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animal Planet

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  • animal Planet

    I was making some custom handrail parts the other day and used a term which the installer was unfamiliar with. ("swan neck"). "Goose neck I know" he replied "but what exactly is a swan neck?"

    After explaining that a swan neck has an over easing at the top where it connects with the level rail (as apposed to the mitered joint of a goose neck) it occurred to me that as far as stairs are concerned, we do have a bit of a menagerie…

    Here are a few common and obsolete terms and tools used in connection with stairs.(in no particular order):

    Goose Neck
    Swan Neck
    Bull Nose
    Bench Dog
    Dog's Leg
    Lamb's Tongue
    Toad's Back
    Pig Tail
    Swallows Tail
    Dove Tail
    Squirrel Tail
    Monkey Tail
    Rat Tail
    Ram’s Horn
    Thumb Nail
    Bull’s Eye Level
    Fish Tail Gouge
    Bird’s Mouth
    Herring-Bone Bracing
    Spider-web framing
    Elephant Molder
    Grasshopper Gauge
    Cockle Stairs

    Have I forgotten any? I was going to add “rabbit plane” but I think it’s “Rabbet?”

  • #2
    Re: animal Planet

    Originally posted by Jim Baldwin View Post

    Here are a few common and obsolete terms and tools used in connection with stairs.(in no particular order):

    Have I forgotten any? I was going to add “rabbit plane” but I think it’s “Rabbet?”
    I'm guessing you've never had the need for a cat's paw, huh, Jim? ;o)


    • #3
      Re: animal Planet

      Hey cool...

      Cat's Paw, how could I forget that? Also known as a Crow's Foot? I certainly forgot the Crow Bar.


      • #4
        Re: animal Planet

        How about duck bill snips?
        Gull wing tool box?
        Lion miter trimmer?
        Sawcat circular saw?
        Pony clamp?
        Alligator clip?


        • #5
          Re: animal Planet

          Lets not forget one we all deal with frequently in this business- bull sh!


          • #6
            Re: animal Planet

            And there are ass#$%^& too!


            • #7
              Re: animal Planet


              just happened to be installing some custom white oak "fittings" just this last week and one of the other tradesman commented that the "swan neck" i was working with at the time looked like a "cobra" - from a profile angle i had to agree, but did correct him with the proper name as you"ve mentioned.

              Just to clarify, as this seems to be morphing into non stair related work, these "animal names" are all related to either "tools" or "term"(onology) specific to stairbuilding.

              thanx for the history lesson Jim-

              I eagerly lap it up each and every time ! ! !

              Lon said you liked my "cord holding jig" to protect the wall cap i just put in ??? Funny thing is that that big fat cord you saw in the picture was coming from a "Spider Box" ! ! ! (Electrician's can now jump in as i've done exactly what i was trying to avoid !!! )

              M Smith


              • #8
                Re: animal Planet

                Gee gburnet,
                I'm actually embarrassed to have missed sawhorse and pony clamp. Both could have jumped up and bit me on the butt-joint like some serpentine. The prize however, must be shared by Andrew and Bob who have pretty much summed it all up.

                Matt, I think you should post a picture of your patent-pending "Cord Keeper" which is very Malibu "kuwell"'


                • #9
                  Re: animal Planet

                  You can tell the differences in the trades by the terminology they use.

                  Stair builders work with animal parts.

                  Framers use studs and bang nails.

                  Plumbers, of course, work with male and female ends, cocks, (ballcocks, petcocks, gas cocks) ball valves, and nipples. No wonder you'll usually find a plumber in the sewer.