Appliance Garage – A common name for a roll-up or single door unit placed under a wall cabinet. Roll-up doors are sometimes called ‘tambours’.

Applique (onlay) – An intricately carved decorative element installed on the surface of a cabinet.

Batten – A strip of thin, narrow lumber used to cover or reinforce the joint between two pieces of lumber.

Bead (Beaded) - A small double groove routed out around the perimeter of a cabinet frame or door giving the appearance of a added rounded, narrow molding. (Beaded panel – a panel with a vertical double groove routed at intervals across its width). (Beaded inset – a style in which the cabinet door closes within the frame which has a double groove routed around its perimeter).

Bevel – The slant of a surface, as on a beveled edge door.

Butt Joint – Joint formed by butting the ends of two pieces of wood together. Usually attached by glue or staples or both.

Capital – An architectural term for the crown or top element of a column.

Classic Crown (molding) – A wide, intricately carved piece of molding usually used on top of wall cabinets or furniture.

Concealed Hinge – A hinge that is attached to the door and the inside end panel of a cabinet, making it not visible from the exterior of the cabinet.

Continuous Pull – The door handle is an integral part of the door style and runs the full width of the door. The handle is not a separate piece of decorative hardware.

Conversion Varnish – An element of a finishing process, used as intermediate and/or top coats. This sprayed-on chemical material is bonded to the wood when heated in special ovens.

Cup Hinge – Used to hinge full-overlay doors, the hinge is set into a round recessed area routed into the back of the door. The hinge is also attached to the door frame.

Dado – A groove recessed into a board into which another board edge is inset to form a joint, usually with glue to secure it. Used to join cabinet backs to cabinet floors or sides (end panels) to face frame.

Dentil (molding) – A pattern of tooth-like cuts often used on trim moldings.

Diagonal Cabinet – A cabinet used to span across a corner. Other terms for this type of cabinet are WALL ANGLE or LAZY SUSAN ANGLE or CORNER WALL cabinet.

Dovetail – A wood peg inserted into a corresponding glue filled hole.

Dowel – A wood peg inserted into a corresponding glue filled hole.

Engineered Wood – Wood fibers and/or particles that have been bonded with synthetic resins under heat and pressure are formed into panels or boards. Engineered wood is more dimensionally stable and easier to machine than solid wood or plywood, making it the choice of many cabinet manufacturers for cabinet boxes and laminate clad door styles. “Grain-free” surfaces yield smoother surface bonding of laminates.

Exposed Hinge – A hinge attached to the door and the front frame of the cabinet, making it visible from the exterior.

Flute – A groove routed into a wood part. Flutes may have a functional purpose, as with fluted dowels, into which glue is disbursed, or a decorative purpose as in fluted fillers.

Fretwork – Ornamental carving or fancywork.

Frieze – Decorative running design or cutout (fretwork) running along the top of a cabinet.

Full-overlay – Door style which leaves very little reveal of the frame of front edge around the perimeter. (In framed cabinet construction, the face frame is concealed).

Galley Rail – (also spindle rail or gallery rail) A decorative element often used to create a front retainer on a plate rail.

Heartwood – Heartwood is wood that may contain deposits of minerals that may result in streaks of much darker colors than the sapwood portions of the tree area closest to the bark.

I-Beam – A horizontal support member joining a cabinet front frame, end panel and cabinet back of a base cabinet.

Kerf – A saw cut on the surface of a board to relieve stress. Used to create a curve in wood, as with toe kick cover around a base cabinet.

Kiln-dry – The removal of moisture from lumber using a heat chamber (kiln).

Knife Hinge – One of many hinge types for cabinets, the knife hinge is inserted into a slot routed into the side of a door. The hinge is attached to both the door frame and the door with screws which adjust to properly align the door on the frame. Some knife hinges are visible from the front of the cabinet; others are not.

Knot – A naturally occurring whorl in lumber created where a branch extended from a tree.

Laminate (noun) – A surface covering, usually affixed to a substrate with glue. May be any thin surface material. This word does not necessarily indicate “plastic” or “melamine” as is commonly believed. Paper or aluminum may also be a laminate. (Verb): To affix a surface covering to a substrate with glue.

MDF – An engineered wood that offers an extremely tight, smooth surface. Exceptionally stable, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is favored for laminating with thermofoils.

Melamine – A low pressure laminate thermo-fused to a smooth substrate.

Millwork – machined woodwork.

Mineral Streak – Discoloration in lumber caused by chemical oxidation of minerals naturally occurring in the wood.

Miter – Two angles cut and joined forming a continuous profile (sometimes called mitre).

Mortise and Tenon – A joint between two pieces of wood in which a protrusion on one piece is inserted into a groove or channel in the other. Similar to “tongue and groove”.

Mullion Door – Mullion doors have vertical and horizontal wood rails within the frame forming a grid pattern.

Muntin – The short bar extending from stile to stile. As in a tall cabinet door divided by horizontal muntin.

Nominal – The “rounded dimension number used in a cabinet order code. Actual dimension may differ by a fraction either greater or smaller.

Nose – Rounded edge on a wood member.

O-gee (ogee) – Edge trim or cut characterized by one 180 degree radius bead extending further out than another below it.

Onlay (appliqué) – An intricately carved wood decorative element installed on the surface of a cabinet.

Overlay – The degree or amount a door overlays the frame or front edge of a cabinet.

Pediment – Low-pitched triangular head or cap. “Broken pediment” is not solid and often contains additional trim in the open area, such as a spindle.

Pilaster – A column. May refer to vertical strips into which shelf supports are inserted.

Plywood – Thinly cut layers of wood veneer cross laminated with adhesive between layers.

Rabbet – Rectangular cut of two surfaces.

Racking (wracking) – The twisting out of square of a cabinet door caused by uneven installation.

Rail – The horizontal members of a cabinet’s front frame or door.

Reveal – The area of the face frame not covered by the door.

Rout – To hollow out with a tool called a router.

Sapwood – Sapwood contains living cells and performs a active role in the life processes of the tree. The wood closest to the bark of the tree, usually lighter in color than heartwood.

Scribe (verb) – Careful fitting, in exact conformity, of an edge to the adjacent panel or wall.

SKU – Stock Keeping Unit. Each stock model, configuration, size or part is one SKU.

Stile – The vertical members of a cabinet’s front frame or door.

Stretcher – A support brace between the two end panels of a frameless cabinet.

Substrate – A manufactured product used as a base for laminates or veneers. Thickness, density, weight and surface smoothness may vary depending on the strength required and the laminate to be applied.

Tenon – A projection at the end of a piece of wood. When inserted into a mortise forms a “mortise and tenon” joint. Usually joined with glue.

Tongue and Groove – A projection along the edge of a board inserted into a corresponding groove and fixed with glue and/or a metal pin. Other terms for this type of joint include, DADO and MORTISE AND TENON.

Thermofoil – Flexible, 100% vinyl with contact adhesive on its underside. Applied to smooth engineered wood using heat and pressure.

V-groove – “V” Shape routed vertical line on a panel.

Veneer – A thinly sliced layer of wood applied to a substrate.

Wainscot – Lower portion of a interior wall that contrasts with the wall surface above it. A wall composed of two different surfaces, one above another. Classic wainscot is vertically beaded paneling on the lower portion of a wall, capped by a decorative molding or ‘chair rail’.

Warp – To bend, twist or wrack a piece of umber from a straight line. Caused by introduction of excessive heat or moisture.


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