December 1, 2023
Terms Used in Carpentry

Technical Terms Used in Carpentry

Technical Terms Used in Carpentry

Carpentry is a skilled trade that requires a deep understanding of various tools, materials, and techniques. Whether you are a professional carpenter, it is important to familiarize yourself with the technical terms used in this field. In this article, we will explore technical terms used in carpentry.

1. Chamfering

Chamfering is the process of beveling or cutting an edge or corner of a wooden piece. It is often done to remove sharp edges and give a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

2. Planning

Planning is the process of smoothing and shaping a wooden surface using a hand tool called a plane. It is commonly used to achieve a flat and even surface.

3. Plank

A plank refers to a long, flat piece of timber that is used in carpentry. It is often used as a building material for constructing floors, walls, and other structural elements.

4. Rebating

Rebating, also known as rabbeting, is the process of cutting a groove or channel along the edge of a wooden piece. It is commonly used to join two pieces of wood together.

5. Housing

Housing refers to a rectangular recess or groove made in a wooden piece to accommodate another piece of wood. It is commonly used in joinery to create strong and secure connections.

6. Scribing

Scribing is the process of fitting a wooden piece precisely against an irregular or uneven surface. It involves tracing the contours of the surface onto the wood and carefully cutting or shaping it to achieve a perfect fit.

7. Seasoning

Seasoning is the process of drying and stabilizing wood to reduce moisture content. It is crucial to prevent warping and shrinking of the wood over time.

8. Mitring

Mitring, also known as mitering, is the process of cutting two pieces of wood at an angle to create a joint. It is commonly used in carpentry to create corners with a clean and seamless appearance.

9. Milled

Milled refers to wood that has been processed and shaped using a milling machine. It is often used to describe lumber that has been precisely cut and shaped for specific purposes.

10. Bead

A bead refers to a decorative molding or groove on the surface of a wooden piece. It is commonly used to add visual interest and enhance the overall aesthetics of a carpentry project.

11. Batten

A batten is a narrow strip of wood used to provide structural support or to cover joints. It is often used in the construction of doors, windows, and fences.

12. Studding

Studding refers to the vertical wooden beams used in the framing of walls. These beams provide the structural support for the wall and help distribute the weight evenly.

13. Veneering

Veneering is the process of covering a solid wood surface with a thin layer of decorative wood. This technique is commonly used to enhance the appearance and durability of furniture.

14. Wain-Scot

Wain-Scot, also known as wainscoting, is a decorative paneling technique used on walls. It involves applying wooden panels to the lower half of a wall, giving it an elegant and timeless look.

15. Keying

Keying refers to the process of creating a groove or channel in wood to join two pieces together. This technique ensures a strong and secure connection between the components.

16. Dowelling

Dowelling involves inserting wooden pegs, known as dowels, into pre-drilled holes to join two pieces of wood. This technique is commonly used to reinforce joints and add stability to furniture.

17. Wedging

Wedging is the process of securing a loose component, such as a door or a window frame, by inserting a wedge-shaped piece of wood or other material. This technique helps eliminate gaps and ensures a tight fit.

18. Dressing A Screw

Dressing a screw involves embedding the head of a screw slightly below the surface of the wood, so it is flush with the surrounding material. This technique is often used for aesthetic purposes or to prevent the screw from snagging on objects.

19. Countersinking

Countersinking is the process of creating a conical hole in wood to accommodate the head of a screw. This technique allows the screw to sit flush with the surface, resulting in a clean and professional finish.

20. Haunch

A haunch is a term used to describe the part of a joint where one piece of wood is shaped to fit snugly into another. This technique is commonly used in the construction of doors, windows, and furniture.

21. Architrave

Architrave refers to the decorative moulding or trim that surrounds a door or window frame. It adds an elegant touch to the overall appearance of the structure.

22. Cleat

A cleat is a narrow strip of wood or metal that is used to secure or strengthen a joint. It is typically fastened across the grain of the wood.

23. Nosing

The nosing is the edge of a stair tread that extends beyond the riser. It provides additional support and prevents slips and falls.

24. Trenching

Trenching is a technique used to create a groove or channel in a piece of wood. It is often used to insert another piece of wood, such as a spline or tongue.

25. Grooving

Grooving is similar to trenching, but it is usually done along the length of a board. It is commonly used to create decorative patterns or to join two pieces of wood together.

26. Rebating

Rebating involves cutting a groove or recess along the edge of a piece of wood. It is often used to create a flush surface when joining two pieces together.

27. Sawing

Sawing refers to the process of cutting wood using a saw. There are various types of saws available for different purposes, such as crosscutting, ripping, and mitre cutting.

28. Arris Edge

An arris edge is a sharp edge formed by two surfaces meeting at an angle. It is commonly found on the corners of wooden structures.

29. Bevelled Edge

A bevelled edge is an edge that is sloped or angled. It is often used for decorative purposes or to create a smooth transition between two surfaces.

30. Rounded Edge

A rounded edge is an edge that has been curved or rounded off. It is commonly used for safety purposes, as it reduces the risk of injury from sharp corners.

31. Splayed Edge

A splayed edge refers to an edge that is angled or inclined. It is often used to create a visually appealing design or to improve the structural integrity of a joint.

32. Air Dried

Air drying is a process where wood is naturally dried by exposing it to the open air. This method allows the wood to lose moisture slowly, resulting in a more stable and durable material.

33. Arbor

The arbor refers to the shaft or spindle on a woodworking machine, such as a table saw or a circular saw. It holds the blade or cutting tool in place and allows for precise and controlled cuts.

34. Brad Awl

A brad awl is a small, pointed tool used for making holes or starting screws in wood. It is commonly used in woodworking for marking and starting pilot holes.

35. Barge Boards

Barge boards are the decorative boards installed on the gable ends of a roof. They not only provide support but also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the building.

36. Bench Dog

A bench dog, also known as a bench stop, is a peg-like device used to hold workpieces in place on a workbench. It prevents the material from moving during the woodworking process, allowing for more accurate and controlled cuts.

37. Biscuit Jointer

A biscuit jointer, also referred to as a plate joiner, is a power tool used to create biscuit joints. It cuts a crescent-shaped hole in the mating edges of two pieces of wood, allowing for the insertion of a biscuit, which strengthens the joint.

38. Bisect an Angle

To bisect an angle means to divide it into two equal angles. This technique is often used in carpentry for creating precise joints and angles.

39. Block Plane

A block plane is a handheld woodworking tool used for shaping and smoothing wood surfaces. It has a low-angle blade that allows for easy removal of material and achieving a smooth finish.

40. Brace and Bit

A brace and bit is a traditional hand tool used for drilling holes in wood. It consists of a crank-shaped handle (brace) and a removable drill bit (bit). This tool offers more control and precision compared to modern power drills.

41. Calliper

Calliper is a measuring tool used in carpentry to accurately measure the thickness or diameter of objects. It consists of two arms, one fixed and one movable, with a scale or dial to provide precise measurements. Carpenters use callipers to ensure precise cuts and fittings.

42. Carcassing

Carcassing refers to the structural framework of a wooden structure. It includes the beams, joists, and studs that form the skeleton of a building. Carpenters use carcassing to provide support and stability to the overall structure.

43. Combination Square

A combination square is a versatile measuring tool used in carpentry. It consists of a ruler and a 90-degree angle, allowing carpenters to accurately measure and mark right angles, depths, and distances. It is an essential tool for ensuring precise and square cuts.

44. Compass

A compass is a drafting tool used in carpentry to draw circles or arcs. It consists of two adjustable arms, one with a sharp point and the other with a pencil or pen. Carpenters use a compass to mark curves, circles, or rounded edges on wood.

45. Cupping

Cupping refers to the deformation of wood due to uneven moisture content. It occurs when one face of the wood board becomes concave or dished. Carpenters need to be aware of cupping as it can affect the stability and appearance of the finished project.

46. Dressed Size

Dressed size refers to the dimensions of a piece of lumber after it has been planed and smoothed. It is the actual size of the wood that carpenters use for their projects. Dressed size is important for accurate measurements and fittings.

47. Finger Joint

A finger joint is a type of joint used in carpentry to connect two pieces of wood end-to-end. It involves interlocking rectangular projections, resembling interlocking fingers. Finger joints provide strength and stability to the jointed pieces.

48. Hardboard

Hardboard is a type of engineered wood product made from compressed wood fibers. It is smooth, dense, and durable, making it suitable for various carpentry applications. Carpenters use hardboard for cabinet backing, furniture construction, and other interior projects.

49. Hardwood

Hardwood refers to wood from deciduous trees, such as oak, maple, or walnut. It is known for its durability, strength, and natural beauty. Carpenters often use hardwood for high-quality furniture, flooring, and decorative elements.

50. Hinge

A hinge is a mechanical device used to connect two objects and allow them to pivot or rotate. Carpenters use hinges to attach doors, cabinets, and other movable parts in carpentry projects. Hinges come in various sizes and types, depending on the specific application.

51. Jig

A jig is a specialized tool or fixture used in carpentry to guide and control the movement of a cutting tool. It helps carpenters achieve accurate and repeatable cuts or shaping. Jigs are particularly useful for complex or intricate woodworking tasks.


These are just a few of the many technical terms used in carpentry. By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you will be able to communicate more effectively and understand the various processes involved in this skilled trade. Whether you are embarking on a woodworking project or simply interested in learning more about carpentry, having a good grasp of these technical terms will undoubtedly enhance your knowledge and skills in this field.

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FAQs on Technical Terms Used in Carpentry

Carpentry is a skilled trade that requires knowledge of various technical terms. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced carpenter, it is essential to understand these terms to communicate effectively and ensure precision in your work. In this article, we will answer some frequently asked questions about technical terms used in carpentry.

1. What is a miter joint?

A miter joint is a type of joint that is formed by joining two pieces of wood together at an angle, typically 45 degrees. This joint is commonly used in the construction of frames, moldings, and corners.

2. What is a dado?

A dado is a slot or groove cut into a piece of wood to receive another piece of wood. It is commonly used to join shelves to the sides of a bookcase or cabinet.

3. What is a rabbet joint?

A rabbet joint is a groove cut into the edge of a piece of wood to receive another piece of wood. It is commonly used to join the back panel to the sides of a cabinet or drawer.

4. What is a mortise and tenon joint?

A mortise and tenon joint is a traditional woodworking joint that involves cutting a square or rectangular hole (mortise) into one piece of wood and cutting a corresponding projection (tenon) on another piece of wood to fit into the mortise. This joint is known for its strength and is commonly used in furniture construction.

5. What is a dovetail joint?

A dovetail joint is a type of joint that is known for its strength and durability. It is formed by interlocking wedge-shaped tails on one piece of wood with corresponding notches on another piece of wood. This joint is commonly used in drawer construction.

6. What is a bevel cut?

A bevel cut is an angled cut made across the edge or surface of a piece of wood. It is commonly used to create angled edges or joints, such as for making miter joints.

7. What is a cope cut?

A cope cut is a type of cut made on the end of a piece of wood to fit it against another piece of wood with a matching profile. It is commonly used in trim carpentry to create seamless joints between moldings.

Er. Thalib Mushtaq Tantary

My name is Er. Thalib Mushtaq Tantry and I am the founder of this very site. I am a MBA and civil engineering student and I love to help people get out of trouble they counter in their lives.

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