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Finish Carpentry Terms

Finish Carpentry Terms and Definitions

This page covers some of the finish carpentry terms and definitions for those who are just beginning a project or just don't know. If you don't understand something or don't see something here feel free to hit the "need help" button and ask. I will occasionally be adding to this page.

Baluster (spindle) - closely vertical mounted posts inside a hand railing for the support of a hand railing.

Baseboard - Decorative trim that is mounted at the base of the walls in the perimeter of a room-a molding covering the joint formed by a wall and the floor.

Casing - Decorative trim wood which goes around doors and windows on the interior walls.

Chair Rail - Decorative trim that is installed on walls usually at 30 to 40 inches above the floor. Traditionally installed to protect walls from the backs of chairs.

Cope joint or coping - A method for joining two pieces of trim wood perfectly at an inside corner.

Crosscut - cutting or sawing wood across the grain.

Crown Molding - Decorative trim that is installed at the top of cabinetry and at the top of walls the perimeter of a room.

Fillet - Small piece of trim wood which separates the balusters on a hand railing on this certain type of hand railing.

Frame and Panel door (6 - panel door) - A door that has panels (some times raised panels) within a framework of stiles, rails and mullions.

Hinge jamb - The side of the door jamb that holds the door to the jamb or same side the hinges are on.

Jamb extension - A wood frame that is attached to a door or window jamb to bring the jamb out flush with the inside wall.

Miter - A type of joint where two pieces of trim are cut at angles and joined together - miter joint.

Molding - Another term for trim wood.

Newel Post - A wooden post where a hand railing is fastened to at the bottom and top of stairs and or at the end of a hand railing.

Plinth Block - A decorative block which is installed in place of miters with both casing and baseboard.

Plumb - being level vertically. Example; the door is plumb (level vertically).

Return (baseboard return) - A small piece of trim that is cut and glued in at the end of a piece of trim to conceal the end grain.

Reveal - The gap between the inside face of a door or window jamb and the inside edge of the trim installed on to it. Also in finish carpentry terms refers to the crack between a door and the jamb.

Rip or Rip cut - A saw cut that follows the grain of the wood. Opposite of a crosscut.

Riser - The board that closes the space vertically between steps or stair treads.

Rosette - A decorative block mounted to a wall where a hand railing runs into a wall. Also in finish carpentry terms refers to target blocks in casing instead of having miter joints.

Rough Opening - The rough wall opening where a door or a window will be installed.

Stair Tread - One step of a stair way.

Wainscoting (Waynes Coating) - Wall paneling that covers the lower part of a wall 30 to 40 inches high.

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