Glossary of Woodworking Terms

Arris: A arris is the term for a sharp edge on wood where two edges meet. It is common to sand this edge to make it less sharp.
Awl: This is a pointy tool used for marking or drilling a small hole.
Bevel: This is an angle on the edge of two meeting surfaces. On a piece of wood a bevel take the sharpness of the edge, on a chisel it allows the chisel to cut in nearer to surface.
Bind: This is where a saw blade jams in the cut or kerf it has made, this happens when the set of the saw teeth is incorrect.
Bit/cutter: A bit or cutter is a tool used in a spinning action such as a drill bit, a router cutter or a forstner bit.
Blade: The main metal part of a tool. In the case of a saw it is the part that has the teeth, for a hand plane it is the cutter with a sharp edge.
Chuck key: This it a cog type tool to help tighten the jaws of a chuck onto the shank of a tool.
Chuck: This is a device on a tool, a drill for example, that has teeth that expand and contract to hold the shank of a tool, in the case of a drill it will hold the drill bit.
Clamp/cramp: This is a device with adjustable jaws for holding things. They are commonly used to hold parts of a project together while glue is drying.
Claw: A claw on a hammer is the forked and curve shaped rear part of the head that is used to remove nails.
Clearance hole: This is a hole that is the outside diameter of the of the thread part of a screw, it will allow the screw to pass through it.
Dowel: Dowel is round wood and can be obtained in long lengths. When it is cut short it can be use as a jointing device to fit in matching holds in two pieces of wood to locate their position in relation to each other accurately.
Drill bit: This is a tool for cutting round holes. They come is a wide variety of sizes and feature a spiral flute along their body to assist the removal of waste wood.
Dry fit: This is a term used when checking to see if a joint fits together. It is dry because no glue is applied to the joint.
Dust mask: Safety protection for your breathing and is a mask that has pores that allow breathing but prevent fine dust passing through and into your lungs.
Ear defenders: Safety protection for the ears to reduce the noise that can be created by power tools. They can be large over the ear types or ear plugs that fit in the ear canal.
Flute: This is a recess feature that runs along the length of a round item. On a drill it is a spiral that clears the wood debris when cutting and a flute can also be cut along a round piece of wood as a decorative feature.
Grain: Is the fibrous structure of wood that mostly runs in one direction.
Grit: Grit is the size or abrasive used on sandpaper or other abrasive equipment such as a sharpening stone. The larger the number the coarser the abrasive.
Handle: Almost all tools have a handle and this is the part that is gripped with the hand to control the tool.
Hone: This is the process of sharpening the cutting edge of a tool
Imperial/English: This is an older British unit of measurement only used in the USA now and uses units in feet and inches.
Jaws: Many woodworking tools have jaws and they are the adjustable part that will close together to hold things between the jaws.
Joint: This is a mechanical device cut into wood to create strength when two or more pieces of wood need to be attached together.
Kerf: The kerf is the cut made by a saw in a piece of wood, its width is determined by the set of the saw.
Metric: This is a unit of measurement used by most of the world. It is a decimal type of measurement with meters, centimeters and millimeters as units
Nail: A nail is a small bar of metal with a head and a point, they are hammered into wood to hold pieces together.
Pare: These are fine cuts made by a chisel where extremely thin shavings are removed by it’s cutting edge.
Peen: The back part of a hammer head and is available is different shapes, ball peen for example.
Pilot hole: This is a hole that is the size of the inner diameter of the thread part of a screw, it will allow the thread of the screw to grip in the wood.
Pin/brad: A pin or brad is a very small nail.
Punch: This is a tool for hitting the head of a nail to recess it below the surface of wood. It has a thin tip and body to hold and a head to hit with a hammer.
Rule/ruler: This is a measuring device that will feature increments in either the metric or imperial system or both. They can be made of wood plastic or metal with metal being the preferred option for woodworking
Safety goggles/glasses: Safety protection for the eyes in the form of clear goggles and gasses made from a tough material that will prevent debris created by power tools from hitting your eyes
Sawing: The process of cutting wood with a saw, the sharp teeth sever the fibres of the wood and create a cut or kerf.
Screw: A screw is a rod of metal with a thread and a shaped head. A screwdriver is placed in the head and turned which makes the thread of the screw pull it into the wood. Screws are used to hold pieces of wood together or attach things to wood.
Seasoning: The process of drying wood and removing most of the natural moisture from when the tree is first felled.
Set: The set is the angle that a saw’s teeth are angled out at and a saw’s teeth are ‘set’ at opposite angles on alternate teeth, this gives the saw blade the clearance in needs to cut and not bind in the wood.
Shank: A shank is the part of a drill bit or any other bit that you insert into a drill, router or other tools that will accept a bit.
Square: This is a tool for measuring and marking right-angles and is also a term for expressing that two edges are at 90º to each other.
Teeth/TPI: Teeth on a saw are sized by TPI (teeth per inch) the greater the TPI the finer cut the saw will make.
Thread; This is the spiral feature of bolts and screws that mates with the thread in a bolt or wood to retain the bolt or screw.
Vice: This is a bench top tool for holding things steady when working on them, it features jaws to hold the item.
Wood filler: A type of paste, to repair damage, that comes in many colours so it can be matched to the wood it is applied to, and there are other types that can be stained. It is used to fill a hole or crack then sanded flush to the surface.