Terms of Art used by Joyners

XXXIX. He beareth Or, a Joyner seated astride a piece of Timber with a Mallet in his right hand lifted up, and a Chissel in his left, making a Mortice all proper.

Terms of Art used by Joyners in their way of Working, and explained.

First, for the Names of their Timber.

Raile, it is a piece of Timber, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 foot or more long, and carrieth four inches broad, and an inch or more thick. A Raile is an half Spare.

Spare, is two inches thick, and four inches broad; in some places it is termed a single Quarter.

Joyce, it is four inches square. In some Counties called a double Quarter.

Bed posts, such as Beds either for Standards, Bed sides, or Beds feet are made of.

Stool feet.

Chair backs.

Munton, the short down right pieces in Wainscot.

Stile, the over cross pieces in Wainscot, in the riget of which two, the Panell or middle pieces are fastned.

Boards of several sorts, as

Plank of any length, but never under 2, 3, or 4 inches thick.

Inch Boards.

Half Inch Boards.

Uallens, narrow Boards, about 5 or 6 inches broad, and half inch thick, and of all lengths.

Pannell, little cleft Boards, about 2 foot high, and 16 or 20 inches broad, of these Wainscot is made.

Shingles, cleft Wood about 6 or 8 inches long, and 4, or 5 broad; with these in Wood Countreys they cover their Houses.

Secondly, for their Words or Term.

Architrave, is a plain or flat border, at the bottom moulding of a Cornish or Cornice.

Arras ways, is any thing set or hung Diamond wise, having one corner of the Square set upwards, the other downwards.

Base, the bottom, foot, or foundation of any work.

Bed moulding, is the smaller mouldings over a swelling Friese.

Bead, the inner part of any moulding, being only a square.

Batten, is the laying of a long narrow piece of Wood on a Door or the like, to counterfeit Wainscot, being moulded on each side.

Bevil, is any sloping Angle that is not a perfect square.

Bevil Joint; see Joint.

Capitull, is the top mouldings or cornish of any Pillar or Pillaster.

Cast, it is when any Boards, or other stuff, doth cast, warp, or bend, or any way alter from its own flatness and straightness.

Clamp or Clampt, is when one piece of Timber with the grain, is fixed to another cross the grain; thus the ends of Tables are commonly clampt to preserve them from wraping.

Cornice or Cornish, is the top and overseeling moulding on the top of a piece of Wainscot.

Cross grained, is that part of the Timber, in which a Bough or Arm of the Tree hath grown from the main Trunk of the Tree; in some Boards they are curled Knots, but in Deal perfect Knots.

Curling Grain, see cross grain. This is also called curling stuff, and knotty stuff.

Cypher, as to cypher of a square edge, making 2 edges for that one.

Door Case, is the Frame work about the Door, to which it hangeth by Hinges.

Draw the Saw through, is cut or slit such a piece of Stuff through.

Facia, is a plain square in a moulding, under a projected cornish.

Fence, is a part of the Plow Plain, to keep it from going deeper, or out of the place it is designed to groove.

Fine set, that is, when the Iron of a Plain is set so fine, and stands so shallow below the Sole of the Plain, that in working it takes off a thin shaving. See Rank set.

Friese, or flat Friese, is a plain and broad square between a Fillet moulding, and a Cornice moulding.

Friese Pannel, is the uppermost Pannel in the Wainscot.

Friese Rail, is the Rail as lieth next under the said Pannel.

Frowy Stuff, is such Timber as is soft and gentle, easie to be wrought, being neither too hard nor too soft.

Free Stuff, Timber of a good condition to work upon.

Frames, are those Wooden mouldings set about Pictures, or Frames for Door Cases.

Groove, or Grooving, is the making of a long nick in a Spar, Board, or other Stuff with the Plow Plain.

Grain, is the running Veins, or breaking Lines which run all along the Wood, no Wood being without a certain Grain either more or less, wider or closer, longer or shorter.

Helve, or Haft, or Handle, the holding place for working of any Tool, as Chissels and Gouges. Some call them Heads.

Hard Stuff, is such Timber as is naturally hard, as Box, Lignum Vitae, &c. or else so Curling and Knotty, that a Plain cannot take a shaving off it as thick as a Groat.

Heads of Tools; see Helve.

Husk, is a square Frame of Moulding, like to a Picture Frame or the like, set over the Mantle Tree of a Chimney between two Pillasters, having Capitalls, Friese, and a projecting Cornish.

Inch Board, is a full Inch breadth in its thicknes, after it is sawed.

Inch prickt, wants of an Inch in the thickness of the Board, because the Saw Kerfe hath taken half its breadth away in Sawing; so all scantlins are called, as 1, 2, or 3 inch sawn or prickt.

Joynt, is the edges of two Boards Joined and Glewed together in an even and streight line; yet besides this there is other kinds of Joints made in Wood, as

The Square Joynt, which is, when two pieces of Wood are set so together that it is the one half of a perfect square; four such Joynts making a square.

The Myter Joynt, is the joining of two pieces of Wood, so as the Joynt makes but half a square and no more; three making a triangle frame.

The Bevil Joynt, is the joining of two pieces together, so as that they make any other sharp or acute angle; these Joynts are used in Frames that are made Pentagon, Hexagon, and Octagon, that is, with either five, six, or eight corners.

Kerf, or Saw Kerf, is the Sawn-away slit, which the Saw makes in any Board, or other Stuff.

Knot, is a hard place, or irregular part of a Board, which breaks the grain, or turns it in a round; being of a contrary nature to the freeness of the Wood.

Large Pannel, see Pannell.

Lying Pannell, see in Pannel.

Lower Raile, see Rail.

Lay a Kerfe in that piece, is to cut through such a piece.

Lining of Stuff, is to strike a Chalk Line upon it, to Saw it by.

Margent, the flat breadth of the Stile (of some called the Munton) between the moulding on each side, is called the Margent of the Stiles.

Miter Joynt; see Joyn.

Miter, an Angle that maketh a three square.

Mouldings, the several ways of wrought Work made with Plains on Wood, are generally termed altogether Mouldings, though each Moulding hath its peculiar name.

Mortess, is a long or square hole cut in a piece of Timber, to hold another piece, or entertain a Tenant made fit for it.

Ogee, is a moulding in a Cornish, wherein one part swells out, and the other turns in after the manner of a Roman S.

Over seile, is when one part of a Cornish stands further out than another. Some term it a Project, or Projecting.

Pannel, it is the flat, and either square or long long Boards in Wainscot, which have their several terms according to their positions, as

The Lying Pannels, are the lower rank of Boards next to the ground.

The Large Pannels, or Middle Pannels, are those that run through the middle of the Wainscot.

The Friese Pannells, are the top rank of Boards, which Pannells are generally according to Order of the Work set longways, and are not much more than a fourth part of the breadth of the other Pannells.

Par, or Paring, is the cutting of a thing, as a Joynt smooth with the Paring Chissel.

Pilaster, is the half of a Pillar set to a Wall, as in Doors and Chimney peeces, and their Basis and Capital also cut off by the half; this term is given to such Pillar whether they be round or square.

A Pit-Man, the Sawyer that works in or at the Pit for Sawing of great Trees into several sorts of Timber for the Joyners use, is called a Pit-Man, but generally with us Sawyers.

Planchier, is a great round out swelling, between other smaller mouldings.

Plinth. is a Bevil, flat, or plain mould, whether in the Head or Capital Moulding, or Basis.

Project, see Over-seile.

Plow a Groove, is the working of a Groove in a Stile or Rail, to lay the edges of a Pannel Board in.

Paring of a Joynt, is to make a Joynt fit, by cutting it even with the Paring Chissel; see Shooting of a Joynt.

Rack, is a part of the Instrument used in waving of Timber, and is a flat piece of hard wood about an inch and quarter broad.

Rail, is the overcross pieces in Wainscot, which have several names according to their places, as

The lower Rail, is that next the Ground; next it is the Surbase Rail.

The Middle Rail, is that in the middle of the Wainscot.

The Friese Rail, is that next to the top rail, or highmost rail.

The upper Rail, is the top Rail on which the Cornice is set.

Rank, or Rankset, is when the Iron of the Plain, is set so far below the Sole of the Plain, that in the working it will take off a thick shaving; or the Teeth of a Saw set so wide that it makes a broad Kerfe.

Range or Run-range. is the side of any work that runs straight without breaking into Angles is said to run range; thus the Rails and Pannels of one streight side of Wainscoting being set to a straight corner of a Wall, is said to range or run range with the Wall.

Return, the side that falls away from the fore side or any straight or Range work, is called a Return, as in Corners of Chambers.

Reglet, is a flat, thin, square piece of Wood, fitted to be Molded and Waved in the Waving Instrument.

Rub, that is, whet the Irons of the Plain when they are dull and blunt.

Scantlin, is the size that the Joyner intends to cut his Stuff to. Sometimes it is used to that piece of Stuff as will not hold out to do that piece of Work for which it is intended.

Scribe, is the drawing of a line or stroak with the point of the Compasses upon a piece of stuff that is straight, thereby to cut it so as it may join to an Irregular piece, whether bowed or cornered.

Shoot a Joynt, is the making of the two pieces to be joined, smooth and even with the Joynter Plain; that is the Joynts are made so exactly streight, that being put together, no Light can be seen between them; this is shooting of a Joynt.

Shoot a Board, is to make it have a straight edge; as in a Ruler, where the edges are shot straight, and one side shot off with a cyphered edge.

Stile, of some termed Munton, is all those upright pieces in Wainscot, in which the Pannels are fixed.


Stuffe, all sorts of Wood that Joyners work upon, are generally called Stuff.

Sur-Base, is the next Rail to the bottom Rail in a piece of Wainscoting.

Swelling Frize, is a round swelling between other smaller moulding: it is of some termed a Planchier.

Shaving, is the thin cutting of Wood that a plain take off.

Square Joynt, see Joynt.

Setting of a Saw, is the drawing of the Saw-teeth one one way, and the other another way, thereby to make the Kerfe broader or narrower, to cut the Timber more Rank.

Table, is a plain smooth board set about with Mouldings, whether it be round Oval or Square, or of what sort soever: but most used for those square Boards which have Frames about them for Pictures and Coats of Arms to be drawn and Painted upon.

Taper, is any sort of work that is smaller at one end then at the other: or diminisheth gradually from the biggest end, to the other.

Tennant, is a square end fitted into a Mortess made in another peece of Timber by which the two Peeces are closed and held together.

Top-Man, is the uppermost Man that is Sawing great Timber at a Pit; or on Trussels which are high Frames a little more then the height of a Man, on which the Wood is laid for want of a Pit.

Traverse, is working with the plain, or any other Tool cross the grain of the Timber.

Try, is to see by the help of a straight rule, laying it on a flat peece, whether the work be true, which it is if no light can be seen between the edge of the rule and the work.

Uaws-Cornice, is any small Cornish lying under a great swelling out peece, as under a Planchier, or swelling Friese.

Upper Cornice, is the highest Cornish in any Moulded work.

Warp, see Cast.

Wedge, is a peece of Wood or Iron made taper, by which things are opened and made wide; or else to Wedge is to make a thing fast in another, by driving peeces of Wood so made between the open parts.

Whetting-block, is a peece of thick Timber haveing a Rigget in it, into which the blade of a new Saw is set and wedged that it cannot play whilest the Teeth are sharpning.

Wrest, is that by which Saw Teeth are set.

— From Randle Holme’s “The Academy of Armory, or, A Storehouse of Armory and Blazon” Book III, Chapter III. Why am I reading this?

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