A U-shaped, square-cornered cut in the surface of a board that is made across the grain (not with it). This cut is easily made with a special adjustable dado accessory or by making repeat passes with a saw blade to create cuts of different widths. Dadoes are most frequently used for shelf support in cabinets and bookshelves, but are also used in the formation of many other types of joints.


Trees that shed their foliage annually. Commonly referred to as hardwood.


An abnormality in a piece of lumber that lowers its strength and commercial value such as a check or knot.


The amount of sag in a shelf, floor, joist, or counter caused by the weight it's supporting.


Lightly scuffing a slick or shiny finish to promote adhesion of another finish or topcoat.


A universal term used to describe how deep a tool will be set to cut into the surface or edge of a workpiece. This term can be applied to any cutting tool such as saw blades, drill bits, router bits, shaper cutters, molding knives, etc.

Devil stone

a coarse, hard dressing stone used in sharpening tools, grinders, and other stones.

Direction Of Rotation

The direction in which a blade, cutter, or disc turns during operation. In most cases, power tools rotate in a counter-clockwise direction when looking head-on at the shaft or arbor of the tool. With very few exceptions, when moving a workpiece into a cutter, blade or disc, it is best to move against the rotation of the cutter or blade for safety and best results.


A very strong joint in which a tapered, fan-shaped "pin" on one part of a project slips into a matching recess on the mating part. Dovetail joints are usually formed with a special router bit, and most frequently used in drawer and cabinet construction.

Dovetail Joint

A method of joining wood at corners by the use of interlocking pins and tails.

Dowel Center

A cylindrical metal pin with a raised point that is inserted into a dowel hole and used to locate the exact center on a mating piece of wood.

Doweling Tip

A cylindrical wooden pin that is used to reinforce a wood joint.


A type of Japanese woodworking saw that is used for fine joinery work such as dovetails. Its Western equivalent is a back saw.

Drawer Stop

A device installed in a cabinet to limit the drawers travel.

Dressed lumber

Air stacked or kiln dried lumber cut to an accepted standard size.


Shaping the cutting edge of a chisel to correct the bevel.

Dressing stone

a rough sharpening stone usually used on other stones.


(verb) the process of making holes in a material or (noun) a tool for drilling holes.

Dry fit

Assembling the pieces of a project to check their fit before gluing. Can also refer to the assembled pieces.

Dust bag

Power tool attachment that traps dust and shavings created by the tool.


a diamond-shaped patch of wood used to repair surface blemishes and knotholes.


The act of pausing during the process of making a cut with a power tool. Depending upon the tool, dwells can cause unsightly workpiece burning and should therefore be avoided, if possible.