The HobbitHouse Ilustrated Glossary of Woodworking terms

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face --- (1) The better quality side of the two wide surfaces of a plank or panel, as opposed to the back which is the lesser quality of the two. If both sides are of equal quality, either side can be considered the face. If a plank has want or wane then the wider side is considered the face even if it is of inferior quality to the narrower side. See plank
face --- (2) The outward-directed wide surface of a plank or panel when it is in service.
face --- (3) The side of a tree in the felling process that gets the facing cut because it is the side in the direction in which the feller wants the tree to fall.

face bead --- A bead that is turned on the face of a face turning workpiece. For example, all three of the raised areas in the example below could be considered face beads, but the one in the middle of the three is unquestionably a face bead. Examples:

face checking --- Partial separation of wood fibers parallel to the grain in wood or veneer surfaces of panels; this is caused chiefly by the strains of weathering and seasoning.

face edge --- The side of a plank that is squared to the face.

face elevation --- see elevation

face frame --- A flat frame attached to the front of a cabinet, usually to conceal the exposed edges of the plywood at the front of the carcass and to give extra surface on which to mount doors. The face frame is generally made up of rails and stiles and has large openings for drawers, doors, etc. Examples:

face frame cabinet --- A cabinet that has a face frame. Compare/contrast to frameless cabinet. Example:

face frame door --- A door that is attached to a face frame cabinet. There are several chacteristics that distinguish types of face frame doors as listed directly below. Compare/contrast to frameless door. Examples of the various types (I note that several of the insert and beaded insert doors seem to have been photographed before installation of the door pull knobs --- overlay doors don't need knobs because you can get your finger behind them or at least up against the edge but inset doors need a knob):

inset face frame doors

beaded inset face frame doors

full overlay face frame doors

(partial) overlay face frame doors

face grain --- The wood grain as you look directly onto the face of a plank or panel, although in common use it generally carries with it an implication of flat cut as opposed to quartersawn. That is, the term is sometimes used to mean the flat cut face of a board even if that fat cut face is actually the edge of a quartersawn board. Compare/contrast to side grain, edge grain, edge grained, and end grain.

face keyed miter joint --- A face miter joint that has keys on one or both faces (that is, the front and back); the example below shows both. Not to be confused with the very similar keyed face miter joint which has a single key inside the planks. Example:

face miter cut --- see miter cut

face miter joint --- A picture-frame type joint with a miter cut (usually at 45 degrees) where the planks meet at the corner. The joint can be just glued, or it could be reinforced with biscuits or dowels or a spline. Compare/contrast to frame joint and edge miter joint and also see splined face miter joint, butterfly keyed mitered frame joint, and doweled mitered face frame. Examples:

face mounted --- For a hinge leaf this mean that it is mounted on the face or back, as opposed to the edge, of the door and frame to which it is attached. It may or may not have any mortises. Not to be confused with surface mounted. Compare/contrast to edge mounted. See hinge mounting positions and styles for an illustration.

face mounted hinge --- Any hinge uses face mounting on both of the (hinge) leaves. See hinge mounting positions and styles for an illustration. Compare/contrast to edge mounted hinge.

face nailing --- Inserting a nail directly into (that is, perpendicular to) the face of a plank. When a nail is driven through the face of one plank and into the end grain of a support post, it's a tossup whether it should be called end nailing or face nailing, though the preference seems to be end nailing, with face nailing being more often used when nailing together two parallel planks or when nailing through a face and into a side. Compare/contrast to toe nailing and end nailing. Example:

faceplate --- A metal disk with holes for mounting screws for a wooden piece (usually a bowl) that is to be turned on a lathe. The central part of the back of the faceplate either has a threaded shaft or other mounting mechanism that goes onto the lathe in place of a chuck. The number of screw holes for use in mounting the workpiece can vary from 3 up to a dozen or more and on some faceplates, the "holes" are long slots that allow for variable positioning of the mounting screws. Examples:

faceplate turning --- A type of face turning on a lathe where the object, most often a bowl, is attached to the headstock by way of a faceplate and the tailstock is not used at all. Unlike spindle turning, at least some of any faceplate turning will be directly against the end grain and this often requires extra sharp lathe tools so as to avoid crushing the end grain instead of slicing it. Compare/contrast to spindle turning. Example:

face side --- see face

face turning --- A type of lathe turning where the object being turned is supported entirely on the headstock by either a faceplate (in which case, the type of turning may be called faceplate turning) or a chuck but in either case is not supported at all by the tailstock. Face turning is typically the turning of a bowl or vase, but could be any object. Unlike spindle turning, at least some of any face turning will be directly against the end grain and this often requires extra sharp gouges so as to avoid crushing the end grain instead of slicing it. Compare/contrast to spindle turning. For an illustration, see faceplate turning.

face veneer --- High quality veneer that is used to cover the visible surface of a workpiece such as architectural paneling or a high-end furniture application. Compare/contrast to backing veneer.

facing cut --- The cut in the tree felling process that is a wedge shaped cut on the side of the tree in the direction toward which the feller wants the tree to fall. See the diagram with the term fell. The horizontal cut is called, appropriately enough, the horizontal face cut and the slanted cut is called the .

factory and shop lumber --- lumber intended to be cut up (by a factory or shop, thus the name) for use in further manufacture of what are called secondary wood products (which is pretty much anything made directly from wood other than primary wood products). The grading of such lumber is based on the percentage of the face area that will produce cuttings of a specified minimum size and quality. Compare/contrast to yard lumber and structural lumber.

factory edge --- The edge put on a panel as part of the manufacturing process at the factory or mill where it is produced.

factory lumber --- see factory and shop lumber

fading --- The loss of color; in wood this is most commonly due to exposure to sunlight (UV) but can also happen to some woods if they are soaked in water.

Fahrenheit --- A temperature measurement system based on water freezing at 32 degrees and boiling at 212 degrees. Compare/contrast to Celcius.

faller --- synonymous with feller

fall flap --- The dropdown portion of a drop leaf table.

fall front --- The dropdown portion of a cabinet that has a dropdown desk surface.

false front --- A non-structural face applied to a drawer assembly to provide the drawer's finished visible surface; often larger than the drawer-box front. Because it is separate from the drawer box, you can adjust the false front, upon assembly, to get the best fit in the drawer opening without repositioning the slides or other drawer hardware.

family --- see taxonomy for a discussion.

fan pattern --- The geometry of the resulting pattern when a finishing agent is applied with a spray gun. The fan pattern depends on numerous factors including the material being sprayed, the type of spray nozzle, and the movement of the nozzle during application.

FAS --- Firsts And Seconds

fascia --- A long plank or strip of plywood that covers the ends of rafters at the lower edge of a roof and at the sides of the roof and to which external guttering is fixed (but normally only on horizontal fascias, not sloped ones). In some cases, the fascia may be entirely, or almost entirely, covered by the gutter. Examples:

FAS one face --- This nhla grade requires an FAS face on the "best side" of the board with the "poorest face" grading being #1 Common or Better.

fastener --- A solid device (that is, not an adhesive) used to join two objects together. Below is a list of the ones most commonly used in woodworking, with links to their entries in this glossary. Several of these have many subtypes that are discussed with the individual terms. NOTE: INCOMPLETE SECTION --- some of the terms below are not yet defined in this glossary

fast pin hinge --- A hinge in which the hinge pin is fastened permanently in place as opposed to being a removable cylinder, as it is in, for example, a door hinge. "fast" in this instance does not mean speedy, it means permanent and in fact another name for this is "fixed pin hinge". For an example of a fast pin hinge, see barrel hinge (type #2). Compare/contrast to loose pin hinge.

fast to light --- synonymous with color fast

faux finishing --- The technique of applying finishes (frequently complex painting) to a surface to make it look like another material. Faux finishes can be used to make wood look like leather, stone, marble, etc. Here are examples of wood painted to look like marble:

F clamp --- synonymous with bar clamp

featherboard --- A wooden strip cut diagonally along one edge with slots cut into that edge. Used to prevent kickback. The featherboard is pushed up against a plank that is to be sawed, and the springiness of the "feathers" allow the board to move unobstructed in the desired direction, but if the board tries to move in the opposite direction, the "feathers" act like a row of stiff wands pushing back strongly against it and preventing the kickback. Below is a pic of a nicely made wooden featherboard, a drawing of both vertical and horizontal use of a featherboard, and then an adjustable plastic featherboard. These are obviously pretty easy to make in the shop, but manufacturers are always willing to cater to human laziness and you can find many different styles of manufactured featherboards, both wooden and plastic. I do have to admit that some of the manufactured ones have a nice variety of adjustment characteristics, so it isn't JUST laziness that might lead one to buy rather than make your own.

feather crotch --- [also called "flame crotch"] A particularly attractive crotch area that looks a bit like a feather or a flame. Whether a crotch area is called a feather crotch or a flame crotch is entirely up to the vendor, many of whom are overly optimistic about the extent to which their merchandise deserves the designation. I've seen one gun-stock maker who states on his web site that he always calls all crotches flame crotches because "it sounds more impressive". Below are a couple of black walnut crotches that are either flame or feather, take your pick. My pick is that the one on the left is feather and the one on the right is flame, but when I made that decision I was favoring my left leg and squinting in my right eye so you might see it differently. A term that is sometimes used with feather/flame crotches is "rat-tail" which refers to the central spine of the crotch. I find the term "rat-tail figure" to be ridiculous since the rat-tail being referenced is just a part of the crotch.

Three other terms that I have found, that purportedly are used as synonymous with feather crotch, are "rooster tail", "plume", and "burning bush", HOWEVER ... in almost every case that I have found these, the three terms have been used in that sequence with EXACTLY the same phrasing. My conclusion is that someone on the Internet put up a definition using those terms and it got copied several times. I've never seen any of the terms actually used with wood for sale and I do not consider the sources where I found them to be reliable.

Examples of feather crotch:

feather spline --- A joint where a spline is put inside a mitered corner where the mating planks are flat and the spline goes in the edge of each. When looked at by itself, such a spline has the stereotypical shape of a feather (actually, more of an arrowhead shape, but that's just being picky), thus this particular type of spline is called a feather spline and the joint is called a feather spline joint. The joint is also called a keyed miter joint and there is an illustration with that term.

feed --- To push a workpiece in a controlled manner toward or into a moving blade, cutter, sanding belt, or other moving tool part that in some way shapes the workpiece. See also infeed and outfeed.

fell --- To cut down a tree. The normal process is to cut a facing cut, which faces in the direction you want the tree to fall, followed by a felling cut (also called a "back cut") followed by running like hell. In the illustration below, the feller has already lit out in the indicated direction, so you don't see him. The felling cut (aka back cut) is always made at least 1" above the level of the top of the face cut, and this 1" is referred to as the "stump shot" or "holding wood"; it prevents the tree from falling back over towards the feller (but I still say it's a good idea to run like hell).

feller --- A specialist who fells and bucks trees in a safe manner while utilizing as much of the tree as possible. In some areas the feller only cuts the trees down and a bucker saws them into logs.

felling --- The cutting of standing trees. See fell

felling cut --- [also back cut] the cut that causes a tree to fall after the facing cut has been made. Also called "back cut". See further description with the term fell

felt --- Although in the cloth industry, the term felt has a very specific and technical meaning regarding a particular kind of processed wool, the term is used in woodworking/construction to mean any organic or paper-based rolled material saturated with asphalt to serve as roofing underlayment.

fence - a flat and straight length of some material, usually wood, steel or aluminum, which provides a reference for tools to work against, thus preventing the work from sliding and/or setting a fixed distance from the edge of the workpiece to the blade. Also called a "rip fence" because, while it may or may not be used in a cross cutting operation, it is always used in ripping. Examples:

fence pliers --- A flat, bulky type of pliers, somewhat similar to linesman pliers that are designed for use in building and maintaining fences, specifically fences that are largely made up of wire (think barbed-wire fences). These pliers have wire-cutters, a hook for pulling staples, a flat hammer-like area on one side (used, not too surprisingly, for hammering), in addition to grasping jaws that can grab wire for bending, twisting, pulling and so forth. I've never worked on fences, but supposedly, fence pliers are the only tool you need for that. Examples:

fender washer --- A washer that is very like a common flat washer except that it has an OD that is something like 4 or 5 times the ID rather than the 2 times of a normal flat washer. The purpose of fender washers is to distribute the pressure of the screw or bolt head far wider than is the case with a normal washer; fender washers are designed for use with very thin material (hey, like the fender of a car !). There is an extra-thick, heavy-duty version of these that are used for heavy constuction and are called "dock washers". Examples:

FEQ --- see First European Quality

ferrous --- The characteristic of metals that have iron as their primary component. Both cast iron and steel are ferrous metals. Ferrous metals all rust. Compare/contrast to nonferrous.

ferrule --- A metal collar that reinforces the wood where the tang of a file or chisel or other hand tool enters the handle. Most often made from brass, these are normally slipped over the handle, then the tang is hammered home, which causes a slight expansion at the end of the handle, which helps keep the ferrule in place but the ferrule is often further indented to give it added holding power or it may be tacked into place with a very small, short brad.

Festool Domino joiner --- A proprietary joinery aid that can be used in place of dowels, biscuits and even full mortise and tenon joints. It is more expensive by far than those traditional methods but is reportedly quite accurate and useful.

FHA --- The Federal Housing Administration, a government agency that (among many other things) sets construction standards throughout the USA.

fiber --- (1) In wood growth, this refers to the smallest-diameter tubular elements in hardwoods (softwoods don't have fibers). The fibers add structural support to a tree; they have thick walls and closed ends and do not carry nutrients. Wood fibers are used in making paper and cellulose material. In casual, non-technical, terms, wood is a fibrous material and to speak of the "fiber" of wood just refers to the stringy nature of wood and those elements that make up the "strings", which in technical terms are the fibers in hardwoods and the vessels in softwoods.
fiber --- (2) A type of backing on sandpaper

fiberboard --- A broad generic term including panel materials of widely varying densities manufactured of refined, or partially refined, wood fibers plus bonding agents (and possibly other materials to vary the resulting characteristics such as hardness, strength, etc.). This includes particle board, hardboard, and chipboard.

fiberglass --- Spun glass fibers used as insulation when loosed packed and also formed into various hard shaped objects including roof shingles.

fiber saturation point --- The stage in the drying or wetting of wood at which the cell walls are saturated and the cell cavities free from water. The term only applies to an individual cell or group of cells, not to whole boards and is used to discuss precise localized moisture characteristics. It is usually about 25% to 30% moisture content (oven dry weight). It is when wood drops below the fiber saturation point that it begins to shrink with further moisture loss. When dry wood absorbs moisture, it swells but once it reaches the fiber saturation point, it doesn't swell any further even though it can still take on more moisture as it fills up the cell cavities. The water in the cell walls is called the bound moisture and the water in the cell cavities is called the free water.

fiddleback --- Curly figure in wood (and fiddleback is just a variation of curly figure) is caused by contortions in grain direction (interlocked grain) such that light is reflected differently at different portions of the grain, creating an appearance of undulating waves, also called a washboard effect because it looks like an old corrugated steel washboard. "Fiddleback" figure is a form of curly figure where the curls are very tight and fairly uniform, generally running perpendicular to the grain and across the entire width of a board. The name comes from the fact that such wood became popular to use on the backs of violins (fiddles), and nowadays guitars, because the figure is frequently very lively and attractive and such wood generally has good resonance properties. It is also commonly used on drums and also for architectural panels. Logs for fiddleback veneers are quartersawn to produce very straight grain with curls running perpendicular to the grain and uninterrupted from edge to edge of the veneer sheet.

Some reports claim that a tree which buttresses itself against north winds will have compressed annual growth rings in the area facing north and expanded rings facing south and that the stress in the compressed rings is believed to cause the fiddleback figure. I have no idea whether this is true.

Many species develop this figure, but the most common ones are maple, makore, anigre, and "English Sycamore" (which is actually a form of maple). Some of the prettiest versions occur in claro walnut and koa. There are woods (laurel comes to mind) that have a figure that is technically a true fiddleback figure, but which is so light as to be almost indiscernible, and there are others that have fiddleback figure that only runs for a few inches of width in a plank although it may run the full length. None of these marginal figures would actually be used on the back of a fiddle, so application of that name to them is purely technical and/or a marketing ploy and should not be taken seriously. Also, plain curly is sometimes mislabeled fiddleback and true fiddleback is sometimes labeled as just curly, depending on the whims of the vendor. Below is a composite pic showing several different species with fiddleback figure. For other pics of fiddleback figured wood, see fiddleback pics.

fielded panel --- A panel with edges beveled to fit grooves in a frame. For example, a panel in a rail and stile house door or cabinet door is a fielded panel.

A note about "grain" and "figure". These terms are sometimes used interchangeably in a way that I believe to be incorrect. In this glossary, I take a point of view which I believe is the "correct" one, but I want to acknowledge that it is opposed to that taken by some, including a man whom I consider very much my better in regards to knowledge of wood and that is Dr. Bruce Hoadley who has written two books that are widely, and I believe appropriately, considered to be the definitive works in their field. These are "Identifying Wood" and "Understanding Wood". On this particular issue, I have a strong and supportable reason for differing with Dr. Hoadley.

For a full discussion of the two points of view, and the statistics that validate my own point of view, click here: figure vs grain. I don't put the whole thing right here because this box is already too big.

Had this difference of opinion been with anyone other than Dr. Hoadley, I would simply have ignored them and gone on my way and would not have subjected my readers to this diatribe. However, I think that regarding ANY other information about wood, anyone who ignores Dr. Hoadley is being foolish. As young people say these days, when it comes to knowledge about wood, "He da man".

figure --- the "look" of a piece of wood. There are numerous wood characteristics that go into creating the figure, and there are numerous specific types of figure that are created due to one or more of those characteristics. Listed below are the major causal characteristics of figure and then the major types of figure, but with only a brief definition of each. Each is a URL that you can click on to go to a more full definition. Some of the causal characteristics and the figure types have the same names, so some terms appear in both lists below. I'm being very broad here in my definition of "figure" as the "look" of wood. For example, metal stain is not normally considered "figure" but it is something that affects the "look" of wood so I've included it here (doesn't seem like too much of a stretch since other stains ARE considered part of figure).



file --- [verb] to reduce a metal edge with a file [see noun, directly below]
file --- [noun] a long, most often flat, piece of metal with a wooden or plastic handle and sharpened ridges; used to reduce the edges of metal objects. Although the most common files are flat on both sides, they can have a cross section that is rounded on one side, or even completely round (see rat tail file), or triangluar, or wedge-shaped, and other shapes. Small files with curved scraping surfaces are called rifflers. Regardless of the cross section shape of a file, the coarseness of the ridges varies considerably depending on intended use. Files specifically designed for used on wood are called rasps and have coarser ridges than files. Historically, rasps existed before files. Files intended to be used on metal can be used on soft metails such as aluminum but they clog up quickly because soft metails don't chip out of the way as steel does. Clogged files can be unclogged with a file card. Among the many characteristics of files, one is the coarseness/smoothness of cut. Designations for this characteristic go as follows, from most rough to most smooth: rough, middle, bastard, second cut, smooth, and dead smooth. Another characteristic is the way the cutting ridges are organized and the primary two ways this is done are single cut and double cut. Examples:

file card --- A wire brush that is used for cleaning out the grooves in files. Sometimes the brush will have fiber bristles on the other side but often they just have the wire bristles. Examples:

filler --- (1) As regards wood surfaces, this is any substance used to fill the holes and irregularities in wood surfaces to smooth the surfaces and/or to decrease the porosity of the surface before applying finishing agents. Also, compounds that have the purpose of filling in minor voids in rotten or weak wood. Woods that are not amenable to a fine natural finish will become so after application of a filler, and that is its primary purpose (as opposed to structural support, which is not what filler is for). Generally, a filler is applied to sound wood after the wood has been brought to its final shape and then after the application of the filler, sanding is used to bring the wood to as high a polish as it needs based on what is planned for the subsequent finishing. For voids or weak or punky woods, a wood stabilizer would be applied first, then a filler, then the wood would be worked to its final shape. Wood fillers are also used to fill nail holes and screw holes and in those cases are usually marketed as "wood putty" or "plastic wood". See also sanding sealer.
filler --- (2) As applied to adhesives, a filler is a relatively non-adhesive substance added to an adhesive to improve its working properties, strength, or other qualities.
filler --- (3) A piece of wood used to fill any gaps near built-in furniture (think bookcase or cabinet) to make the piece fit the room precisely.

fillet --- A narrow strip of wood.

film --- synonymous with coat

filter fabric --- When underground drainage ditches filled with rocks are provided to allow water drainage, you need something to keep the surrounding soil from packing into the area of the rocks, but whatever you use has to be permeable to water so that the water flows into the area of the rocks and subsequently away from the area being drained, but the soil is kept out. That's what filter fabric is for.

fine grained --- (1) synonymous with closed grained and synonymous for fine textured Examples of fine grained woods are birch, cherry, and hard maple.
fine grained --- (2) [less often used] Synonymous with close grained (tightly spaced annual growth rings).
for both definitions, compare/contrast to medium grained and coarse grained.

fines --- Very fine milled wood chips used in the production of particleboard. Fines are more coarse than sander dust or wood flour.

fine textured --- Wood that has very small pores and small cells in general and that can thus be brought to a high natural polish. Such woods tend to be harder and heavier than other woods. A good example is African blackwood. Compare/contrast to medium textured and coarse textured.

finger --- see finger joint

finger clamp --- In woodworking, this refers to a small strap clamp. In other fields it is used to describe a finger-like clamping system used for test tubes.

finger gouge --- synonymous with fingernail gouge

finger joint --- This term normally is synonymous with tapered finger joint. In fact, most folks just call the tapered finger joint a finger joint. BUT ... some people use the term finger joint to mean what is normally called a box joint.

fingernail --- Describes the shape of the ground end of a spindle gouge.

fingernail gouge --- Refers to a spindle gouge with a fingernail grind. These are also sometimes given the name "detail" gouge because they are great for working on fine details in a spindle turnings. Note that bowl gouges are also given a fingernail grind, but are NOT then called fingernail gouges.

fingernail grind --- Describes a particular end grinding shape used on bowl gouges and spindle gouges. It differs from a standard end grind in two ways; first, the angle of the grind along the bottom of the shank is more sharply back towards the handle and second, the grind along the sides of the shank is much more acute and long reaching, providing a much wider curved cutting edge than you get with a regular grind. The term is applied to a fairly wide range of angles and sweeps, all of this general shape. This grind is much preferred by many turners (myself include) because it supports a wider variety of turning techniques, but it IS correspondingly more challenging for the novice. Examples:

finial --- The ornament on top of a flagstaff, or any turned or carved ornament that adorns the top of a bedpost, stair newel, turned box, piece of furniture, gatepost, spire on top of a building, and so forth. The term is sometimes confused with a spire, however, a spire can have a small finial on top, but the spire is not a finial. When a spire is topped by a cross (as on a church spire), it seems to be arguable as to whether on not the cross is considered a finial. See also drop finial. Examples:

finish --- (1)[noun] A chemical that is applied to a wood surface so as to bring out the grain and/or protect the wood from conditions such as mechanical wear, UV rays and moisture. At some point, I will add an exposition on various finishes to this glossary.
finish --- (2)[verb] To apply a chemical to a wood surface so as to bring out the grain and/or protect the wood from conditions such as mechanical wear, ultraviolet rays and moisture.
finish --- (3)[verb] synonymous with surface.

finish carpentry --- The detail woodwork that will be visible when a project is completed. This includes door and window frames, moldings, base trims, chair rails, etc. Compare/contrast to framing.

finish hardware --- Functional hardware such as knobs and latches needed to finish a woodworking job or project.

finishing --- The final treatment of a workpiece after the tool work has been completed. This can include any or all of the steps of filling, sanding, applying a finishing agent, and polishing.

finishing agent --- A chemical compound suitable for covering wood in a permanent, attractive, and/or protective way. The selection of an appropriate finishing agent, and proper application and care of it, are significant factors in the success of many wood projects. Types of wood finishing agents include: Some terms that relate to finishing agents are:

finishing nail --- A slender nail with a small, semi-spherical head, which is used with trim and molding and in places where nail holes must be very small. It is called a "finishing" nail because (1) it is used in finish carpentry (this is the original source of the name) and (2) it is used in places where the finish of a piece shows, and it is important to use a small-headed nail so that it is unobtrusive and/or can be unobtrusively covered with wood putty and finished to blend in with the surrounding surface. It has the significant disadvantage of poor holding power because of the small head, so is not used in situations where holding power matters much. Also, it is thinner relative to its length than a same-length common nail but is sold using the same "penny" designation based on LENGTH (rather than the same number of nails per unit price) as the common nail of the same length. SO ... a 6-penny finishing nail will have the same length as a 6-penny common nail but will weigh considerably less because it is much thinner (a little thinnner even than a box nail of the same length). There is a corresponding version of this for screws, the trim screw which is also called a "finishing screw". Examples:

finishing sander --- By most definitions, this is a power sander with a rectangular base and that uses back-and-forth motion (as opposed to orbital motion). Generally, this is synonymous with half sheet sander but those do sometimes have orbital mechanism so may not strictly fit the definition. The point of a finishing sander is to provide a final ("finishing") smoothing rather quickly for a large surface. The back-and-forth motion allows the operator to be sure that none of the grit is going to move across the grain (as it would some of the time in a sander with orbital motion). BUT ... there are a number of vendors that sell various other kinds of sanders and call them finishing sanders even though they really would be more properly categorized as other types ("detail", "orbital", etc.). Compare/contrast to other forms of power sander. Examples:

finishing saw blade --- A saw blade with a high tooth count to provide smoother cuts. For circular saw blades, this typically refers to 7-1/4" blades with more than 40 teeth and 10" blades with more than 60 teeth. Compare/contrast to combination saw blade.

finishing screw --- synonymous with trim screw

finish lumber --- Lumber that has been cleanly surfaced on all 4 sides and is free from defects. Finish lumber is used for interior trim and cabinetry.

finish rating --- Wood finishes are categorized in many ways, one of which is their reflectivity. Finishes such as polyurethane, for example, are manufactured with several levels of reflectivity for various uses. The general terms used and their meaning are:

finish screw --- synonymous with trim screw

finish washer --- (aka finish cup washer, aka trim washer) A washer for use with countersunk heads on bolts or screws but without the countersunk hole. They are shaped something like a donut sliced horizontally and have several uses. Use them to dress up exposed screw heads or to convert a flat head to a "pan" head when the screw cannot be countersunk. They also help distribute the load which can be helpful with softer materials and they work well for creating eyes or headlights on childrens’ toys. Compare/contrast to flush washer. Examples:

fire blocking --- Blocking that is specifically placed to retard the passage of fire inside framing. This most often takes the form of horizontal full blocking (as opposed to the diagonal bracing kind of blocking) between wall studs.

fireplace shovel --- A small shovel used to remove ashes and debris from a fireplace.

fire resistance --- The property of a material that allows it to withstand or protect it from fire. In terms of elements in a building or structure, it is the ability of an element to contain and prevent fire from spreading to other elements or the ability to perform a given structural function, or both. Wood is sometimes treated with chemicals that add some fire resistance.

fire shovel --- A shovel specifically designed for constructing a fireline, feature a tapered blade with both edges sharpened for scraping, digging, grubbing, cutting, and throwing dirt. This term is also sometimes used to specify what really should be called a firePLACE shovel (used to scoop ashes out of fireplaces).

firestop --- synonymous with fire blocking

firewood --- synonymous with cordwood

First European Quality --- [FEQ] The top grade for wood purchased in Europe. This grade mainly applies to the species the United States imports from other countries. The FEQ grade is superior to our FAS grade as far as lumber quality.

firsts and seconds --- [FAS] The hardwood lumber grade describing the best boards cut from a log (other than clear grade). An FAS board must have at least 7/8ths of its area free of knots and defects, or put in the opposite way, it is allowed to have up to 1/8th of the board containing knots or defects. The next grade down is select.

fisheye --- synonymous with craters.

fishtail --- A term used to describe the splayed ends of carving gouges or chisels which fan out at the very end to provide a wide working surface with emphasis on the corners for finer finishing work. These items easily overheat when grinding to resharpen them, so sharpening is more often done with a sharpening stone. Examples:

fitting --- (1) A small, detachable, part of a device or machine, used to join or mate larger parts. For example, pipes or hoses of slightly different sizes might be joined by a fitting that accommodates one size on one end and the other size on the other end. A door hinge is an example of a fitting.
fitting --- (2) Small accessories that enhance the use of a larger product. For example, a faucet is considered a "fitting" in a bathroom.

fixed pin hinge --- synonymous with fast pin hinge

fixture --- There is a formal, legal, definition of the term that means physical property that is permanently attached to real property (such as a house). For example, a back porch deck would be a fixture, but a free-standing picnic table in the back yard would not be. The technical term for such freestanding, or moveable, property is "chattel" property. In practical usage, the term refers to such items as kitchen cabinets, bathtubs, lighting units, etc. In woodworking usage, the term is often applied to any holding device or jig that holds/clamps items in place so that they can be worked on.

flag --- A mineral streak in wood, shaped like a long banner and usually present along with a worm hole.

flag worm hole --- see flag

flake --- (1) synonymous with ray flake
flake --- (2) A small section of wood used in various composite materials such as particleboard. Such flakes have (rough) predetermined dimensions and uniform thickness, with fiber direction in the plane of the flake.

flakeboard --- synonymous with particleboard

flaky --- A wood figure characterized by ray flakes (see that term for an illustration)

flame --- An ill-defined term that is sometimes used to refer to flame crotch figure, sometimes to curly figure, and sometimes to fiddleback figure. Pick any one of those terms and you can find people who will insist that THAT term is the ONLY term that should be meant by "flame", although relatively few of them would choose "curly" as the one correct term; most would go for "fiddleback" and the rest for "flame crotch". Another term that you will see quoted as synonymous with "flame" in the sense of "fiddleback" is tiger stripe. Since "tiger strip" has the potential for confusion with ribbonstripe, and "flame" with "flame crotch", I say that if you MEAN "fiddleback", then dammit, just SAY "fiddleback". Yet ANOTHER use of the term flame is with box elder, where the presence of red streaks gives the wood the name "flame box elder"

flame crotch --- see feather crotch

flammability --- The ease with which a substance can be set on fire.

flammable --- Describes any material that will catch fire easily and continue to burn. The National Fire Protection Association and the Department of Transportation define flammable liquids as those having a flash point less than 100 degrees fahrenheit.

flange --- An external or internal rib, or rim (lip), used either for strength (e.g. the flanges of an I-beam which are the horizontal members at the top and bottom of the beam) or for a guide (e.g. the flange of a train wheel, which keeps the wheel on the track) or for attachment to another object (e.g. the flange on the end of a pipe). The horizontal members of a box beam are called flanges. The extensions of roof flashing, usually at chimneys and plumbing vents, are sometimes called flanges. Some handled tools with a general shape like that of a screwdriver (although possibly a radically different use) sometimes have a flange or shoulder to prevent the tang or shank from being driven too far into the handle and splitting it. Items such as cup hooks often have a part that is called the shoulder or flange.

flange bolt --- A bolt with a flange at the bottom of the head to provide more surface over which to spread out the pressure of the head on the object being clampled. These are most commonly hex head bolts but there is nothing in the definition that requires that. Flange bolts many or may not have serrated ridges on the bottom of the flange. Examples:

flanged --- Having one or more flanges.

flanged cap nut --- A cap nut with a flange around the bottom to more widely distribute the pressure on the surface being clamped. Examples:

flanged countersunk washer --- A countersunk washer with a flange around the rim to distribute the pressure on the clamped surface more widely. Examples:

flange nut --- A nut that has a flange around the side that is going put against the object being clampled. Mostly these are hex head nuts but there are also cap nuts that are flanged. The flange serves to distribute the pressure from the nut over a wider area of the part being clamped, reducing the chance of damage to the part and making it less likely that the nut might loosen due to an uneven surface. The flange may be serrated to provide a locking action, in which case the nut is formally called a serrated flange nut. The serrations are angled such that they keep the nut from rotating in the direction that would loosen it. Examples:

flap sander --- a sanding attachment for a drill press, hand drill or bench grinder. They consist of a cylinder/drum on a rod, with piecs of sandpaper radiating out from the cylinder. They are used for finishing curved surfaces and are particularly useful for sanding the surfaces of hand-carved bowls and platters. Examples:

flashing --- Material used to weatherproof joints through the roof (e.g. at chimneys or ventilation pipes), at the tops of doors and windows, and at other exterior exposed horizontal or semi-horizontal joints in vertical surfaces in order to prevent water penetration. Flashing is usually made of tin or galvanized steel and is bonded with flashing cement but in some instances (e.g. around windows) Kraft paper is used. Flashing is also made from plastic.

flashing cement --- A waterproof sealant / adhesive designed for use around flashing areas. It is typically a thick gooy material.

flash point --- The temperature at which a material, either solid or liquid, will ignite. The flash point of paper is 451 degrees fahrenheit, which gave rise to the title of the science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451. For liquids, the flash point is the lowest temperature at which a combustible liquid gives off a flammable vapor (i.e. enough vapor to produce a vapor/air mixture that will ignite when a flame is applied). In woodworking, this is mostly concerned with the ignition temperature of the vapor of a thinner or solvent. The flash point of a finishing agent is a significant characteristic.

flat --- see finish rating

flat cut --- [aka plain sawn] Wood that is cut on a plane that is parallel to the annual growth rings but not right in close to the pith. If the tree is a near-perfect cylinder, then this results in a plank that has relatively widely spaced grain lines running down the center and relatively closely spaced grain lines running along the edges. Most trees aren't perfectly cylindrical, so what you really get are usually variations on this, the most widely noted of which is what is called cathedral grain (in veneer in particular, this is also called crown cut) where the grain forms U- or V-shaped lines in the plank. Flat cut planks are not as stable as quartersawn but will generally perform just as well when properly kiln dried. Flat cutting can produce wider boards than quartersawing. One form of producing flat cut boards is through and through cutting. The composite pic below shows flat cut pieces of (1) American black cherry, (2) douglas fir, (3) sen with cathedral grain, (4) bocote (pic is a more red than the actual veneer sheet), (5) yellow pine, and (6) sen with cathedral grain and a very large range in the distance between grain lines, and below that is a graphic showing the differences among flat cut, rift cut, and quartersawn.

flat grain --- synonymous with flat cut

flat grind --- A flat tool grind that is caused by using the side of a grinding wheel or the face of a flat sharpening stone. Compare/contrast to hollow ground.

flathead --- (1) Short for flat head screwdriver
flathead --- (2) A flat head screw
flathead --- (3) A bolt or screw that is designed to be driven with a flat head screwdriver.
flathead --- (4) The HEAD of a bolt or screw that is designed to be driven with a flat head screwdriver.

flat head screw --- (1) A screw that has a flat head, so that it will be flush with the object it is screwed into; this requires a countersunk head. It usually has a tapered shank but these exist as both wood screws and machine screws and the machine screws have a straight shank and often have an allen head drive slot but the wood screws almost always have a flat head", a phillips head, or a Robertson drive slot. The most common materials for these are steel, brass, and aluminum.
flat head screw --- (2) Any screw that uses a flat head screw driver.
Examples of type (1):

Examples of type (2):

flat head screwdriver --- This is THE standard screwdriver and what people normally mean when they say screwdriver (the other widely used version is the phillips head screw driver). The end is shaped like a long skinny rectangle (like a minus sign) and fits into a corresponding slot in the screw head. The big disadvantage of flat head screws and their drivers is the tendency to strip the slot in the top of the screw head when high torque is used. They just don't provide much protection against that. Examples:

flat nose scraper --- A lathe scraper; This scraping tool has a cutting (scraping, actually) edge perpendicular to the shank and it is presented to the face of the workpiece parallel to the top of the tool rest, so that it smoothes out a flat area. Compare/contrast to round nose scraper. Examples:

flat sawn --- synonymous with flat cut. Some reports say that this term is only used if the wood is a softwood although I don't see why that should be the case, nor is it my experience that it IS the case.

flat speed nut --- see spring nut

flat spline joint --- synonymous with splined face miter joint

flat washer --- The most common type of washer, the flat washer is a simple disk of material, normally metal, and is designed to distribute the pressure from the head of a bolt or screw across more of the surface (into which the fastener is being put) than would be covered by just the head of the fastener. Compare/contrast to fender washer and split ring lock washer. There is a square version of this called, not very surprizingly, the square washer Examples:

fleck --- see ray flake

flex drive --- A relatively obscure type of contractor table saw that uses a flexible drive shaft from the motor to the saw arbor. Anecdotal information tells me that this variety of saw is not highly regarded by woodworkers. It works, but not as well as other types.

flexible shaft tool --- A tool much like the dremel tool except that it has the motor on one end of a long flexible shaft and the bit-holding collet on the other end. The Foredom tool is probably the best known version.

flexible veneer --- Wood veneer which is joined, processed, sanded and backed with paper or other material to create a fully ready to use dimensional sheet of material which, while made from wood, avoids some of the limitations of simple wood veneer, particularly cracking and splintering.

flexural strength --- The ability of a beam or other structural member to resist bending. Compare/contrast to compressive strength and tensile strength.

flitch --- A very loosely used term; there is consensus for two definitions (and I've seen various other definitions that are not supported by any consensus I can establish).
flitch --- (1) A portion of a log sawn through and through leaving two waney edges. Such a board may be destined for further sawing into lumber or it may be used to produce veneer. Some definitions say that a flitch is at least 4" thick and 6" wide, but I have not seen any authoritative statement regarding size. For this definition, see also cant. See lumber sizes for other "sizes" of lumber.
flitch --- (2) A complete bundle of veneer sheets laid together in sequence as they are cut from a given log or section of a log.

flitch cut --- Cut through and through. See also flitch

floating --- In woodworking this carries the connotation of "not fixed" (that is, not nailed / glued / screwed). Two places where it is used in particular are (1) in rail and stile construction where a panel sits loosely inside the rails and stiles so that movement caused by changes in relative humidity will not cause the wood to crack, and (2) in loose mortise and tenon where the meaning is slightly different and refers to the fact that the floating (aka "loose") tenon is not an integral part of one of the elements the way it normally is.

floating tenon --- synonymous with loose tenon

flocculation --- Reversible formation of clusters of particles in emulsions and suspensions that are part of finishing agents. In paints, flocculation of polymer particles may occur in emulsion (latex) paints, and flocculation of pigment particles may take place in any paint because of a deficiency of emulsifier and dispersants or changes in conditions of state (pH, solvent, etc.). Flocculation may cause loss of tinting strength or hiding power, and a change in flow behavior.

flocking --- (1) The deposition of many small fiber particles (called the "flock") along with an adhesive onto a surface such as wood to produce a hairy or furry or just textured look. The flock can be a natural animal hair or fur or it might be a synthetic fiber.
flocking --- (2) The texture produced by the process described above.

flood --- The act of applying a chemical coating (e.g. paint, varnish, other finishing agents) very heavily to a surface.

floor board --- A board, generally finished with a tongue and groove, fixed to floor joists or a subflooring to provide flooring.

floor Closer --- Also known as a spring pivot, this is a spring loaded door closing device that is installed in a recess in the floor below a pivot hinge in order to regulate and control the opening and closing of the door. These have a heavy spring which is attached to the pivot pin where it comes down into the floor and it in turn is rigidly attached inside the bottom of the door.

flooring --- A material used to create floors; generally mounted on top of a subflooring. When made of wood, flooring is most often made of planks jointed with tongue and groove joints. Wood for flooring is selected for hardness and durability as well as appearance.

floor joist --- see joist

floor model drum sander --- A generally large, commercial drum sander that is made for sanding wide planks. These come in many sizes, from about 18" wide to several feet wide. Compare/contrast to shop built drum sander and to other forms of power sander. . Examples:


floor plan --- A "bird's eye view" drawing that shows the layout from above of one entire floor of a building.

floor plate --- (1) A horizontal timber member placed along the bottom of a wall to support studs and to spread their load along the foundation. Also called the "bottom plate" and a floor plate that is on the foundation is also called the sill plate but an upper story floor plate is not a sill plate. Compare/contrast to top plate.
floor plate --- (2) The shape of the floor in a building, or the total area of the floor in a building.

floor sander --- Although technically, this is a drum sander it really is a different class of machine since the sanding drum is used ONLY to sand floors and the machine is a walk-behind tool. I suppose you could use it to sand the face of a plywood panel, but basically it's just made for floors, not any other kind of woodworking. Compare/contrast to other forms of power sander. Examples:

flow out --- The ability of a finishing agent to level itself as it dries so as to produce a smooth finish.

flow rate --- The rate a liquid flows through a pipe or plumbing fixture, typically measured in gallons per minute or hour (gpm / gph).

flue --- the passageway in a chimney for conveying gases to the outdoors.

fluid --- A substance that flows within itself. Gasses and liquids are all fluids, solids are generally not. An interesting exception is glass which is solid but acts over VERY long periods of time, as a fluid. You can easily see that by looking a panes of glass that are hundreds of years old --- they have clearly flowed a little bit. Fluids that are most relevant to wood are the sap and liquids used in preservative treatment.

flush --- In woodworking, this word is used in its sense of "level with"; used to describe a situation where a the surfaces of two adjacent objects, or portions of an object, line up perfectly with each other. Compare/contrast to proud (above) and shy (below).

flush cranked hinge --- A specialty type of single cranked hinge that has a cutout in the frame leaf so that an inset cabinet door can swing a full 180 degrees and be flush with the face frame both when open and when closed. Actually, I may have been hasty in accepting this definition since I find that ther are in fact some double cranked hinges that are the flush type. They look like the some of the ones in the composite pic below except that the tongue-like leaf also has a dogleg. Examples:

flush face frame door --- see face frame door

flush hinge --- You might think from the name that this has something to do with a hinge being flush-mounted with a mortise in the door or the frame, but quite the opposite, what it really is is a type of edge mounted hinge that is also a surface mounted hinge. That is, it is mounted on the edge of the door and frame and with no mortise in the either. It has what amounts to being a mortise (generally referred to as a "recess" in this case) in one of the leaves (which is generally mounted as the frame leaf) into which the other leaf fits when the door is closed so as to provide only a single hinge leaf's width of opening between the door and the frame. They are used as edge mounted hinges in any cabinet doors that don't need to have a really tight fit between the frame and the back edge of the door. Rather than being "flush mounted" in the sense of being mortised, this type of hinge avoids the need for a mortise in the door or the frame. Generally, these are not used for heavy load-bearing applications. Examples:

need to add flush hinge pics

flush trim router bit --- A straight bit with a bearing mounted at the tip, used to trim workpieces or the veneer on top of a surface, to conform to a template or the substrate itself. Examples:

flush washer --- A washer that is like a flat washer except that the center is pressed down into a cone shape to conform to the underside of a countersunk screw and the rim acts to spread the load out a lot more than is the case with a countersunk head alone. Compare/contrast to finish washer. Examples:

flute --- (1) A deep channel cut in wood (or any other material), usually with a semi-circular bottom, but it could be oval. On a spindle, a cove that goes around the circumference is always called a cove but a cove that runs the length of the spindle is also called a flute.
flute --- (2) The cannel of a gouge or any recessed area of a cutting tool's cross-section that conveys chips away from a cutting edge as the tool rotates (or on a lathe tool, as the wood rotates against the tool). The flute may be straight, as it is in a tapered reamer, or it may be curved, as it is in a standard drill bit, but in any case it will follow the cutting edge. In lathe tools the flute/cannel runs the length of the shank (or sometimes only a part of the length) from the cutting edge back towards the handle.
flute --- (3) A out outward dent in a growth ring. See fluted.

fluted --- Having a flutes or a series of flutes

fluted grain --- Indicates that the growth rings in a wood have outward "dents" that cause a distinctive figure on flat cut surfaces. It occurs occasionally in butternut and basswood and even less frequently in various walnut species. For more information and pics, see fluted grain. Examples of end grain fluted grain and face grain showing the results:

fluted parting tool --- A lathe tool; This is a variation on the standard parting tool and differs from that tool in two ways. First, it has a tapered shank and second, it has a fluted edge which gives it a more aggressive cut than the standard parting tool. It comes in two varieties, the first is the "standard" version with a flared shank and the second is the "narrow fluted parting tool" which has a shank that is straight up and down and narrow, giving a rectangular cross section with little rigidity. Examples of both types:

flux --- A chemical cleaning agent which facilitates soldering, brazing, and welding by removing oxidation from the metals to be joined.

foam core --- Center of a plywood "sandwich" panel. Liquid plastic is foamed into the spaces between outer plywood panels (which are on a wooden frame) and it both insulates and supports the outer plies. An alternate construction technique is for plywood skins to be pressure-glued to both sides of rigid plastic foam boards or billets. Such panels are used for insulation and not for structural strength.

folding ruler --- An old-style carpenter's measuring tool (also called a carpenter's ruler) made from short lengths of wood that fold/unfold by way of riveted joints at each end. It's a clever design for its day, being both compact (when folded) but able to reach over fairly long spans without sagging. Nowadays retractable steel rulers are more usable than the folding ruler. Examples:

folding screen hinge --- This is a type of hinge that is functionally similar to the double action spring hinge in that it allows 360 degrees of movement, but it is lighter weight and has no springs because it is designed to allow a folding screen to be repositioned but not actually swung back and forth the way cafe door is, for example. That is, the folding screen hinge is not really a load-bearing hinge at all. Like the double action spring hinge it has, effectively, three leaves and two barrels, but it is a somewhat more complex layout and less strength as you can see in the pics below. Examples:

folding table hinge --- synonymous with butler tray hinge [actually, there are several types of hinges that could well be used in fold-up table tops, but they each have their own names]

folding wedges --- This refers to a construct that uses two opposing wedges instead of one, for example in the "tusked mortise and tenon with folding wedges" joint. I have no idea how the term "folding" got into the name (I would called it "paired wedges" but as always, I don't get to make the rules, I just report). Typically, the two wedges will fit together in a way that presents parallel outer surfaces in the mortise. Folding wedges are generally, used in knockdown joints but not necessarily so (that is, a joint that uses folding wedges does not HAVE to be a knockdown joint). See tusked mortise and tenon with folding wedges for an illustration.

foliage --- The live leaves or needles of a tree; the plant part primarily responsible for photosynthesis.

footed cant hook --- see cant hook

footing --- The lowest level horizontal support for walls, posts, chimneys, etc. Footing is always wider than the member it supports and it distributes the weight of the structure to the ground over a larger area to prevent settling. Footing is most commonly made of concrete but could also be cinder block or even treated lumber supported underneath by gravel.

forced air --- A heating system system that uses fans and blowers to move heated air through ducts to heat a home after the air is heated by a burner using natural gas or other fuel source.

Ford cup --- A brand of viscosity cup used to measure the flow rate of finishing agents. It is a metal cup with a hole in the bottom and one measures the time required for a given volume of liquid to flow out through the hole. Examples:

Foredom tool --- A brand-name multi-purpose tool that is in most ways identical to the Dremel tool except that in place of a rigid body that contains both the motor and the collet to hold the bit, this tool has the motor on one end of a long flexible shaft and the collet on the other end. Generically, this is an example of a "flexible shaft tool". Examples:

forest --- A biological community dominated by trees and normally containing other woody and non-woody plants, and home to a wide variety of non-plant life.

forestation --- see afforestation

forester --- A degreed professional trained in forestry.

forestry --- Forest management; a profession embracing the science, business, and art of creating, maintaining, and managing forests and their many component parts to produce consumable and/or nonconsumable outputs for use by humans and/or other species in an ecologically helpful way.

forest type --- An association of tree species that have similar ecological requirements and that frequently coexist in forests within the same broad region. Some examples of USA forest types are Allegany hardwood, loblolly-shortleaf, Northern hardwood, oak-gum-cypress, oak hickory, and oak-pine.

fork --- (1) synonymous with crotch
fork --- (2) The eating utensil, sometimes made of wood (e.g. salad fork)

formed tool --- A lathe tool that has been ground to a particular shape for a special job because the shape is difficult to make with standard tools and/or because of a need to quickly reproduce a particular cut. An example of such a tool is the dovetail scraper.

Formica --- A brand of composite materials manufactured by the Formica Corporation based in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. In common use, the term (usually uncapitalized even though it should be capitalized since it is a brand name) refers to the company's classic product, a heat-resistant, wipe-clean, plastic laminate of paper or fabric with melamine resin. It is widely used on kitchen counter-tops.

forstner bit --- A drill bit with a center spur, a circular rim with a sharp edge usually without cutting teeth, and two sharpened flat-bottom flanges that act as chisels to cut clean flat bottomed holes. Their primary purpose is for drilling holes that do not go all the way through but need to have a flat bottom, but the smooth edges of the circular rim create a very clean hole wall, so they are also used when clean hole walls are desired. When cutting through holes, a backing board is HIGHLY recommended since the lack of teeth on the rim promotes tearout on exit if there is no backing board. They are available in sizes from 1/4" up to 3 1/2". There is a very similar bit called a sawtooth drill bit. Examples:

foundation --- The soil, subsoil, rock, or manufactured product (such as cinderblock or concrete) upon which a structure is supported. Often the term is used to specify just one portion of an overall foundational system. That is, a foundational system may consist of soil AND rocks/gravel AND a concrete or masonry portion, and the term may at any one time be used in discussing just one of those items (most frequently the concrete or masonry portion, to which wooden framing members are attached, usually by means of anchor bolts.

foundation wall --- A wall that sits directly on the foundation of a structure. An interior upstairs wall, for example, would not be a foundation wall but an exterior lower wall almost certainly would be.

found wood --- A term used to describe wood obtained either from blowdown or as leftovers from a clearing operation such as might be performed by a construction crew or a power-line protection crew.

four jaw chuck --- A very common, versatile, chuck for a wood lathe that has (surprise, surprise) 4 jaws, comes in a wide variety of styles, and takes several types of adaptors to hold various types of workpieces in various ways. The most common use for this chuck is to grab a raised rim on the bottom of a bowl, on the inside by expansion or on the outside by compression. When the jaws are grab by compression, the chuck is sometimes called a "compression chuck", and when the jaws grab by expansion, the chuck is sometimes called an "expansion chuck". The compression/expansion force is applied via a key, and the chuck may be a self centering chuck (i.e. a scroll chuck) or an independent jaw chuck. Examples:

foxing --- In general use, this is a term describing the age-related spots and browning seen on vintage paper documents such as books, postage stamps, certificates, and so forth. Paper so affected is said to be "foxed." By extension, the term has been adopted to mean any brownish discoloration of wood due to fungal infection, but this is a very imprecise use.

foxtail wedged mortise and tenon --- see foxtail wedging

foxtail wedging --- The technique of using one or more wooden wedges to spread a tenon in a blind mortise and tenon. This is a bit tricky since if the wedge is too thin, it does no good and if it is too thick the two pieces will not mate fully. Unlike in a through wedged mortise and tenon, you can't just jam the wedge in and then cut/sand off any excess. Examples:

frame --- There are two fundamental types of constructions that are considered when making joints for wooden objects, and these are frames and carcasses. Frames are objects such as picture frames, door and window frames, and face frames. Compare/contrast to carcass. See also frame construction.

frame bolt --- An ill-defined term that seems to refer most often to flange bolts as used in framing, with bed frames, in automobiles, etc. but also is used to designate other types of bolts when they are used in framing applications. In other words, this seems to be a loosely defined term based on the USE of a bolt, not the style of the bolt itself.

frame construction --- Refers to a building in which the structural parts are wood or dependent on a wood framework for support. Typically, lumber framing is sheathed with structural wood panels, usually made of plywood, for roofs, walls and floor. The classification of frame construction remains the same in building codes even when masonry covering is applied on exterior walls.

framed --- (1) Created using framing.
framed --- (2) Surrounded by something (such as the wood of a picture frame).

frame joinery --- There are fundamentally two types of joinery: frame joinery and carcass joinery. Frame joinery is the art/science of constructing joints for frames (as opposed to carcasses). Frame joinery is used for doors, picture frames, face frames and so forth. Most joint types can be used for both frames and cases, but the types that are associated mostly with frames include lap joints, bridle joints, mortise and tenon, and tongue and groove.

frame joint --- Generally, a frame joint is any joint used in the construction of any type of frame (as opposed to carcass) but more specifically, the term is used to refer to a picture-frame style joint where the end of one plank is butted up against the edge of another plank to form a corner. The joint can be just glued, or it could be reinforced with biscuits, dowels, or splines. It can be a butt joint or mitered. Examples:

frame leaf --- The (hinge) leaf that is attached to the frame. Compare/contrast to door leaf.

frameless cabinet --- A cabinet that does not have a face frame and that therefore has the edges of the carcass exposed when the door is open. Compare/contrast to face frame cabinet. Example:

frameless door --- A door for a frameless cabinet. These doors are always overlay doors rather than inset doors (see face frame doors for further discussion) because inset doors in a frameless cabinet would give the total construct quite an unattractive look. Compare/contrast to face frame door. Examples:

frame saw --- A saw that is constructed with a wooden frame, generally with a thin blade held under tension by a tourniquet in the frame. The most common form of frame saw is the bow saw, which is used by European craftsmen in preference to the hand saw which is more commonly used in the USA. Frame saws have been built in large sizes for two-man log cutting and in small sizes for scroll work. They have the advantage of not needing any metal (other than the blade) in their construction and thus were popular throughout the world in colonial situations (including the early American colonies) where metal fabrication was scarce or non-existent.

frame wing --- synonymous with frame leaf

framing --- (1)[noun] Timber used to form the basic structure of a building, such as studs, beams, and joists. When you see a house being built, when it's at the stage where it just looks like a huge conglomeration of nothing but 2x4's, that's the framing.
framing --- (2)[verb] The process of cutting and placing framing members (see noun definition directly above) in place and joining them together with nails, screws, or bolts. Compare/contrast to finish carpentry.

framing hammer --- Similar to a heavy claw hammer but with two differences. First, the claw is straight rather than curved which allows it to be more easily used as a crowbar. Second, the head has a waffle-like crosshatching and framing nails have a similar crosshatching on the top of their heads, thus providing a striking surface between hammer and nail that is far less likely to slip off than often happens when a normal smooth-top common nail is stuck with a claw hammer (which has a smooth face). The crosshatching on the head of this type hammer does tend to mar the wood, but since it is framing, it will be covered up and the marring won't be seen. Some framing hammers have a magnetized slot along the top edge of the striking surface to hold a nail. This allows the nail to be placed and driven quickly with just one hand. Framing hammers are going the way of the dodo bird now that nail guns have taken over in framing work. Examples:

framing nail --- A common nail that has been crosshatched across the top of its head so that when struck by a framing hammer (which has a crosshatched head face) the blow will be very unlikely to result in the hammer head slipping off of the nail head. Framing nails are going the way of the dodo bird since the advent of nail guns, which are MUCH faster than a framing hammer and nail, and the nails in the nail guns don't need the crosshatched head of the true framing nail. In fact, the true framing nail as described here is SO rare that I was unable to find even one pic of it anywhere anywhere on the Internet. The one example I could find was a drawing, not a pic of an actual nail, but it does show correctly what they look like:

framing screw --- A vague term that seems to be applied to any screw, regardless of type, if it is used in a framing application.

framing slick --- A large, hefty chisel, usually slightly cranked used in framing, traditional building construction, and by shipwrights. This chisel is always supposed to be pushed, never struck with a mallet or hammer, and so normally has an extra long handle. Examples:

framing square --- synonymous with steel square

framing timber --- see framing

frass --- A technical term for bug poop. (Now, you SEE what you can learn from reading a glossary?)

free moisture --- synonymous with free water

free of pith --- Designates a plank or other piece of wood that does not contain any of the pith of the tree. This can be important because in some species the pith is very soft and punky.

free water --- [also free moisture] --- Water found in the cell cavities of wood. Compare/contrast to bound water.

French cleat --- A simple, easy-to-build but strong mounting mechanism for wall cabinets (or most any heavy wall-mounted object that has, or that can be made to have, a flat back). The "cleat" is nothing more than a beveled plank that is mounted to the wall studs and that then provides a long "hook" on which to hang the flat-backed object. A corresponding "hook" plank (also beveled) is glued/screwed onto the top back of the object to be hung. Variations include whether the cleat is open or hidden and for hidden cleats, whether or not there is an added rim arount the back of the hung object so that it appears to be completely flush with the wall. The open cleat is commonly used as a shop mount for various tools and hidden cleats are commonly used to mount object in, for example, a living room. If the plate mounted to a cleat drops significantly below the bottom of the cleat, it's a good idea to put a trim strip along the bottom (as shown in the example below) so that the plate doesn't sag inward at the bottom Examples:

French curve --- A drafting tool; a flat piece of plastic (I have seen metal ones) that has numerous complex curves that can be used to draw curved shapes. Examples:

fret saw --- A saw very similar to a coping saw but made for more intricate work. It has a shorter blade opening (usually about five inches) and also a deeper throat than the coping saw, and does not have any way to swivel the blade as you can do on a coping saw. The deep throat partially mitigates the lack of a swivel mechanism and the deep throat allows cuts to go further into a wide board than is possible with a coping saw, but the lack of ability to swivel the blade means you can't saw deep into a plank and then swivel the blade and saw parallel to the long edge, as you could with a coping saw. The fret saw also usually has a much finer blade than a coping saw and thus can make tighter-radius curved cuts, but does mean that the blade is more fragile than that of a coping saw and requires more care to avoid breakage. Examples:

fretwork --- Any intricate decorative design, whether highly geometric or representational, that is either carved in low relief on a solid background (open fret), or cut out with a fretsaw, jigsaw or scroll saw and applied to a surface (blind fret). Often used on headboards, the backs of chairs, break-front doors, etc. Fretwork can also be built into furniture as a design either cut out or carved or formed by wooden slats such as for a chair back. Examples:

click to enlarge for details

friable --- Crumbly: easily broken into small fragments or reduced to powder.

friction hinge --- Any hinge that has a friction mechanism in the (hinge) barrel that causes friction between the (hinge) knuckles to keep a door open at any fixed position. Although a well balanced butt hinge will allow a door to sit at any position, a strong breeze will move the door unless the hinge is a friction hinge and then it will take a little more force to move the door.

frilling --- A method of killing trees by inflicting a series of cuts around the bole and applying an herbicide to the wounds. Frilling or girdling can be used to reduce the density of a stand or to kill individual undesirable trees.

froe --- A tool made of a fairly thick iron or steel blade, typically 12 to 18 inches long, sharpened along one edge, with a wooden handle about 2 feet long attached at a right angle to the blade by insertion into a cylindrical portion at one end of the metal blade. It is used for splitting thick pieces of wood into thinner slabs and is especially useful for making wooden roof shingles (shakes) and was also used in olden times to split off barrel staves. Examples:

front elevation --- see elevation

frost line --- The depth to which ground freezes. The frost line will vary by geography and soil type and is a consideration when determining how to construct the foundation of a building.

fulcrum --- The pivot point of a lever. Think of a see-saw. The bar in the middle, on which the see-saw rests, is the fulcrum point for the see-saw.

full lap joint --- A joint style in which two planks cross each other, fully or partially, and grooves are cut in one, with the other being the thickness of that groove, so that their face surfaces are flush when they mate. There are numerous types of full lap joints, depending on whether the planks cross totally or partially, whether they cross at right angles or some other angle, whether the cross in the middle or at the corners, and so forth. Many types of full lap joints are discussed and illustrated in this glossary under the terms listed below. The basic forms are illustrated directly below the list. Compare/contrast to half lap joint.

full mortise hinge --- Any hinge that has both of its (hinge) leaves sitting in mortises rather than being surface mounted. Leaves that sit in mortises are flush with the surface that they are in, so that they do not get in the way of the door closing. Compare/contrast to full surface hinge.

full overlay face frame door --- see face frame door

full sawn --- lumber that has been rough cut to its full nominal size.

full surface hinge --- Any hinge that has both of its (hinge) leaves surface mounted rather than sitting in mortises. Leaves that are surface mounted can, depending on where they are mounted, interfere with the closing of a door, or at the very least require a gap that would not be required if they were mortised. The advantage of surface mounted leaves is very simple ... you don't have to create a mortise. Compare/contrast to full mortise hinges.

full wrap around hinge --- A type of hinge that wraps around both the edge and the back of both a door and the face frame on an inset face frame cabinet. It provides strength and a full 180 degree opening range. You COULD do the same job with a butt hinge but you'd have to put screws only into the edge of each whereas the full wrap around design allows mounting screws in both the edge and the back of the door and the frame. Sometimes 270 degree hinges are called wrap around hinges (and several variations on that name, which are listed with the term 270 degree hinge), but the item shown here is what is normally intended by the term full wrap around hinge and there is another style called the partial wrap aound hinge. The partial wrap around hinge is typically used in a frameless cabinet whereas the full wraparound is used in a face frame cabinet. Examples:

fully concealed hinge --- Any hinge that has the entire mechanism hidden from view when the hinged object is closed. This is highly desirable on some objects, such as jewelry boxes and entertainment center cabinet doors. There are several types of fully concealed hinges, the most common of which are listed below with links to their full definitions and illustrations. Then in the composite pic below that are shown a number of "miscellaneous" concealed hinges, some of which have a body style that is VERY close to the SOSS hinge, but the mechanism is slightly different. Compare/contrast to partially concealed hinge.

fuming --- A technique for enriching the color of wood, most particularly white oak. The wood to be treated is put in a tent or chamber of some sort along with an open container of ammonia solution and left there for anywhere from a day to a week (possibly more). The ammonia reacts with the tannin in the wood and darkens the color. Although the technique works most profoundly on woods with tannin, anecdotal reports suggest that it will work at least to some extent with any wood. Heat has an effect on how the ammonia reacts, and thus has an effect on just how the wood changes color. There are tutorials and discussions available on the internet for those interested in exploring the technique.

fungicide --- A substance poisonous to fungi; used to kill, or at least retard the growth of, mold and mildew.

fungus --- [plural fungi] The taxonomic kingdom fungi includes the yeasts, molds, mildews smuts, and many thousands of different mushroom species. As relates to wood, it means a mold or mildew that causes stains and/or decay in the sapwood but not in the heartwood because there are no sugars in the heartwood to sustain the fungal growth. Most fungi reproduce via spores which are contained in fruiting bodies that spread out in the host material. Fungi require moisture to cause decay, so wood that is kept dry will never rot (the term dry rot is a misnomer). "Dry" in this context mean less than 20% moisture (oven dry basis).

furring --- The process of leveling parts of a ceiling, wall or floor by means of wood strips, called furring battens (or furring strips), before adding panel cover.

furring battens --- Parallel strips of wood fixed to a wall or ceiling to provide a framework for attaching drywall or other paneling. Furring is also attached to masonry walls (particularly in a basement) both to provide extra insulation space between the masonry wall and the insulated wall.

furring strips --- synonymous with furring battens

fuzzy --- (1) Wood surface that has loose, frayed fibers instead of cleanly cut ones. Fuzzy surfaces often happen when you plane tension wood and also is common for any wood from some species such as soft maple.
fuzzy --- (2) Vague; not well defined, as in "There is a fuzzy demarcation between the heartwood and the sapwood".

for images of wood itself, go here: wood id site

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