Glossary of Wood Words
S - Z
S2S: A lumber-industry abbreviation for "surfaced on two sides". These boards are planed on both faces to final thickness after milling and drying. Typical S2S Thicknesses (hardwoods):
- Nominal -- Actual
- 4/4 (1") -- 13/16"
- 5/4 (1-1/4") -- 1-1/16
- 6/4 (1-1/2") -- 1-5/16"
- 8/4 (2") -- 1-3/4"
S3S: An abbreviation for "surfaced on three sides". Here, boards get planed on both faces, and then straight-line ripped on one edge, shown right. Most hardwood sells as S3S or S2S.
S4S: An abbreviation for "surfaced on four sides". These boards get planed on both faces, and then ripped on both edges to make them parallel, shown above. Most often, this process produces "dimensional" lumber in standard sizes, such as 1x6, 2x4, and so forth. You'll find softwood construction lumber sold this way, as well as hardwoods in home centers.
Screw pocket: A hole drilled at an angle into a board or piece of sheet goods to allow it to be screwed to another piece of material.
Self-centering bit: A specialized drill bit designed to bore perfectly centered pilot holes for hinge-mounting screws, shown right. The bit uses a standard twist drill inside a retractable spring-loaded sleeve. A tapered end on the sleeve fits into the countersink on a hinge screw hole to automatically center the bit when you press the sleeve against the hinge. Commonly referred to as "Vix" bits (the brand name of the original version), self-centering bits come in various sizes to accommodate different screw gauges.
Set time: The amount of time it takes for glue in an assembly to dry or cure sufficiently for the clamps to be removed. Set time varies depending on temperature, glue type, and humidity. Use the following times as rough guidelines:
- Aliphatic resin (yellow) -- 30-60 min.
- Polyvinyl acetate (white) -- 30-65 min.
- Water-resistant (yellow) -- 60 min.
- Polyurethane -- 60 min.
- Epoxy -- Varies by type
- Liquid hide glue -- 60 min.
Note: Several manufacturers offer quick-set glues that achieve high tack (stickiness) just after application. Use these for assembling moldings and other difficult-to-clamp projects requiring hurry-up adhesion.
Shank hole: A hole drilled in a workpiece to receive the unthreaded portion of a wood screw's shank. The hole is just slightly larger than the shank diameter.
Slotting cutter: A router bit designed to groove the edges of boards for spline-joint assembly.
Softwood: Wood derived from needleleaf trees--spruce, pine, fir, and cedar, for example. Commonly known as conifers, these trees produce seeds encased in cones, and are also called gymnosperms. Softwood trees are almost always evergreen, retaining their needles year-round. Some softwoods, such as spruce, are soft, but others, such as ponderosa pine, are hard and remarkably strong.
Splitter: A thin vertical plate positioned directly behind a tablesaw blade to prevent the kerf from closing up and pinching the blade during a cutting operation. The splitter can be part of the saw's guard assembly or a separate device.
Spray-mount adhesive: An aerosol glue often used to adhere paper patterns to workpieces. Many types exist; for woodworking, choose the artist's variety, which temporarily bonds well and allows the pattern to peel away, shown right. Always spray the adhesive on the pattern, not the wood.
Squeeze-out: The small bead of glue that gets pushed out of a joint under clamping pressure. Remove this glue by wiping it away, being careful not to spread it, before the glue dries. Or, scrape it off using a chisel or other blade after the glue skins over.
Stile: A vertical member of a cabinet or door frame.
Stopblock: Commonly, this is a small block, clamped or temporarily-affixed to a fence or machine surface. It either holds a workpiece firmly in position, or limits the distance it can travel during machining operations, shown right. Stopblocks also can be attached to a workpiece to limit the movement of a tool, such as a router.
Straight-line ripping: A process for trueing one edge of a board that has no straight edge to work from. A piece of straight-edged lumber is attached along the length of the workpiece and run against the saw's rip fence.
Stretcher: A horizontal piece that connects the lower portions of the legs on a table or chair.
Synthetic steel wool: These flexible abrasive pads are made from thin plastic fibers impregnated with abrasive particles. The fibers are compressed together in a "non-woven" (random) pattern. These pads prove exceptionally useful for sanding woodworking projects, especially between coats of finish. The pads are often referred to as Scotch-Brite pads (the brand name of one such product).You can purchase them from woodworking suppliers in several grits, as shown, below, with their corresponding sandpaper grit or steel wool number.
Thickness planer: A machine used to reduce the thickness of boards, shown right. It features a horizontal rotating cutterhead equipped with knives that shave wood away from the face as the stock passes beneath, driven by infeed and outfeed rollers. The cutterhead and rollers adjust up and down to accommodate different board thicknesses and cutting depths. Stationary thickness planers usually have 15"-wide capacity. Portable benchtop planers handle boards up to 13" wide.
Throat: Most often, the opening in a tablesaw, bandsaw, or router table where the bit or blade protrudes. The throat is usually covered by a removable piece called a throat plate or table insert.
Trunnions: In a tablesaw, the assembly (usually cast-iron) that supports the drive mechanism and controls the blade tilt and elevation. On a cabinet-style saw, shown right, the trunnions usually mount to the trunnion saddle which, in turn, mounts to the saw's cabinet. On a contractor's saw, they mount to the underside of the table.
Turning: The skill of using a lathe; the object make on a lathe.
V-block: A piece of wood with a V-shape groove cut into one face. This device, which is most often shop made, securely holds dowels or other rounded objects in position while drilling.
Zero-clearance insert: A throat plate, used in a tablesaw, with an opening cut by raising a spinning blade or dado set through it, shown right. Because the opening matches the cutting width of the blade, it reduces chip-out by providing maximum workpiece support. It also prevents small pieces from dropping into the throat opening.
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