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Glossary Of Woodworking

Allen Head (or Cap Head )
A screw head with a recess requiring a hexagon shaped key, used mainly on machinery.

A stub shaft on a machine to turn blades or other cutting wheels.

Auxiliary Fence
Sacrificial material fastened to a machine table fence to protect it from damage by a blade or cutter. Commonly used on spindle moulders, bandsaw mitre fences and table saw mitre fences.

Band Saw ( or Bandsaw )
A saw with a looped blade running around two or three wheels. Used with narrow blades for cutting freehand shapes, and with wider blades and a guide for straight cutting.

The outer protective layer of a tree.

The angle that one surface or line makes with another when they are not at right angles (not at 90 degrees). Bevel cuts are made on mitre saws and table saws by tilting the angle of the blade. On band saws they are made by titling the angle of the table.

Biscuit Joint
An oval shaped disk that when inserted in a slot with glue absorbs the water and swells to form a tight bond. The slot is most commonly cut using a router mounted in a table.

Brad Point Bit
A type of wood drill bit. Similar to a twist drill but with a flat bottom and sharp centre point.

Carbide Tipped
Extremely hard steel pieces with sharp cutting edges fastened to cutting tools such as circular saw blades and router bits.

To bevel the corner of a board at a 45° angle.

An attachment to hold work or a tool in a machine. Lathe chucks and drill chucks are examples.

A type of chuck that accepts a fixed shaft size, commonly used on routers.

Compound Mitre
An angled cut to both the edge and face of a board. Most commonly use is with crown moulding which is cut on a mitre saw.

Cross Cut
A cut which runs across a board perpendicular to the grain of the wood.

A groove in the face of a board, usually to accept another board at 90 degrees as in shelf uprights or draw sides.

Dado Blade ( Dado Cutter )
A type of sawblade for making wide cuts. This type of cutter is banned in Europe.

Trees that shed their foliage annually, commonly referred to as hardwood. It should be noted that this does not necessarily mean the timber produced is hard.

Dovetail Joint
A joint where the fingers are shaped like a doves tail, used to join pieces at 90 degrees.

Dowel link
A wood pin used to align and hold two adjoining pieces.

Drill Press ( Pillar Drill )
A machine tool in which a drill bit, is pushed into a workpiece to produce a hole.

Dust Collector ( Dust Extractor )
A dust collector system consists of a fan, dust filter, and a dust collection bag.

End Grain
The exposed pores on the end of a board.

When a board has one side that is wider than the other, the wider side is referred to as the face (as opposed to the edge). May also refer to the side that is to be visible in the finished item.

A device with fingers used to hold material against a fence and or down against the table. Commonly used on router tables.

A straight guide on a tool such as a table saw, bandsaw or router table to keep the material a set parallel distance from the blade or cutter.

When two adjoining surfaces are perfectly even with one another.

Forstner Bit
A type of drill bit. They have a centre spur and circular rims with cutting teeth that cut clean flat bottomed holes.

The appearance, size and direction of the alignment of the fibres of the wood.

Green Wood
Unseasoned wood, freshly harvested timber, usually with a high moisture content.

The grade of particles in sandpaper or sharpening stones which determines the aggressiveness of the cut.

Timber from the group of trees with broad leaves, this has no reference to the actual hardness of the wood.

The wood from the pith extending to the sapwood, darker in colour due to gum, resins, and other materials which make it less susceptible to rot.

Hollow Grinding
A concave bevel on a chisel, gouge, or knife.

An imperial unit of length measure, 1/12th of a foot, equal to 2.54 cm.

The side of a power tool where a board enters. Particularly in relation to planers, thicknessers, spindle moulders and router tables.

A device used to control the location or motion of another tool.

Jig Saw
A power tool that cuts by moving a blade up and down as it is guided through the cut.

The point at which two or more pieces of wood are joined together.

Jointer ( US term for a Planer )
A machine to true the edges of boards usually in preparation for gluing.

The width of a saw cut, determined by the thickness and set of the blade. Circular saw blades typically have Kerfs of around 1.8mm up to 3.2mm, Bansdsaw blades typically around 0.5mm

This is when a workpiece is thrown back by a cutter. Prevented using anti-kickback devices on thicknessers. Modern Spindle moulder blocks and circular sawblades are designed with features to reduce the chances of kickback.

The portion of a branch or limb that is embedded in the wood.

US term for Timber

Mitre Guide ( Mitre Gauge / Crosscut Fence )
A guide with an adjustable angle head that fits in a slot and slides across a machine table to cut material at an angle. There is no standard size for the table slot, many of them are also T-shaped.

Mitre Guillotine ( US term Chopper )
Machine with two knives mounted at 90 degrees for highly accurate mitre cutting. Commonly used by picture framers.

Mitre Saw ( US spelling Miter Saw )
A type of chop saw where the angle of the blade in relation to the fence is adjustable to cut material at an angle, compound miter saws feature a tilting blade as well. A sliding compound miter saw is a compound miter saw with horizontal sliding arms for the cutter head allowing cuts on much wider boards. Mitre saws usually bevel in one direction, however some can bevel in both directions.

Morse Taper
The standard for the taper on the shanks of drill chucks, drill bits and lathe centres. The different size tapers are designated by numbers, 0MT being the smallest. 1MT & 2MT are commonly used for woodworking lathe centres.

Mortice ( US spelling Mortise )
A cavity or hole cut to allow a tenon to pass through to make a joint. A mortice usually has square ends when cut by hand with a chisel or hollow chisel morticing machine. They can be round ended when cut with a router or slot morticer.

Moulder / Spindle Moulder ( US term Shaper )
A machine with an interchangable rotary cutter head to cut profile shapes on the edge or face of material.

The side of a power tool where the board exits.

Particle Board
A generic term for material manufactured from wood particles and bound together with glue. For example MDF.

Type of electrical supply. In the UK, our standard 240volt supply is single phase ( 1ph ). Industrial units often have 415volt supply which is Three phase ( 3ph ).

Pilot Bit
A router bit with a bearing at the end of the cutter that rides against the edge the material or a template to guide the cut.

The number of teeth on a saw blade per inch. Bandsaw blades come in a wide variety from 3tpi to 24tpi, depending on the intended use.

The soft core in the center of a log.

Plain Sawn
Boards are sliced from the log with the cut tangent to the growth rings.

Planer Thicknesser
A power-fed rotary planer that trims the surface of a board to a certain thickness. This combination machine can plane a surface and thickness timber to a finished dimension.

A glued wood panel usually 4' X 8' made up of thin layers of wood laid at right angles to each other.

Quarter Sawn
Boards which have been cut so that the wide surfaces are aproximately 90 degrees to the anual growth rings, this type of cut reduces cupping of the boards.

Rack and Pinion
A system using two gears, one round, one flat to move a part, an example would be a drill press, a round gear connected to a handle works with a flat gear on the column to raise and lower the table.

The angle at which the leading edge of the teeth are cut on a circular saw blade.

Slicing wood parallel to the grain to create thinner pieces, usually done on a bandsaw.

Rip Cut
A cut which runs through the length of a board parallel to the grain.

Rough Sawn Timber
Boards which are sawn, edged and trimmed but not run through a planer.

Basically a high speed motor with handles and an adjustable base with a collet that accepts profile bits to cut edge mouldings, rebates and joints.

The tendency to gouge the trailing end of material when running it through a planer or thicknesser.

Wood manufactured from trees with needles or scalelike leaves, has no reference to actual hardness of the wood.

T - slot
A slot milled in the shape of an upside down T to hold special bolts for clamps or jigs or mitre guides.

Table Saw ( Bench Saw / Site Saw / Panel Saw / Dimension Saw / Beam Saw )
A circular saw mounted under a table with height and angle adjustments for the blade.

The tendency to splinter the trailing edge of material when cutting across the grain.

A projection made by cutting away the wood around it to insert into a mortice to make a joint.

The word timber is applied in a general way to the log and to the material itself, and to the standing trees. It is also applied more specifically to the larger squared pieces, or "dimension" stock, such as sills, beams, etc.

Underpinner ( Vnailer )
Machine which assembles picture frames by inserting a Vnail into each corner.

Vnail ( Wedge )
V shaped steel fastening for joining two mitred pieces of picture frame moulding.

Standard UK voltage is 240v. Since European harmonisation, it is often expressed as 220-240v although the actual voltage has never changed. More powerful industrial machines use 415v, also known as 3 phase.

The activity or skill of making items from wood, and includes cabinet making (Cabinetry and Furniture), wood carving, joinery, and carpentry.

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