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Wooden Masonic Working Tools

Masonic Working Tools by Daniel Hrinko (image by courtesy of the artist / craftsman himself

By Bro. Daniel Hrinko

“Tools and implements of architecture and symbolic emblems most expressive are selected by the fraternity to imprint upon the mind wise and serious truths.”

The Tools

As an entered apprentice, we are initiated into a fraternity that makes use of hidden meanings associated with common symbols. Much of our life as Freemasons is concerned with the development of an understanding of these symbols, the lessons attached to them, and their applications to our daily lives. Thus, the power of the symbol is directly related to our ability for them to trigger those fond memories and connect us with those lessons of morality attached to them by our fraternity.

In the days of ancient craft masonry, the brothers who were studying the speculative side of Freemasonry did so as they pursued a career in operative Freemasonry and constantly had at hand their working tools. The common gavel, gauge, plumb, square, level, and compasses were all use by operative Masons at various times in their day-to-day life. Their constant physical presence made them the perfect objects to connect them with deeper morality.

This is clearly evidenced by the poem found on the Baal Bridge Square lovingly placed in the northeast corner of the footing stone of a bridge in Ireland in 1507. That Square has engraved on one side a simple phrase “I will strive to live with love and care,” and on the other side a partner phrase “upon the level and by the square.” This simple poem makes it clear that the use of the square and the level as lessons of morality attaches a powerful meeting to these items.

If the authors of our rituals have spent the past 500+ years teaching valuable lessons through the use of these symbols, it makes sense then that our working tools should be physically present in our environment, as they were with our operative ancestors, so their power as a symbol would be ever-present.

To that end, I have designed, constructed, and made available sets of working tools to be not only “presented,” but to be given to each candidate at each step on his Masonic journey. These tools serve as the basis for his lifelong Masonic toolbox not only symbolically but physically. He is encouraged to keep these working tools in a place of honor to serve as a constant reminder of the lessons and deeper meanings associated with these simple symbols.

The Craftsman

Brother Daniel Hrinko has been a Master Mason since 1977. He has served as worshipful master of Clark Lodge No. 101 in 1983 and again in 2005. He served Arts and Sciences Lodge as Worshipful Master under Dispensation during 2009, and as the charter Worshipful Master in 2010. He served as a member of the Grand Lodge of Ohio Committee on Education and Information from 2007 through 2014. He served the Grand Lodge of Ohio as a District Education Officer during 2013 and again in 2014.

Images used

by courtesy of Bro. Daniel Hrinko.

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