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Glossary of Terms
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ChamferChamfer-A slight angular edge that is formed on a piece of stock for decorative purposes or to eliminate sharp corners. Chamfers are similar to bevels but are less pronounced and do not go all the way from one surface to another.


Compound CuttingCompound Cutting-The act of cutting out a project or project component (usually with a bandsaw) to create a three-dimensional or “sculpted” shape. This is accomplished by cutting one profile, taping scraps back in place, and rotating the workpiece to cut a second profile, usually 90° to the first.

Compound Miter-A combination miter and bevel cut. Generally a compound miter is used in building shadow box picture frames and similar projects where angled or “deep set” project sides are desired.

Compund Miter

Compound Rip CutCompound Rip Cut-An operation that is performed by tilting the work table to the desired angle and guiding the workpiece through the cut with the aid of a taper jig. Typical uses for this cut would include the construction of pyramid-shaped projects; hollow, tapered posts or cylinders; or concrete forms for deck mountings, etc.

ConcaveConcave-Generally a reduced surface relative to the surrounding surfaces. In lathe turning, a concave cut is called a cove.

Convex-Generally a raised surface relative to the surrounding surfaces. In lathe turning, a convex cut is called a bead.


Counterbore-The act of making one end of a drilled hole larger than the other to permit the head of a bolt or screw to drop below the surface of the workpiece. Counterbores, unlike countersinks, have straight sides (not angled). In woodworking, counterbored holes are often filled with wood plugs or screw but-tons to create the illusion of dowel joinery.

CountersinkCountersink-A shallow angled or beveled hole that is formed to allow the head of a flathead screw or bolt to be recessed and tightened flush with the surface of the workpiece. The tool designed to produce this special hole is called a countersink.


CovingCoving-The creation of a concave cut or “groove” in the edge or surface of a workpiece. A cove can be produced with a router bit or by passing the workpiece across the top of a rotating table saw blade at an angle with the aid of a special coving fixture.

Cross Bevel-A bevel formed on the end of a workpiece by cutting perpendicular to the grain of the stock. Cross bevels are used most often in creating “invisible” joints where the sides of square, octagonal or other shaped boxes and similar projects meet.

CrosscutCrosscut-A cut made across (or perpendicular to) the grain of the wood.

Dado-A U-shaped, square-cornered cut in the surface of a board that is made across the grain (not with it). This cut is easily made with a special adjustable dado accessory or by making repeat passes with a saw blade to create cuts of different widths. Dadoes are most frequently used for shelf support in cabinets and bookshelves, but are also used in the formation of many other types of joints.


Depth-Of-CutDepth-Of-Cut-A universal term used to describe how deep a tool will be set to cut into the surface or edge of a workpiece. This term can be applied to any cutting tool such as saw blades, drill bits, router bits, shaper cutters, molding knives, etc.



Direction of RotationDirection Of Rotation-The direction in which a blade, cutter, or disc turns during operation. In most cases, power tools rotate in a counter-clockwise direction when looking head-on at the shaft or arbor of the tool. With very few exceptions, when moving a workpiece into a cutter, blade or disc, it is best to move against the rotation of the cutter or blade for safety and best results.

Dovetail-A very strong joint in which a tapered, fan-shaped “pin” on one part of a project slips into a matching recess on the mating part. Dovetail joints are usually formed with a special router bit, and most frequently used in drawer and cabinet construction.


Dwell-The act of pausing during the process of making a cut with a power tool. Depending upon the tool, dwells can cause unsightly workpiece burning and should therefore be avoided, if possible.

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