Carpentry Resources and How-To Tips: Glossary

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[Also see our section on Wood and Carpentry As Related to Building and Construction Materials. It contains quick answers to terms and concepts you encounter when using wood products and craftsman techniques in Building and Construction]

balloon framing: building with continuous studs front sill to roof plate.

benchmark: reference mark on construction site for land measurements and elevations.

bias: angle between construction lines.

blank: piece of material to be cut or worked into finished item.

blind nailing: placing of nails where they will be hidden when unit is complete.

blueprint: architect's detailed drawings of construction plan in standardized form; working d rawings.

board foot: measure equal to 144 cubic inches of wood.

brick veneer: construction in which wood- framed building has layer of bricks as exterior siding.

building codes: local regulations for design and construction of buildings.

building permit: document issued by local government that grants the right to build.

built-up roof: roof of alternate lasers of building paper and asphalt with final gravel layer.

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carpenter: worker who builds large structures, especially of wood.

carpentry: work and trade of building structures with wood.

catwalk: narrow elevated bridge, especially temporary walkway around building site.

contractor: person who agrees to supply materials and do construction work for set price and hires subcontractors and laborers.

core: central layer of plywood sheet.

course: continuous row of bricks or shingles.

crossbands: layers of veneer glued at right an gles to form plywood.

crosscutting: cutting wood across the grain.

cross section: side view through construction, especially on drawings.

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d: symbol for penny, indicating nail size.

dado: groove cut perpendicular to wood grain.

dead load: permanent load, such as roof, on structure.

dimension lumber: surfaced softwood milled to standard sizes, used to frame buildings.

dressed size: size of lumber after drying and planing.

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elevation: drawing that shows design of e xterior walls; height of building part above established point.

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face nail: nail driven through board so that it is visible.

finish grade: elevation of ground relative to building after landscaping.

floor plan: detailed drawing that shows layout and dimensions of building interior as viewed from above.

foundation plan: detailed drawing of foundation that includes its dimensions and location of footings, piers, and walls.

framing: joining of wooden structural members as skeletal structure for building.

frostline: depth frost penetrates into earth.

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grade line: level at which ground intersects foundation of building.

growth ring: layer of wood developed during annual period of growth.

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half-timbered construction: exterior walls in which exposed heavy wood members are separated by masonry.

haunch: tapered end of tenon.

heartwood: hard, older wood at core of tree.

horse: support frame or stand with legs.

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identification index: stamp on plywood that indicates its quality.

impact insulation class: material's ability to resist transmission of impact noise.

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kerf: slot in wood formed by saw blade.

knocked-down: something delivered to job with parts cut to size but not assembled.

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live load: load on building structure, such as furniture, that may be moved or removed.

lumbermill: place in which logs are milled and dressed as lumber.

lumberyard: place with open areas and structures in which lumber is stored for sale.

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matched lumber: lumber with edges shaped as tongue-and-groove.

mil: measure of thickness equal to one thousandth of an inch (.0254 mm).

millwork: cutting, sizing, shaping, and planing of lumber and wood parts.

miter: cut piece of wood on 45-degree angle.

mockup: model of structure, often full-size.

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on center: measurement taken from center of one member to center of another.

out-of-plumb: not in proper vertical alignment.

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penny: designation of nail length, shown as d.

pitch: ratio of rise to span of roof.

platform framing: framing in which studs extend for one floor only and rest upon sub-floor of each story.

plot plan: drawing that shows size, slope, and location of structure on lot.

plumb: in true vertical position.

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quarter-sawed: designating lumber cut at 90-degree angle to tree's growth rings.

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rabbet: open groove cut into edge of board to form joint.

ripping: cutting wood in direction of grain.

rise: vertical height of stair.

roughing-in: installation of plumbing and electrical systems that will later be concealed by interior finishing.

run: total horizontal length, esp. of stairs.

R-value: measure of resistance of insulating material to heat flow.

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sapwood: light-colored wood located between heartwood and bark in tree.

sawhorse: rack with two slanting legs at each end, used to support wood being sawed.

scaffold: movable platform supported by frame or suspended by ropes to support workers and materials above ground.

scale: proportion of drawings or blueprints to actual structure, represented by ratio.

scribing: marking material to be cut to fit irregular surface.

shear: force producing opposite but parallel sliding motion in each of the contacting planes in a structural member.

slope: rise of roof in inches per foot of run.

sound-transmission class: measure of material's resistance to passage of airborne sound.

span: distance between two supporting members, esp. between exterior walls.

specifications: architect's detailed instructions not shown on blueprints or working drawings

subcontractor: person or company hired by contractor to do specialized tasks, such as plumbing or wiring.

superstructure: part of building above basement.

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toenail: drive nails at slant.

true: precisely or accurately formed, fitted, placed, or calibrated, especially to conform to pattern or form.

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warp: variation in wood board from flat plane.

weatherize: secure structure against cold or wind by adding insulation, siding, strips, or storm windows.

working drawings: complete set of drawings that shows all details of structure to be built; blueprints.

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[Also see our section on Wood and Carpentry As Related to Building and Construction Materials. It contains quick answers to terms and concepts you encounter when using wood products and craftsman techniques in Building and Construction]

This page was last modified on: Friday, 2016-12-30 19:00 PST