Glossary of Woodworking Terms - Lee's Wood Projects

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The terms provided in this glossary are ones used in Lee's woodworking website.  They include a wide range of topics, such as: species, joints, finishes, abrasives, adhesives, safety rules, fasteners, manufactured boards, woodworking machines and hand tools, as well as terms used to describe the materials and procedures for making wood projects.  The definitions used are typically general in nature, but comprehensive enough to give a basic understanding.  Also, the glossary is alphabetized to help one quickly locate a term and its definition.

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Abrasive Discs - A rotating disc coated with abrasive material used for sanding or removing finishes.

Abrasives - A rough substance used for polishing, sanding, or grinding various hard surfaces.

Acetone - An organic compound which is a colorless and flammable liquid used as a solvent.  It is a thinner for epoxy finishes, wood putty, and super glues.

Acrylic Urethane - A clear plastic finish that is best used for interior wood projects.

Adhesives - Glue or resin that is used to bond materials together.  

Adhesive Felt Pads - Self adhesive pads that are placed on the feet of furniture to prevent scratches.

Adjustable Dado Head - A cutter, that is mounted on a table saw or a radial arm saw, and can be adjusted to various widths for the purpose of cutting dado joints.

Air Compressor - A machine that pressurizes atmospheric air to a higher pressure.  This can operate pneumatic nail guns, wrenches, etc.

Alcohol Based - Refers to a stain or finish that uses alcohol for a vehicle.

Alder (Red) - A domestic, relatively soft hardwood, which has a fairly straight grain pattern, and possesses medium density, low shock resistance, and stiffness.

Aliphatic Resin Glue - A pre-mixed yellow adhesive, used for all purpose household projects.

Aluminum-Oxide Abrasives - A synthetic abrasive material that is very durable, and is used primarily to sand hardwoods and metal.

Animal Glue - A very strong glue made from animal hides, bones, and hooves, used for indoor projects.

Applique - Decorative scrolls, rosettes, etc. that are attached to wood projects to improve appearance.

Arc - Part of the circumference of a circle.

Ash (White) - A domestic hardwood which primarily grows in the North Eastern Regions of the United States.

Assembly - The arrangement, placement, and attachment of the various parts of a wood project.

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Band Clamps - A ratchet tie-down strap that is used to clamp irregular shaped projects.

Band Saw - a saw with a flexible, looped blade used to cut small arcs and freehand shapes.

Bar Clamps - A bar with two adjustable jaws used to clamp wood projects.

Basswood - A domestic hardwood which is very soft and light weight.  It thrives in four season climates, primarily in the Eastern Region of the United States.

Beech - A relatively hard domestic hardwood that grows primarily in the Appalachian mountains, and the North Eastern Regions of the United States.

Belt Sander - A machine with an abrasive belt attached used to sand wood projects.

Bench Clamp -  Pegs inserted into holes of a workbench top, and used with a bench clamp, for the purpose of holding wood material.

Bench Dogs - Typically they are metal pegs that are inserted into holes of a workbench top, and used with a bench clamp, for the purpose of holding material.

Bending Strength - The ability of lumber to resist bending.

Benzene - A solvent, made primarily from coal tar, used for resins, varnish and paints.

Birch - A domestic hardwood that grows throughout the North America, primarily in elevations between 1500 -3000 foot elevations.

Birdseye - A pattern on wood composed of many small, rounded size areas in the grain that resemble a bird's eye.

Biscuit - This is a thin, football shaped piece of wood used to strengthen wood joints.

Biscuit Cutter - A tool used to cut thin slots in the edges of lumber for biscuits.

Blind Dado - A hidden joint where a square or rectangular hole is cut into a leg and a matching tenon of a rail is inserted into it.  This is a very strong joint, and typically used for chair or table construction.

Blockboard - A manufactured board built up with a core of softwood strips which are sandwiched between hardwood veneers and bonded together with adhesive and pressure.

Blotching - The unsightly light and dark areas that appear when stain is absorbed unevenly by certain types of wood.

Board Foot - A volume of lumber that measures 1" x 12" x 12".

Bubinga - Bubinga is an exotic hardwood primarily in the West Equatorial Africa Region.  It thrives in tropical climates, along jungle waterways such as swamps, streams, and lake shores.

Burl - A distorted, abnormal growth on a tree, usually resulting from disease or damage.  These produces knots, swirls and many interesting and beautiful shapes in the wood fiber.

Burn - The effect of a dull blade or drill bit on wood.  This sometimes causes the wood to "burn" or blacken due to the build-up of heat between the cutter and the wood.

Butt Hinge - A hinge composed of two plates connected by a pin, used to attach abutting surfaces such as a door and door jam.

Butt Joint - A joint formed by joining two boards together at a 90 degree angle.

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Internet References:

  • -Glossary of Woodworking Terms
  • -Glossary of Woodworking
  • -Sam Allen's Dictionary of Woodworking Terms
  • -Glossary of Woodworking Terminology – Woodworking
  • -Glossary of Wood and Woodworking Terms
  • -Glossary of Wood Terms
  • -The Freelance Dictionary
  • -Glycol Ethers – Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
  • -Wood Finishing Terms
  • -All
  • -Math is Fun