Accoya is a modified timber product that has had it’s chemical structure altered by way of wood acetylation. Acetylation refers to the process of reacting the timber with acetic anhydride, once the timber has undergone this process, the timbers ability to absorb water is greatly reduced thereby vastly increasing the durability of the product. Accoya refers to the Softwood (Radiata sourced from New Zealand) that has undergone the process, a hardwood version Accoya Alder (as the name implies from the timber Alder) is also available. For more information please see Accoya.

Air Dried
Refers to the method of drying out timber naturally using the circulation of air. The pieces of timber to be dried are stacked on top of each other, separated by lathes or sticks to allow the air to circulate. This method of drying takes considerable time. Also known as In Stick.

Angle Rafter
Another name for a Hip Rafter

Annual Rings or Annular Rings
The concentric rings of wood fibre added annually as the tree grows. The wood fibre is made up of alternating rings, the darker rings being formed during the summer and the lighter rings during the winter. Also known as Growth Rings or Tree Rings, the Annual Rings can be used to determine the age of the tree, this is known as Dendrochronology.

The annual rings

Annual rings are added annually as the tree grows

Ornamentation planted on, instead of being worked on, in the solid.

An ornamentation on the middle rail of a door. It is usually planted on, but may be moulded/carved in the solid.

Apron Rail
The middle, or lock rail of a door, with raised ornamentation.

The ornamental mouldings mitred round a door or window frame. The Architraves cover the joint between the plaster and wood framings.

The corner where two plane surfaces meet, this is generally removed either with sandpaper or by way of a moulding on finished Joinery.

Arris Rail
A triangular rail used in fencing.

A long twist bit turned with the hands, usually by means of a handle.

A hand tool for piercing small holes, normally as a starter hole for screws or nails. Also known as a Bradawl or Sprig Bit

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Back Flap (pictured right)

A hinge with large flaps for screwing onto the face of a door and framing.

Balanced Sashes
The vertically sliding sashes in a sash and frame window.

Back flap hinge

A Backflap hinge

Balk or Baulk
Any overly large sections of rough-sawn timber.

A row of Balusters / Bannisters with a base and handrail forming a protective enclosure.

Balusters or Bannister
The small vertical timbers supporting the handrail to stairs.

Band and Gudgeon hinges
Sometimes referred to as Hook and Band hinges or Hook and Eye, these are heavy duty hinges usually found on wooden gates and garage doors. They are in two pieces, the hinges being the band and the gudgeon or hook being the pivot which the hinge swings on. Band and Gudgeon hinges come in two different types, cranked (pictured below) and straight; the cranked version being used when it is required to keep doors of gates flush with the face of the frame or posts.

Cranked band and gudgeon hinges for wooden gates and garage doors

Barefaced Tenon
A Tenon with only one side shouldered.

Barge boards
The inclined timbers on the gable of a building, used to cover the ends of the roof timbers when they project over the face of the wall. Sometimes referred to as Verge Boards or Gable Boards.

Bark Pocket
A well defined opening containing bark between the annual rings of a tree, which develops as the tree is growing.

Base Mould
An alternative name used for a Skirting Board.

Narrow timbers fixed to a wall for wallboards, matchboarding, Skirting Board etc to be fixed to. Also known as Grounds.

Inclined from the vertical.

Bay Window (pictured right)
A window projecting over the face of the wall and continued from the ground.

A round moulding with a quirk, used to remove the sharp arris, and to break the joint between boards. When several beads are placed together, they are called Reeds. If the bead lies below the surface, it is referred to as a Sunk Bead.

Bay window

An example of a bay window

Bench Hook
Used for holding and steadying small stuff while being cut.

The term applied to to any hung frame, that fits too tightly on to the stop or rebate and so prevents easy closing. Hinge Bound.

Birds Mouth
A V cut or fork in the end of a piece of timber, so that it sits astride the corner of another piece.

Blind Mortice
A Mortice for a stub tenon.

An engineered board that comprises softwood blocks glued together and sandwiched between two veneers. Normally only suitable for interior work as the glue used to bond the blocks together and veneer upon them is not normally an exterior glue.

Block Plane
A small plane that can easily be used with one hand, useful for fitting mitres etc.

Converted timber of small size, but very wide relative to the thickness.

Borrowed Light
An interior window obtaining light from another usually exterior window.

Box Window
A semicircular or segmental Bay Window.

Box Tenon
A tenon in the form of a rectangle for corner posts. For more information on the Box Tenon, please see our previous post on this and other woodworking angle joints.

Bow (pictured right)
A deviation/curvature in the flat of the timber from one end to the other, eg. if the timber was lying on a flat surface, then the centre would be slightly lifted.

Bow is curvature long the face of timber

A member of a framed structure crossing a space diagonally, and able to resist either compression or tension. Also a cranked hand-drill for boring.

A small oval nail.

A hand tool for piercing small holes, normally as a starter hole for screws or nails. Also known as a Awl or Sprig Bit

Breaking Joint
Arranging the consecutive heading joints in floor boards and matchboarding so they will rest on different joists or studs.

Bridle Joint
A reverse joint to the Stub Mortice and Tenon joint. For more information on Bridle Joints, please see our previous blog post on these and other woodworking angle joints.

British Woodworking Federation
Also known as the BWF. They are a trade organisation for the Woodworking and manufacturing Joinery industry in the UK. To become members you have to be vetted before you are accepted in and then you have to follow their code of conduct – you can read a bit more about their vetting of new members here or go to the BWF website.

A small circular or elliptical window.

A step having the end shaped to a quarter circle.

Burr (Pictured right)
A tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner, usually found round a wound or deformed bud. The burrs produce highly decorative, yet hard to work wood, which are used in veneers, turning, etc.

Butt Hinge
Hinges that are intended to be sunk into the edge of a door or casement.

Butt Joint
Two pieces of timber jointed together with a square joint.

Burrs can produce highly decorative timber

Burrs can produce highly decorative timber

A small piece of wood secured by one screw so that it is free to revolve. Used to secure one piece of framing to another and tabletops/counter tops to the carcasses. Buttoned joints.


The wedged shaped part of a Scarfed Joint.

The rising at the centre of a horizontal structural member to counteract sagging.

Cabinet Maker
A Cabinet Maker is someone who specialises in the making of shelving, furniture and cabinets.

Cable Moulding
A cylindrical moulding carved to imitate a rope.

A planted piece on the top of a post for weathering or ornamentation.

Capillary Action
Sometimes referred to as Capillary Attraction is the phenomenon whereby moisture can travel against the force of gravity in fine spaces or between two surfaces which are close together. The smaller the space, the greater the capillary attraction.

Capillary Groove
A groove which can be found on the underside of window/door cills and weather mouldings; the groove acts as a break to stop the capillary action of moisture from reaching the brickwork. Also known as a Drip or Drip Groove.

A long length, serving as a cap for gates and framing.

Carcass (Right)
The frame or main parts of anything, before it is completed with coverings (eg. T&G boarding or paneling).

Generally speaking, Carpenters are involved in work that does not need finishing, such as the erecting of structures (i.e. roofing, shuttering etc.). An old phrase used to differentiate between a Carpenter and Joiner is ‘A Carpenter uses nails whilst a Joiner uses screws’; however, the differences have become somewhat blurred these days.

Carcass - The framework

Case Hardened
A condition of stress in the adjacent layers of timber due to incorrect seasoning, causing the the wood to warp when further machined.

A glazed sash hung by hinges or pivots. Also, a hollow moulding less than half a circle.

The mould or timber frame used as a support when turning an arch.

The temporary timbering used for supporting the component parts of an arch whilst building.

Chain Moulding
A carved moulding imitating the links of a chain.

Chair Rail
Dado rail. A horizontal moulding fixed to a wall to prevent the chair backs from damaging the decoration.

Chamfer (Right)
A corner bevelled so that the Arris is removed equally on each face of the material. When it is unequal, it is termed a Bevel.

Chase Mortice
A mortice with a chase, so that the stub tenon can be slid into position sideways instead of lengthways.


An example of a chamfer

The sides of a mortice, or the removed sides of a tenon.

The horizontal member at the bottom of a frame. Also known as a Sill.

A space between two surfaces to prevent contact, as between the edge of a door and the frame.

Clout Nail
A short nail with a large flat head, for fixing cords, felt and plasterboard.

Coach Screw (right)
A large screw with a square or hexagonal head that is driven in using a spanner.

Coach screw, a square headed screw driven in using a spanner

Coarse Grain
Applied to timber with wide annual rings due to rapid growth.

Combination Plane
An older plane also known as a Universal Plane, and capable of producing nearly every moulding, ploughing, rebating, etc.

Common Rafter
The main rafters in a roof carrying the slates or tiles and running from the Wall Plate to the Ridge. Also known as Spars.

Compass Plane
A smoothing plane for circular work (below right). The sole of the plane is adjustable by means of of the screw for either concave or convex surfaces.

Compass Window
A bay window, circular in plan.

Compass plane for circular work

A Compass plane, usually used in circular work

Condensation Groove
A groove to collect the condensation on the inside of sashes. A Weep Hole allows the moisture to escape to the outside.

Adjusting the moisture content of wood.

Sawing timbers into smaller sections.

The loose waste timber from a mortice. The interior of plywood or any solid wood forming a base for veneering.

Corpse Gate
A covered entrance to a churchyard (Right). More commonly known as a Lych Gate.

Cot Bar
A glazing bar in a Fanlight Window which connects the radial bars together

To prepare a screw hole so that the head of the screw is flush with the surface of the material.

Corpse gate more commonly called a Lych gate

A Lych or Corpse gate

A pair of Rafters.

Close Couple
Rafters nailed together at the top and tied at the feet, or by a collar beam up the roof.

A tool for squeezing two or more pieces of material together.

Tightening-up the joints of framing, etc., by means of cramps.

Mouldings that are notched or indented in the form of battlements.

Cross Garnet
A strap hinge (Right) shaped like a letter T and more often referred to as a T or Tee Hinge.

Cross Garnet hinge

A Cross garnet or Tee-hinge

Cross Grain
Also known as Diagonal Grain or Oblique Grain, Cross Grain is the term applied to converted wood in which the fibres do not run parallel to the axis of the timber.

The highest point of an arch.

Cup Shake
A shake in timber caused by the separation of the Annual Rings.


The lower part of a wall from the skirting to the Dado Rail.

Dado Rail
A horizontal moulding fixed to a wall to prevent the chair backs from damaging the decoration. Also known as a Chair Rail.

A platform or raised floor.

Datum Line.
The line on a building site from which all heights are measured.

The act of making floors, partitions, etc., soundproof.

Dead Knot(Right)
A knot that isn’t firmly joined to the surrounding wood. A decayed knot in timber.

Dead Load
The forces acting upon a structure due to gravitation. The weights of the different materials.

Dead knot not firmly attached to the timber

Dead Lock
A lock operated by a key only.

The amount that a beam is bent out of the straight, due to the load

Dentils (Below)
Projections on the face of a moulding formed by removing alternate parts of the fillet on the moulding.

Dentil moulding

The act of drying timber in artifically heated chambers, i.e. Kiln Drying.

A disease in timber giving a spotted, speckled apperance to the timber.

A strong iron fastening for heavy timbers in structural work.

Stairs consisting of two or more flights, in which the returns are made from the same Newel.

Dog’s Tooth
An ornamental moulding with carved projections in the form of small pyramids.

Door Lining
An internal door frame, also known as a Casing

Door Posts
An alternate name for the Jambs of a solid door frame.

Door Frame
A solid frame for a door.

Door Sill (right)
A horizontal member connecting the foot of the Jambs of a door frame.The Capillary Groove (A) is the smaller of the two groove and this side of the Sill protrudes to the exterior. The other groove (B) is the Mortar Groove.

Section of a cill from a exterior door frame

Section through a typical door cill

Door Stop
The edge of the rebate against which a door closes.

Dormer (Right)
A window in a sloping roof, having vertical casements.

Double Hung Sash
A sash and frame window in which both pairs of sashes are hung.

Double Margin Door
A single door giving the appearance of two doors.

A window with vertical casements within a roof.

A Dormer window

Dovetailed Joint
A joint in which the pieces are end to end and forming an angle. The Dovetailed joint is made by forming pins in the shape of a dove’s tail.

Dowel Plate
A steel plate used for making and shaping dowels.

Cylindrical pieces of wood useds as pins for securing joints.

Draught or Draw
The space which is closed up in Draw-boring.

The act of tightening a joint at the shoulder by means of a pin. The hole in the cheeks of the mortice is a little in advance of that in the tenon.

Draw Knife
A cutting tool with two handles (below), used for cutting large chamfers. The timber to be worked is secured in the vice and the knife if pulled towards the user with the bevel edge facing down and held into the timber.

Draw knife for cutting large chamfers

Stuff that is planed up.

A disease in timber, caused by a wound in the cambium layer being attacked by fungus.

Dry Rot
Decay in timber caused by a fungoid growth. It is usually the result of a moist, stagnant atmosphere, such as can be found under badly ventilated floors.

Refers to the durability of timber, which is how long a sample of timber is expected to last in it’s untreated form. There are five durability classes which range from ‘non-durable’ upto ‘very durable. You can read more in our timber durability guide here.

Dwarf Door
A door which is too low for ordinary traffic without stooping, usually less than five foot high.

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The bottom edge of a sloping roof where the water is collected in the gutters.

The strips on the edges of flush doors to secure and cover the edges of the plywood. They are also called BandingsClashingsMarginsSlamming Strips etc.

A drawing showing the front view of an object.

See Crenellated.

To form designs in raised work. The ornamentation is prominent.

End Grain
The exposed end of a piece of timber after it has been cross cut.

End Matched
Boarding tongue and grooved on the ends.

Engineered Timber
A generic term covering a wide variety of timber based products that have been engineered to enhance performance. Includes boards such as: Plywood, MDF, Plywood, Blockboard, Chipboard and Gluelam beams etc.

EU Timber Regulations 2013
New timber regulations brought in by the European Union in March 2013. The regulations prohibit the use of ‘Illegally harvested timber or products derived from such timber’ and those of us who buy and sell timber within the EU market have to meet certain legal obligations. Also known as the EUTR, you can read a bit more about it here.

Escutcheon (Right)
A metal plate fixed around a keyhole.


Espagnolette Bolt
A bolt that fastens in three places in one operation. It can be used on French windows and fastens the window at the bottom, top and at one or more intermediate positions.

Eyebrow (Below)
An upper window over which the eaves are raised in the form of a flat segment.

Meaning ‘out of’ or ‘from’. For example, if you were having a pair of garage doors manufactured that were described as EX 50mm thick, then generally they would finish at approx. 45mm thick once the timber had been planed up. Derives from Latin.


The face of a building

The best side of a planed piece of timber.

Face Mark
A mark used to denote the face side of a piece of timber – the face mark (right) is the larger of the two marks, the other denotes the edge.

Fall Bar
A pivoted bar for securing a door or gate. Larger types are known as locking bars.

Face mark

Example of a Face mark, these can vary slightly from joiner to joiner

Falling Stile.
The opposite stile to the hanging stile in a wooden gate.

Shuttering or centering for concrete.

Fanlight (Right)
A sash above the door in a door frame. Originally, it was only applied to a semicircular sash with radial bars.

Any wide flat horizontal board, placed upright. The board fixed to the feet of the rafters, and carrying the gutters in roofing. Also, the wide board between the sash and cornice in shop front work.

Boards cut on the bevel, or tapered in thickness. They are used for fencing or weather boarding – the thick edge of one board sits on, or overlaps the thin edge of the preceding board.

A small window.

A carved ornament in the form of a garland suspended from two points.


A semi circular fanlight

Fielded Panel
A panel that is raised with a wide flat surface.

Refers to a grade of Softwood. Fifths is the next grade down from Unsorted Softwood which is the best grade. For more on this please see joinery grade softwoods.

Final Fix
In site work, the joinery that occurs once the painters have finished, i.e. door handles, etc.

Finger Plate
Ornamental plates fixed to the shutting stile of a door to protect the paintwork. Also known as Push Plates.

An ornamental projection above the apex of the ridge in a roof. It is used at the intersection of the Barge Boards.

First Fix
Generally, the fixing of floor boarding, stairs, studding and door linings etc. in site work prior to the building being plastered. Roofing and joists also class as first fix. Items such as doors, architrave, skirting boards etc. are Second Fix.

The act of lengthening timbers by Fish Plates.

Fish Plates
Plates of metal or timber placed across a lengthening joint and bolted through.

Flanking Windows (Right)
Small windows to the sides of an entrance doorway.

The internal splaying of a window or door Jamb.

The splaying of window Jambs.

Surfaces in the same plane.

Flush Door
A door without any panels or panels that are flush with the framework of the door.

Flanking windows within a door frame

Flanking windows – small windows to the sides of a door

Flush Panel
A panel that is flush, or level with the framing.

Folding Wedges
Folding wedges are basically two wedges placed on top of each other, but the opposite way around; they have many uses from applying pressure where a cramp cannot reach or they can be used as props to lift or drop – to increase the pressure/lift – drive the wedges together, to ease the pressure/drop in height – pull the wedges apart. Sometimes known as Fox Wedges the wedges should be skew nailed when used in situations where vibrations may occur, such as shuttering.

Folding Wedges

Forked Tenons
An open mortice sitting astride a tenon which is not at the end of the timber.

Boxes or troughs for casting concrete. Also called Shuttering.

Fox Wedging
A secret method for fixing a stub tenon.

The woodwork around an opening, but applied generally to timbers connected by mortice and tenon joints.

Framed Ledged and Braced or FLB (Right)
A door based on a jointed (usually morticed and tenoned) frame, with stiles (vertical uprights) and usually full thickness solid top and bottom rails.

A method of forming the joint at the intersection of two bars. It is the reverse to Haunching.

Frank Jointing
Emphasising the joints of a frame as a feature of the design.

Framed ledged and braced garage doors

French Casement
A large sash hinged and used as a door. Also known as French Doors.

Short for the Forestry Stewardship Council, who are an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. You can find out more about them on their website.


The triangular end of a building, from the Eaves to the Ridge.

Gable Board
Barge Board.

Gable Window
A window either shaped like a gable, or in a gable.

T-Hinge. Also known as a Cross Garnet.

The top rooms in a building, directly under a roof.

A framework of timber opening or closing the entrance to an enclosure. Also applied to very large doors.

Gauge (Right)
An adjustable tool for marking parallel lines that has one spur (Marking Gauge) or two spurs (Mortice Gauge).The example shown is a Combination Gauge – one side is a Marking Gauge, the other a Mortice Gauge. Other gauges include a Cutting Gauge for cutting veneer and thin stuff and Butt Gauges used for marking doors and jambs for butt hinges.

Marking gauge

The horizontal distance between the two risers in stairs. Also the horizontal distance from the first riser to the last riser in a flight of stairs.

Green Timber
Timber that is unseasoned and still contains a lot of moisture such as Green Oak. Usually only used externally and can be found in gate posts and oak framed buildings etc.

The arrangement of the fibres on the face of a piece of timber.

Gravel Board
A board stood on edge, along the bottom of a fence to keep the boarding of the fence off the ground. Also known as a Gravel Plank.

Ground Plate
A sill or horizontal timber, placed near the ground and carrying other vertical timbers. Also known as a Sole Plate.

First fixings in a building, usually rough sawn and carrying other finished items such as Skirting Boards.

Growth Rings
The correct term for the Annual Rings in wood.

Gun Stock (Right)
Pieces of wood tapering in width and/or thickness. An alternative name for Diminished Stiles in doors. Usually the stiles will be narrower above the middle rail. Can also be applied in decorative heads in doors and gates

A door with Gunstock or Diminished stiles


Half Blind Dovetail
An alternative name for a Lapped Dovetail Joint.

The name given to cross-joints, in which half of the timber in each piece is cut away.

The guide for the hand in a staircase.

Handrail Bolt (Right)
A bolt for joining two pieces of handrail in length.

Handrail bolt

Metal shoes or straps to carry joists, binders or other cross timbers.

Hanging Sash
A balanced sash which slides vertically.

Hanging Stile
The Stile of a door which carries the hinges.

The timber from broad-leaved trees. Generally, hardwood trees have a less cylindrical trunk than Coniferous (Softwood) trees and a wide rounded crown that contains heavy branches (think of Oak, Beech and Ash trees). The seeds from a hardwood tree have a covering (e.g. acorns and stoned fruits) and they are also mainly deciduous (they shed their leaves in winter). Hardwood differs from Softwood in its cell structure, which contains three types of cell – fibresparenchyma and vessels or pores. Softwood, by comparison, contains only two types of cell. The Fibres are the main structural tissue of the wood, giving its mechanical strength. The Parenchyma perform the same function as in softwood – they store the food. The Vessels are the sap-conducting cells. The name Hardwood is no indication as to how hard the timber actually is; think of Balsa, which is considered a hardwood but is less dense and a lot softer than many softwoods.

Haunch (Right)
A small projection left by reducing the width of a Tenon. Usually found when the joint is on the end of a piece of framework and mainly used in door construction.

A recess made to receive the haunch of a tenon.

Haunched tenon

The top member of a frame. Also a machine cutter block.

Noggins in stud partitions to carry the edges of boarding.

Heading Joint
A joint in length between two pieces of timber, such as Skirting Boards, which have been jointed on long runs.

Shakes radiating from the Pith in the heartwood.

The inner part of a tree trunk, as distinguished from the Sapwood which consists of the later Growth Rings.

Timbers placed obliquely in opposite directions.

Herring-bone Strutting (Right)
Diagonal cross bracing found in-between floor joists, the strutting stiffens the joists up and helps to spread the weight of any load placed upon the floor.

Herring-bone strutting used in-between floor joists

A door that binds on the stop, or in the rebate, due to the hinges being fitted incorrectly.

H-Hinge (Right)
Another name for a Parliament Hinge, usually these are used when it is required to open a door flat to a wall on which there are mouldings projecting out.

The angle formed by the intersection of two inclined roof surfaces.

Hipped Roof
A roof inclined at the end as well as the sides.

H hinge an alternative name for a Parliament hinge

A H-hinge or Parliament hinge

Hip Rafter
The rafter forming the Hip of a roof.

Hood Mould
A projecting moulding over a window.

Hook and Eye Hinge
A gate strap hinge. Also known as Band and Gudgeon Hinges or Strap Hinges.

A draught preventer placed at the side of a sash hinged at the bottom.

Hopper Window (Right)
A window consisting of a number of narrow sashes hinged at the bottom and having Hoppers at the sides, though the term is now common for any window with opening sashes hinged at the bottom. An older name for this type of window is a Hospital Window but this term is not widely used.

A projection on a piece of framing left in position until the framing is fitted, commonly found on made-to-measure doors.

Example of a hopper from a hopper window

A sinking in of one member of a frame to allow for the insertion of the end of another member.

HSE Fee For Intervention
Not solely a Woodworking topic as it covers all industries, but worth a mention. The HSE Fee For Intervention was introduced in October 2012 and in a nutshell means that if an Employer is found guilty of a material breach of HSE law by a HSE inspector then they (the Employer) will be liable for all costs for the time spent by the HSE correcting the breach. Previously the cost was recouped from the public purse.You can read a bit more on the HSE Fee for Intervention here.


Bark enclosed within the tree and only exposed during the conversion stage.

The sinkings in one piece of a Scarfed Joint to receive the projections on the other piece.

Alternative name for the air drying of timber. For Softwood, the timber to be dried is stacked in open sided, covered sheds which allow air circulation, whilst protecting the timber from rain. The boards should be laid horizontally, the largest at the bottom, the smallest at the top, one piece above the other. This helps reduce the risk of the timber distorting as it dries out. Piling Sticks or Stickers are placed between each layer to support the boards and to allow air to circulate. The ends of the timber should ideally be painted to prevent the timber from drying out too quickly, which can result in the ends splitting.
For Hardwoods, the timber can be seasoned in the same manner, but stacked in the same order as they were cut from the log

A horizontal member in structural framing, between the head and the sill.

The underside, or soffit, of an arch.

A reversed arch.

The cutters of planes or machines.


Jack Plane (Below)
A large plane for removing large quantities of material, as in straightening surfaces or reducing the thickness.

Jack plane for removing large quantities of material

Jack Rafter
The short rafters between the Hip and Wall Plate and in the same plane as the Common Rafters.

The vertical sides of wall openings. Also, the vertical posts of frames fixed within an opening.

Jib Door
An interior door flush with the wall so as to be inconspicuous.

Joggle (Below)
A small projection left on a member of a piece of framing to strengthen the joint where two members meet at an angle. Below, left, is an example of a joggle on a gate, on the right an example of a joggle on a sliding sash window.

Joggles on a wooden gate
Example of a joggle on a sliding sash window.

The old saying was ‘A Carpenter uses nails, whilst a Joiner uses screws’. Bench Joiners are to be found in workshops marking out, preparing and manufacturing doors, windows, gates etc. Site Joiners are involved with the finishing and fitting aspect such as hanging doors, fitting skirting boards and architraves etc.

The art of framing, joining, dressing and fixing the finishings of a building.

The connection between two pieces of timber.

Joint Connectors
Used to strengthen joints of heavy constructional timbers. The image (below right) shows a joint connector in a ring format for use in a bolted joint, placed around the bolt, as you would a washer, and between the two timbers to be jointed, when the bolt is tightened, the sharpened serrated edges of the connector bed themselves into the two timbers and make an effective joint to resist lateral movement due to tension. The Gang Nail Plate (below left) is the common form of joint on roof trusses, the plate which has sharpened protruding pins is driven into the truss by machine.

Joint connector for roof trusses.
Joint connector for bolted joints

A small beam. Timbers carrying floors and ceilings.

Judas Gate
A gate or door within another bigger gate or door. More commonly called a Whicket Gate.

Anything that is Temporary.


A staple or striking plate. It can be anything that controls a moving or sliding object as the bolt of a lock.

A saw cut.

A piece of timber, usually Hardwood in a joint to prevent movement. Also, the wedge used to tighten a Tusk Tenon Joint and a dovetailed batten to prevent wide boards from warping.

A horizontal rail across the carcass for drawers, to prevent a drawer from dropping at the front when open.

Kiln Drying
A method of speeding up the drying out process of timber by using either a kiln drier or dehumidifier. The kilns can be Progressive / Continuous Kilns or Compartment Kilns. In a Compartment Kiln, the timber is stationary throughout the drying process, as the air conditions are adjusted as the drying progresses. In a Progressive (or Continuous) Kiln, the timber to be dried enters the kiln at one end on trolleys that move through the kiln; as the trolleys pass through, the air conditions become more severe.

King Post Truss (Right)
The simplest form of truss as it contains the fewest members. Used in roof construction during Medieval times, the King Post Truss can be found in many Parish Churches and Tithe barns.

King Post
The central member, from the apex to the middle of the tie beam in a King Post roof truss.

King post truss example

Curved braces with a upward bend. Also a vertical curve in a handrail.

A section through a branch where it penetrates the trunk. In timber knots, this can be either ‘live’ or ‘dead’.

The part of the hinge containing the pin or pivot.

To impregnate timber with corrosive sublimate (Mercuric Chloride), such as a preservative. This is not commonly used these days, due to its highly toxic nature.


A hood moulding. A moulding above a window or door and terminated by corbels.

Lambs Tongue (Right)
A flat Ogee moulding, commonly used on Skirting Boards.

Built up of several thin layers of timber.

Lambs tongue moulding can be found on skirting boards and architraves

A wide resting place at the top of a flight of stairs. If the landing is equal in width to two flights, it is a half space landing. If it is only as wide as one flight, then it is a quarter-space landing.

A projecting erection above a roof, with glazed sides.

Lap Joint or Lapped Joint
A joint between two pieces of timber that overlap one another.

Lap Mitre or Lip Mitre
An angle rebated joint with a small mitre at the corner to avoid end grain showing on the face.

Latchet Door
A small door built within a larger door or gate. An alternative name for a Judas Gate or Wicket Gate.

A long strip of timber, very thin and narrow, used for forming a key for plastered surfaces or for carrying tiles and slates.

Any work in which narrow strips of timber cross each other to form an open network.

A roof with only one slope, usually formed against the side of a building.

Ledged Door
A door consisting of boards and ledges and with no outer frame.

Marking out the timber prior to sawing.

Example of lattice work

A Lattice work panel

Lintel or Lintol
A horizontal beam across an opening, usually carrying a wall above.

Live Knot
A firm, sound knot.

Lock Block
A block in the framing of a flush door or gate, to provide a fixing for the lock.

Lock Rail
The middle rail of a door, carrying the lock.

A felled tree with the branches and bark removed.

Inclined boards, which admit light and air, but exclude the rain.

An American term for sawn timber.

Lych Gate
A covered entrance to a Churchyard. Also known as a Corpse Gate.


A hammer with a large wooden head, normally used in a workshop for either framing up (putting a jointed frame together) – knocking the assorted frame members together and also when chiseling out (the use of a mallet rather than a hammer saves damaging the handle of the chisels.

Mansard Roof (Right)
A roof of double-pitch on both sides.

Mansard roof

The shelf over a fireplace. Usually applied to the ornamental surround, or front of the fireplace.

Mantel Tree
The lintel of a fireplace.

The narrow strip mitred round the hearth of a fireplace.

Margin Lights
Narrow panes of glass at the sides of a sash.

Marigold Window
A rose window, or Catherine wheel window.

Marquetry (Right)
Inlaid work of thin veneers from differently coloured woods forming intricate pictures and patterns.

A large canopy, hood, or shelter at the entrance to a building.

Tongued and grooved boards with a veed or beaded edge.

Short for Medium Density Fibreboard, a engineered timber product made from residual Softwood and Hardwood. Recently the subject of health scares as Urea-formaldehyde is used to bind the MDF together.

Marquetry - decorative inlay using thin veneers of timber

A circular or elliptical raised tablet or pane, with carved or inscribed surface.

Medullary Rays
The radiating bands of cells in timber trees, which produce silver grain.

Meeting Rails
The rails in sliding sash windows, which meet in the middle of the frame.

Meeting Stiles
The middle stiles of double/folding doors and double casements.

Any important piece in structural framework. Also, an individual part of a moulding.

A floor introduced between the levels of the main floors.

The intersection of two pieces or mouldings forming an angle.

Mitre Box
A rectangular box, or trough, used for sawing mouldings to any required mitre.

Mitred and Cut String
A stair string cut to the shape of the steps and mitred for the risers.

Mitre Dovetail
A secret dovetailed joint with the appearance of a mitred joint.

Monkey Tail Bolt (Right)
A surface-mounted bolt with an elongated handle, usually used for securing the tops of one door of a pair of double doors to their frame. The name monkey tail refers to the elongated handle.

Mortice or Mortise
A recess formed in one member to receive a projection (the Tenon) which is on another member.

Mortice Lock
A lock sunk into the edge of a door stile, so the body of the lock is not visible on the face of the door.

A piece of timber of which the rectangular section has been shaped into various contours for ornamentation.

To plant or fix on to the face.

The vertical divisions in window frames.

Muntins or Muntings
The vertical divisions in framing between the stiles and the Mullions, also known as Glazing bars.

 Women’s Teeth by the time you have read this!


The structural timbers of a building before the finishings are applied.

Neat Size
The exact size after preparation.

A horizontal timber placed through a wall as a support.

Newel (Right)
The post which carries the handrail to a flight of stairs.

Horizontal timbers placed between the studs of a partition.

Norfolk Latch
A fastening for a gate or ledged door operated by the thumb and also known as a thumb latch or Suffolk latch.

Newel the post which carries the handrail in stairwork

The bottom of the shutting stile of a door.

The rounded edge to a flat face/surface.

A trench formed in one piece of timber to receive another piece.


A moulding consisting of a convex and a concave arc. The contour is lake a narrow inverted letter S.

Old Woman’s Tooth (Right)
A tool for levelling the bottom of grooves or trenches.

Open Floor
A floor in which the the joists are exposed, and not covered by a ceiling.

Old womans tooth

Open Roof
A roof in which the principal members are in view, and not enclosed by a ceiling. A common example is quite often found in Churches.

Open String
A cut string in stairwork.

Oriel or Oriel Light (Right)
A window projecting from the face of a wall and supported by either brackets or corbels.

OSB or Oriented Strand Board
Also known as Sterling Board. OSB consists of long strands, wafers or flakes of timber generally up to 150mm long by 25mm wide. As with Plywood, OSB contains several layers, the two exterior/face layers of strands being aligned in the long direction of the panel and inner layers being either randomly aligned or set up in a crossing alignment.

Outter String
The string farthest from the wall in stairwork.

Out of Wind
Not warped or twisted.

Out to Out
Measurements taken on outsides of a piece of framing.

Oriel light window

An ornamental finish to a door head, a Pediment.

Applied to any thin covering, such as Veneer or Strip Flooring.

A convex moulding in the form or a quarter circle or Elipse.


Two of the same things matched on opposite hands.

Narrow vertical boards or stakes forming an open boarded gate or fence.

A thin wide piece fitted between the members of thicker framing. Also, any sinking below the level of the surroundings.

Glass panels.

Paper Joint
Placing paper between a glued butt joint so that it can easily be broken without any damage to the wood.

Parliament Hinge
A hinge shaped like a letter H and also known as a H hinge.

Parquet (Right)
Geometrical patterns formed of differently coloured woods. Usually the term is applied to flooring.

Parting Bead
A thin bead used to separate sliding sashes.

Parting Slip
A thin slip used to separate the weights for sliding sashes.

Parting Tool
A V shaped gouge.

A thin internal wall, it may be fixed or movable.

A plate, or sill, resting on the ground to support vertical timbers.

Either a template or a a wood (or plaster) model of a casting to made from metal.

An example of Parquet flooring

Pavillion Roof
A roof with a polygonal plan.

Peak Joint
The joint at the apex of a roof truss.

An ornamental head to a door opening, which may be triangular or segmental in shape.

The ornamental finish at the bottom of a suspended post.

A protecting hood to an opening.

Pent Roof
An alternative name for a lean to roof.

A staircase outside a building.

A marine insect very destructive to timber.

Alternative name for Hip Rafters

Arranging timber in piles or stacks, for seasoning and storage.

A small cylindrical piece of wood used to secure tenons. Sometimes (incorrectly) known as Dowels.

The name given to a number of different cone bearing trees. The distinguishing name of the particular species is also given, i.e. Weymouth pine, Pitch pine, e.t.c.

The ratio of the rise to the span in a sloping roof. The inclination of a flight of stairs.

A stock, or body, containing a cutting iron, for shaping surfaces. Also, a flat surface.

A term applied to mouldings that are attached to something and not formed from the same piece of timber.

A horizontal structural member carrying inclined or vertical timbers, i.e. a sole plate in studding or a wall plate in roofing.

A Plough plane

A Plough plane, used for cutting grooves.


A disease in trees due to the uneven distribution of the sap.

A plain thin piece of wood at the base of a wall, column or fitment.

Plough Plane or Plough (Above right)
Plane used for making grooves for Panels. The Plough plane has an adjustable stop to control the depth of groove and an adjustable fence so the cut can be positioned accurately on the timber to be worked. Usually the plane will come with several cutters. The Record plane pictured came with eight cutters of varying sizes.

Plumb Rule
A parallel straight edge carrying a plumb bob or weight, to show whether a surface is vertical or not.

Plywood (Right)
An engineered timber board manufactured from several layers of thin timber, each layer of timber is laid at ninety degrees to the previous layer giving the Plywood its strength. Another version of Ply known as Bendy Plywood is also available, this is a flexible plywood and used for making curved parts – in bendy plywood the grain all runs in the same direction allowing the plywood to form whatever shape is required. The picture right shows the different layers of timber in a typical piece of plywood.

Cross section and face of Plywood

The opening in a pulley stile of a sliding sash window, for the insertion of the weights.

Pole Plate
A horizontal timber usually supported by the ends of the tie beam of a roof truss, which carries the Common Rafters.

An upright piece of timber used as a support.

Post and Pane
Half timbered buildings with panes or panels of brickwork, or lath and plaster.

Any small door or gate serving as a private entrance, usually at the rear of a building. You can see examples of Postern gates over on our website under gates for a walled garden.

The trussed frames carrying a roof. The principal rafters are the inclined members of the truss, carrying the Purlins.

Pulley Stile
The stile of a frame, for vertical sliding sashes, carrying the pulley and the Pocket.

A metal tool for driving nails below the surface of the material.

A horizontal beam supported by the Principal Rafters of a roof truss, and carrying the Common Rafters between the Eaves and Ridge.

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A lozenge-shaped panel or pane of glass.

Quarter Round
An Ovolo moulding.

Quarter Space
The term given to landings that are only as wide as one flight of the stairs, or half the width of the staircase.

Queen Bolts
Metal bolts used instead of wooden Queen Posts.

Queen Posts
The vertical posts in a queen-post roof truss, tying the tie beam and principal rafters together.

Queen Post Truss
Differs to the King Post Truss in the respect that the Queen Post Truss has two vertical uprights (Queen Posts) and has a horizontal straining beam at the top of the truss.

Quick Sweep
The term given to a semi circular arc with a small radius.

A narrow sinking forming part of a moulding. Also, a deep indentation.


A rectangular recess formed on the corner of a piece of timber to receive a door, sash or another piece of timber.

Rebate Plane (Right)
A plane for cutting rebates in timber, the plane shown (right) is a Side Rebate Plane and contains two plane irons; the one nearer the front can be used as a Bullnose Plane for cutting rebates in tight spots; the iron nearer the rear of the plane is the one more commonly used for cutting rebates.

Side rebate plane

The timbers carrying the coverings of a roof.

A horizontal member in a frame.

Raised Panel
A panel thicker in the centre than at the edges, found in furniture, doors and gates.

Inclined from the vertical.

Raking Mouldings
An inclined moulding with horizontal returns.

A series of sunk beads on the face of the stuff.

The return of a moulding for an internal angle.

A continuation of a member in another direction, usually at right angles.

The sides of a window or door opening at right angles to the face of the wall.

Ribbing Up
Building up circular work using laminated ribs.

The horizontal timber to which the tops of the rafters are fixed. The highest point of a roof.

Rim Lock (Right)
A lock, and sometimes latch, in a metal case, and screwed on to the face of a door or gate through the rim of the case.

A defect in timber caused by torn off branches being covered with later rings that are not uniform with the rest of the timber.

An example of a rimlock

Rip Saw
A saw for cutting length-ways with the grain.

The vertical distance between two consecutive stair treads.

Rising Hinge
A hinge with a helical joint, causing the doors to rise as it opens.

Carvings of poor and meaningless design.

A board upon which the work is set out full size, and from which the stuff is set out in preparation for construction. Usually only used on more complex work, once the job is complete the rod is either sanded or painted white to remove the markings out and then reused when required.

The constructional timbers that support the covering of a building.

Roof Truss
The framed constructional timbers of a roof.

Rose Window
A circular window with radiating mullions.

A building circular in plan.

Router (Right)
A woodworking tool for cutting mouldings, rebates, grooves etc into timber. The Router bits or cutters are interchangeable meaning the types of mouldings that can be cut with a router are practically limitless.Possibly the most versatile of all woodworking electric hand-tools.

Rowey Grain
The grain of several Hardwoods which is speckled or dotted in appearance.

The bearers upon which an object slides. The supports for a drawer.

Router with assorted bits


Saddle Back (Right)
Applied to cappings or rails that are weathered both ways.

Saddle Cramp
A cramp with long shoes for curved or projecting surfaces.

The outer portion of the annual rings, through which the sap flows up and down.

Saddleback - rails or cappings that are weathered both ways

The separate smaller frames of a window carrying the glass.

Sash Clamps or Sash Cramps (right)
Clamps used in the process of cramping up doors, windows etc whilst gluing up. The clamp has a flat bar with a fixed jaw that adjusts with a screw action and a sliding jaw that is locked in the desired positioned along the bar to suit the size of job being undertaken.

Sash Door
A door with top panels containing glass.

Sash Frame
A frame carrying one or more sashes

Sash Lines or Sash Cord
The cords attached to the weights for a sliding (vertically) sash window.

Large cramps for framing up - Sash cramps

The ratio representing the difference between the dimensions of a drawing and the dimensions of the object

Irregular small stuff.

A joint for connecting timbers lengthways without increasing the cross section.

A concave moulding, the outline consists of two circular arcs of different radii.

Scraper (Right)
A thin blade of steel used to scrape the surface of timber after planing. It is used to remove plane marks prior to glass/sand papering.

The act of shaping timber to fit an irregular surface.

Scraper - A thin steel blade to clean up timber prior to sanding.

Roughly planed timber that still shows signs of a sawn surface.

An alternative name for an Escutcheon.

The drying or removing of the sap in felled trees.

Second Seasoning
Drying of timber that has been cut into smaller sections or framework in preparation for fitting and wedging up.

Secret Nailing
Inserting nails in such a position that the nail holes are not seen.

A drawing representing the internal arrangements of an object. It is obtained by cutting the object by an imaginary plane and then depicting the surface formed by the intersection of the plane with the object.

The projections of saw teeth to alternate sides for the purpose of increasing the thickness of the saw cut, so that the blade will work freely.

Setting Out
Preparing full size drawings on Rods, and transferring the dimensions to the timber prior to construction.

A split in the annual rings of timber.

Packing pieces used to level the surface of battens that carry wall boarding.

Shipping Marks
Identification marks stenciled or stamped onto the ends of timber. The marks which are stamped on by the exporting saw mill, denote it’s origin and the quality of the timber in question. For an online dictionary of shipping marks please visit the Shipping marks search engine.

A socket into which the foot of rafters or posts sit.

The act of straightening the edge of a board with a (shooting) plane.

A heavy timber used to support a wall or similar.

The end of a piece of timber where it butts on to another piece, as in the shoulder of a tenon.

The boards or forms used in the moulding of concrete. Also known as Formwork.

Protections for windows. They may be hung like doors, balanced like sliding sashes or built up of laths to wind round a roller.

Shutting Stile
The stile of a door that carries the handles and lock, opposite the Hanging Stile.

Sill or Cill
The horizontal member at the bottom of a frame

Silver Grain
The grain obtained by cutting timber such as oak etc. along the medullary rays.

Single Floor
A simple floor consisting of only Common Joists.

A recess or a part sunk below the surrounding surface.

Skeleton Framing
The carcasss, before the addition of the coverings or finishings.

Skeleton Steps
Treads without risers in a flight of stairs.

Out of square or in an oblique position.

Skew Fillet
A tilting fillet down the slope of a roof to raise the slates where they join the gable.

Skew Nailing
Nails driven in at an angle to the surface to give greater security.

A moulded board covering the join between wall and floor. Also known as a Moulded Base Board.

A glazed frame running parallel with the roof surface.

Squaring a log.

Slamming Strip
The edging strip to the shutting stile of a flush door. Also a planted stop on a door casing.

Sliding door
A door that slides in grooves, pulleys or track.

Sliding Sash
A sliding window that slides horizontally.

Slip Feather
A tongue cut diagonally across the grain.

Slip Mortice and Tenon (Right)
An open mortice and tenon joint, or Chase Mortice.

The eye of a Dovetail joint.

The horizontal lining at the head of an opening or around a roof below and to one side of the Facia Board.

A slip mortice and tenon joint or chase mortice

Softwood is the timber from fast growing evergreen trees. The term softwood is no indication of how soft or hard the timber is – some softwoods are harder than hardwood! Western Red Cedar for example has many qualities of hardwood (and is often used externally as cladding due to it’s durability) but is a softwood. See also Hardwood for more.

Solid Floor
A wood block floor.

Solid Moulding
A moulding in the solid i.e. not planted on.

Solid Panel
A flush panel.

Sound Stuff
Timber free from defects.

Spalted Timber
The patterning caused by the ingress of water and fungi as timber starts to decay. The best known
example being spalted beech (shown above right).

The distance between the supports for a beam, arch or truss.

The triangular framing or boarding under a flight of stairs.

Patterning caused by the ingress of water and fungi

Common Rafters.

Spelch is where surface fractures develop as a mass of smaller minute fractures. Common on end grain and caused where the timber has lost it’s internal cohesion and integrity.

Spindle (Right)
A moulding machine in which the cutters are carried by a vertical spindle, above the table top. Also a steel bar that protrudes through a door that carries the handles.

Spindle moulder

A strong nail over 4 inches /100mm long.


Splayed Joint
A joint in which there is a bevelled edge so the timbers overlap.

A strut.

Stanley 55
A combination plane, described as a ‘planing mill within itself’ (to quote the instructions). The 55 within it’s name relates to how many cutters are supplied (it’s almost like a Swiss army knife of the plane world) and the plane itself is a rebate plane, plow plane, fillester and match plane, dado plane – infact anything you set it up to be. The picture (right) shows my Grandads (now my own) original Stanley 55, which he obtained somewhere around the 1920’s.

Stanley 55 Combination plane- a planing mill within itself!

Storey Frame
A door frame with the addition of a window frame above the head of the door frame. Similar to a Fanlight but usually rectangular.

Square (Right)
A tool for marking out and testing right angles.

Square Joint
A Butt joint.

Sometimes applied to the Mullions of a window.

Star Shake
Radiating shakes (splits) in the sapwood or a log.

Narrow boards used to build up a curved surface.

Square - tool for marking out and testing right angles

The act of forming mouldings with a plane or machine. Also building up a stack of wood for seasoning , with skids or sticks separating the layers.

The vertical members on the outer edges of a piece of framing.

The termination to a solid moulding.

The projections on a door casing, lining or frame on which a door closes against.

Storey Post
A timber post supporting a floor.

Storey Rod
A long strip of wood on which the heights of steps are spaced between two floors, used in the marking out process.

Straight Edge
A strip of wood (or anything else) with parallel straight edges, used for testing.

Straight Grain
Timber with straight fibres. The most suitable timber for constructional work.

Straining Beam
A horizontal timber between the heads of the queen posts in a roof truss.

Straining Sill
The horizontal timber between the feet of queen posts in a roof truss.

Strap Hinge
Hinges with long plates for screwing or bolting to the face of heavy doors or gates

The removal of a centre or other temporary timbers when work is completed.

Striking Plate
The plate screwed to the rebate against which the bolt of a mortice lock strikes as the door closes.

The sloping supports carrying the treads of stairs. The strings can be classed as: bracketed, close, cut, outside, wreathed or wall.

Strutting (Right)
Short timbers placed between joists to prevent them from canting or buckling.Shown right is Herringbone strutting.

Stub Tenon
A short tenon that does not pass through the stuff.

Studs or Studding
The rough vertical timbers used when framing for a partition or hollow wall.

Herring-bone strutting used in-between floor joists

A term for converted timber.

Stump Tenon
A tenon that increases in thickness at the root, for strength.

Sunk Panel
A panel sunk below the surrounding surface.

Sway Rods
Diagonal braces to resist wind pressure.

Swing Door
A door without stops and opening in both directions, most commonly found as a door between a restaurant and the kitchen.


Tanalised Timber
TImber that has undergone pressure treatment, applied under vacuum and pressure impregnated by soaking. Provides protection against fungi and insects with slight fire resistance. It is intended for wood exposed to the weather and is more often than not rough sawn timber.

Tannic Acid
An acid that is corrosive to ferrous metals and eats into the metal and leaves a blue/black stain on the timber. Found in such timbers as Oak, Walnut and Mahogany, the Tannin is what makes the timber more durable.

Teaze Tenons or Tease Tenons (Below)
Tenons reduced in width, so that they can cross each other at right angles for timbers in the same level. The picture below left shows how the tenons cross each other within the mortice, below right shows the finished joint complete within the mortice.

Tease tenon picture showing the crossing tenons prior
Teaze tenon joint complete within mortice

Tee Hinge or T Hinge
A strap hinge, shaped like the letter ‘T’, and commonly found on light duty exterior doors and gates. Also known as a ‘Cross Garnet Hinge’.

A pattern or mould made of very thin timber and used to mark the material to the required shape. Normally used in repetition work where several items of the same shape are being made.

The end of a piece of wood that is reduced in thickness so that it can be inserted into a mortice, or recess, within another piece.

Tenoner (Right)
A machine used to cut tenons. The inset picture shows the cutting heads at work.

Tenon Saw (Below right)
Small saw used for the cutting of the shoulders of a tenon (if a tenoner is unavailable!). Also used for any small work where accuracy is required.

Teredo Navalis
A marine insect very destructive to timber. A shipworm. See Teredo Navalis.

Timber that has been modified by in essence being baked within a kiln. This modification gives the timber exceptional stability and resistance to fungi. Generally used as cladding and decking as the modification it undergoes within the kiln means the timber has a brittle nature. Two types of Softwood are usually used for Thermowood, Finnish Redwood and Radiata pine. For more information please visit the Thermowood website.

Tenoner - A machine used to cut tenons

As it’s name implies the tenoner is a machine for cutting tenons

Tenon saw - Used for cutting the shoulders of tenons

In the absence of a tenoner then we use a Tenon saw!

A machine for planing the timber to the desired thickness. In most cases, this is used after you’ve surfaced planed the timber giving a square face and edge. Thicknessers can be stand alone machines or one part of a planer/thicknesser which combines the surface planer (for the squaring up) and the thicknesser.

A Cill or Sill to an external door.

A small groove on the underside of projecting timbers, to break the flow of water.

Thumb Planes
Small planes used for forming mouldings on curved work.

Thunder Shake
A type of upset in timber where the timber fibres are broken across the grain. See also ‘Upset’.

Any timber member used to prevent two members from separating or spreading.

Tilting Fillet or Tilt Fillet
A triangular strip of wood used at the eaves to tilt the bottom course of slates or tiles so that the courses that follow bed with a close joint.

The wood from trees, once it has been cut and prepared for use.

Timber Dogs or Dogs
Temporary fastenings for large, heavy timbers that are used when ‘shoring up’.

Timber Durability
Timber is split into five durability classes, these classes are dependent on how long a sample of untreated timber will last before it shows signs of rot. We have a handy infographic on timber durability & methods of testing here.

Thin pieces of wood used to strengthen joints, still used but more often than not Biscuits are now used for convenience.

Top Rail
The top horizontal member of a piece of framing, also known as the head.

Torus (Right)
A large semicircular moulding or bead. Often found on Skirting Boards as shown.

Trammel Heads (Below right)
A tool for drawing circles and elliptical curves, think of a large compass!

Short for the Timber Research and Development Association, who are an internationally recognised centre of excellence on the specification and use of timber and wood products. You can find out more on their website.

Transom or Transome
An intermediate horizontal member of a frame, between the head and sill.

The top, horizontal surface of a step.

A large wooden pin used to secure a tenon. Often this is incorrectly called a Dowel.

Torus - A large semicircular moulding

A long narrow housing, commonly used in the construction of stairs to join the treads to the strings.

Trammel heads - for drawing circles and elliptical curves.

Trammel heads, used for drawing curves of all kinds!

Trim or Trimming
The act of straightening or squaring the edges of a frame, or forming an opening in a roof or floor.

The Joist supported by the two common joists and in turn carrying the intermediate common joists. It is used to form an opening within a floor.

Trimming Joists
The Common joists carrying the trimmer.

A self contained, triangulated frame, of wood (can also be metal!), arranged to transfer the loads acting on a frame to the outer supports.

Tumbled Joints
Joints fitted to suit warped members of framing.

Turn Tread
Winder in stairs.

A catch or button for a door, commonly found on shed doors. Can be made from metal or timber.

Tusk Tenon
A combination of tenon and housing joint, for bearing timbers at right angles to each. Commonly found in roofing and joists but largely redundant these days thanks to joist hangers, etc.

Twisted Fibres
Cross grain in timber, making it unfit for construction work. It is caused by the wind twisting the trunk of a tree growing in an exposed location.

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Undercut (Right)
A shoulder cut out of square to ensure a tight joint on the face. The picture (right) shows an exaggerated undercut joint, with the square used just to highlight the angle. Normally only used when the face of the joint is the only part that is visible.

An exaggerated example of an undercut joint

A visual grade of sawn softwood. Basically, you start with a stack of timber, and the stack is sorted visually for the size of knots etc. The first timber to be removed is the ‘Sixths’ which is the lower grade from the stack, next to be removed is the ‘Fifths’ grade of timber. Once all the ‘Sixths’ and ‘Fifths’ have been removed, the remainder of the stack is unsorted; you’ve sorted from this stack, hence the name Unsorted. You can read more on this at Joinery grade softwood.

A defect in timber due to faulty felling, or severe shock. The timber fibres are broken across the grain. Also know as shake, thunder shake, lightning shake, rupture, and cross-fracture.