An illustrated woodwork glossary. The terms used in general Carpentry and joinery

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Right at present there are 54 separate pages in this section illustrating the terms below. If you would like to browse from one to the other in sequence start at the woodworking page.

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Against the grain
Working a piece of wood in the wrong direction so that the shavings are taken off in a in a rough and ragged fashion.
Air Dried Lumber
In woodworking. The oldest method of drying out or seasoning timber. Allowing air to circulate naturally around the lumber.
Annual Rings
The annual growth rings in timber or lumber that can be seen when the timber is cut across the grain.
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Barefaced Tenon
A tenon having only one shoulder. Typically where members with two different thicknesses meet.
Base Block
Also called a skirting block. Mostly a plain rectangular block to make a break between the skirting board and the architraves around a door.
Base Molding
Molding on the top of a baseboard
Base Shoes
Used to cover the gap between the skirting and any new floor covering in renovation work when the skirtings are left in place.
Also called a skirting board. A usually molded board at the base of an internal wall to provide a cover for the wall to floor joint and to protect the wall surface from mopping or scrubbing of the floor.
1.) A small half-round convex moulding.
2.) A row of half spherical bead bead shapes.
Birdsmouth Joint
A joint at the base of an angled member that is designed to stop it sliding.
Biscuit Joint
Joints in wood and panel products similar to butt joints but made with oval lengths of a composite material (biscuits) in slots cut with purpose made power tool, a biscuit jointer.
Bolection Moulding
A raised moulding, projecting proud of the face frame to trim around timber panelling to walls and doors.
Bridle Joint
A joint between two members that is in effect the opposite of a mortise and tennon joint.
Butt Joint
The simplest of all woodworking joints. The jointing surfaces of each member has right angle or square ends and edges.
Butterfly Joint
A loose key joint named for it's shape like a butterfly. Also known as a dovetail key joint. Used mainly in remedial work to stop timber splitting..
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A building or manufacturing trade concerned with making or manufacturing wood or timber items in a workshop or factory situation that will later be used in a building. The making cabinets, cupboards, wardrobes etc. That will be built into a building.
A woodworking and building trade concerned with the heavier aspects of construction with wood. Framing and joining timbers in a structure.
A concave, quarter hollow shape
A concave, quarter hollow shape
A beveled edge connecting two surfaces
1). A molded projection that crowns or finishes the part to which it is fixed.
2). A mould of wood or plaster that is fixed to cover the internal walls to ceiling joints. US. Crown mold.
3). The exterior trim to a structure mostly at the meeting of the wall to the roof. Mostly masonry as in classical architecture but also timber.
4). The moulding forming the top member of a window or door frame.
Cover Batten
A flat moulding that is used to cover the joints in sheet or flat panel material.
Crown Mold
1.)A moulded board, often quite large and ornate that is fixed to cover the internal walls to ceiling joints.
2.)A moulding serving as the finishing member of a structure.
The tendency in some sections of timber to dry out in a curved shape following the lines of the growth rings.
Cyma Recta
A type of ogee with the concave part is uppermost
Cyma Reversa
A type of ogee with the convex part is uppermost
Cyma, Ogee
A moulding with double curvature. combining ovolo and cavetto.
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1.) The middle part of something. The middle portion of a pedestal between the base and the cornice.
2.) A rectangular groove or trench cut across the grain of a board or plank.
Dado Head
A woodworking machine cutter head that consists of two circular saw blades separated by cutter blades of varying widths for cutting dados.
Dado Paneling
Wooden panelling from the base or baseboard to the dado
Dado Rail, Chair Rail
A moulded rail set normally around chair back height to protect wall surfaces.
Dentil Mold
In woodworking and masonry. A carved mold consisting of regular square tooth-like blocks.
Double Tenons
Two tenons side by side. Used for jointing wider members.
Dovetail Joint
A type housing or keyed joint where one member has a wedge shaped end set into a similar shaped recess. This page defines:-
Common Dovetail, Lapped Dovetail, Half Lapped Dovetail, Secret Dovetail
Dowel Joint
Joints in wood similar to butt joints but made with short lengths of round section timber of various standard sizes (dowels) and corresponding drilled holes.
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Hand carved or machine made egg shapes alternating with V-shapes
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An angled strip separating two surfaces, or between the fluting
Finger Joint
A factory method of joining random lengths of timber into standard long lengths. Used to produce flooring and mouldings.
Usually half-round grooves. cut into the surface of a column in regular intervals.
Framing Scarf Joints
End joints for heavy framing members
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Green Lumber
Lumber that has not been seasoned.
Wooden or pressed metal battens fixed to rough wall surfaces to give an even fixing for wooden panelling or plasterboard etc.
Gunstock Style
A door style that reduces in width, typically wider at the bottom where the door may be paneled and then reducing at the top where it may be glazed
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Halving Joint
A half lap joint where two pieces are lapped over each other. Can be Corner Lap, "T" lap or Cross Lapped.
Hammer Key Joint
An end joining technique where a hammer shaped tenon is set into a similar shaped recess. Often used in conjunction with wedges to pull the joint tight.
1.) A tree with broad leaves belonging to the Angosperms.
2.) Wood cut from a hardwood tree. Typically with hard close grain and with characteristics of strength and durability
Hardwoods List
The commonly used hardwoods in woodworking
Haunched Tenon
A tenon that does not run through the full width of the member, but it has a cut down section, the Haunch that allows the use of external wedge fixings. Used typically at the corners for doors and windows etc.
The wood at the centre of a tree. The oldest and the best quality
Housing Joints
Joints that have one member, usually with a plain end set into or housed into another member. Used in joinery and carpentry.
On this page also:- Through Housing, Stopped Housing, Dovetail Housing.
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A woodworking and building trade concerned with the heavier aspects of construction with wood. Framing and joining timbers in a structure.
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Kiln Dried Lumber
In woodworking. A method of seasoning timber using heated kilns to dry the timber to the required moisture content.
A hard cross grain mass of wood that is formed in the trunk of a tree where a branch grows. They can weaken the timber or disfigure the surface.
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Loose Tenons
A tenon joining two mortised members.
Loose Wedged Tenon
A tenon running through a mortise with extra length to allow for a small mortise and a wedge at right angles to secure the joint. Typically in large heavy joints.
Lumber Timber
Wood from trees that has been converted into usable sections for the woodworking trades
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Medullary Rays
Cells or ribbons of tissue in a tree that extend from the pith to the bark to move food horizontally in the tree.
Mitre Joint
A joint between two members at an angle to each other. Each piece is cut to exactly half of the joining angle. Mostly the angle is 90 degrees so each piece is cut at 46 degrees.
Also on this page:-
End Mitre, Face Mitre, Rebated Mitre, Tongued Mitre, Bastard Mitre
Mortise and Tenon
A method of joining two members, with a recess, the Mortise in one of the members and a narrowed shouldered piece the Tenon to the other one.
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Notched or Cogged Joints
Heavy carpentry floor and roof framing joints.
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A slightly recessed quarter round to a corner of a larger piece.
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Parting Bead
A small rectangular section that has a half round on one end. Used to separate the sashes in a sliding sash window.
Picture Rail
A rail fixed between the dado rail and the cornice to hang pictures from.
The central core of a log, soft with no strength and seen as a fault in timber.
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A quarter round bead.
Quarter Sawn
Wood logs sawn into quarters to maximise the quality of the finshed planks.
The slight recessing of a mould like an ovalo
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Raking Mould
A sloping mould made to a profile that will neatly match up against a horizontal mould.
Repeated rows of small beading. Used on decking boarding.
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The wood between the heartwood and the bark of a tree. Not as resistant to decay as heartwood.
Saw Milling
The act of sawing wood in an industrial application.
A factory where where logs of wood in the rough are sawn into usable sizes for the construction and woodworking industries.
A person with the trade of sawing wood
Scarf Joint
A method of end joining members. From ply the solid timber.
A wooden molding with a concave face that is fixed to cover the internal walls to ceiling joints. UK and Australian terminology.
Scribed Joint
A joint between two mouldings that has one or them cut to the shape of the other. Usually this is done with a coping saw, hence it's alternative name of Coped Joint in North America.
Seasoning Lumber
In woodworking. A method treating timber to dry out excess moisture and bring it to the required moisture content.
longitudinal splits in a log or or piece of timber. Often caused by hasty or poor seasoning.
Slab Sawn
Lumber or timber sawn vertically straight out of the log. This is the cheapest way of sawing up logs into planks
Slip Feathered Tenon
A wide tenon with loose tongues or slip feathers set into the shoulder to give more strength to a standard mortise and tenon joint.
Softwoods List
The commonly used softwoods in woodworking
1.) An evergreen tree or pine tree.
2.) Wood cut from a softwood tree. Typically with wide and open grain.
Stub Tenon
A short tenon set into a shallow mortise that does not go the whole way through the the member. Also known as a Blind Tenon.
Stump Tenon
A tenon with a partly recessed shoulder. Used in heavy framing as an alternative to a double tenon.
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Timber Defects
Faults that affect the strength and looks of timber.
Tongue And Groove Joint
The main joint used to join solid timber floor boards. Also now used for joining many man made products.
Tongued Joint
A type of narrow housing joint, using a thin tongue rather than the full thickness of the timber as in a standard housing joint.
A perennial plant with a woody structure that is exogenous. That is it grows on the outside, a small amount each year. The source of wood.
Tusk Tenon
A strong load bearing joint for trimmers in heavy floor framing.
Twin Tenon
A tenon joint with two separate tenons, one above the other. Typically used in wide door rails where the rail is too deep for a standard Mortise and tenon joint.
The tendency in timber for the edges to move out of parallel
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A wooden panelling from say 900 to 1500 high (3 ft to 5ft) to the bottom of internal walls.
Waney Edges
Edges or corners of sections of timber that encroach into the area of the bark.
Winding Sticks
A pair of straight battens that are used to sight across to determine if a piece of timber or a frame is twisted or not.
With the Grain
Working a piece of wood along the grain so that the shavings are taken off in a smooth fashion.
Wood Grain
In Joinery, the direction of the natural fibres in wood. The lines by which the wood can be split and by which it is sawn out of the log to make useful timber.
The practice of making something out of wood. A manual or machine skill.

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