Any substance such as aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, garnet, emery, flint or similar materials that is used to abrade or sand wood, steel or other materials. Substances such as India, Arkansas, crystolon, silicon carbide and waterstones used to sharpen steel edged tools are included.

Air Cleaner (Air Polisher)

A machine designed to filter fine dust from the air in a workshop. A blower moves air past a series of filters to capture the airborne dust.

Air-dried lumber

Lumber that was dried, usually outside, to an equilibrium moisture content with the air it was exposed to.

Alternate top bevel with raker (ATB/R)

A design for a circular saw blade where four alternately beveled teeth are followed by a raker tooth to remove debris from the cut.

Alternating Grain Direction

The process of gluing-up or laminating wood for project components with alternating pieces having the grain running perpendicular to one another (as opposed to parallel). Usually, this practice is enlisted to provide superior strength in a project that is expected to be under stress. It is also used occasionally for decorative purposes.

Annual growth rings

The layer of growth that a tree puts on in one year. The annual growth rings can be seen in the end grain of lumber.

Applied carving

background which is worked separately and then applied, rather than being worked in place.


A shaft, driven by the tool's motor that turns blades or other cutting tools.