Auxiliary fence: A wooden attachment to a tool's rip fence that serves as an anchor for accessories and prevents accidental damage to the metal fence.
Blank: A piece of solid or glued-up wood used to create a furniture part, such as a turned leg.
Bridle joint: A type of open mortise-and-tenon joint in which the tenon is as long as the width of the mortise piece and the mortise extends across the entire width of the board.
Candle sconce: A candlestick holder.
Chamfer: A bevel cut along the edge of a workpiece.
Cheek: The face of the projecting tenon in a mortise-and-tenon joint.
Clearance hole: A hole drilled in a workpiece to accommodate the shank of a screw.
Cleat: A strip of wood fastened to one furniture part to support another, such as a shelf or a tabletop.
Cockbeading: Narrow projecting molding surrounding the inside edge of the door opening of a cabinet.
Compound-angle hole: A hole drilled into a workpiece with the bit presented at angles other than 90° relative to the face and edge of the stock.
Corner strip: A notched wood block fastened to the stile of a cabinet or the rail of a table to hold up a shelf support or drawer slide.
Counterbore: Drilling a hole that permits the head of a screw or bolt to sit below a wood surface so that it can be concealed by a wood plug.
Countersink: Drilling a hole that permits the head of a screw or bolt to lie flush with or slightly below a wood surface.
Cross-dowel: A wood dowel or metal cylinder threaded across its axis to accommodate a screw or knockdown fastener; usually used to provide long-grain strength when screwing into end grain.
Crown molding: Decorative trim installed around the perimeter of a piece of furniture just below the top; also known as cornice molding.
Dado: A rectangular channel cut into a workpiece.
Edge gluing: Bonding boards together edge-to-edge to form a panel.
End grain: The arrangement and direction of the wood fibers running across the the ends of a board.
Fiber rush: A natural fiber made from the twisted leaves of cattails used to for seating material in chairs; a more commonly used alternative is made from twisted kraft paper.
Finial: An ornament—usually turned and carved—projecting from the upper corners of a furniture piece such as a chair.
Glass-stop molding: Decorative strips of wood used to hold a pane of glass in a door frame.
Half-blind dovetail: A dovetail joint in which the structure of the joint is concealed by one side; commonly used to join drawer fronts to the sides.
Kerf: A cut made in wood by the width of a saw blade.
Kickback: The tendency of a work-piece to be thrown back in the direction of the operator of a woodworking machine.
Kicker: A board fastened across a drawer opening and positioned above the drawer to keep it from tilting down when opened.
Knockdown hardware: A fastener that allows the quick assembly and disassembly of a piece of furniture.
Leaf: A panel that is extended to increase the size of a table and retracted when not in use; it can be hinged or sliding.
Ledger strip: A short, narrow piece of wood used to support the top or bottom of a cabinet.
Listing: Canvas or woven wool cloth tape used for weaving chair seats; also known as Shaker tape.
Molding: Decorative strips of wood used to embellish a piece of furniture.
Mortise: A hole cut into a piece of wood to receive a tenon.
Mortise-and-tenon joint: A joinery technique in which a projecting tenon cut in one board fits into a matching hole, or mortise, in another.
Mullion: A slim vertical member dividing sections of a frame; also known as a muntin.
Panel-raising plane: A hand plane with an angled sole used to bevel the sides of a panel in frame-and-panel construction.
Pilot hole: A hole drilled into a work-piece to prevent splitting when a screw is driven; usually made slightly smaller than the threaded section of the screw.
Pilot bearing: A free-spinning metal collar on a piloted router bit that follows the edge of a workpiece or a template to guide the bit during a cut.
Pommel: The square section left on a turned furniture leg; allows room for mortises needed to receive rails.
Push block or stick: A device used to feed a workpiece into a blade or cutter to protect the operator's fingers.
Quartersawn lumber: Wood sawn so the wide surfaces intersect the growth rings at angles between 45° and 90°; also known as vertical-grained lumber when referring to softwood.
Rabbet joint: A method of joining wood in which the end or edge of one workpiece fits into a channel, or rabbet, cut along the edge or end of another workpiece.
Rail: In a table, the rails join the legs and support the top; in a chair, one of four boards that frame the seat. Also the horizontal member of a frame-and-panel assembly. See stile.
Raised panel: In frame-and-panel construction, a cabinet or door panel with a bevel cut around its edges, a decorative effect that "raises" the center and allows the panel to fit into the groove cut in the frame.
Rake angle: The angle at which a chair leg deviates from the vertical when viewed from the side of the chair; see splay angle.
Rocker: The curved runners of a rocking chair joined to the chair legs.
Roughing gouge: A turning tool usually used to shape a square blank into a cylinder.
Rule joint: A pivoting joint commonly used in drop-leaf tables; features mating convex and concave profiles cut into the edges of the table leaf and top.
Shoulder: In a mortise-and-tenon joint, the part of the tenon that is perpendicular to the cheek.
Sliding dovetail joint: Similar to a tongue-and-groove joint, except the slide, shaped like the pin of a dovetail joint, is held by a mating groove.
Splay angle: The angle at which a chair leg deviates from the vertical when viewed from the front of the chair; see rake angle.
Stile: The vertical member of a frame-and-panel assembly. See rail.
Stopped dado: A dado that stops before crossing the full width or thickness of a workpiece.
Story pole: A shop-made measuring gauge used to determine the dimensions and the location of the joints in a project, such as a chair.
Tearout: The tendency of a blade or cutter to tear wood fibers.
Template: A pattern used to guide a tool in reproducing identical copies of a piece.
Tenon: A protrusion from the end of a workpiece that fits into a mortise.
Through dovetail joint: A method of joining wood by means of interlocking pins and tails, which pass entirely through the mating piece.
Tongue-and-groove joint: A joinery method featuring a protrusion from the edge or end of one board that fits into the groove of another.
Trestle: In a trestle table, a board running along the underside of the top to which the legs are attached.
Wood button: A small, square-shaped block with a rabbet at one end that fits into a groove; used to secure the top of a piece of furniture.
Wood movement: The shrinking or swelling of wood in reaction to changes in relative humidity.
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Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.