These standard parts were the key to enabling less-skilled workers to replicate the skill of the craftsman on a repetitive basis. The original method of achieving consistent part configuration was the template. Templates for layout, sawing, and filing permitted each worker to make parts to a standard design. While early templates were crude, they at least gave skilled workers a standard form to follow for the part. Building on the template idea, workers constructed other guides and workholders to make their jobs easier and the results more predictable. These guides and workholders were the ancestors of today’s jigs and fixtures

Another term which describes both jigs and fixtures is “workholder.” A broad term, it frequently identifies any device which holds, supports, and locates a workpiece. In addition to jigs and fixtures, vises, collets, clamps, and other similar devices are also workholders.