Welcome to another FREE Woodworking Resource sponsored by your fellow
woodworkers at Shopsmith


Glossary of Terms
Click here for a printer friendly version of Tip
Help with Downloading PDF Files


RabbetRabbet-An L-shaped cutout formed in the edge or end of a piece of stock, usually for joinery purposes. One common example of rabbets is the recessed cuts in the backs of picture frames. Although rabbets generally have 90° corners, angled rabbets are also used occasionally.


ResawingResawing-The process of slicing a thick piece of stock into several thinner pieces. Although this operation is usually performed on a bandsaw, depending upon the thickness of the stock being cut, it can also be done on a table saw or scroll saw.

Rip Bevel-A bevel cut on the edge of a piece of stock that runs with the grain of the wood. Rip bevels are used most often for decorative purposes or for creating “invisible” joints where the sides of square, octagonal or other shaped posts, boxes or similar projects meet.

Rip CutRip Cut-A cut made along (or with) the direction of the grain of the wood.

Rounding-The first step in the turning process after a workpiece is mounted in the lathe. Rounding is performed at low speeds to eliminate sharp corners in preparation for the initial shaping operations.


ScrapingScraping-The easiest and safest of all lathe turning cuts in which the chisel is usually held perpendicular to the workpiece and fed slowly into the rotating stock. Although the gradual easing of the chisel into the stock during scraping produces the least gouges and errors, a finished turning that has been scraped will require more sanding than one that has been sheared.

ShapingShaping-The process of creating a decorative edge on a workpiece. The term shaping can be applied to operations performed on a shaper, molder, lathe, router or virtually any tool used to create such an edge or surface.

Sharpening-The process of restoring a keen edge to cutting tools of any type. Sharpening is one of the most important skills for any woodworker to master, since sharp tools are more accurate and safer to use.


ShearingShearing-In lathe turning, shearing is accomplished by holding the chisel at an angle and moving it parallel to the work to slice away a layer of wood from the surface of the stock. Shearing is the fastest cutting and most difficult of all lathe operations to master. If performed properly, shearing will produce super-clean cuts that seldom require sanding.


SizingSizing-In lathe turning, the process of making a series of initial cuts (usually with a parting tool) to the approximate final depth along the length of your turning. These sizing cuts are usually made for each bead or cove and serve as a “benchmark” or guide-line to follow as you proceed with your shaping cuts.

SnipeSnipe-When planing or jointing stock, a snipe will occur if you allow the workpiece to “droop” because of improper setup when it is fed into or out of the planer or jointer. Snipes usually appear at the ends of the stock and can be prevented by keeping the workpiece parallel and flat on the table surface at all times. Properly adjusted roller stands at the infeed and outfeed sides of machines can also help to support the stock and prevent snipes.

SpacerSpacer-A block clamped or otherwise attached to the table saw rip fence to enable the safe crosscutting of several pieces of stock to an identical length. The use of such a block is necessary to keep the workpiece from being thrown by becoming wedged between the fence and blade.


Spindle TurningSpindle Turning-The process of turning a project that is supported on both ends between centers on a lathe.

Spline-A thin wood strip that is set into mating grooves in two joined pieces of stock. The grain direction of the spline is perpendicular to the joint to strengthen the joint. Splines are most commonly used in mitered corners of picture frames and for joining stock together edge-to-edge for tabletops and similar projects.


Starter PinStarter Pin-A small diameter pin that is inserted so it protrudes up from the shaper or router arm table surface and is used to rest the workpiece against when easing it into the rotating cutter. A starter pin is sometimes referred to as a “fulcrum” pin.


Stop BlockStop Block-A block ot wood attached to a tence, miter gauge, machine table or workpiece with the in-tended purpose of limiting the depth or length-of-cut during operations. Also used frequently in mass production situations to position workpieces for drilling or other operations with high level of repeatability.

Continue to T-Z
Back to N-P

Send For Your FREE Woodworking Fact Kit and "Sawdust Therapy" TV Show.

First Name*:
Last Name*:
Street Address*:

USA Canada

E-mail Address*:

  2009 Shopsmith Inc. All rights reserved.

Policies | Contact Us | Links | Corporate Web Site