Glossary of Terms

Dovetail Joint - A series of pins (pin pieces are the front or back boards) which extend from the end of one board and lock into a series of tails (tail pieces are the sides) cut into the end of another board. Once glued, a wooden dovetail joint requires no mechanical fasteners. We use a through dovetail which exposes both sides of the joint. See photos 3 and 4 in Fabrication under Woodworking.

Mortise and Tenon - The basic mortise and tenon joint is comprised of the mortise hole (female) and the tenon (male). The tenon, a tab formed on the end of a board, is inserted into a hole cut into the corresponding board. The tenon is cut to fit the mortise hole exactly. The joint may then be glued or pinned to secure it in place. See photo 1 in Fabrication under Woodworking.

Corner Block - Corner blocks are small pieces of wood glued into corners, which strengthen the joints and help keep them square. We put corner blocks in our drawers and behind the joints in our block feet.

Rails and Stiles - In door construction, the frame is made up of vertical boards, called stiles, and horizontal boards, called rails. Our doors consist of a top rail, a bottom rail, two side stiles and a center panel. Door panels can be plain, plain recessed, or raised panel. We also offer the top rail arched for added design.

Turning - Turning involves a square block of wood being placed in the lathe, a machine that secures and rotates the block. While revolving, various cutting tools remove material, leaving the block rounded and copied in the shape of the pattern used. See photo 9 in our Factory Tour.

Plane - Hand planes have a cutting edge attached to a base (sole) with a hand-hold, that when slid over a wood surface, take up mostly uniform amounts of material (shavings). It hits the 'high spots' on the surface. By keeping a constant angle of the cutting edge to the surface, the planed surface becomes smooth and even. See photos 8 and 9 in Fabrication.

Jointer - A jointer or planer is a woodworking machine that produces flat edges on boards allowing them to be joined into larger boards. Corners of the boards must be at 90 degrees exactly to be joined properly.

Rung - The rungs are the rounded crosspieces between the legs of the chair. Our chairs also have rungs that comprise the seat. The fiber rush is woven around rungs becoming an integral part, not a drop-in seat. Each end of the rungs has a tenon, which fits very snugly in a round mortise in the leg or backpost. Although strong, they can break if used like a ladder rung. Not to worry, we can repair them.

Lacquer - A clear varnish from the resin of the varnish tree, mixed with thinner (solvent). It dries by solvent evaporation and when cured, produces a hard, durable finish. Our lacquer finish is a matte finish, which is sprayed on in multiple thin coats, with hand-rubbing between coats.

 Fiber Rush – Our seats are woven of fiber rush, which is tightly twisted kraft paper cord. Traditional rush was made of cattail but is extremely difficult to work. After weaving, the seat is lacquered for greater strength and durability. Seats can be cleaned by vacuuming with the upholstery attachment or a soft bristle brush.