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CSAW - Timber building terms
Category: Architecture and Buildings > Building terms
Date & country: 16/09/2008, AU
Words: 428

The support structure at either end of an arch or bridge. The intermediary supports are called piers

across the grain
The direction at right angles to the length of the fibres and other longitudinal elements of the wood

A substance used to bond two surfaces together

agenda 21
Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action for achieving sustainable development in the 21st century. It includes a wide range of economic, social and environmental factors that affect sustainable development. Chapter 11 of Agenda 21, the major output of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, 1992...

air velocity
The velocity of air in the passages between rows of boards in a rack

air-dried timber
Timber dried by exposure to air in a yard or shed, without artificial heat (also see seasoning)

along the grain
The direction parallel with the length of the fibres and other longitudinal elements of the wood

anchor bolt
A device for connecting timber members to concrete or masonry

Instrument for measuring velocity of airflow

Exhibiting different properties when measured along its different axes

anti-stain chemical
A chemical applied to timber to prevent or retard chemical or fungal stain development

A curved structure resting on supports at each end that supports loads primarily in compression

The sharp intersection of two surfaces, eg. the face and edge of a piece of wood

A characterisitic of an action or production stage in information processing, such as a kiln number or a log grade

back sawn timber
Timber sawn so that the growth rings are inclined at less than 45 degrees to the wide face

A rigid or flexible barrier used to direct and control the flow of air

In drying, a group of timber with similar drying and product characteristics

Structural member, other than a triangulated frame, which supports load primarily by its internal resistance to bending

A sub floor timber beam placed across piers or stringers and supporting floor joists

An artificial ridge of earth

Any angle not at 90 degrees. Also, a tool for marking such an angle

The breaking down of timber by natural or biological agents such as fungi and insects

Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms: the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, their genes and the ecosystems of which they are a part. Biodiversity underpins the processes that make life possible.

All living animals and plants

The notch in a rafter that rests on the top plate of a wall

birds eye
Figure on the surface of wood that has numerous rounded areas resembling small eyes

1. A piece of sawn, hewn, or dressed timber of greater width than thickness. Usually 19 mm to 38 mm thick and 75 mm or more wide. 2. Manufactured products supplied as rigid or semi-rigid sheets, eg. fibreboard and particle boards

boreal forest
The forest areas of the Northern North Temperate zone dominated by coniferous trees such as spruce, fir and pine

botanical name
The botanical names of species and their relationship to trade names are defined in AS 2543, Nomenclature of Australian Timbers and AS 1148, Nomenclature of Commercial Timbers imported into Australia

bound moisture
Moisture which is closely bound to the cell wall constituents of wood

bound water
Water molecules bound into the cell wall of timber. They are weakly bound chemically to the molecules of the cell wall and energy is required to break them free

A curvature in the longitudinal direction of a board causing the wide face to move away from a flat plane

bowstring truss
A truss where the top chord of the truss is curved to an arch shape

box beam
A built-up beam with solid timber flanges (a) and plywood or wood-base panel product webs (b)

Secondary structural members that normally do not support gravity loads but are required to provide lateral stability to other structural members or to transfer horizontal loads to the supports

Bracing installed between floor joists to stiffen floor and distribute live loads. Also called cross-bridging

1. A hard, woody outgrowth on a tree, more or less rounded in form, usually resulting from the entwined growth of a cluster of buds. Such burls are the source of the highly figured burl veneers used for purely ornamental purposes. 2. In lumber or veneer, a localised severe distortion of the grain generally rounded in outline

butt joint
An end joint formed by abutting the squared ends of two pieces

Intentional vertical curve built into a beam or truss to offset load deflection or to improve its appearance

A thin layer of tissue between the bark and wood that repeatedly subdivides to form new wood and bark cells

A projecting structural member which is rigidly fixed at one end but unsupported at the other

carbon sink
A carbon sink is something that removes or stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, for example growing vegetation.

case hardening
A drying defect characterised by the presence of compression stresses in the outer zone and tensile stresses in the core. It occurs when rapid drying has caused permanent set of the outer zones of a piece of wood

casein glue
An adhesive, primarily for internal use, prepared from casein, sodium silicate, lime, soda and other compounds. It was used largely in plywood manufacturer, has some resistance to water but is not waterproof, ages well and can be made resistant to mould

cathedral cut
A variation of the crown cut method of slicing veneers. The growth rings are exactly parallel to the slicer, producing on the face of the veneer an inverted 'V' figure resembling the spire of a cathedral

Copper chrome arsenate, a wood preservative

In wood anatomy, a general term for the minute units of wood structure that have distinct walls and cavities, including wood fibres, vessel segments, and other elements of diverse structure and function. In dense hardwoods, the fibre cells are thick walled and make up the major part of whole zones of wood. These fibrous zones dry slowly

The carbohydrate that is the principal constituent of wood and forms the framework of wood cells

Forest certification refers to the assessment of forest management by an independent third party auditor according to performance criteria for sustainable wood production

chain of custody
The process by which the source of a timber product is verified. This entails ¡¥tracking¡¦ the timber from the forest through all the steps of the production process until it reaches the end user. The process is usually necessary before a timber product can be labelled as being produced from a sustainable source

A separation of fibres along the grain forming a fissure, but not extending through the piece from face to face. Checks commonly resulting from stresses built up during seasoning. They run radially, across the growth rings

A wedge-like, sharp-edged tool used for cutting or shaping timber

Either of the two outside members of a truss (a) connected and braced by the web (b) members. The term also applies to beam flanges or the perimeter members of a plywood diaphragm

The external covering or skin of walls of a building. Timber cladding includes natural or treated timber boards, and plywood

clear span
The clear horizontal distance between the supports of a load bearing member

cleavage test
A test that measures the resistance of a timber to splitting longitudinally along the radial and tangential planes

A window, or row of windows, in the upper part of a room where it can admit light from above an adjacent roof

close- grained wood
Wood with narrow, inconspicuous growth rings. The term is sometimes used to designate wood having small and closely spaced pores, but in this sense the term 'fine textured' is more often used

coach screw
Similar to a wood screw except larger and with a hexagonal head so that it can be turned with a spanner

coarse-grained wood
Wood with wide conspicuous growth rings in which there is considerable difference between earlywood and latewood. The term is sometimes used to designate wood with large pores, but in this sense the term 'coarse textured' is more often used

The flattening of single cells or rows of cells during the drying or pressure treatment of wood. Often characterised by a caved-in or corrugated ('washboarded') appearance of the wood surface

collar tie
A horizontal board that connects pairs of rafters on opposite roof slopes

A free standing axially loaded compression member, usually vertical

comprehensive regional assessments
A joint assessment of all forest values (environmental, heritage, economic and social) undertaken by the Commonwealth and State ¡V leading to the establishment of a CAR reserve system, agreements on sustainable forest management, and the signing of a Regional Forest Agreement

A state or condition of being pushed or shortened by a force

compression failure
Deformation or fracture of wood fibres across the grain resulting from excessive compression along the grain

compression seat
A fabricated or cast metal bracket into which timber structural members abut, used to joint timber compression elements to other structural members

conditioning treatment
A treatment applied to equilibrate the moisture content of wood to a particular value

The sustainable use of forest resources in a manner that does not degrade the collective resource values of a region over the long term

continuity strap
A piece of flat steel fixed over a butt joint between timber beams to provide a continuos tension connection

control joint
A vertical or horizontal gap, filled or unfilled, to accommodate differential movement between various elements of a construction

A length of timber laid horizontally on the top of a column to transfer loads and to provide a seat for beams. A compound corbel includes several lengths of timber instead of one

Species - An adjustment of the readings of the resistance-type electrical moisture meter to compensate for different species of wood. Corrections are tabulated in AS/NZS 1080 1:1997 Temperature - An adjustment of the readings of the resistance-type electrical moisture meter to compensate for changes in the temperature of wood. Corrections are tab...

A defined area of forest, usually with consistent characteristics

A metal sleeve threaded internally and used to connect threaded rods or bolts

Increase in deformation following prolonged loading

A cut in an unseasoned joist, bearer or stud designed to reduce movement in a floor or wall as the structural timber seasons

criteria and indicators
A criterion is a category of conditions or processes by which sustainable forest management may be assessed. A criterion is characterised by a set of related indicators that are monitored periodically to assess change. An indicator is a measure (measurement) of an aspect of the criterion. An indicator can be quantitative or qualitative variable w...

cross cut
To cut across the grain

cross grain
An arrangement in which the fibres and other longitudinal elements of a piece of wood deviate from a line parallel with the edges of the piece

crown cut
A method of slicing veneers whereby the average inclination of the growth rings to the wider face is tangential or less than 45 degrees. This method is also known as flat cut

In the shape of a cross

A concave curvature across the grain or width of the a piece of timber

To change the properties of an adhesive by chemical reaction (which may be condensation, polymerisation, or vulcanisation) and thereby develop maximum strength

The decomposition of wood by fungi

Timber used in surfacing parts of bridges and other structures subjected to vehicular or pedestrian traffic

In timber and other forest products, the result of any process that lowers the value of the wood

dehumidifier kiln
A kiln working on the heat pump principle. Moisture evaporated from the timber by a flow of warm air is condensed on the evaporator coils of a refrigeration unit and drained away. The refrigerant is compressed and passed through condenser coils, re-heating the air stream

The separation of plies or laminations through failure of the bond, visible at an edge

As applied to timber, density is the mass of wood substance and moisture enclosed within a piece expressed in kilograms per cubic meter. As the mass will vary dependant on the amount of moisture in the piece, density is often expressed at a specified moisture content, usually 12%

The difference between dry and wet bulb temperatures. It is a measure of humidity

dew point
The temperature at which the relative humidity of a body of air is 100 per cent. Further cooling causes vapour in the air to condense as water droplets

The change of a square or rectangular section timber to a diamond shape during drying. Diamonding occurs where the growth rings pass through diagonal corners of the section of the piece and is caused by the difference between tangential and radial shrinkage. It is a form of distortion

1. In a beam, an element at right angles to the span with the function of connecting the beams so that they resist load as a unit. 2. A relatively thin, usually rectangular, element of a structure that is capable of withstanding shear in its plane and acts as a bracing elements

Movement of water through wood from points of high moisture content to points of low moisture content by molecular diffusion

A measure of the rate of moisture movement through wood by diffusion as a result of differences in moisture content

Sawn - The nominal dimension of the board plus the overcut to allow for shrinkage. Nominal - The general intended size of the dry rough sawn board. Machined - The actual size of a machined or moulded board

dimensional Change
Changes in the size of a piece of dry timber as its moisture content changes to be in equilibrium with the surrounding atmospheric conditions

Submerging timber in a dipping vat containing fungicides or other chemicals to prevent stain or decay

Change in the colour of wood caused by fungal or chemical stains, weathering, or heat treatment