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Log Home Glossary

Log Home Glossary



Air-Dried
Wood which is stacked and stickered to allow air to flow between the wood members. It is considered air-dried when the moisture content of the wood is in equilibrium with the relative humidity. This is generally under 17percent.
Annual
Growth Ring The layer of wood growth put on a tree during a single growing season.
Backfilling
Replacing the earth around a foundation that was removed during excavation.
Beam
A structural member supporting a load applied transversely to it.
Birdsmouth Joint
A cut into the end of a timber to fit over a cross timber, usually cut into a rafter.
Board foot
The measurement of rough lumber 1 inch thick, 12 inches wide, and 12 inches long.
Box beam
An assembly made by joining layers of lumber together with mechanical fastenings so that the grain of all laminations is essentially equal.
Braces
Lumber or timbers placed diagonally between posts and beams or plates to make a structure more rigid.
Cant
A log that has been slabbed on one or more sides.
Caustic Wood Stripper/Booster
A strong wood cleaner additive designed to break through the resin binders that adhere a wood finish to itself and the wood surface (grain).
Check
A lengthwise separation of the wood that usually extends across the rings of annual growth and commonly results from stresses set up in wood during seasoning.
Collar Tie
The timber parallel to the girders, which connects rafter pairs at a given height.
Conventional frame
Plywood and stud construction.
D
An abbreviation used in nail sizes, also referred to as "penny."
Dead Load
The combined weight of all the materials and all the permanent attachments of a structure.
Decay
The decomposition of wood substances by fungi.
Deck
A synonym for floor.
De-felting
The action of removing the fractured and raised grain either by sanding or using an abrasive, woven pad.
Deflections
A bending or sagging.
Density
The density of a material is its weight per given volume.
Dormer
A vertical window or opening coming through a sloping roof; usually provided with its own pitched roof.
Draw-knife
A blade between two handles. It cuts by being moved (drawn) towards the cutter's body.
Dressed
A board that has been planed smooth.
Dry rot
A term loosely applied to any dry crumbly rot which permits the wood to be crushed easily into a powder. This is a misnomer, as wood must be wet to rot.
Drywall
Interior covering material such as plywood, gypsum, and hardboard.
Face
The surface of a board or lumber.
Fire resistance
The property of a material or assembly to withstand fire or to give protection from it.
Flashing
A strip of usually flexible material that keeps water out of joints between roofs and walls.
Forces
Strengths or energies exerted on a building or member.
Framing
Lumber used for the structural member of a building such as studs and joists.
Gable roof
A sloping roof with one or more triangular shaped end walls between the rafters.
Gambrel
A roof design with a lower steeper slope and upper flatter one, designed so that each gable is pentagonal.
Garrison
A house design having a second-story perimeter larger than the first story.
Girder
A large or principal beam of wood or steel used to support concentrated loads at isolated points along its length.
Grain
The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibers of wood or lumber.
Green
Freshly sawed or undried wood.
Half-lap
A joint having an L-shaped mortise and a corresponding L-shaped tenon.
Hand-hewn
A timber squared off and shaped by hand.
Heartwood
The wood extending from the pitch to the sapwood, the cells of which no longer participate in the life process of the tree. Heartwood may contain phenolic compounds, gums, resins, and other materials that usually make it darker and more decay-resistant than sapwood.
Kerfs
The width of the saw cut.
Knee braces
Short diagonal timbers placed between horizontal and vertical members of the frame to make them rigid.
Knot
A place in the tree from which a branch has grown out.
Laminate
A product made by bonding together two or more layers of material or materials.
Linear foot
A foot measure in a line.
Lintel
A small beam over a door, window, or fireplace opening.
Live load
A variable load on a structure.
Lumber boards
Lumber that is nominally less than two inches thick and two or more inches wide.
Lumber dimension
Lumber with a nominal thickness from two inches and up to but not including 5 inches.
Mill glaze
Mill glaze is produced by high speed planes in modern lumber mills. Often the high speed planes not only plane the wood, but they crush the exterior wood fiber to create a very shiny lumber surface. The crushed fibers do not let stain and seal coatings absorb properly, causing finish failure.
Mill glaze remover
A lighter duty wood prepatory product designed to remove mill glaze and etch the wood. This effect creates a condition allowing a finish to penetrate and adhere to the best of its design. Used on all new wood.
Moisture content
The amount of water contained in wood. Usually expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dry wood.
Neutralizing
When related to wood restoration, this is the stopping of a cleaner’s activity to clean and dissolve organic matter (finishes and wood pulp). A neutralizer is almost always a brightener.
On Center
A method for indicating the spacing of framing members by stating the measurement from the center of the succeeding one.
Plate
The horizontal member that supports the rafters.
Preservative
Any substance that, for a reasonable time, is effective in preventing the development and action of wood-rotting fungi, borers, and various insects that deteriorate wood.
R-Factor
A number measuring a material's resistance to heat flow. R stands for resistance, the inverse of conductivity.
Rafter
One of a series of structural members of a roof designed to support roof loads. The rafters of a flat roof are sometimes called joists.
Roof pitch
A ratio of the height of the ridge to the span of the building.
Salt box
A house design named for its roof, which is composed of two shed roofs having unequal pitches.
Sheathing
The first covering of boards or waterproof material on the outside walls and roof.
Slope
The degree of deviation from the horizontal or perpendicular. Also an incline.
Stringer
A timber or other support for cross members in floors or ceilings. In stairs, the stringer is the support in which the stair treads rest.
Surfactant
The actual cleaning agent responsible for removing oil, grime and dirt from the wood surface. This is not to be confused with the bubbles that one observes when using soaps in general.
Surface Contaminants
Oxidized finish (chalky in appearance), settled pollens, dirt, tree sap and anything else also known as atmospheric fallout, brought down by precipitation and wind.
Surface Contaminants
Oxidized finish (chalky in appearance), settled pollens, dirt, tree sap and anything else also known as atmospheric fallout, brought down by precipitation and wind.
Tail
The end portion of a birdsmouth joint, which extends beyond the plate when there is a roof overhang.
Tongue and groove
A term describing boards that fit together edge to edge.
Truss
An assembly of members such as beams, bars, or rods, combined to form a rigid framework. All members are interconnected to form triangles.
Vapor barrier
A watertight material used to prevent the passage of moisture through floors, walls, and ceilings.
Wane
Bark or lack of wood from any cause on the ledge or corner of a piece.
Weather-tight
A structure that is covered with siding and a roof and that has windows and doors so that it is completely sheltered from the elements.
Weeping
The rust stain left behind from a corroded metal fastener. Typically, these stains have "wicked" the length of the wood grain, and when vertical as on a fence, these stains look like tear drops.
Wood Brightener
Neutralizes the darkening and cleansing effects of most wood cleaners and boosters. Brighteners will enhance the desired grain clarity, maximizing the intended effects of most clear wood finishes. In an attempt to optimize the color of the wood and the performance of the finish, brighteners should always be used after cleaning, and before finishing.
Wood Cleaner
Is a wood maintenance and preparatory product used prior to treating the wood. The stronger the wood cleaner, the more likely the job will require a neutralizing brightener.
Wood Felt
The raised, fractured grain created from Ultra Violet Rays (UV), strong (caustic) chemicals, high pressure or high heated power washing.