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Explanation of Masonic Tools

Operative Freemasons used their tools to cut and finish the stone, they completed buildings to stand the test of time, while speculative Freemasons use rituals and symbols to cut and finish the man, morally, intellectually, and spiritually, Masonic tools play a prominent role in this instruction, but not all masonic tools are included in the explanations, some require further study by the Brother.
 
Each of the Degrees impart new lessons and instruction, all are linked to social virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity, The principles of Brotherly love, relief, and Truth and the Cardinal virtues of Temperance, Prudence, and Justice, all can be found in some measure throughout Masonic Ritual, Brethren who take the time, not just to listen, but to learn, will have a deeper understanding of what Freemasonry can offer them.

Below is the Tools used in each of the Three Craft Degree's with an explanation of their meanings.
 
You will observe the conduct and moral rectitude expected of a initiate, with the religious instruction left to the candidates choice of faith, we do not offer sacrements,we do have an open book of the King James bible, we do expect our Members to have a faith in God and to attend their own church/chapel, etc, Freemasonry is a journey of self improvement, both through our Degrees, and using what you have learned to make a good man better, no more, and certainly no less, have a read through the explanation, and see what i mean, you may find that Freemasonry may be more interesting than you thought.


1st or Entered Apprentice Degree

The Working Tools of an Entered Apprentice Mason are the 24" Gauge and the Common Gavel.

 The Twenty-Four-Inch Gauge is an instrument used by Operative Masons to measure and lay out their work; but we, as Entered Apprentice Masons, are taught to use it for the purpose of dividing our time. It being divided into twenty-four equal parts, some in our usual vocation some in rest, and some in recreation. In the symbolic language of freemasonry, the 24" gauge becomes the symbol of "Time well spent".
 
The Common Gavel is used by the Speculative Mason as a symbol to admonish us of the duty of divesting our minds and consciences of all vices and Impurities of life, therby fitting ourselves as living stones for that spiritual building not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens.

 

2nd or Fellowcraft Degree

The working tools of a Fellow craft are the Square, Level and Plumb-rule.
 
The Square is an implement made to an angle of ninety degrees, or the fourth part of a circle. To the Speculative Mason it is an emblem of morality.
 
The Level is an implement used for testing horizontals and to the Speculative Mason a sign of Fraternal equality which should always be found in a Masonic Lodge.
 
The Plumb-rule is an instrument made use by Operative Masons to test Perpendiculars; and to the speculative Mason an emblem of rectitude of conduct. As an Insecure building must eventually fall, so he whose life is not supported by an upright course of conduct can no longer sustain a worthy reputation and must soon sink beneath the estimation of every good and virtous man.

 

3rd or Sublime Degree of Master Mason

 The working tools of Master Mason are, the Pencil, Skirrit and Compasses.
 
The Pencil reminds us that every word and action have been observed and recorded by the Almighty Architect to whom, at some time, he must give an account of his actions and conduct through his mortal life.
 
The Skirrit is an implement that acts as a centre pin from which a line is unwound. The line is chalked and struck to the ground to mark out the plans for an intended building,. So the Skirrit reminds us of the straight and undeviating line of conduct marked out for us.
 
The Compasses is an implement consisting of two movable legs, hinged together at one end, used for describing circles, and by the Architect for measuring figures in preparing his plans, enabling him to give his designs the just proportions, which will ensure beauty as well as stability to his
 work, So in Speculative Masonry, this implement is Symbolic of Virtue.