A Guide to Woodworking Tools and Terms: (UG)

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Official UnderGuide Entry

It is often said that a good trainer can teach any subject, even if he or she is not a subject matter expert. Therefore, it might as equally be said that if you want to write short pieces on a lot of subjects, and do it quickly, you don't want to be bogged down by a lot of facts and information.

This guide to the tools and technical terms of the woodsmither's trade is designed to optimize the use of my time, by allocating absolutely none of it to research, and is written under the assumption that the reader is not likely to take up woodmaking building of stuff.


Printed notices relating availability of - and prices for - tools.


Sense of wonder a woodconstructor feels when viewing a more impressive tool collection than his or her own.

Belt Sander:

A device or person that rubs sandpaper vigorously across one's belt until the desired texture is achieved, or until the belt can no longer be laced through the belt loops.

Bench Grinder:

Power tool used to reduce the size of a bench.

Brace and Bit:

Securely setting the tongue in the side of the mouth to aid in bracing a tool, and subsequently biting one's tongue...painfully hard.


An average clamp.


Slick patter used by chiseling tools sales people who extol the virtues of their sub-standard wares.


Where a woodshaper person washes up.

Drill Press:

Storing drills between pages in a book, instead of a worthwhile rack.


A particularly lightweight lumber, made from the feather tree; commonly used for making shop-floor cleaning sawdust and duck decoys.


A place to keep project plans. (Draw Files for drawings, Bastard Files, for keeping track of chiseling tools sales people, etc.)


An amateur woodsizer person.


Workshop showoff.


A member of a wood guild or union.


One who works on joints, normally knees, to get people to join the wood guilds and unions..

Mortise and Tenon:

Comedy duo of the 1940s that used lots of boards and mallets in their humour; usually a reference to a painful, but survivable, workshop mishap - often involving the loss of a Nail.

Nail Set:

Still having all ten Nails.


Bits of keratin, at the end of human fingers, under which sharp, slender splinters of wood can be caught.

Palm Sander:

Power tool that dangerously removes surface layers from hands.

Phillips Driver:

Using Phil's golf club as a hammering tool (see hammer).

Plumb Bob:

Archaic device that used plumbs for making sure that constructions were 'True'.

Plumb Line:

The absolutely straight and level line formed by a Plumb Bob, a long, narrow trough filled with water and floating plumbs; as water seeks its own level, the plumbs would form an absolutely straight and level line.

Plumb Rule:

Religious law regarding the 'level' of plumbs being affected by the curvature of the planet, which states that anyone arguing that the plumbs were 'not absolutely straight and level' should forcefully be made to bob for plumbs until they desist.


Sound a woodgouger makes after a day of inhaling while working around wood dust.


A directional device for finding one's way around the workshop; often digital.

Sabre Saw:

Sword-shaped saw with a decorative hilt and guard; often carried in a scabbard by calvary or pirates.


Remains of a saw after it decays or is cremated


(1) ** ***** * ****** *** **** *** (you must be an adult to view this entry).

(2) A drink made of Orange Juice and Vodka. To be avoided if one wants to maintain one's Nail Set.

Scroll Saw:

Saw designed for creating rods on which scrolls are wound.

Sea Clamp:

Specialty tool used while repairing ships away from port.


(1) Not enough Shells [archaic reference to the use of turtles as construction material].

(2) A distinct, unexpected lack of sufficient materials.


Radical groups of wood persons that segue off into other activites like ceramics or stained-glass.


A parallelogram with exactly four equal sides and four equal angles.

Table Saw:

A huge motorized saw used for cutting through tables, such as those upon which spies get tied.

Tongue and Groove:

(1) * **** ****** **** *** ***** *** ***** (you must be an adult to view this entry).

(2) Securely setting the tongue in the corner of one's mouth to increase one's focus while working to the rythym of popular music.


Woodshop cuss word.


A predilection for using tools and accessories in unhealthy ways; ie: sniffing wood glue.

Wood Clamp:

Made of wood, they work the same as metal clamps. They are more subject to breakage; but less likely to mar the surface of the pieces being clamped.

Wood Piles:

Very stiff and painful piles.

Wood Plane:

Practice of leaving a finished project unfinished (unpainted).

Wood Slivers:

A longish, slimy insect that makes its nest in stacks of wood.

Workbench Dogs:

Attack canines that guard projects between visits by the woodformer man or woman.

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