Woodworking Glossary for Beginners
For a beginning woodworker,there are many terms that can really sound like a foreign language. So to make life easier, I started a Woodworking Glossary to shed a light on the dark lingo of Woodcraft.
I’m all open to additions or improvements/corrections. Any contribution is helpful.
Adhesive- Is used to bond pieces together. Glue is the most common Adhesive
Adirondack Chair-Popular woodwork project for beginners. Broad and low-seated chair design is typical for this furniture.
Awl- Pointed object used to pinpoint screw or boring positions. Looks like an icepick.
Bead- a semicircular piece of moulding.
Bench Dog – A peg that can be fixed in a dog hole in the workbench surface to hold larger items in place.
Bevel Cut – An angled cut through a board.
Burl – A knot of deformed wood that grows on a tree. A wild growth that occurs after a branch of the tree brakes of is cut of.
Carcase – The basic box shape of a cabinet
Card scraper – a flat blade with a burred edge used for smoothing.
Chip Carving – Geometrical pattern style carving
Chisel - Woodworking tool to make cuts and grooves in wood
Common grade lumber – Wood with defects, like cracks, deformation.
Claw hammer – A hammer with a split claw to remove nails from wood
Combination square – A precision square tool for 90° and 45°angles
Crosscut – a cut made perpendicular to the grain.
Dado – A groove in a piece of wood in which another piece of wood fits.
Dovetail – Shape of a joint commonly used in making cabinets
Deciduous – Hardwood
Dowel – Cylindrical wooden pin for joining pieces together
Drill – Power tool for drilling holes
Ear protection gear/ear muffs – Protect the ears from the screeching sound of power tools like the circular saw.
Edge Guide – Jig for guiding a chisel or router along an edge of wood.
End grain – the grain at the end of a piece of wood which is perpendicular to the surface.
Face Veneer – Quality veneer at the front of a piece of wooden furniture, such as a cabinet.
Firmer – a chisel bevelled on both sides instead of only one.
Flute – a deep channel cut in wood occasionally denotes the channel of a gouge.
Grain -naturally lined pattern of lumber fiber
Green wood – Freshly cut wood that hasn’t had time to dry.
Grit – Sand of sand paper, fine grit for a smooth surface, coarse grit for a rougher surface.
Hardwood- usually hard and dense wood. e.g. Maple wood oak
Heartwood - wood from the center of a tree
Herringbone pattern – when two pieces of veneer get mirrored
Jig - Device used to hold steady tools for making a special cut or bore holes. Mainly used for repetitive actions.
Jigsaw – Hand-held power tool for making curved cuts
Kerf – the gap left when material is removed by a saw
Knot – Piece of branch that is integrated in the tree stem. Can cause holes in boards, usually very touch to cut
Laminate – plastic cover for a board
Level – Tool to measure whether an object is horizontal or vertical
Lumber – Wood for woodworking
Miter saw – Table saw
Mortise and Tenon joint – The mortise is the rectangular receiving part of the Tenon dowel.
Mitre (UK, Cda) or Miter (US) – a joint made by fastening together pieces with the ends cut at an angle.
Nails – nails
Nominal Size – Standard sizes for rough cut wood. e.g. 2×4 is a nominal size as in a 2×4 workbench
Old Growth- Old wood with long,straight grain.
Planing – Making things flat with a plane (shave tool)
Plate joiner – Power tool to create biscuit joints
Pin Router – Table Pin used to route a workpiece
Queen Anne Furniture – A style of furniture Recognizable by its Cabriole legs. (curvy shaped legs)
Rabbet – A ‘groove’ cut parallel to, and at the edge of, a board.
Rail- Horizontal part of a window or door frame
Rip Cut - Cut made parallel to the grain
Round Edge – Lumber board with tree bark on both sides
Router – rotary tool to shape edges and grooves in wood
Sap Wood – Wood where the tree sap runs through. The wood that’s just under the bark of a tree
Sanding Block – Block to attach the sandpaper to
Seasoning - De- moisturizing fresh wood
Softwood- Lumber from conifer trees. Pine is a soft wood
Table saw - Power tool used to cut under different angles and cut out shapes.
Template - Pattern to route a shape in a board
Tenon – is a projection on the end of a piece of wood for insertion into a mortise.
Twist – longitudinal twisting of wood due to uneven seasoning or grain.
Veneer – very thin slices of wood used for inlay or to cover surfaces
Veneer saw – used to trim veneer surfaces
Wasting – quickly removing wood during carving, usually with a knife or rasp.
Woodworking Plans – Building plans for woodcraft projects
X - marks the spot