A Forest Products Glossary of Terms
In discussing forestry, you will often hear and read words and phrases that are unique to the forestry and the wood products professions. You will also have to use some common terms that take on special meaning when talking forestry.
This glossary of forest products terms will help toward that understanding and I suggest you actually browse through this to see the color and content of forestry speak. I have really been forced into this because of the confusion when using terms of the trade. Now I can say go to the glossary section.
This is terminology unique mostly to wood products. I have also compiled a collection of sites that list other specialized forestry terms.
- Air-Dried: (see Seasoned)
- ALS: American Lumber Standard. Grading standards and nomenclature for American softwood lumber.
- APA: American Plywood Association
- Arbor: An axle or spindle that supports cutting tools that spin or rotate.
- AWPA: American Wood Preservers Association
- Band Saw: A saw consisting of a continuous piece of flexible steel, with teeth on one side or both.
- Bastard Sawn: Lumber cut where the annual rings make angles of 30 to 60 degrees with the surface of the piece.
- Beam: A structural member supporting a load applied transversly to it.
- Bolt: Usually a short log of a length suitable for manufacturing pulpwood or peeling veneer.
- Cant: A large slabbed log on the headsaw, usually having one or more rounded edges, which is destined for further processing.
- Check: A lengthwise separation of wood, normally occurring across or through the rings of annual growth and is usually the result of seasoning.
- Chipboard: A panel made with large chips as the raw material.
- Circular Saw: A round saw having teeth on its perimeter.
- Composite: A wood product produced by bonding wood fiber by heat and pressure.
- Cooperage: Containers having two round heads and a body composed of staves, such as barrels or kegs.
- Cord: A unit of measure equal to a stack of wood 4x4x8 feet or 128 cubic feet.
- Core: Inner plies in a piece of plywood whose grain direction runs perpendicular to that of the outer plies.
- Delivered Price: The price of wood with freight included.
- Delignification: removal of lignin from wood by chemical treatment.
- Density: The mass of wood substance enclosed within the boundary surfaces of a wood-plus-voids complex having unit volume.
- Dimension: Lumber that is from two inches up to, but not including, five inches thick, and that is two or more inches in width.
Edger: Sawmill machinery used to saw cants after they come off the headrig, squaring the edges and ripping the cants into lumber.
- Edging: Waste pieces of wood cut by an edger.
- Excelsior: Long, curly, slender strands of wood used as an aggregate component for some particleboards and as a packing material.
- Fiberboard: A composite panel product like particle board, hardboard, chipboard.
- Fines: Fine milled chips used in the production of particleboard; larger than sander dust or wood flour.
- Flake: A small flat wood particle of predetermined dimensions, uniform thickness, with fiber direction in essentially in the same plane of the flake.
- Flitch: A log sawn on two or more sides form which veneer is sliced.
- Flooring: A tongue and grooved piece of wood lumber used in constructing a floor.
- Forestry: The science of forest management.
- Framing: Lumber used for structural members in a house or other building.
Gang Mill: A machine in which several saws make parallel cuts.
- Grade: The designation of the quality of a manufactured piece of wood or of logs.
- Grain: The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibers in wood or lumber.
- Greenchain: A moving belt or chain on which lumber is transported from saws to areas where workers stack the wood by certain specifications.
Heading: The pieces of lumber from which a keg or barrel head is cut.
- Headrig: The principle saw in a sawmill on which logs are first cut into cants.
- Insulation Board: A board made from ligno-cellulostic fibers, usually wood or cane. which are interfelted to create the principal source of bond.
- Joint: The place where two or more pieces of material meet.
- Joist: A piece of lumber or composite I-beam product that supports a ceiling or floor.
Kerf: The width of a saw cut.
- Kiln: A chamber having controlled air-flow, temperature, and relative humidity for drying wood products.
- Kraft: A heavy paper or paperboard made from wood pulp using a method of boiling wood chips in a sodium sulfate solution.
Laminate: The bonding of two or more pieces of wood to make a single piece
- Lathe: A machine on which logs are peeled to yield veneer for plywood.
- Lignin: The second most abundant component of wood. It is a cementing layer between the wood cells.
- Lumber Scale: A volumetric measurement used in determining the amount of lumber produced.
MBF: Thousand board feet
- MDF: Medium Density Fiberboard
- Millwork: Lumber that has been remanufactured into door and window parts or decorative trim.
Naval Stores: A general term for chemical that can be extracted from wood.
- OSB: Oriented Strand Board
Pallet: A low wood platform on which material can be stacked to facilitate mechanical handling.
- Panel: A sheet of plywood, particleboard, or other similar product, usually of standard size, such as 4x8 feet.
- Parallel-Laminated Veneer: Veneers which grains have been glued parallel to one another.
- Particleboard: A term used to describe panel products made from particles of wood larger than fiber.
- Peel: To produce veneer by revolving a peeler block against a knife.
- Piling: Round timbers or poles driven into the ground to support a load.
- Planer: A machine to surface rough lumber.
- Plywood: A panel made up of thin sheets of veneer which the grain direction is at right angles to each other.
- Pressure Treating: A process of impregnating wood products with chemicals by forcing into the structure of wood with high pressure.
- Pulp: A soft, moist mass of wood fiber used in the manufacture of paper.
- Quarter Sawn: Lumber sawn so that the annual rings form angles of 45 to 90 degrees with the surface of the piece.
- Radial Sawn: (see Quarter Sawn)
- Resaw: To saw a piece of lumber along its horizontal axis.
- Resin: A natural vegetable substance occurring in various plants and trees, especially the coniferous species.
- Sash: The portion of a window that holds the glass.
- Sash Gang: A series of blades that are fixed vertically between two horizontal members; used to rip cants.
- Saw Arbor: The shaft and bearings that hold a power-driven saw.
- Scoot: Inferior hardwood lumber.
- Seasoned: Green wood, either air-dried or mechanically dried to remove moisture to improve serviceability.
- Shake: A lengthwise grain separation between growth rings, or a break through the rings, usually the result of high winds.
- Shear: The tendency of wood fibers to slide longitudinally.
- Sheathing: Plywood, waferboard, OSB, or lumber used to close up side walls.
- Slab: The exterior portion of a log removed by a saw, having one flat and one curved surface.
- Sliced Veneer: Veneer that is cut from a block using a knife which results in individual pieces instead of a continuous sheet.
- Stud: Slender wood structural member used as a supporting element in walls and partitions.
- Stumpwood: Wood product taken from the stump portion of a severed tree.
- Stumpage: The monetary value of standing timber.
- Tall oil: A byproduct of the paper-making process. Distilling tall oil produces many products like adhesives, carbon paper, inks, lubricants, and gasoline additives.
- Trimer: A beam that receives the end of a header in floor framing.
- Unit: a stack of lumber or plywood, usually of a standard size.
- Under-Run: A loss in inventory volume, so that the amount manufactured or sold was less than was indicated by the volume of raw material.
- Veneer: Wood peeled, sawn, or sliced into sheets of a given constant thickness and combined with glue to produce plywood.
- Waferboard: A panel product of wafers of wood bound together by resin, heat, and pressure; can be made of species not suitable for lumber or plyboard production.
- Wane: Bark, or the lack of wood from any cause, on the edge or corner of a piece of lumber.
- Yard: A place where wood products are stored of or made available for sale.
- Z Flashing: Z shaped metal flashing applied between panels of plywood siding to shed water.
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