Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 4, Issue 5
   May 2010
   What Is It?

What Is It?

The marking of manufactured parts has a long history. Some say that the First World War created the modern global standardization in manufacturing; others claim it was Henry Ford and his assembly line.

In the modern world, serial and part numbers are incorporated into the production of an individual item. This marking allows for interchangeability and replacement, should a part become defective. It is important when various parts of the piece are manufactured a considerable distance apart. The key is the coordinated design and accepted practices used by companies who have embraced the ISO 9000 and the newer ISO 14000 standards, a system that assures that a consistent worldwide standard is in use by the modern global entrepreneur.

Striking knife blade   Gouge
Close-up of the striking knife blade.   Close-up of the gouge.

From the Roman and even earlier times, housewrights, shipwrights and most tradespeople used a system to mark the parts of their product prior to assembly. Although certainly not on the same scale as described above, the small manufacturer had to develop a method to remember the structure sequence as the product made its way through the workshop, with the possibility of being handled by other masters and apprentices.
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