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Wood Explorer Glossary

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Term Description
AAC (After arrival of car) Credit terms whereby the allowable days to make payment are determined by the arrival date, not the shipment date, of the car.
AAT (After arrival of truck) Credit terms whereby the allowable days to make payment are determined by the arrival date, not the shipment date, of the truck.
Abutment The support structure at either end of an arch or bridge. The intermediary supports are called piers.
Across the grain The direction at right angles to the length of the fibres and other longitudinal elements of the wood.
ADF (After deducting freight) A credit term meaning that the freight portion of an invoiced amount is not subject to a discount.
Adhesive A substance used to bond two surfaces together.
Adhesive A substance that is capable of bonding two materials together by surface attachment. It includes cements, mucilage, paste, and glue.
ADI (After date of invoice) A credit term meaning that the allowable days to make payment are determined by the date of the invoice, not the shipment date or arrival date of the material.
Adult Wood Wood which characteristically has relatively constant cell size, well-developed structural patterns, and stable physical behavior; also called mature wood.
Afforestation Establishment of forest crops by artificial methods, such as planting or sowing on land where trees have never grown.
Age class Any interval into which the age range of trees, forests, stands or forest types is divided for classification and use. Forest inventories commonly group trees into 20-year age class groups.
Air dried Seasoned by exposure to the elements, as opposed to being dried in a kiln.
Air-dried Lumber or other wood products that have been either dried by exposure to natural atmospheric conditions outdoors or in an unheated shed or dried to equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere. Moisture content of air-dried wood fiber depends on relative humidity, temperature, and length of drying period. Also referred to as air seasoned and contrasts with kiln-dried (KD) lumber.
Air-dried lumber Lumber that was dried, usually outside, to an equilibrium moisture content with the air it was exposed to.
Air-dried timber Timber dried by exposure to air in a yard or shed, without artificial heat (also see seasoning).
Allowable cut The amount of wood that can be removed from a landowner's property during a certain time span, without exceeding the net growth during that same time on the property.
Along the grain The direction parallel with the length of the fibres and other longitudinal elements of the wood.
Alternate top bevel with raker (ATB/R) A design for a circular saw blade where four alternately beveled teeth are followed by a raker too to remove debris from the cut.
Anchor bolt A device for connecting timber members to concrete or masonry
anisotropic Exhibiting different properties when measured along its different axes.
Annual Growth Layer of wood developed by a tree during a given year; same as annual or seasonal increment.
Annual growth rings The layer of growth that a tree puts on in one year. The annual growth rings can be seen in the end grain of lumber.
Appearance grades High line regular board and dimension grades that include tighter restrictions on certain appearance characteristics, particularly wane.
Arbor A shaft, driven by the tool's motor that turns blades or other cutting tools.
Arris The sharp intersection of two surfaces, eg. The face and edge of a piece of wood .
Back saw A short rectangular saw with fine teeth and a rigid "spine" along the top of the blade. A backsaw is used for fine joinery work such as cutting dovetail joints. Also see Dozuki.
Back sawn timber Timber sawn so that the growth rings are inclined at less than 45 degrees to the wide face.
Backcut Final cut in felling a tree. Made on the opposite side of the direction of fall
Backhaul A delivery by tractor-trailer originates from where the trailer is loaded, the load is delivered to a destination, then the trucker returns home. If the return is also a paying load to be delivered to the vicinity of the trucker's home, that load is called a backhaul. If the trucker returns home empty, that run is called a "deadhead."
Back to back (order) A trading term referring to an order in which both the buy side and the sell side occur simultaneously.
Band sawmill An evolution in sawmill technology that uses a thinner band saw blade (less kerf therefore less sawdust waste) than a circular saw. A bandsaw also has teeth on both sides that allows cuts to be made in two directions instead of just one, improving efficiency and productivity.
Bark Composed of inner living bark and outer dead bark, it consists of tissues in the cylindrical axis of a tree outside the cambium.
Bark The outer protective layer of the tree. Severely damaged bark on a tree is a defect that can lower the value of the its logs. At the sawmill, logs are first debarked, then slabs are cut off leaving a rectangular or square cant to be cut into lumber. There are two main types of debarkers: Rosserhead and Ring debarkers. Before raw bark is sold as bark mulch, it is ground in a tub grinder (hammermill) to give it the proper texture and consistency. Bark quality is a function of color.
Bark The outermost, protective layer, of a tree composed of dead cork and other elements.
Basal area Cross sectional area of a tree, in square feet, measured at breast height. Used as a method of measuring the volume of timber in a given stand
Basic silviculture 1. An administrative term describing the the practices necessary to establish regeneration of the desired species at specified densities and stocking, free from competing vegetation, and within a certain time limit. ;2. Silvicultural activities required by law. See also intensive silviculture.
Bead A small rounded, raised profile, routed along the edge of a board.
Beam Structural member, other than a triangulated frame, which supports load primarily by its internal resistance to bending.
Beam A structural member that supports a transversely applied load.
Beam Any framing member placed to support a load. Also called a girder.
Bearer A sub floor timber beam placed across piers or stringers and supporting floor joists
Bench Dog A metal or wooden peg that fits into a hole in a workbench and is used to hold a workpiece in place. The peg can be round or square and sometimes fitted with special springs to hold them in place.
Bending Strength A measure of the resistance of wood to an applied bending stress which is a combination of three primary stresses, i.e., compressive, tensile, and shear stresses.
Best Management Practices (BMP) A series of forest practices thought to be the best possible for a specific region and forest type. BMP are highly promoted by the American Forest and Paper Association's Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
Bevel Any angle not at 90 degrees. Also, a tool for marking such an angle.
Bevel cut An angled cut through a board.
Big box Large, warehouse-type lumber and building material stores catering to do-it-yourself (DIY) shoppers. Home Depot and Lowes are examples.
Biodeterioration The breaking down of timber by natural or biological agents such as fungi and insects.
Biomass Total woody material in a forest. Refers to both merchantable material and material left following a conventional logging operation. In the broad sense, all of the organic material on a given area; in the narrow sense, burnable vegetation to be used for fuel in a combustion system
Biomass boiler Biomass boilers burn bark, sander dust and other wood-related scrap not usable in product production. Also called "hogged fuel" boilers, biomass boilers make steam and heat for mill use.
Bird's-mouth The notch in a rafter that rests on the top plate of a wall.
Birds eye Figure on the surface of wood that has numerous rounded areas resembling small eyes.
Birds-eye figure A figure on wood, usually maple and a few other species. The figure is composed of many small BB size rounded areas resembling a birds eye. The figuring is most common on plain and rotary sawn lumber.
Biscuit Joint A butt joint that is reinforced with a football shaped "biscuit". The biscuits are usually made from compressed pieces of wood, usually birch. When a biscuit comes into contact with glue in the joint it swells creating a tighter joint. Also called a Plate Joint.
Blow down Tree or trees felled by wind. Also known as windfall
Blue stain A fungus discoloration, mostly bluish, but somtimes grayish, blackish, or brownish in appearance; found mostly in sapwood, common in pines and in the warmer months of summer. At one time this was thought to be a serious defect; now it is used as high-quality interior finish
Blunting Effect The effect of a timber on the performance of a machine when the timber is processed.
Board 1. A piece of sawn, hewn, or dressed timber of greater width than thickness. Usually 19 mm to 38 mm thick and 75 mm or more wide. 2. Manufactured products supplied as rigid or semi-rigid sheets, eg. Fibreboard and particle boards.
Board foot The common volumetric unit of measure in the lumber industry, equivalent to a piece of wood 1Ó thick, 12Ó wide, and 1Ó long.
Board Foot A unit of measurement of lumber represented by a board which is 1 foot long, 12 inches wide, and 1 inch thick or its metric equivalent. In practice, the board foot calculation for lumber 1 inch or more in thickness is based on its nominal thickness and width and the actual length.
Board foot A volume of lumber that measures 1" x 12" x 12". The number of board feet in a log is estimated using one of three log scales: Scribner, Doyle, or International Rule. The standard used in Massachusetts is the International Rule. The actual yield of a log after sawn into lumber is often greater than the estimated yield. Both logs and lumber are sold by the thousand board feet or MBF.
Board Foot - Related tip and Formula A form of wood measurement, where one board foot equals the volume of a board 1 inch thick, 12 inches wide, and 12 inches long.
Board measure A term indicating that the unit of measure being used is the board foot.
Bole wood The lower section of the trunk of a tree from the ground to the first limb or branch. Some loggers and whole tree operations delimb trees leaving only the bole or stem portion of the tree. If chipped in a whole tree chipper, the result a "cleaner" chip with fewer leaves, sticks, or pine needles. Tree stem that has roughly grown to a substantial thickness, capable of yielding sawtimber, veneer logs, or large poles
Bolt Short logs to be sawn for lumber or used for veneer. Also: 1) Any short log, as a pulpwood bolt or pulpwood stick; 2) Any short stick, generally between 2 and 8 feet long; 3) Also referred to as a block.
Bone-dry ton (BDT) Wood pulp or residue that weigh 2,000 pounds at zero percent moisture content. Also known as an ovendry ton
Bookmatch A term in veneering, where successive pieces of veneer from a flitch are arranged side by side. A properly done bookmatch will resemble a mirror image of the opposite side.
BoreÊ The hole for the arbor in a circular saw blade.
Botanical name The botanical names of species and their relationship to trade names are defined in AS 2543, Nomenclature of Australian Timbers and AS 1148, Nomenclature of Commercial Timbers imported into Australia.
Bound moisture Moisture which is closely bound to the cell wall constituents of wood.
Bow A curvature in the longitudinal direction of a board causing the wide face to move away from a flat plane.
Bow A lumber defect referring to deviation from a straight line drawn end to end along the wide face of a piece of lumber.
Bow - Related Article A defective piece of lumber that has warped along its length.
Box beam A built-up beam with solid timber flanges (a) and plywood or wood-base panel product webs (b).
Box joint A corner joint made up of interlocking "fingers".
Bracing Secondary structural members that normally do not support gravity loads but are required to provide lateral stability to other structural members or to transfer horizontal loads to the supports.
Brad A small finishing nail up to 1" long.
Brashness A condition that causes some pieces of wood to break suddenly and completely with very little splintering. The break or failure usually occurs under comparatively small loads and deformations.
Bridging Bracing installed between floor joists to stiffen floor and distribute live loads. Also called cross-bridging.
British thermal unit (BTU) Measure of the amount of heat required to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. Amount of latent heat available to be released when a substance undergoes combustion.
Bucking Cutting a felled tree into shorter specified log lengths; rough cutting logs for length.
Bunch To gather trees or logs into small piles for subsequent skidding by other equipment. To assemble logs together to form a load for transport
burl 1) A hard, woody outgrowth on a tree, more or less rounded in form, usually resulting from the entwined growth of a cluster of buds. Such burls are the source of the highly figured burl veneers used for purely ornamental purposes. 2) In lumber or veneer, a localised severe distortion of the grain generally rounded in outline.
Burl Bulges and irregular growths that form on the trunks and roots of trees. Burls are highly sought after for the incredible veneer they yield.
Burl The source of the highly figured burl veneers used exclusively for ornamental purposes, it is a bulge formed on the trunk or branches of a tree by abnormal wood formation.
BurrÊ Related Article A raised ridge of metal used on a scraper to remove wood.
Butt Base of a tree. Large end of a log
Butt cut The first cut above the stump of a tree.
Butt joint An end joint formed by abutting the squared ends of two pieces.
Butt Joint A woodworking joint where the edges of two boards are placed against each other.
Butt log First log cut above the stump. Also known as butt cut.
Butt rot Decay or rot characteristically confined to the base or lower bole of a tree
Cabriole Leg - Related Article A leg used on Queen Anne furniture. The cabriole leg is characterized by graceful curves and a shape that resembles an animal leg.
Calender To make the surface of paper smooth by pressing it between steel rollers during manufacture.
Camber Intentional vertical curve built into a beam or truss to offset load deflection or to improve its appearance.
Cambium A thin layer of tissue between the bark and wood that repeatedly subdivides to form new wood and bark cells.
Cambium The layer of cells between the woody part of the tree (heartwood) and the bark. Division of cambium cells results in diamteter growth of the tree through formation of wood cells (xylem) and inner bark (phloem).
Cambium The live, actively growing, layer of a tree. The cambium is one cell thick and resides between the sapwood and the phloem. It repeatedly divides itself to form new wood and causes the tree to grow and expand.
Canopy The forest layer made up of the crowns of the tallest trees.
Cant 1. Log that is squared on two or more sides and to be sawn further. 2. A log is first debarked then the rounded slab or outside portion of the log is cut off by the sawyer. The remaining square or rectangular portion of the log is called a cant. Lumber is cut from the cant. The more pieces of lumber cut, the more sawdust (waste byproduct ) is produced, reducing the log yield of marktable board feet.
Carcase The body of a piece of furniture with a box like shape. (I.E. A kitchen cabinet)
Wood Explorer Glossary

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