Washington State Small-Scale Sawmill Directory
Glossary Sawmill Terms
- Board and batton siding: A type of building siding characterized by vertical boards linked by smaller vertical strips (battons).
- Boom stick: Logs formerly used as the retaining logs (booms) in floating log rafts. This lumber is now prized for its worm eaten qualities and aesthetic.
- Burl: Wood coming from an abnormal growth in a tree that gives the grain a deformed characteristic. This wood is often prized for it’s aesthetics and hardness.
- Clear: Refers to wood that is clear of knots.
- Figured wood: Wood exhibiting unusual grain patterns that are deemed to be aesthetically pleasing when finished. These can take the forms of waves, stripes, spalting, or other patterns.
- Glulam: An engineered wood product consisting of layers laminate pressed together with an adhesive.
- Jointer: A piece of cutting machinery designed to cut an flat, even, surface on one side of a board. This does not, necessarily, create a board of even thickness (see Planer).
- Kerf marks: The marks left by the saw after cutting wood. Certain kinds of kerf marks, such as those left by circular saw mills, can be sought after for purposes of historical restoration or aesthetics.
- Kiln: A piece of equipment or structure used to dry lumber.
- Lap siding: A type of building siding characterized horizontal overlapping boards.
- Live edge: Lumber, often slabs, that retain un-sawn edges. These natural edges may include the bark of the original tree.
- Moulder: A machine that uses a horizontal, or combination of horizontal and vertical, cutting heads to cut profiles into boards or beams.
- Planer: A cutting machine designed to make a board an even thickness, with sides perfectly parallel to each other. This does not, necessarily, create a perfect flat edge or board (see Jointer).
- Remanufacturing: The re-processing of finished wood products into another size, shape, or form.
- Resawing: Similar to remanufacturing, but generally refers specifically to cutting larger lumber into smaller lumber.
- Rough-cut lumber: Refers to lumber that is not finely finished, and often exhibits kerf marks or other signs of processing.
- Self-loader: A log truck with a loading arm, capable of loading itself.
- Shaper: A machine that uses a vertical rotating head, similar to a large router, to carve profiles in wood. Also called a spindle moulder.
- Skidding: The process of removing felled trees from the forest, or place of felling, to the location where you want them.
- Slab: A large, wide, board. A slab is often the entire width of the source log.
- Slabber: A type of mill with a wide capacity, used to create particularly large, wide, slabs of wood.
- Tongue and groove: A method of fitting wood planks or other pieces together using a groove on one side and a protruding ‘tongue’ on the other.
- Veneer: A thin layer of wood used for facing.
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Issued by Washington State University Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in furtherance of the Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Extension programs and policies are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, and national or ethnic origin; physical, mental, or sensory disability; marital status or sexual orientation; and status as a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. Trade names have been used to simplify information; no endorsement is intended.