Half-Blind Dovetail

A dovetail joint where the cut does not go all of the way through the board. The ends of a half-blind dovetail are concealed. (see through dovetail joint)

Hand plane

see Plane.


A type of manufactured board similar to particle board but with a much smoother surface. A common brand of hardboard is Masonite.


wood from an angiosperm tree, i.e. a tree in the division Magnoliophyta. Despite the name, not necessarily very hard or dense wood (e.g. balsa is a hardwood), although generally harder than softwoods.


In a sawmill, the large band saw or circular saw used to size the log into lumber.

Heart shake

a shake radiating out from the heartwood.


The dead inner core of a tree. Usually much harder and darker than the newer wood. Also see sapwood.


the corner of a chisel, knife, or gouge bevel which meets the back of the blade and polishes the cut.

Herringbone Pattern

In veneering, a hearing bone pattern is formed when successive layers of veneers are glued up so they form a mirror image. Usually this pattern slants upwards and outwards, like a herringbone.

High speed steel (HSS)

Hardened steel used in cutters, blades, bits and knives.

Hold down or hold fast

a hold-down iron, fitting into a hole in a bench, tightened or loosened by hammer taps.

Hollow grinding

a concave bevel on a chisel, gouge, or knife.


The final step in the process of sharpening an edged tool, after the blade or edge has been ground to the proper size and correctly shaped for its intended use. Honing which is done by hand removes the fine "wire edge" or burr that is formed during filing, grinding or shaping of the cutting edge on a coarse stone.


The tendency of wood to absorb and excel moisture as humidity levels change.