A substance used for wearing away and polishing a surface by friction.
Acrylic Lacquers
In finishing, high quality clear system for finishing furniture.
A substance capable of bonding materials together by surface attachment. It is a general term and includes all cements and glues.
Adhesive, Type 1 Fully Waterproof
Forms a bond that will withstand full-weather exposure and will be unaffected by microorganisms; bond shall be of such quality that specimens will withstand shear and the two-cycle boil test specified in ANS1/ HPMA HP 1983.
Adhesive, Type 11 Water-Resistant
Forms a bond that will retain practically all of its strength when occasionally subjected to thorough wetting and drying; bond shall be of such quality that specimens will withstand the three-cycle cold soak test specified in ANSI/HPMA HP 1983.
Adhesive, Type 111 Water-Resistant
Forms a bond that will retain practically all of its strength when occasionally subjected to thorough wetting and drying; bond shall be of such quality that specimens will withstand the two-cycle cold soak test specified in ANSI/HPMA HP 1983.
Adjustable Shelves
Generally accomplished through the use of multiple holes with either plastic or metal pins to hold the shelves. Some metal or plastic shelf standards are still in use. Woodworker shall have the option of adjustment method unless otherwise specified.
Air-Dried Lumber
Lumber that has been dried, usually outside, to a moisture content equal to the air it was exposed to.
AlternateTop Bevel with Raker (ATB/R)
A design for a circular saw blade where four alternately beveled teeth are followed by a raker to remove debris from the cut.
Aluminum Oxide
A long-life grit for abrasive wheels and papers; a type of abrasive used in sanding wood.
Annual Growth Rings
The layer of growth that a tree puts on in one year. The annual rings can be seen in the end grain of lumber.
Molding below the window sill or stool cap that finishes off the space between the bottom of the window and the wall.
A shaft driven by a tool's motor that turns blades or other cutting tools.
A part of the circumference of a circle.
Architectural Woodwork
Fine custom woodworking, so varied in design and complexity that it becomes difficult to define, specified for special applications and functions by design professionals and created by woodworkers. It includes all exterior and interior woodwork exposed to view in a finished building (except lumber yard or specialty items of flooring, shingles, exposed roof decking, ceiling, siding, structural wood trusses and rafters, and overhead-type doors), including all exposed wood, plywood, high and low pressure decorative laminates and wood doors. Items made of other materials are included only if called for in the specifications. Finishing may be included if specified. Site installation may also be included if specified.
Articulated Joint
In architectural paneling, joint details which allow for field variations.
A molding used to cover and make weather-tight the joint between double doors.
A type of marking tool.

The outer molding applied to the casing of a window or door.
Backing Out
A wide shallow groove machined in the back surface of members.
Backing Sheet
A sheet placed on the underside of high-pressure laminate plastic tops to give dimensional stability and to minimize absorption of moisture into the substrate.
Backing Veneer
The layer of veneer used on the reverse side of a piece of plywood from the face or decorative side.
 A short rectangular saw with fine teeth and a rigid "spine" along the top of the blade. A backsaw is used for fine joinery work such as cutting dovetail joints. Also see Dozuki.
The amount of wood left on between the gain of a hinge and the side of a door.
A vertical board on the wall side of a countertop installed to protect the wall from abuse.
Balance Match
Any number of pieces of veneer components or leaves of equal size (prior to edge trimming) matched (book, slip, or reverse slip) to make up a single face. Generally most aesthetically pleasing.
Balanced Construction
To achieve balanced construction, panels should be absolutely symmetrical from the center line, i.e., use materials on either side that contract or expand, or are moisture permeable at the same rate. Balanced finishing coats on the back of veneered panels are also highly recommended. Doors and free-hanging or free-standing panels should have the same laminate on the back as on the face and applied in the same machine direction. Tops or cabinet members, on the other hand, merely require some form of balancing material.
Balancing Species
A species of similar density to achieve balance by equalizing the rate of moisture absorption or emission.
In stair work, the vertical members which support the handrail.
Usually a molding that is applied around a flat casing.
Thin, narrow strips of different-colored woods made up in patterns and inlaid into grooves cut in cabinet work as a decorative feature.
Barbed Dowel Pin
A short headless nail with barbs on the shank used largely for fastening the mortise-and-tenon joints in a window sash.
Barber Pole
An effect in book matching of veneers resulting from tight and loose sides f veneers causing different light reflections when finished.
The outermost protective layer of a tree composed of dead cork and other elements.
Bark Pocket
Comparatively small area of bark around which normal wood has grown.
Base Moldings
Moldings used to trim the intersection of a wall or cabinet and the floor.
Base Shoe
A small molding combined with a base molding to complete the trimming of the wall and floor intersection.
Square strips of wood of varying size.
A small rounded, raised profile, routed along the edge of a board.
A semi-circular cut in molding.
Bed Puttying
Working putty into the rabbet of a sash before the glass is inserted.
Bench Stop
A wood insert, passed through the bench top close to the left-hand end, against which wood can be held when planing.
A tool used for setting off angles, as in dovetailing.
Bevel cut
An angled cut through a board.
Birdseye Figure
A figure on wood, usually Maple and a few other species. The figure is composed of many small BB-sized rounded areas resembling a bird's eye. The figuring is most common on plain sawn lumber and rotary sliced veneer.
A thin, flat, oval of compressed beech that is inserted between two pieces of wood into mating saw kerfs made by a biscuit or plate joining machine.
In finishing, the removal of color or whitening of the wood cells.
Color change that is detectable at a distance of 6' to 8' but which does not seriously detract from the overall appearance of the panel.
A joint that does not go all the way through (the details of a blind joint are not seen when the pieces are jointed).
Blind Mortise
A mortise that does not go all the way through the stock.
A decidedly uneven contour of the growth rings that brings about blister figures when the log is rotary cut and the straight knife passes across these contour variations. The veneer, while smooth, appears to be covered with blisters. The only difference between blister and quilt or Pomelé is size of the figure. Occurs mostly in West African redwoods such as Khaya (Mahogany), Sapele, and Makoré.
Block Free
In finishing, means material has dried sufficiently so that finished items do not stick together when stacked.
Commonly understood as the wooden support material placed within or upon gypsum board and plaster walls to support cabinetry.
The whitish cloudlike haze that occurs in fast-drying finishes, especially lacquer, when they are sprayed in very humid conditions. Blush is most often due to moisture (water vapor) trapped under the film or to bits of resin precipitating out of solution.
Board Foot
A form of wood measurement where one board foot equals the volume of a board 1 inch thick, 12 inches wide, and 12 inches long.
The permanent joining of stock.
Book Match
A term in veneering, where successive pieces of veneer from a flitch are arranged side by side. In a properly done book match each leaf of veneer will resemble a mirror image of the previous leaf. The term can apply to lumber which is sawn and glued together in a similar fashion; however, typically only 2 leaves can be book matched.
Bottom Board
A board on which the flask is laid when making a sand mold.
  • A defective piece of lumber that has warped along its length.
  • A deviation flatwise from a straight line drawn from end to end of a piece. It is measured at the point of greatest distance from the straight line
  • Box Joint
    A corner joint made up of interlocking "fingers."
    A small finishing nail.
    Broken Stripe
    This stripe effect develops only in quarter sliced veneer, usually includes some endwood character, and it appears that the stripe figure runs down under the surface and then out again, more or less "broken." It occurs most commonly in the large tropical redwoods but also to some degree in a broad range of tropical species.
  • Bulges and irregular growths that form on the trunks and roots of trees. Burls are highly sought after for the incredible veneer they yield.
  • A burl is a wart-like growth, probably caused by some injury to the growth layer.
  • Burl figures result from rotary slicing this growth, and the general appearance is a close arrangement of many small "eyes" with distorted grain appearance intermingled.
  • Burr
    An excrescence found on many trees, usually formed around an injury to the trunk. Valued for veneers. Also known as burl.
    Butcher Block
    Generally refers to face laminate hardwoods (usually Maple) forming a work surface in which the edge grain is exposed to wear.
  • A joint formed by square edged surfaces (ends, edges, faces) coming together (end butt joint, edge butt joint).
  • Butt figures result from half rounding sections of the stump wood. Where the roots form into the solid stump, there is considerable distortion of the wild fibers that seem to crinkle and fold into wavy ripple marks. Of course, there is always the distorted grain figure, along with greater or lesser amounts of the wavy cross figure.

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    Cabriole Leg
    A leg used on Queen Anne furniture. The Cabriole leg is characterized by graceful curves and a shape that resembles an animal's leg.
    Both outside and inside—used for measuring curved work.
    The live actively growing layer of a tree. The cambium is one cell thick and resides between the sapwood and the phloem. It repeatedly divides itself to form new wood and causes the tree to grow and expand.
    The body of a piece of furniture with a box-like shape (e.g., a kitchen cabinet); the main body or frame of a piece of cabinet work.
    Carver’s Screw
    A screw turned into the base of a carving, passed through the bench, and screwed down with a wing nut to hold the carving securely.
    Case Hardening
    A defect in lumber caused by improper drying. Case hardening is caused when a board is dried too fast. The outer layers in a case hardened board are compressed while the inner layers are in tension.
    All the parts that constitute a finished case or cabinet, including doors, drawers, and shelves.
    Generally, a molding placed around a door frame or window frame.
    An object made by pouring molten material into a form and allowed to cool.
    In finishing, an ingredient added to a basic product to provide additional performance characteristics.
    A metal plate used in veneering, warmed and applied to the veneer to keep it in position while the glue is setting.
    The smallest microscopic structure in wood.
    Center Match
    An even number of veneers of equal width matched (usually book, but also slip or reverse slip) in the face so that an equal number of veneers are on either side of the center point (which is a veneer joint) of the face.
    Chair Rail
    a decorative molding placed at a height on the wall comparable to the place where the back of a chair would impact the wall surface.
    A beveled cut along the edge of a piece of furniture, usually 45°; cutting a square edge equally on both sides of a piece of wood to form a bevel.
    A lumber defect caused by uneven shrinking of the wood during drying. A checked board has splits which develop lengthwise across the growth rings.
    Fine splits or separations running parallel with the grain or lineal porous structure of the veneer. There is also cross checking that may appear in end woody types of veneer figure where separation is in the vertical porous structure.
    A product made of wood chips (usually cut to a certain size, depending on the particular process), mixed with a bonding material (probably of a resin base), and pressed into boards or panels of stock sizes and thicknesses, such as _ x 4' x 8'. Obviously, it is a product of much higher utilization than lumber and has become highly specialized with advancing technology.
    A straight line joining the end points of an arc.
    That part of a drill or bit brace that holds the drilling or boring tool.
    A board which is free of defects.
    In closet and utility shelving, the wood members furnished to support the shelf.
    Close-Grained Wood
    Wood that has small and closely spaced pores that need not be filled to obtain a fine finish.
    Closed Stringer
    Finished board usually fastened to the wall against which risers and treads butt.
    The cluster figure results from cutting half round veneer from the trunk of certain trees in which it is characteristic. It is a variation of scattered clusters of burl figure intermingled with plainer grain, or what is commonly called muscle figure, surrounding the clusters of burls and intermingled between the clusters. Often the muscle figure is very strong around the clusters and fades out to almost plain areas between.
    Metal rings of different thicknesses and diameters used on the spindle of a shaper to hold cutting knives and/or to guide curved work.
    In a router, the sleeve that grips the shank of a bit.
    Comb Grain
    A quality of rift veneer with exceptionally straight grain and closely spaced growth increments.
    Commercial Veneer
    Commercial veneer is a rather loose term generally applied to veneers cut to mechanical or structural specifications in contrast to face veneers intended for aesthetic purposes. So-called commercial veneers are usually rotary cut and include all of the crossbands and core and backing items that make up plywood, as well as some stock for faces of plywood where the appearance of the face is not necessarily for decorative purposes. Some special commercial veneers are sliced.
    Common Grade Lumber
    Lumber with obvious defects.
    Compatible for Color and/or Grain
    COLOR: Members shall be selected so that lighter than average color members will not be adjacent to darker than average color members and there will be no sharp contrast in color between the adjacent members. GRAIN: Two adjacent members shall not be widely dissimilar in grain, character, and figure.
    Component (of Face)
    An individual piece of veneer that is jointed to other pieces to achieve a full length and width face, Terms used interchangeably with component in the context of face are piece and leaf.
    A hollowed out surface; a bowl-shape depression, like the inner surface of a circle or sphere.
    Concealed Surfaces
    In casework, surface are considered concealed when: Surfaces are not visible after installation; Bottoms of cabinets are less than 30" above finished floor; tops of cabinets are over 78" above finished floor and not visible from an upper level; Stretchers, blocking, and components are concealed by drawers.
    Contact Cement
    Normally used for bonding high-pressure decorative laminates to a substrate.
    Conversion Varnish
    In finishing, a class of coatings that are tough and exhibit excellent resistance to household chemicals.
    An outward curve such as the outer surface of a sphere.
    Cope-and-Stick Joint
    A method of constructing raised panel doors where the tongues of the (horizontal) rails connect to the grooves of the (vertical) stiles.
    To cut the end of one member to match the profile of another moulded member.
    The relatively thick veneer or thicker lumber or chip core that is the center "ply" of any panel. In the case of a 3-ply panel, for instance, the grain of the core runs across the panel perpendicular to the direction of grain of the face and back. On a 5-ply panel, the direction of grain of the core runs parallel with the face and back, but perpendicular to the crossbands which lay between the face and the core and the back and the core.
    A tool that allows the drilling of a hole so the head of a screw will sit flush with the face of a board.
    Cove Moldings
    Similar to crown moldings, often smaller in size and less decorative.
  • A lumber defect where there is an edgewise warp affecting the straightness of the board.
  • A deviation edgewise from a straight line drawn from end to end of a piece. It is measured at the point of greatest distance from the straight line.
  • Crossbands
    The layers or plys of veneer with the grain running perpendicular to that of the face and back in a panel constructed of 5 plys or more.
    Type of figure or irregularity of grain resembling a dip in grain running at right angles, or nearly so, to the length of the veneer component.
    This is a general term often applied to all the various types of figure markings across the grain. In Germany they call it "blitzen" (lightning).
    In lumber, a piece of wood taken from the fork of a tree. Crotch veneer is highly valued for its figuring.
    A crotch block (flitch) cut from that portion of the tree where it forks into two limbs like a "y." Where the grain forms together at the "crotch," there is great distortion of fibers in interlocking growth. At the center of this crotch block is the concentration of this effect, and, when veneer is sliced from this portion, a feather or plume or flame effect is obtained.
    The swirl figure is developed when slicing from either side of the crotch block toward the center, which is the feather figure mentioned above. The concentration of the distorted fibers spreads toward the outside of the tree and becomes more of an overall swirly grainy pattern. This is known as true swirl.
    Crown Moldings
    Moldings used to accent ceiling intersections and traditional pediments and casework tops.
  • A defect in lumber where the face of the board wraps up like the letter "U."
  • A deviation in the face of a piece from a straight line drawn from edge to edge of a piece. It is measured at the point of greatest distance from the straight line.
  • Cupping
    A drying defect where one side of the board shrinks across the grain more than the other, causing the board to curl in on itself like a trough.
    Results from distorted growth of fibers in the trunk of a tree that gives a wavy or curly appearance in the veneer. This figure is usually most common to Birch.
    Custom Grade
    The middle or normal Grade in both material and workmanship, and intended for high-quality conventional work.
    Cutting Lips
    In an auger bit, those edges that cut and lift the wood from the circle cut by the spurs.

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  • A rectangular channel cut part way into a board.
  • A rectangular groove across the grain of a wood member into which the end of the joining member is inserted (also a housed joint). Variations include "dado and tenon" and "stopped" or "blind" dado joints.
  • Dado, Blind or Stopped
    A dado that is not visible when the joint is completed.
    Dado Head
    A cutting tool usually consisting of two circular blades and chippers of varying thicknesses used to cut dadoes and grooves.
    Disintegration of wood due to the action of wood-destroying fungi. "Doze," "rot," and "unsound wood" mean the same as decay.
    Trees that shed their foliage annually. Commonly referred to as hardwood.
  • An abnormality in a piece of lumber that lowers its strength and commercial value, such as a check or knot.
  • Fault which detracts from the quality, appearance, or utility of the piece. Handling marks and/or grain raising due to moisture is not considered a defect.
  • Delamination
    The separation of layers in an assembly because of failure of the adhesive, either in the adhesive itself or at the interface between the adhesive and the lamination.
    A straight line connecting the opposite corners of a rectangle or other polygon.
    A straight line passing through the center of a circle and whose end points touch the circumference.
    In finishing, either a mechanical or chemical special effect.
    Door Stock
    This is a general term commonly used in veneer and plywood manufacture referring to veneers which may be specified for the face of the door and suitable for door cutting, which is usually 86" for "standard" doors but very commonly 104" to 111" or longer.
    A joint formed by inserting a projecting wedge-shaped member (dovetail tenon) into a correspondingly shaped cutout member (dovetail mortise). Variations include the "dovetail dado" and the blind dovetail dado."
    Dovetail Blind
    A dovetail joint that is not visible when the joint is completed.
  • A wooden peg or a metal screw used to strengthen a wood joint.
  • A joint using "dowels" (doweled construction); also "doweled edge joint."
  • Doze (synonymous with Dote)
    A form of incipient decay characterized by a dull and lifeless appearance of wood, accompanied by a lack of strength and softening of the wood substance.
    A taper given to the vertical surfaces of a pattern to facilitate drawing the pattern from the mold.
    The bottom part of a flask.
    Drawer Bottom Stock
    A term generally applied to any veneer, usually of comparatively low grade, for reasons of one undesirable characteristic or another, that is used for the panel constituting the bottom of drawers in furniture and desks. Before the advent of particleboard, all drawer bottoms were plywood.
  • Part of the project documents put in place by the owner and/or design professionals that, in combination with written specifications, define the scope, quality assurance, requirements, submittals, field dimensions, product handling, and product specifications to the woodworker.
  • Shop drawings are detailed engineering drawings produced by the woodworker for the fabrication of the architectural woodwork products and often submitted to the owner and/or design professional for approval.
  • Dyed Veneer
    It seems to have been an obsession of man to manipulate the color of wood far beyond the imagination of the Creator. This is evident in ancient inlay work (and, of course, modern as well) and on to the current century. However, nothing substantial was really accomplished until the advent of modern analine dyes and sophisticated processing that makes possible enduring results of quality. While somewhat "standard" colors may be available in most species, it is possible to match almost any color presented if commercially feasible.

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    Eased Edge
    Slightly rounded edge, no more than 1/16" radius, to remove sharp corners.
    In stair work, a short bend changing the direction or pitch of a handrail.
    Economy Grade
    The lower Grade in both material and workmanship and intended for work where price outweighs quality considerations.
    Edge Band
    Lumber, veneer, or plastic laminate attached to the edge of a plywood or particleboard panel.
    Edge Guide
    A straight edge that is used to guide tools, such as a circular saw or router, along a workpiece.
    Edge Joining
    Smoothing and squaring the edge of a board so that it can be glued up squarely to another piece.
    Edge Joint
    When the edges of boards are glued together to increase the width.
    Oval or oblong in shape.
    End Grain
    The grain of wood as seen from the end of the stock.
    End Match
    End matching consists of opening two matching pieces of veneer endwise rather than edgewise (book match). This may be done to make a balanced face (e.g., for a top) or if long panels are required beyond limits of the veneer length. It is particularly essential that grain character be precisely matched for sight continuity at the joint.
    The effect of the pore or fiber direction being perpendicular, or nearly so, to the surface of the veneer in contrast to the more common formation where fibers are, in general, parallel with the surface and length of the veneer. Endwood is most common and is responsible for much of the figure effect in crotch and burl veneer, as well as strong mottle and broken stripe.
    Equilibrium Moisture Content
    When the level of moisture in board is equal to the moisture in the surrounding air.
    Exposed Surfaces
    Surfaces visible after installation.

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    The better side of any panel in which the outer plies are of different veneer grades. Also, either side of a panel in which there is no difference in veneer grades.
    Face Joint
    When the faces of boards are glued together to increase the thickness.
    Face Veneer
  • High quality veneer that is used for exposed surfaces on plywood.
  • The decorative veneer on the face of a panel (the exposed side) be it wall paneling, furniture, cabinet, or other.
  • Featherboard
    The piece of wood with thin "fingers" that holds a board against a fence or down against the table of a power tool, usually a tablesaw or router.
    Feed Screw
    The threaded end of an auger bit.
    A straight guide used to keep a board a set distance from a blade or other cutter; a part of a tool designed to limit movement, as in the fence of the plow plane.
    Fiberboard Core
    Manufactured from wood reduced to fine fibers mixed with binders and formed by the use of heat and pressure into panels.
    Fiber Saturation Point
    A point reached in drying lumber when the stock starts to shrink.
    The figure somewhat similar in growth and effect to the curly type and often referred to as "curly." However, "fiddleback" refers only to a small roll appearance. The name is derived from the fact that, historically, this figure in Maple has been highly prized for making fine violins (fiddles). Not common, but occurs occasionally in Maple, Khaya, Makoré, Douka, Black Bean, Koa, English Sycamore.
    The pattern produced, usually across the grain, by natural deviations from the normal grain.
    In finishing, is used to close the pores of wood.
    In pattern-making, material used for filling, rounding over, and strengthening inside corners of patterns.
    Fillet Iron
    A tool with metal balls of different diameters on each end used to apply fillets.
    A series of fingers machined on the ends of two pieces of wood to be joined that mesh together and are securely glued in position.
    Finger Joint End Match
    This is an end match of the veneer in which the finger jointing must be "hand done" in order to absolutely match the grain lines of two pieces. Properly done, the "joint" is almost imperceptible.
    Boards, moldings, casings, and other finished pieces when applied to buildings are exposed and not covered; the final coats of protective material given to cabinets and other woodwork.
    Fire retardant particleboard is available with an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) stamp for Class 1 fire rating.
    Fire Retardant Treatment
    Only a few species are treated with chemicals to reduce flammability and retard the spread of flame over the surface. This usually involves impregnating the wood, under pressure, with salts and other chemicals. White Oak is untreatable.
    Flake figure is developed only in those species which have very heavy medullary ray growth. When the saw or knife cut is directly on or near to the radial, it is close to parallel with the medullary ray and therefore passes in and out of the uneven growth to develop the flake effect.
    Flake, Ray
    Portion of a medullary ray as it appears on the quarter-cut surface. Flake can be a dominant feature in Oak and is sometimes referred to as "fleck."
    Flat Cut
    A grain figure resulting from slicing across a half or quarter of a log: tangential cut. This results in the oval or loop grain effect in the center of the sheet of veneer with straighter grain along the edge.
    Flat Grain
    Lumber or veneer is a piece sawn or sliced approximately parallel to the annual growth rings so that some or all of the rings form an angle of less than 45° with the surface of the piece.
    Flat-Sawn Lumber
    In softwoods, a method of sawing lumber where the log is cut tangentially to the growth rings. Also called plain-sawn.
    That section of a log or piece of wood made ready, by sawing, for cutting into veneer in the proper manner desired. After cutting this section of the log, the sheets are kept together consecutively, as cut, and handled in sequence through processes of clipping and drying so they are crated for shipment in the same order. This also is called a flitch.
    Surfaces on the same level; pieces even with each other.
    Flush Construction
    Cabinet construction in which door and drawer faces are set within and flush with the body members or face frames of the cabinet, with spaces between face surfaces sufficient for operating clearance.
    Flush Overlay
    Cabinet construction in which door and drawer faces cover the body members of the cabinet, with spaces between face surfaces sufficient for operating clearance.
    Concave channels or grooves, usually in series, used to decorate columns or posts.
    Free Water
    Moisture found in the cell cavities of wood.

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    A shallow recess or mortise made to receive the leaf of a hinge or other thin material.
    A thin coating of zinc given to metal, usually iron or steel, to prevent rusting.
    A reddish natural mineral used as an abrasive to sand and polish wood.
    Ghost Figure
    Term generally applied to any cross figure which is not at all prominent but is noticeable from certain angles and may show up to some extent under the finish.
    The distance around a tree; the circumference.
    In finishing, an added step for achieving color or to heighten grain appearance.
    Glue Block
    A wood block, usually triangular in cross-section, securely glued to an angular joint between two members for a greater glue bond area.
    Glue Joint
    A special interlocking grooved pattern that is used to join two pieces, edge-to-edge, securely.
    Curved part of a handrail in a staircase resembling a goose’s neck.
    Unless otherwise noted, this term means Woodwork Institute of California Grade Rules, either Economy, Custom, Premium, or Laboratory. When these terms are used, they mean WIC Grade unless noted otherwise.
  • The size, alignment, and color of wood fibers in a piece of lumber.
  • The fibers in wood and their direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality. When severed, the annual growth rings become quite pronounced and the effect is referred to as "grain."
  • The term applied loosely and generally to almost any visual effect of a porous structure.
  • Grain Character
    A varying pattern produced by cutting through growth rings and exposing various layers. It is most pronounced in tangential and rotary veneer cuts.
    Grain Figure
    The pattern produced in a wood surface by annual growth rings, rays, knots, or deviations from natural grain, such as interlocked and wavy grain and irregular coloration.
    Grain Slope
    Expression of the angle of the grain to the long edges of the veneer component.
    Grain Sweep
    Expression of the angle of the grain to the long edges of the veneer component over the area extending one-eighth of the length of the piece from the ends.
    Green Lumber
    Freshly cut lumber that has not had time to dry.
    The size of abrasive particles determining the coarseness of sandpaper.
    Rectangular slot of three surfaces cut parallel with the grain of the wood; a wide cut made with the grain of lumber and partially through its thickness.
    The valley between teeth in a saw blade.
    Gum Pockets
    Well-defined openings between rings of annual growth containing gum or evidence of prior gum accumulations,
    Gum Spots
    Gum or color spots caused by prior resin accumulations, sometimes found on panel surfaces.
    The process of grinding and cleaning out the gullets of a circular saw blade.

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    Thin, perceptible line showing at the joint of two pieces of wood.
    Half-Blind Dovetail
    A dovetail joint where the cut does not go all the way through the board. The ends of a half-blind dovetail are concealed (see through dovetail joint).
    A joint formed by extending (lapping) the joining part of one member over the joining part of another member.
    A means of cutting veneer on a lathe, utilizing stay-log. This results in a grain pattern between sliced and rotary cut.
    Hand-Rubbed Finish
    In finishing, a manual step performed to smooth, flatten, or dull the topcoat.
    In stair work, the member which follows the pitch of the stair for grasping by the hand.
  • A type of manufactured board similar to particle board but with a much smoother surface. A common brand of hardboard is Masonite.
  • A generic term for a panel manufactured primarily from interfelted ligno-cellulose fibers consolidated under heat and pressure in a hot press and conforming to the requirements of ANSI/AHA A135.4-1982.
  • A product made in similar manner to chipcore except finer wood particles are used, resulting in a dense board and, ordinarily, with one smooth hard surface and a matted back surface. It is produced in various grades of varying properties. There are numerous processes for making chipcore and hardboard, all of which result in basically similar products.
  • Hardwoods
  • General term used to designate lumber or veneer produced from deciduous trees in contrast to softwood, which is produced from evergreen or coniferous trees.
  • Common classification including all broad-leaved trees, as opposed to the general category of the conifers or cone-bearers that constitute softwoods. The hardness or texture of the wood itself has no bearing on the groupings.
  • Haunch
    Part of the tenon left on a rail of a paneled door to fit into the grooves of the stiles.
  • The dead inner core of a tree, usually much harder and darker than the newer wood.
  • The wood extending from the pith or the center of the tree to the sapwood, usually darker in color than sapwood.
  • The center, mature, "dead" portion of the tree, darker in color in contrast to sap, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on species.
  • Herringbone Pattern
    In veneering, a herringbone pattern is formed when successive layers of veneers are glued up so they form a mirror image. Usually this pattern slants upward and outward like a herringbone.
    High Pressure Laminated Plastic
    Laminated thermoset decorative sheets intended for decorative purposes. The sheets consist essentially of layers of a fibrous sheet material, such as paper, impregnated with a thermosetting condensation resin and consolidated under heat and pressure. The top layers have a decorative color or printed design. The resultant product has an attractive exposed surface that is durable and resistant to damage from abrasion and mild alkalis, acids, and solvents (also see Plastic Laminate).
    Applies to holes from any cause. A pin hole is approximately 1/16" in diameter.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
    Barely detectable with the naked eye at a distance of 6' to 8' feet.
    Intumescent Coatings
    Can be applied to the surface of flammable products to reducer flammability. Generally difficult to use and rather fragile. Highly hygroscopic.
    The direction a workpiece is fed into a blade or cutter.

    A device used to make special cuts, guide a tool, or aid in woodworking operations.

    Karelian Burl
    This is an individual characteristic (not really a burl growth) of Birch growing in some areas of Karelia (for practical purposes, Finland).
    Stands for "knife cuts per inch." Generally used when describing the result of moulded profiles or S4S materials.
    When a workpiece is thrown back in the opposite direction the cutter is turning.
    In lumber drying, a kiln is a room or building where temperature, moisture, and the amount of circulating air are controlled to dry wood.
    Kiln Dried
  • Lumber that has been dried in a kiln.
  • Lumber dried in a closed chamber in which the removal of moisture is controlled by artificial heat and usually by controlled relative humidity.
  • Knocked Down
    Unassembled, as contrasted to assembled or built-up.
  • A part of the tree where a branch has been overgrown by the tree and incorporated into its trunk.
  • A portion of a branch or a limb whose growth rings are partially or completely intergrown on the face with the growth rings of the surrounding wood. It should not contain any decay and should be so fixed by growth shape that it will retain its place in the piece. The average of the maximum and minimum dimensions of the knot on the exposed surface should be used in measuring size. Cross section of branch, the grain of which runs approximately at right angles to that of the piece in which it occurs.
  • Knots, Blending Pin
    Sound knots, _" or less in diameter that do not contain dark centers. Blending pin knots are detectable at a distance of 6" to 8" and do not seriously detract from the overall appearance of the panel.
    Knots, Pin
    Sound knots, _" or less in diameter containing dark centers.
    Knots, Sound Tight
    Knots that are solid across their face and fixed by growth to retain their place.
    Knotty Character
    Sound knots that appear in only a portion of cut veneer or lumber in intermittent fashion.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
    Layer construction of lumber. May be either horizontal or vertical layers securely glued together.
    The part of a tree's annual growth ring that is formed later in the season.
    Lemon Spline
    Used to join wood members.
    Lights (Lites)
    In door construction, beaded openings to receive glazing.
    Linear Foot
    A measurement of the length of a board.
    An interlocking machine joint between two members.
    General term often applied to veneer cut from the trunk of a tree in any of the various manners illustrated. However, this term is also used by many rather loosely to refer to flat cut veneer of the more popular species in use.
    Loose and Long
    Run to pattern only. Not assembled, nor machined for assembly, nor cut to length. The terms "material only" and "mill run" mean the same as "loose and long."
    Low-Pressure Laminated Melamine
    Melamine-saturated sheets thermally fused to particleboard core.
    Logs which have been sawn, planed, and cut to length.
    Lumber ruler
    A tool resembling a ruler with a handle at one end and a hood at the other that is used to calculate the board footage of a piece of lumber.
    Lumber-Core Plywood
    Plywood where thin sheets of veneer are glued to a core of narrow boards. Lumber-core plywood differs from regular plywood in that regular plywood is made up of successive layers of alternating grain veneer.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
    Machine Run
    Not sanded after machining.
    Machined and Knocked Down
    All pieces fully machined and ready for assembly.
    Machined, Smoothly
    Free of defective manufacturing, with a minimum of 16 knife marks to the inch. Torn grain is not permitted. Handling marks and/or grain raising due to moisture is not considered a defect.
    Marquetry Face
    A background face of veneer into which has been inlaid a decorative or picture design by use of segments of wood of various character and color.
    Matching within Panel Face
    The individual leaves of veneer in a sliced flitch increase or decrease in width as the slicing progresses. thus, if a number of panels are manufactured from a particular flitch, the number of veneer leaves per panel face will change as the flitch is utilized.
    Material Only
    Run to pattern only. Not assembled, machined for assembly, or cut to length. The terms "loose and long" and "mill run" mean the same as "material only."
    Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
    A dry-formed panel product manufactured from ligno-cellulose fibers combined with a synthetic resin or other suitable binder. The panels are compressed to a density of 31-50 pounds per cubic foot in a hot press by a process in which the added binder creates the entire inter-fiber bond. Other materials may have been added during manufacture to improve certain properties. The product meets the standards of ANSI A208.2-1980.
    Medium Density Overlay
    A panel product particularly well suited for opaque (paint) finishes. Most versions are highly weather resistant.
    Medullary Ray
    The medullary ray is an arrangement of cellular structure in a tree which radiates out from the center to the perimeter of the log. In other words, this medullary ray growth is perpendicular to the growth ring line. It is in some evidence in veneer of various species, such as Maple, African Mahogany, Beech and Brown Elm but to a comparatively limited extent. In most hardwood species, it is not of any significance in appearance. On the other hand, the Oaks and American Sycamore or English Plane Tree and Lacewood or Silky Oak have characteristically heavy medullary ray growth, and the quartered flake figure in these woods is the result.
    An individual piece of solid stock or plywood which forms an item of millwork.
    Mill Run
    Run to pattern only. Not assembled, machined for assembly, or cut to length. The terms "material only" and "loose and long" mean the same as "mill run."
    Architectural millwork/woodwork and related items. The term millwork and woodwork are synonymous.
    Mineral Streak
    An olive to greenish-black or brown discoloration of undetermined cause in hardwoods.
    Mirror Polish Finish
    In finishing, several steps of wet sanding, mechanical buffing, and polishing.
    The joining of two members at an angle that bisects the angle of junction.
    Miter Gauge
    A tool that slides in a slot on a power tool, such as a table saw, router table, bandsaw, etc. A miter gauge can be adjusted to different angles and is used to slide the stock past the blade.
    Miter, Lock
    A miter joint employing a tongue and groove that further strengthens the joint.
    Miter, Shoulder
    Any type of a miter joint that presents a shoulder, such as a lock miter or a splined miter.
    Miter-and-Spline Joint
    A joint with two mitered surfaces connected by a spline.
    Mixed Grain
    Any combination of vertical or flat grain in the same member.
    Modular Casework
    Casework produced from a manufacturer’s standard details adapted to use for a particular project.
    Moisture Content
    The weight of water in wood expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dried wood.
    A rectangular hole cut into a piece of wood to accept a tenon.
    Mortise and Tenon Blind
    A mortise and tenon joint in which the tenon does not extend through the mortise and remains invisible once the joint is completed; also "blind tenoned."
    Mortise and Tenon Joint
    A joinery technique where the mortise from one board fits into the tenon of another.
    Mortise and Tenon Slotted
    A mortise and tenon right angle joint in which the tenon is visible on two edges once the joint is completed.
    Mortise and Tenon Stub
    A short tenon inserted in a plow or groove.
    Mortise and Tenon Through
    A mortise inserted tenon extends completely through the mortise and the end of the tenon remains visible once the joint is completed.
    This is another type of cross figure. The effect of broken up cross markings intermingled with stripes is generally referred to as mottle. Broad cross markings broken by variations in stripe produce a block or patchy effect known as block mottle, and a very small fine figure is referred to as bees-wing-mottle. Block mottle figure occurs more often in Khaya or Makoré, while bees-wing-mottle is more common to Sapele, Bubinga, Satinwood, and Black Bean.
    Moulded Edge
    Edge of a piece machined to any profile other than square or eased edge.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
    Members secured together with nails, including power driven nails or staples. On exposed surfaces staples should run parallel to the grain.
  • A general descriptive term to indicate "unselected for color" in grading veneer or lumber of such hardwoods as Birch, Maple, and Ash. Also sometimes used to describe the appearance of veneer or lumber with a high degree of sound character markings.
  • A general descriptive term to indicate surface appearance of knots (sound or fill-treated) and all character markings inherent in the respective hardwoods. "Natural" is to hardwoods (i.e., Natural Walnut, Natural Butternut, etc.) as "knotty" is to softwoods (i.e., Knotty Pine, Knotty Cedar, etc.).
  • Newel Post
    In stair work, an upright post which supports or receives the handrail at critical points of the stair, such as starting, landing, or top.
    Refers to non-grain raising stains.
    In stair work, the shaped edge or edges of tread or landing.
    Nominal Size
    The rough-sawn size of a piece of lumber. When purchasing planed lumber, it is sold by its nominal rough-sawn size. For example, a " x 4 is the nominal size for a board whose actual dimensions are 1.4" x 3.25".

    A decorative molding profile with an N/S shape.
    Olive Ash
    This name is applied to the heartwood of both American and European Ash where the color is bright tan with characteristic olive markings. The rare log so develops and the name is one of description rather than classification.
    Opaque Finish
    A paint or pigmented stain finish that hides the natural characteristics and color of the grain of the wood surface and is not transparent.
    Orange Peel
    In finishing, slight depressions in surface, similar to the skin of an orange.
    The side of a power tool where the board exits.
    Over-Dried Weight
    The weight of a piece of lumber that has been dried under high temperatures in an oven until it is devoid of all water.
  • To superimpose or laminate a wood veneer of various species or a decorative item, such as melamine, polyester, or high pressure laminate, to one or both sides of a given substrate, such as plywood, particleboard, or medium-density fiberboard.
  • In manufacturing certain veneers from such irregular-shaped solids as Burls, Clusters, and Stumps, small and odd-shaped pieces of veneer result from "rounding up." From these are clipped rectangular books (usually eight matching pieces or more) generally 5" and wider and 6" and longer. These "books" are bulk-crated and sold as overlays. They usually show very good figure and are popular and economical for endless patterns of small alternating character.

  • A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
    Panel Stock
    The same general application as described under Door Stock, except that it refers to stock panels that are 4' wide and 8' long. Therefore, the gross length of the veneer required for these panels is at least 98' to 100'. It may also include 9' and 10' lengths.
  • A type of manufactured plywood made from ground-up and glued scrap wood. Particle board is very dense, heavy, and flat.
  • A mat-formed flat panel consisting of particles of wood bonded together with a synthetic resin or other suitable binder. The particles are classified by size and dried to a uniform moisture content, after which they are mixed with a binder, mat-formed into a panel, compressed to proper density, and then cured under heat and pressure.
  • Particleboard, Fire-Retardant Treated
    Particleboard treated to obtain a Class I or Class II fire rating.
    Particleboard-Core Plywood
    Plywood made by gluing a thin layer of veneer to a piece of particleboard.
    A repair made by inserting and securely gluing a sound piece of wood of the same species in place of a defect that has been removed. The edges are cut clean and sharp and fit tightly, with no voids. "Boat" patches are oval-shaped with sides tapering in each direction to a point or to a small rounded end. "Router" patches have parallel sides and rounded ends. "Sled" patches are rectangular with feathered ends.
    Same as rotary cut. This particular term is more generally used and applied to commercial and Fir production.
    Penetrating Oil
    In finishing, an oil-based material designed to penetrate the wood.
    Phenol Formaldehyde Resin
    Typically used for exterior-type construction, Plywood and doors bonded with this adhesive have a high resistance to moisture. The most common types require high temperatures during pressing to aid in the curing process.
    The inner part of a tree's bark that delivers water and other nutrients.
    A process that plants use to synthesize nutrients from water and minerals using sunlight.
    A class or group of plants. Phylum is a botanical term used by botanists to classify plants.
    Pilot Bit (Pilot Bearing) also Piloted Bit
    A router bit fitted with a bearing above the cutter that rides on the edge of a board or template and keeps the bit a fixed distance from the edge.
    Pin Knot
    A knot less than 1/4" in diameter that shows a distinct center portion. It is merely a very small branch growth which did not develop for one reason or another.
    Pin Router
    A router fixed above a table with its bit point down. A pin in the table is aligned with the bit and used to route the workpiece.
    An accumulation of resin that occurs in separations in the wood or in the wood cells themselves.
    Pitch Pocket
  • A pocket of resinous sap confined within the grain of many conifers.
  • A well-defined opening between the annual growth rings that contains pitch.
  • Pitch Streak
    A well-defined accumulation of pitch in the wood cells in a more or less regular streak.
  • The soft core in the center of a tree trunk.
  • A small soft core in the center of a log.
  • Plain Sliced
    Method of cutting veneer across the half log; tangential cut.
    Plain Stripe
    This is a result of quarter slicing, where a porous structure is formulated most normally parallel with the length of the veneer and with a minimum of distortion, resulting in a straight, uniform, stripy effect. Common in almost all timber with a wide variety of character.
    Plain-Sawn Lumber
    A method of sawing lumber where the log is cut tangentially to the growth rings. Also called flat-sawn when referring to softwoods.
    Plank Match
    This specification indicates veneers are put together randomly for the face of a piece of plywood, with no matching grain character in the same face. When sliced veneers are used, this results in the surface appearance of jointed solid lumber in furniture.
    Plastic Backing Sheet
    A thin sheet, usually phenolic, applied under pressure to the back of a laminated plastic panel to achieve balance by equalizing the rate of moisture absorption or emission.
    A rectangular groove or slot of three surfaces cut parallel with the grain of a wood member, in contrast to a dado which is cut across the grain.
    Plum Pudding or Rain Drop
    This figure results from tangential or, more preferably, rotary cutting of a log in which are scattered peculiar spot growths or distortions. When cut across, these result in the appearance of raisins scattered through a plum pudding (far fetched as it may be), or drops of rain as they might fall on a non-absorbant surface. A rare phenomenon occurring mostly in tropical redwoods.
    Plunge Router
    A router mounted on a spring-loaded base. The router can be turned on and plunged down into the workpiece.
    A term referring to any layer of veneer in a piece of plywood. A 3-ply panel has three layers of veneer, 5-ply has five layers, etc.
    A panel composed of a crossbanded assembly of layers or plies of veneer, or veneers in combination with a lumber core or particleboard core, that are joined with an adhesive. Except for special construction, the grain of alternate plies is always approximately at right angles, and the thickness and species on either side of the core are identical for a balanced effect. An odd number of plies is always used.
    In finishing, a very high solids content plastic coating, leaving a deep wet look.
    In finishing, usually a two-component system that has a higher solids content than lacquers.
    Polyvinyl Chloride Edging (PVC)
    Application: Vinyl (PVC) edging on seamless rolls applied on single/double-side edge banding machines using hot-melt adhesives.
    This is a French word translated as "dappled" or "mottled." As commonly applied to the appearance of certain veneers, it is somewhat of a misnomer in pure translation because it actually denotes a large "blister" or "quilt" figure usually in West African redwoods such as Khaya, Makoré, Sapeli, and Bubinga.
    Porous Wood
    Wood with larger than normal pores and vessels.
    Premium Grade
    The highest Grade available in both material and workmanship intended for the finest work. This is naturally the most expensive Grade.
    A treating solution that prevents decay in wood (noun). Having the ability to preserve wood by inhibiting the growth of decay fungi (adjective).
    Push Stick
    A tool used to safely push a board through a table saw or other power tool.
    Abbreviation for polyvinyl chloride, a synthetic decorative coating or edge banding.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
    Quarter Cut
    Method of cutting veneer as near to the radius of a log as possible from pie-cut segments, usually quarters.
    Quarter Flat
    Method of cutting veneer from a quarter of a log (tangential cut) in contrast to a half log in plain slicing.
    The sliced cut of a log as near to true radial as possible that results in a stripe effect of one type or another.
    Quartered Grain
    Method of sawing or slicing to bring out certain figures produced by the medullary or pith rays that are especially conspicuous in oak. The log is flitched in several different ways to allow cutting of veneer in a radial direction.
    Method of cutting lumber where the annual rings are relatively perpendicular to the face of the board. Quarter-sawn lumber tends to be more dimensionally stable than other forms of lumber, such as plain sawn.
    Queen Ann
    A style of furniture first made popular in England during the rule of Queen Ann. It was used almost exclusively by early colonial cabinetmakers. The Cabriole Leg is one of the primary characteristics of the Queen Ann style.
    A very uneven or wavy interlocking contour of the growth rings evident on the outside of the log as a more or less even but very "bumpy" surface. Rotary or halfround cutting along this surface produces veneer with the quilted effect of a continuous seashell overlay surface. It is interesting to note that a very similar condition or appearance is known as quilt in Maple (Quilted Maple), Pommele in African redwoods (Pommele Makoré) and Peanut Figure (Japanese Ash or Tamo).

  • A cut partway through the edge of a board that is used as part of a joint.
  • Rectangular cut consisting of two surfaces cut on the edge of a member. A "rabbet" has two surfaces and a "plow" has three.
  • A joint formed by the rabbets on one or both members. Also rabbet edge joint and rabbet right angle joint.
    Radial Shrinkage
    Shrinkage in a piece of lumber that occurs across the growth rings as it begins to dry.
  • A horizontal board that runs along the underside of a table.
  • The horizontal part of a raised panel door.
  • Raised Grain
    Roughened surface condition of dressed lumber on which hard summerwood is raised above softer springwood but is not torn loose from it.
    Raised Panel
    A piece of wood that is the center of a frame and panel assembly.
    Random Match
    This specification indicates veneers, either sliced or rotary, put together randomly for the face of a piece of plywood with no attempt to match grain. However, it is generally understood that the purpose here is to give a general semblance of overall uniformity, as compared to a contrast plank effect intended in Plank Match.
    A ribbon-like figure caused by the strands of cells that extend across the grain in quarter sawn lumber.
    Reaction Wood
    Abnormal wood tissue formed in a leaning tree. Reaction wood is very unstable and prone to warping and cupping when sawn into lumber.
    Reconstituted Veneer
    This product is made by laminating a block of veneers of uniform thickness and then slicing veneer from what one would call the "edge" of the block, i.e., across the layers of veneer laminated together. In its simplest application, it is obvious the edges of the laminated veneers become the "grain" of the reconstituted veneer and so the "grain" is perfectly straight. By maneuvering the contour of the laminations in block form, any desired configuration can be attained. Reconstituted veneer may be dyed as well. This product allows the "natural" substance to be maintained while freeing the designer to manipulate his/her own horizons.
    A patch, shim, or filler material inserted and/or glued into veneer or a panel to achieve a sound surface.
    Repairs Blending
    Wood or filler insertions similar in color to adjacent wood so as to blend well.
    Resorcinol Formaldehyde Resin
    For woodworking, formulated into highly water-resistant glues, usually purple in color and difficult to work with.
    Continuation in a different direction of a molding or projection, usually right angles.
    Reveal Overlay
    Cabinet construction in which door and drawer faces partially cover the body members or face frames of the cabinet with spaces between face surfaces creating decorative reveals.
    Reverse Slip Match
    The variation from slip match is that every other piece of veneer in the face is reversed, end for end, with the adjoining sheet that "balances" the characteristics of the pieces of veneer in the face. It eliminates the "marching" of character marks across the face. It is the ideal way of taking advantage of the natural character of the veneer with good "balance" in the face.
    Ribbon Stripe
    This is a result of quarter slicing the log and actually is between broken stripe and plain stripe. It gives the general appearance of a slightly twisted ribbon.
    Rift or Comb Grain
  • Lumber or veneer obtained by cutting at an angle of about 15° off of the quartered position. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the exposed surface area of each piece of veneer may contain medullary ray flake.
  • This description of figure or grain character is most commonly applied to veneer or lumber cut from those species having a heavy medullary ray growth. It is now almost synonymous with White Oak, in view of the popularity of Rift White Oak veneer. The effect in veneer is straight grain and no flake, produced by a cut near enough to radial to be across the growth rings and yet, at all times, enough off the true radial cut to avoid any direction of the cut parallel with the medullary ray. The most practical way of effecting this result is by a slight curvature in the cut, accomplished by producing Rift Oak on a veneer lathe.
  • Ring, Annual Growth
    The growth layer put on in a growth year.
    In stair work, the vertical member between treads. Riser may be omitted in certain stair designs.
    Roll Figure or Herringbone
    In description of "Fiddleback," reference is made to "small roll appearance." While fiddleback figure is usually fairly horizontal to the length of the veneer, roll figure will appear as larger rolls or twists running more likely at some diagonal degree. Thus, when book matched, the "herringbone" description evolves.
    Rotary-Cut Veneer
  • Veneer cut from a log in one long sheet. Rotary cut veneer is cut from a log like a roll of paper towels.
  • Manner of cutting veneer whereby a log is centered in a large lathe. As the log revolves, the cutting knife moves slowly toward the center (varying by thickness of the veneer being cut, for instance), and a continuous sheet of veneer is peeled from the log.
  • A method of cutting in which the log is placed on a large lathe and turned into the knife so that a continuous cut is made round and round the log, more or less parallel at all times to the growth ring. The result is a wild variegated grain effect. Except for Stumpwood, Burls, and certain figured logs for fine face veneers, rotary cutting is used largely in commercial veneer production.
  • Rough Cut
    Irregular shaped areas of generally uneven corrugation on the surface of veneer.
    Running Match
    Each panel face is assembled from as many veneer leaves as necessary. Any portion left over from the last leaf may be used as the start of the next panel.
    Running Trim
    Generally combined in the term "Standing and Running Trim" and refers to the trims of random, longer length delivered to the job site (e.g., baseboard, chair rail, crown molding, etc.).
    In finishing, running of wet film in rivulets.
    Rub Bearing
    A ball-bearing rub collar near the top or bottom of a spindle shaper that is used to keep the workpiece a fixed distance away from the cutters.
    Rule Joint
    A joinery method used in drop leaf tables where the tabletop has a convex profile and the leaf has a concave cut. The two pieces are joined by a hinge.
    The amount of wobble in a shaper or router.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
    In finishing, partial slipping of finish film creating "curtain" effect.
    Sand Through
    A defect on the exposed visible surface, such as depressions, bumps, marks, or core usually caused by thin veneers or over-sanding.
    Sanded, Machine
    Sanded by drum or equivalent sander to remove knife or machine marks. Handling marks and/or grain raising due to moisture is not considered a defect.
    The water in a tree that is rich in minerals and nutrients.
  • Wood occurring between the bark and the heart of the tree.
  • This is the outer and living portion of the tree. As additional layers of growth accumulate on the outer perimeter, the inner layers of the sapwood become heartwood. Sap is lighter in color and the differentiation in color and thickness of the sap layer varies considerably by species.
  • Sash
    A single assembly of stiles and rails into a frame for holding glass, with or without dividing bars, to fill a given opening. It may be either open or glazed.
    A joint formed by the use of a "spline." A spline is a thin narrow strip, usually of plywood, inserted into matching grooves that have been machined in abutting edges of panels or lumber to ensure a flush alignment and secure joint; customarily runs the entire length of the joint.
    To mark and cut an item of millwork so it will abut an uneven wall, floor, or other adjoining surface without any gaps.
    The process of removing moisture from green wood to improve its workability and stability.
    In softwood, lumber which has been graded strictly for its appearance. In hardwood, lumber which is one grade below first and second.
    Application of wood veneer to the edge of plywood or particleboard of the same species. Application to the edge of plywood or particleboard of a plastic laminate of the same pattern as the face surface.
    Sequence Matched
    When referring to paneling, either: 1) Premanufactured sets, usually 48" x 96" or 48" x 120" numbered in sequence, and part of all or a single flitch (typically from 6 to 12 panels). They may be installed full width, reducing the panels at the corners or transitions, or reduced in width uniformly. Or, 2) Sequence Matched Uniform Size sets, manufactured for the project on special order to the nearest uniform modular width practical for the installation. Or, 3) Blueprint Matched Panels and Components, manufactured for the project on special order to achieve the maximum grain continuity, since all panels, doors, and other veneered components are made to the exact size required and I exact veneer sequence.
    In finishing, transparent color used for highlighting and uniform color.
    A separation of the wood, normally between growth rings.
    Irregular surfaces visible on the face of a veneered panel (such as depressions, bumps, mechanical marks; or core or frame outlines).
    Sketch Faces
    Face of single ply veneer, cut and designed in patterns of varying intricacy to meet specifications of mechanical assembly in grain–or character appearance of veneer used for each segment–all as set forth in sketch of the face submitted with requisition. Such faces are often two-plied.
    Slash Grain
    Lumber or veneer is a piece sawn or sliced approximately parallel to the annual growth rings so that some or all of the rings form an angle of less than 45° with the surface of the piece.
    This is the method by which most fine face veneers are cut. Flat cut and quartered veneers are cut on the slicer, as are crotch blocks. The log is first sawn into flitches (sometimes called cants), and this is most commonly a quarter section or half section of a log. It may be trimmed to a many-sided section, but two parallel sides are necessary to be held against the surface of the flitch table on the slice that clamps the flitch and moves up and down by an eccentric drive in a slightly shearing motion. The slicer knife, on another section of the machine, is fed toward the flitch table slowly in increments, depending on thickness of veneer being cut. In contrast to the feed on the veneer lathe, which moves the knife steadily into the log in rotary cutting, the slicer knife is moved toward the flitch the full amount of the thickness of veneer with each stroke.
    Sliding Dovetail Joints
    A sliding dovetail joint is similar to a tongue and groove joint except the tongue and groove are matching dovetails. Also known as "French Dovetail."
    Slip Match
    Method of matching veneers for the face of plywood whereby consecutive sheets of veneer are slipped out side by side (in contrast to turning them over for book matching) and joined together with a repetition of the same grain appearance.
  • Generally, lumber from a conifer such as pine or cedar. The name softwood does not refer to the density of the wood. There are some hardwoods, such as Balsa, which are softer than some softwoods like Southern Yellow Pine.
  • These are the coniferous or conebearing trees, the Gymnosperms, as described in comparison under Hardwoods.
  • Solid Stock
    Solid sound lumber (as opposed to plywood) which may be more than one piece of the same species securely glued for width or thickness.
  • A term referring to a board that has no (or very few) defects that affect its strength.
  • Absence of decay.
  • Special Match
    Special matching or sketch matching (per a submitted sketch) of veneers that may be done in an infinite number of patterns, including the more common diamond match, box match, checkerboard, herringbone, and a host of others. Any of these may likely be a center design with border.
    A distinct kind of wood.
    Specific Gravity
    The ratio of the weight of wood to an equal volume of water. The higher the specific gravity, the heavier the wood.
    Plants that reproduce by seeds. This includes almost all plant species.
    The threaded arbor on a shaper that holds the cutters.
    A thin piece of wood that fits in the mating grooves cut into two pieces of wood.
    A separation of wood due to the tearing apart of wood cells.
  • A discoloration in wood caused by a fungus or chemicals.
  • A die or pigment used to color wood.
  • A variation (normally blue or brown) from the natural color of the wood. It should not be confused with natural red heart.
  • Stair Work
    Wood material to form a stair, or to clad stair parts constructed of materials other than wood, and that are custom manufactured to a design for a particular project.
    Standard Lacquer
    In finishing, a nitrocellulose-based lacquer without additives.
    Standing Trim
    Generally combined in the term "Standing and Running Trim" and refers to the trims of fixed length delivered to the job site (e.g., door jambs and casings, pre-machined window stools, etc.).
    The vertical part of a raised panel door.
    Generally a molding used to "stop" a door or window in its frame.
    Streaks, Mineral
    Natural colorations of the wood substance.
    In stair work, member which supports and establishes the tread and rise relationship.
    Structural Composite Lumber
    A man-made composite that utilizes stranded wood fibers from a variety of tree species providing an alternative to dimension lumber. The material is engineered for strength and stability. While not really "lumber," it is marketed as a lumber substitute to be used in place of stave lumber core materials
    That portion of the tree just below the surface and about 30" above the surface of the ground. Veneer cut from this portion is more commonly called Butt Veneer.
    Generally used to describe a panel product upon which a decorative finish material is applied.
    Surface Check
    The separation of wood normally occurring across the rings of annual growth, usually as a result of seasoning, and occurring on only one surface of a piece.
    The way a piece of lumber has been prepared at the lumber mill.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
    The tendency for a blade to splinter the last part of a piece of wood during crosscutting.
    In veneer work, the variations in surface refraction as a result of the stile, rail, and core show-through to the face of the panel or door. The selection of high gloss laminates and finishes should be avoided because they tend to accentuate natural telegraphing.
    A pattern. Often a template is made of hardboard and used with a pilot bit to route a shape in a board.
    Template Guide
    A jig mounted to the bottom of a router used to keep the router on the profile of a template when routing with a non-pilot beating bit.
    Projecting tongue-like part of a wood member to be inserted into a slot (mortise) or another member to form a mortise and tenon joint.
    Through Dovetail Joint
    A method of joining wood where the interlocking pins and tails of the dovetail joint go through the side of its mating piece.
    Set together so there is no opening between members.
    In finishing, semi-transparent colors used to block out or reduce the color of wood.
    Projection on the edge or end of a wood member that is inserted into the groove or plow of a similar size to form a joint.
    Tongue and Groove
  • A joinery method where one board is cut with a protruding groove and a matching piece is cut with a matching groove along its edge.
  • A joint formed by the insertion of a "tongue" of one wood member into the "groove" of another.
  • Topcoat
    In finishing, the final finishing steps providing protection and the finished appearance.
    Torn Grain
    A roughened area caused by machine work during processing.
    Transparent Finish
    A stain or clear finish that allows the natural characteristics and grain color of the wood surface to show through the finish.
    In stair work, the horizontal member that is stepped upon.
    A distortion caused by turning or winding the edges of a surface so the four corners of any face are no longer in the same plane.
    A term indicating treatment of veneers difficult to work and inclined to checking, as well as sketch faces where assembly of veneers and patterns results in varying directions of grain in the same face. Such veneers are then worked into a desired face (likely a sketch face) and then glued to a thin ply of commercial veneer to hold and stabilize the face. This is two-ply and can then be used and applied as a face on plywood construction as any ordinary single-ply veneer.

    A layer of plywood or other manufactured board used as a base material under finished flooring. Underlayment is often used as a substrate to increase the strength and/or smoothness of the flooring.
    Urea Formaldehyde Resin
    Commonly known as a Type I adhesive, relatively water resistant. Often requires curing by heat but will cure at room temperature over time.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
  • A thin sheet of wood cut from a log.
  • A thin sheet or layer of wood, usually rotary cut, sliced, or sawn from a log or flitch. Thickness may vary from1/100" to 1/4".
  • Veneer, Quartered
    Veneer in which a log is sliced or sawed to bring out certain figure produced by the medullary or pith rays, which are especially conspicuous in oak. The log is flitched in several different ways to allow the cutting of the veneer in a radial direction.
    Veneer, Rift Cut
    Veneer in which the rift or comb grain effect is obtained by cutting at an angle of about 15° off of the quartered position. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the exposed surface area of each piece of veneer may contain medullary ray flake.
    Veneer, Rotary Cut
    Veneer in which the entire log is centered in a lathe and is turned against a broad cutting knife which is set into the log at a slight angle.
    Veneer, Sliced
    Veneer in which a log or sawn flitch is held securely in a slicing machine and is thrust downward into a large knife which shears off the veneer in sheets.
    Veneer-Core Plywood
    Plywood made from three or more pieces of veneer glued up in alternating grain patterns.
    Vertical Grain
    Lumber or veneer is a piece sawn or sliced at approximately right angles to the annual growth rings so that the rings form an angle of 45° or more with the surface of the piece.
    In stair work, a spiral or scroll end of a handrail, generally atop a newel post.

    A lower interior wall surface that contrasts with the wall surface about it.
    Bark or lack of wood from any cause, except eased edges, on the edge or corner of a piece of lumber.
  • A defect in lumber characterized by a bending in one or more directions.
  • Any deviation from a true or plane surface, including crook, bow, cup, twist, or any combination thereof.
  • Washcoats
    In finishing, thin solutions applied as a barrier coat to wood.
    Water Repellent
    A wood-treating solution that in the treating process deposits waterproof or water-resistant solids on the walls of wood fibers and ray cells, thereby retarding absorption of water (noun). Having the quality of retarding the absorption of liquid water by wood fibers and ray cells (adjective).
    Well Hole
    In stair work, the open space in which the stair is set.
    Wood Filler
    An aggregate of resin and strands, shreds, or flour of wood that is used to fill openings in wood and provides a smooth durable surface.
    See Millwork.
    Machined or formed in any manner except surfaced four sides.
    Holes and channels cut in wood by insects.
    Wormy Character
    Under certain conditions worms or borers attack a log (seldom a living tree) to the extent that wormholes appear almost uniformly in sheets of veneer when cut. In that event, a very pleasing effect may result.