Glossary

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cabinet: A box shaped form, either free standing or as a piece of furniture or built into or attached to a wall.

cabinet face: This is the flat face frame on the front of standard cabinets. The cabinet doors mount onto this frame. On 32mm cabinets, there is no face frame, only the edge of the boxes, which become the cabinet face.

cabinet planer: See planer or roughing planer.

caking: The formation of a cake of varnish or lacquer on the rubbing pad during the rubbing operation. Caused by improperly dried varnish, not enough lubricant, too much pressure on the rubbing pad, inferior pumice, dirt in the varnish surface and similar causes.

calibration: The process of establishing an accurate relationship between a measuring device and the unit it is to measure by comparing the reading of the device to a standard of known high accuracy, and adjusting the device to be within some given tolerance of closen

calico: A wood that has been selected to contain both heartwood and sapwood in the same side of the wood.

calipers: A measuring tool for making accurate inside or outside measurements.

cambium: the growing part of the tree, just underneath the bark, and outside the sapwood. It is the cambium that forms new sapwood on the inner side and new bark on the outside each year. Cambium is several cell layers thick during the growing season and one cell

cant: The square or rectangular portion of the log left after the rounded slab or outside portion of a log is cut off by the sawyer. Used for further production of lumber by resawing, usually at right angles to the widest face.

carbide: A hard, sharp carbon/iron material that can keep a sharp edge for a long time when working on wood. Resists dulling in high speed applications where high temperatures cause loss of temper.

carbide tip: A piece of sharpened carbide that is brazed to the ends or edges of cutting tools such as the teeth of a saw blade or the edge of a cutting tool.

carcass: The case or box of a piece of furniture which will eventually receive a top, drawers, doors, edging, mouldings etc.

case hardening: A term applied to dry lumber that has residual compressive stresses in the area of the outer zone of the board and tensile stresses in the inner core area. This is typically a drying defect but can also occur due to reaction wood. Can cause planks to bind

casing: The exposed moulding around the inside or outside of a window or door.

catalyst: Chemically an ingredient added to a product to provide additional performance characteristics, such as faster drying, chemical resistance, or increased hardness of the finish. Catalyst itself is not actively involved in, or consumed by the process.

catalyzed lacquer: A modified nitro-cellulose based coating with a catalyst added for enhanced performance.

catalyzed vinyl: A catalyzed coating with a vinyl resin base. Extremely tough and resistant to most chemicals.

cathedral grain: A grain appearance characterized by a series of inverted “V” or “U” shaped patters common in plain-sawn lumber.

cat’s paw: A type of cluster burl where there is an isolated group of small eyes that fall more or less in the shape of a cat’s paw.

cell: The general term for the smallest microscopic structure of plant tissue, including wood fibers.

cell wall: The enclosing membrane of a cell.

cellulose: The structural component of the primary cell wall of all green plants including trees. It is 100% sugar molecules. Wood is normally 50% cellulose, 20% hemi-cellulose, 25% lignin, and 5% gum, resins, and extractives.

center rail(s): Horizontal frame parts placed between the top rail and the bottom rail that connects two styles. Center rails are normally straight and have rail sticking machined top and bottom edges and both ends coped. Center rails are used where there is more than on

center style(s): Vertical frame parts which separate multiple panels and have style sticking machined on both edges.

central: Lumber that is logged from a region that includes eastern Nebraska, eastern Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

chair rail: A strip of moulding that is placed horizontally along a wall at about waist height. Original purpose was to protect walls from damage from chair backs, but now is mostly decorative.

chalking: The condition which occurs when a loose powder derived from the film itself, is formed on the surface of a dried film or just beneath the surface. Caused by a disintegration of the binder portion of the film. Can be detected by rubbing the film with a fin

chamfer: A flat surface created by slicing off the edge or corner of a piece of wood- usually at 45 degree angle. Also see bevel.

chamfered: Having the edges where two surfaces meet removed lengthwise at an angle.

character: A loosely defined term meaning having interesting figure.

character marks: Naturally occurring marks in the wood such as burls, flags, and flecks that give a unique appearance.

chatoyancy: The property whereby something reflects light differently depending on the viewing angle. Example would be quartered white oak- the ray flakes look different as you change viewing angles.

chatter: A rapid, usually noisy vibration of a work piece due to interaction with a moving tool, or of the tool edge due to interaction with the work piece. Frequently caused by insufficient hold-down pressure while cutting.

chatter marks: Consistent machining imperfections across the grain of the wood varying from 1/16 “ to 1/4” apart, Caused by machine set up, feed speeds, hold-down pressure- slight, closely spaced indentations causing a ripple effect on the surface of wood.

check: A lengthwise separation of the wood that usually extends across or through the annual growth rings (parallel to the grain) and commonly results from stress set up during air drying or kiln drying, environmental conditions during storage or after installa

checking: Small slits running parallel to grain of wood, caused chiefly by strains produced in seasoning.

chemical fastener: A chemical system, usually an adhesive that is designed to permanently bond the wood flooring to the subfloor.

chemical resistance: The ability of a finishing agent to resist damage from chemicals such as solvents, adhesives, and everyday spills from coffee, soft drinks etc.

chemical stain: A chemical discoloration of wood that is believed to be caused by the concentration and modification of extractives. This may occur as part of the tree growth or may occur as a drying defect in kiln drying due to heat of drying process.

chip: A small portion of solid material removed by mechanical action. Example: wood chips created by moulder knives. Also- a small section of finishing agent that came off due to finish being struck by hard object.

chip marks: Tiny indentations in the surface of the plank caused by small chips of wood being forced into the surface during the process of planning or moulding. May be caused by insufficient dust collection

chip out: Wood that is chipped off the edge of a piece as the cutting edge exits the wood surface.

chipping: The breaking away of a small portion of the paint film due to its inability to flex under the impact or with the thermal expansion and contraction of the substrate. It is usually caused by the use of too brittle a film or poor adhesion to the base materia

chlorophyll: A green pigment found in most plants. It is responsible for the absorption of light, allowing photosynthesis to occur.

circular saw: Any power saw with a circular blade.

circular saw blade: A flat round saw blade having teeth on its perimeter. The number of teeth in the circumference of the blade will vary greatly depending on the diameter of the blade and it’s intended use.

circular sawn: Refers to a piece of lumber that was cut by a circular saw and which therefore has curved saw blade tooth marking on the face, compare to band sawn.

clean & dry: The desired condition of a surface prior to finishing; free of oil, grease, wax, moisture, and other contaminates that may affect the adhesion of a finishing agent or adhesive.

clear: No knots on the face- small minor defects may be allowed on back face. An appearance grade even higher than FAS grade.

clear vertical grain: CVG-a lumber grading term that means no knots (clear), and with annual growth rings perpendicular to the face of the plank(vertical grain) Example: quarter sawn.

cleat: A barbed fastener commonly used as a mechanical device to fasten hardwood flooring.

climb cut: A cut made in the opposite direction from normal: stock is feed into the tool in the same direction as the rotation of the blade. Avoids some chip out, but can be VERY DANGEROUS as control of piece may be lost.

close grain: Wood with narrow growth rings. This is normally the result of slow growth, typically in northern woods. These woods normally have tight or fine grain such as Birch, maple, cherry, N. Poplar, Walnut , white oak.

close grain hardwood: Such as Cherry, Maple, Birch, and yellow poplar are “diffuse-porous” species. Most North American diffuse-porous woods have small dense pores resulting in less distinct figure and grain. Some tropical diffuse-porous species (e.g. Mahogany) have rather lar

closed staircase: A traditional staircase in which there are both treads and risers.

cloudiness: The lack of clarity or transparency in paint or varnish film.

coalescence: The fusing together of a latex film upon evaporation of water.

coat: A single layer of a finishing agent, or the act of applying a single layer of a finishing agent to a surface.

coating: Any material applied to the surface leaving a protective layer on that surface.

coating system: A number of coats of finishing agents applied separately and in a predetermined order, at suitable intervals to allow for drying and curing.

cob webbing: An effect where there is too rapid drying of a coating, causing the surface to crack, sometimes in a pattern that resembles a spider web. the tendency of a sprayed finish to form strings or strands rather than droplets as it leaves the gun. It may be cau

code: Rules set down by various governing agencies and specify minimally acceptable building practices.

cohesion: The form of attraction by which the particles of a body are united throughout the system.

cold checking: Checks or cracks which appear in the dried film when it is subjected to repeated sudden and appreciable reductions in temperature. In furniture, cold checks usually take the form of parallel lines more or less at right angles to the direction of the grain

color change: Visual changes in the color of the wood species caused by exposure to light, deprivation of light and air, or some chemical reaction.

color circle: Aame as color wheel.

color fast: Coloring that is not significantly affected by exposure to sunlight.

color float: When one or more colors, different from the original color, appear on the surface after the finishing material has been applied, it is said to have color float. Caused by imperfect wetting of the pigment particles, by too great differences of specific gr

color match:

color retention: The ability to retain its original color during weathering or chemical exposure.

color standards: A set of standardized color samples for comparing and classifying the color of oils, resins, varnishes, lacquers, paints or other finishing materials or their ingredients.

color variations: all woods exhibit variation in color within a single species due to growing conditions, soil composition, variation in early and late wood etc.

color wheel: An organization of color hues around a circle, showing relationships between colors considered to be primary colors, secondary colors, complementary colors etc.

colorant: A dye, pigment or other agent used to impart a color to something.

comb grain: Describes rift cut or quarter sawn lumber/ veneer that has exceptionally straight, closely spaced grain lines resembling the appearance of long strands of neatly combed straight hair.

combustible: Capable of being set on fire.

common: A lumber grade that allows a percentage of obvious defects such as knots. NHLA describes rules for #1 Common grade of hardwoods.

common name: A local name given to a wood.

compartment kiln: A kiln in which all the lumber is put in at one time as a single unit. It is designed so that at any given time the temperature and relative humidity is uniform throughout.

compatibility: the ability of two or more materials to mix with each other without separation or chemical reaction.

complementary colors: Pairs of colors that are of opposite hue.

composite material: Any material formed artificially by the combination of two or more other materials. Plywood, MDF, OSB.

compression wood: A type of reaction wood that typically occurs in softwood trees on the lower side of a bent tree or branch. It is more dense, but has less shear strength, shrinks along the grain more and has wider late wood.

compression-set: Boards being subjected to a substantial increase in moisture while being restrained from swelling by adjacent boards, resulting in a permanent narrowing of the boards due to edges of the board being crushed. Followed by lower moisture and contraction that

concave: An inward curving shape.

conditioning: The exposure of wood to an atmosphere of similar temperature and relative humidity to that in which it will be installed to minimize movement in service.

conifer: A botanical term for trees that produce seeds in cones and that have needle-shaped or scale like leaves. Such trees are the source of softwood as opposed to deciduous trees that are the source of hardwood.

continual flow corner: Also known as an integral corner. A border designed so that the pattern continues through the corner uninterrupted.

contrasting colors: obviously different from each other- separated from each other by at least 3 spots on a color wheel

conversion varnish: A catalyzed alkyd based coating that is tough and resistant to household chemicals.

convex: An outward curving shape.

corbel: A triangular piece of wood attached at the top to a vertical member for extra supporting area for a horizontally supported load at the top of the vertical member.

corner block: Cabinet door frame, decorative blocks added to the inside corners of a straight door frame. They can be shaped like a straight 45 degree angle or radius, and be installed in one, two or all corners of the frame. In a floor, border element designed to com

course grain: Rapid growth wood with wide growth rings. Typical of southern woods. Usually have more open grain example: Ash, Red Oak, Hickory.

cove: A semicircular, oval or “U” shaped concave depression along the length of a strip of moulding.

coverage: Hiding power of a paint usually expressed in square feet per gallon.

cracking: Splitting of a paint film usually as a result of aging.

cratering: The formation of small depressions in a finish sometimes called “fish eye”. Often caused by the contamination of the finish material or the substrate with silicone, oil or other substances.

crawling: The tendency of a liquid to draw up into drops or globules as a result of abnormally high degree of surface tension.

crazing: The appearance of minute, interfacing cracks or checks on the surface of a dried film or finishing material, due to unequal contraction in drying or cooling.

creep: The ability of an adhesive to allow movement of a joint over time.

crinkling: Descriptive of the shriveling or crinkling of the fatty or thick edge of the dried film of finishing material.

crocking: When the color rubs off on the clothing, especially when wet, the finishing material is said to crock.

crook: A drying defect in which the board remains flat, but the ends move away from the center. The distortion of a board in which there is a deviation, in a direction perpendicular to the edge from a straight line from end to end of the piece.

cross cut: To cut across the grain of wood.

cross directed: Laying of material perpendicular to the material below it.

cross fire: A general term applied to all various types of figure markings in wood that run across the grain and which are generally caused by interlocked grain, such as mottle, curly and fiddle back.

cross grain: Description of wood in which fibers do not run parallel to the long edge of the piece.

crown moulding: A moulding that is at the juncture of a wall and ceiling.

crowning: A convex or crowned condition or appearance of individual strips with the center of the strip higher than the edges ( opposite of cupping). While possible to occur from excessive moisture, more likely to occur when previously cupped floor is sanded before

cup: The distortion of a board that deviates flat wise from a straight line across the board.

cupping: A concave or dished appearance of individual strips with the edges above the center (opposite of crowning) Usually results from excessive moisture on the bottom side of flooring. More subtle cupping caused by lack of proper acclimation- permanent.

cure: the process by which a finish is converted from the liquid to solid state. To change the properties of an adhesive by chemical reaction and thereby develop maximum strength. Term applies to glue down application of flooring.

curing: The complete drying of a finish to the ultimate development of its properties.

curing agent: A hardener or activator added to a finishing agent are adhesive to cause or enhance the curing process.

curing time: The time it takes for an adhesive to set.

curl: The condition of planks that exhibit the lumber defect known as bow.

curly figure: Distortions in grain direction reflect light differently along the length of the board, creating an appearance of undulating waves known as curly figure.

curly grain: Synonymous with wavy grain.

curtaining: A broad ridge of sagging finishing agent on a vertical surface resembling the shape of a draped curtain most seen with paint.

custom floors: Wood Floors that are made to order. Complete flexibility is allowed for design, species, grade etc.

cut: A path made in a work piece by a blade.

cut type: The type of cut made in a log to produce boards and planks. Ex. Back cut, bastard cut, crown cut, flat cut, plain sawn, quarter cut, quarter sawn, rift cut, rotary cut, through and through, etc.

cutoff saw: any saw used to cut off the end of a board.

cutter burn: synonymous with machine burn.

cutting: The process of using an edged tool to separate a piece of material into two or more pieces.

cutting allowance: When estimating the amount of flooring to be ordered, the extra amount needed to allow installers to make cuts as needed. This should not be confused as waste.

cutting angle: The angular orientation between the cutting edge and the surface it is cutting.

cutting unit: In NHLA rules, this generally refers to a piece of wood 1” square x 12” long or the equivalent 12 square inches.