Wood terms beginning with:


Bandmill/band sawmill - An evolution in sawmill technology that uses a thinner band saw blade (less kerf therefore less sawdust waste) than a circular saw.

Bark pocket (Bark inclusion) - 1) A bark-filled blemish, crack or hole in the board. 2) An opening between annual growth rings that contains bark. Bark pockets appear as dark streaks on radial surfaces and as rounded areas on tangential surfaces.

Bastard grain - Annual rings on an angle at or near 45 to the wide face of a piece of lumber.

Beams and stringers - Large pieces (nominal dimensions, 5" and thicker, width more than 2" greater than thickness, e.g. 5 by 8 inches and up) of rectangular cross section graded with respect to their strength in bending when loaded on the narrow face.

Bevel - Lumber cut at an angle or slant.

Bevel siding - A lumber pattern with a flat face, a thin edge, and a thick edge.

Bird peck - A small hole or patch of distorted grain resulting from birds pecking through the growing cells in the tree. In shape, bird peck usually resembles a carpet tack with the point towards the bark; bird peck is usually accompanied by discoloration extending for considerable distance along the grain and to a much lesser extent across the grain.

Birdseye figure - Small localized areas in wood with the fibers indented and otherwise contorted to form few to many small (BB sized) circular or elliptical figures remotely resembling birds' eyes on the tangential (plain-sawn) surface. Sometimes found in sugar maple and used for decorative purposes; rare in other hardwood species.

Blue Stain - A bluish or grayish discoloration of the sapwood caused by the growth of certain dark-colored fungi on the surface and in the interior of the wood; made possible by the same conditions that favor the growth of other fungi. Particularily noticable in pines and significantly reduces the value of a log for milling or processing.

Board - Lumber that is nominally less than 2 inches thick and 2 or more inches wide. Boards less than 6 inches wide are sometimes called strips.

Board foot - A unit of measurement of lumber represented by a board 1 foot long, 12 inches wide, and 1 inch thick or its cubic equivalent (144 cubic inches). 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. Lumber with a nominal thickness of less than 1 inch is calculated as 1 inch.

Bookmatch - A term in veneering or sawing whereby successive pieces of veneer or boards, from a flitch or log, are arranged side by side. A properly done bookmatch will resemble a mirror image of the opposite side. Other names are sisters, butterflies, and mirrors.

Bound water - Water found within the cell wall of wood.

Bow - (1) The distortion of lumber in which there is a deviation, in a direction perpendicular to the flat face, from a straight line from end-to-end of the piece. (2) A deviation flat-wise from a straight line drawn from end to end of a piece, measured at the point of greatest distance from the straight line; it does not include short kinks.

Boxed Heart - The term used when the pith falls entirely within the four faces of a piece of wood anywhere in its length.

Burl - (1) Bulges and irregular growths that form on the trunks and roots of trees. Burls are highly sought after for the incredible veneer they yield and are used in turning as well. (2) A hard, woody outgrowth on a tree, more or less rounded in form, usually resulting from the entwined growth of a cluster of adventitious buds. Such burls are the source of the highly figured burl veneers used for purely ornamental purposes. (3) In lumber or veneer, a localized severe distortion of the grain generally rounded in outline, usually resulting from overgrowth of dead branch stubs, varying from 1/2 inch to several inches in diameter; frequently includes one or more clusters of several small contiguous conical protuberances, each usually having a core or pith but no appreciable amount of end grain (in tangential view) surrounding it.

Butt joint - A woodworking joint where the edges of two boards are placed against each other.

The Wood Glossary

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