says:

    I don’t get the ladderback chair, the wedged tenon, or the cricket…

    • saucyindexer says:

      The grasshopper gauge is used to “leap” over an obstruction to mark on the other side.

  4. denver80203 says:

    Needs dog holes

  5. Curt Lavallee says:

    This kind of stuff is yet another reason I keep coming here. Perhaps the next iteration can include a beetle (maul) and a fishtail gouge?

    • Matthew Holbrook says:

      Don’t forget the fishtail chisel for use on half-blind … (ahem) dove-tails.

    • David Walbert says:

      Not to mention a swan-neck chisel. Which, by coincidence, arrived on my doorstep today.

      Actually this makes me want to think of animals for which no tools are named, and come up with tools to name them after.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Great graphic! You can add the shave horse & chevalet (marquetry mule/donkey/pony)

  7. This blog is going to the dogs.

  8. Ken says:

    Two that I saw just today from one of vintage tool dealers. Whale plane and rams horn scraper.
    And a lady bug bull nose plane.

  9. JS says:

    bench dogs, fawn’s foot axe handle, claw hammer, jack plane, dovetail

  10. Matthew Holbrook says:

    Since homo sapiens is a tool using species, we have names related to human anatomy.
    Breast drill
    Shoulder plane
    A Tenon has cheeks chin forehead nose and a neck.
    Knee brace
    Some pieces of furniture have a waist between the upper cabinet and the lower cabinet

  11. Matthew Holbrook says:

    If we Woodworkers use the Sketchup software to design Furniture and prepare cut list’s the device that we use to operate the program is called a mouse

  12. John Kunstman says:

    Ball in claw, or ball in paw (for you cat people).

  13. Sean Nolan says:

    Houndstooth Dovetails

Comments are closed.