Sacrificial fence

A piece of stock secured to a tool's fence to protect the fence from contact with the blade, bit or cutter.


The water in a tree which is rich in minerals and nutrients.


The new wood in a tree that lies between the bark and the Heartwood. Sapwood is usually lighter in color and becomes heartwood as the tree ages.

Saw rasp

a rasp with saw teeth.

Scarf Joint

A woodworking joint that is made by cutting or notching two boards at an angle and then strapping, gluing, or bolting them together.


a drawknife with a curved, sometimes completely circular blade, often used for hollowing out objects such as bowls.


The easiest and safest of all lathe turning cuts in which the chisel is usually held perpendicular to the workpiece and fed slowly into the rotating stock. Although the gradual easing of the chisel into the stock during scraping produces the least gouges and errors, a finished turning that has been scraped will require more sanding than one that has been sheared.

Scratch awl

a sharp-pointed hand tool used to mark wood for cutting, usually used in joinery or when a more percise mark is need beyond that provided by a pencil or other method of marking out the cut.


Transferring the contour of one surface to another.

Scroll saw

a motorized fretsaw.

Scuff sand

Lightly sanding to allow a follow-on coat of finish to adhere.


The process of removing the moisture from green wood to improve its workability and stability.


In softwood, lumber which has been graded strictly for its appearance. In hardwood, lumber which is one grade below first and second.


Driving nails below the surface.

Shaft lock

Mechanism for locking the shaft of a tool during cutter, blade or bit replacement.


a crack or split in wood, caused by damage or drying. Can also mean a split (as opposed to sawn) shingle.


The part of a bit that fits into a tool's collet or chuck.


The process of creating a decorative edge on a workpiece. The term shaping can be applied to operations performed on a shaper, molder, lathe, router or virtually any tool used to create such an edge or surface.


The process of restoring a keen edge to cutting tools of any type. Sharpening is one of the most important skills for any woodworker to master, since sharp tools are more accurate and safer to use.


In lathe turning, shearing is accomplished by holding the chisel at an angle and moving it parallel to the work to slice away a layer of wood from the surface of the stock. Shearing is the fastest cutting and most difficult of all lathe operations to master. If performed properly, shearing will produce super-clean cuts that seldom require sanding.


planing an edge straight or square. See Shooting board.


The part of a board around a tenon, perpendicular to the face of the board. See Tenon.


The lowest horizontal piece of a window or door.


In lathe turning, the process of making a series of initial cuts (usually with a parting tool) to the approximate final depth along the length of your turning. These sizing cuts are usually made for each bead or cove and serve as a "benchmark" or guide-line to follow as you proceed with your shaping cuts.


A broad flat piece of wood cut directly from the log, often with bark on both edges.


describes a plank with growth rings roughly parallel to the wider face.

Sliding Dovetail Joints

A sliding dovetail joint is similar to a tongue and groove joint except the tongue and grove are matching dovetails.


a shaped stone used for sharpening non-flat blades such as gouges.


a wooden toggle used to hold the work on a table.


When planing or jointing stock, a snipe will occur if you allow the workpiece to "droop" because of improper setup when it is fed into or out of the planer or jointer. Snipes usually appear at the ends of the stock and can be prevented by keeping the workpiece parallel and flat on the table surface at all times. Properly adjusted roller stands at the infeed and outfeed sides of machines can also help to support the stock and prevent snipes.


Generally lumber from a conifer such as pine or cedar. The name softwood does not refer to the density of the wood. There are some hardwoods, such as Balsa, which are softer than some softwoods, like Southern Yellow Pine.


A term referring to a board which has no or very few defects which will effect its strength.


A block clamped or otherwise attached to the table saw rip fence to enable the safe crosscutting of several pieces of stock to an identical length. The use of such a block is necessary to keep the workpiece from being thrown by becoming wedged between the fence and blade.


a change in the texture, strength and color of wood caused by colonies of fungus growing within the dead wood. Where colonies of fungus meet, fine black lines - often considered a desirable feature, can be seen.

Specific Gravity

The ratio of the weight of wood to an equal volume of water. The higher the specific gravity, the heavier the wood.


Plants that reproduce by seeds. This includes almost all plant species.


The threaded arbor on a shaper that holds the cutters.

Spindle Turning

The process of turning a project that is supported on both ends between centers on a lathe.


A thin wood strip that is set into mating grooves in two joined pieces of stock. The grain direction of the spline is perpendicular to the joint to strengthen the joint. Splines are most commonly used in mitered corners of picture frames and for joining stock together edge-to-edge for tabletops and similar projects.


to longitudinally separate wood along grain layers.


A bead or drops of glue that are forced out of a joint when pressure is applied.


1) A discoloration in wood caused by a fungus or chemicals. 2) A die or pigment used to color wood.

Starter Pin

A small diameter pin that is inserted so it protrudes up from the shaper or router arm table surface and is used to rest the workpiece against when easing it into the rotating cutter. A starter pin is sometimes referred to as a "fulcrum" pin.

Starved Joint

A poorly bonded joint caused by lack of glue.


A thin wood strip that is inserted between stacks of green wood to allow air to flow through the stack to ensure proper drying..


a moulding that is part of a larger piece of wood such as a frame (as opposed to being applied).


Any vertical element of an assembly; usually associated with panel construction.

Stop Block

A block ot wood attached to a tence, miter gauge, machine table or workpiece with the intended purpose of limiting the depth or length-of-cut during operations. Also used frequently in mass production situations to position workpieces for drilling or other operations with high level of repeatability.


in stairs, a is a timber (usually 2"x12") that supports the treads and rises in a staircase.

Surfaced Lumber

A piece of wood that has been planed smooth on one or more surfaces.


The way a piece of lumber has been prepared at the lumber mill.


the curvature of a gouge, ranging from flat (little curvature, but not actually flat else it would be a chisel) to deep or quick.