The Thin Tin Shim

By Ronn Hann of Northern Comfort Log Homes

Reprinted from Spring 2006 Newsletter

Several years ago, I made a simple 6” by 12” rectangle out of some aluminum flashing stock in order to lay out some 6” by 12” mortise and tenons that I had to cut and since then it has been called, “The Thin Tin Shim.” It gets used quite a bit for many more uses. It is called for to lay out lock notches, transfer square end cuts around a log from chalk line centerlines, floor joist mortise and tenon layout on wall logs and to square end log floor joists. It can also be used as a gauge to check widths of cuts. I also bend it over under hanging log ends when finish scribing the coved ends of a log. The flashing stock is easy to accurately cut with a utility knife and small nicks with the knife mark the center lines all sides. It is now very easy to pick up and transfer a 3” or 6” offset to cut a center line or snap line, layout square cuts on log ends or work off the center of a notch to layout a 6” wide lock notch. Then wrap around the log below at the double scribed notch to quickly lay out the female part of the lock. This flexible free mini square has many redeeming features. It can be left out in the rain and never rusts. It never seems to get lost or left behind. I have been using the same one for years.

Thanks, Ronn Hann
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