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Wood Terms - A Lumber Glossary from A - Z

A complete "Woodipedia" of lumber terms for experts & amateur woodworkers alike.
Woodipedia Index
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Wood Terms that Start with "L"

Lumber Glossary Term Definition
L

Larch

Lacewood

When some woods are quarter-swan, a mottled effect is revealed in the section through the medullar rays. In some woods, like maple and elm, the effect is very subtle, but in others it is regular and distinctive. The classic examples are European or London place (Platanus acerifolia) and Roupala (Roupala brasiliensis). These species are often referred to as lacewood.

Lacquers

A finish; a clear varnish.

Lag Screw

A large screw, usually 4 inches or longer, with a hex head, tuned with a wrench.

Laminate A thin, plastic material used to cover a board. The most common use of laminate is for counter and table tops. It is often referred to by the brand name Formica ®.
Laminated Wood

A “piece” of wood built up of plies or layers that have been joined; either with glue or mechanical fastenings. The term is most frequently applied where the plies are too thick to be classified as veneer and when the grain of all plies is parallel.

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)

Structural wood members constructed of veneers laminated to make a “flitch” from which pieces of specific sizes can be trimmed.

Land Base

Acres of forest land that are actually available for forest management. This involves future trends not only in forest growth but also in deletions from the land base.

Land Classifications
  • Basal Area Jam Acre – Land class based on total area per acre.
  • Site Class – Classification of forest land in terms of its inherent capacity to grow crops of industrial wood. Expressed in cubic-foot growth per acre per year.
  • Site Index – Expression of the growing potential of a specific forest site based on the height of a free-growing dominant or co-dominant tree of a representative species in a forest of the same type at a specified age.
  • Stand Age – Age of trees of the dominant forest type and stand-size class.
Landing

A cleared area in the woods to which logs are yarded for loading onto trucks for shipment to a processing plant. This is also known as brow, deck, dock, or ramp.

Land-Use Classes
  • Gross Area – Entire area of land and water as determined by the Bureau of Census.
  • Forest Land – Land at least 16.7% stocked by forest trees of any size, or formerly having such tree cover, and not currently developed for non-forest use.
  • Commercial Forest Land – Forest land capable of producing crops of industrial wood and not withdrawn from timber utilization by statue or administrative regulation. Included are areas suitable for growing crops of industrial wood and generally capable of producing in excess of 25 cubic feet per acre of annual growth.
  • Non-Commercial Forest Land – Unproductive forest land incapable of yielding crops of industrial wood because of adverse site conditions. Also, productive forest land withdrawn from commercial time use through statue, administrative regulation, or exclusively used for Christmas tree production.
  • Reserve Forest Land – Noncommercial forests that are productive but reserved for recreation of other non-timber uses.
  • Land Area – Area of dry land and land temporarily or partially covered by water such as marshes, flood plains, streams, sloughs, and estuaries. Canals less then 1/8 mile wide, lakes reservoirs, and ponds smaller then 40 acres are included as land area.
  • Non-Forest Land – Land that has never supported forests. Land formerly forested where forest use is precluded by development for non-forest uses, such as cropland, improved pasture, residential areas, and city parks.
Lath

A thin, narrow wooden strip, used as a backing for wall plaster or other materials.

Latewood (Summer Wood)

The part of a trees annual growth ring that is formed later in the season.

Latex Paint

A paint containing pigments and a stable water suspension of synthetic resins that forms an opaque film through coalescence of the resin during water evaporation and subsequent curing.

Lathe Checks

In rotary cut and sliced veneer, the fractures or checks that develop along the grain of the veneer as the knife peels veneer from the log. The knife side of the veneer where checks occur is called the loose side. The opposite and log side of the veneer where checking usually does not occur is called the tight side.

Lattice

A framework of crossed wood made of laths or other thin pieces of wood. Lattice often can be bought pre-made in 4x8 sheets.

LB

Lumber

LCL

Less than Carload

Leave Strip

A strip of uncut timber left between cutting units or adjacent to another resource such as a stream. This is also known as a buffer strip, green strip, or streamside management zone.

Ledger

A length of a board that is horizontally attached to the side of a house and holds up one edge of a deck.

Less than Carload (LCL)

This term indicates that a railcar is not loaded full, nor does it meet minimum requirements as prescribed by railed tariffs.

Level

An instrument for asserting whether a surface is horizontal, vertical, or at a 45 degree angle; essentially consists of an encased, liquid-filled tube containing an air bubble that moves to a center window when an instrument is set on an even plane.

LF

Light Framing

LFVC Loaded fullvisible capacity
LGR

Longer

LGTH

Length LIN (Lineal)

Light Framing (LF)

The national grading rules contains three grades of light framing; construction, standard and utility. Nominal sizes are 2 to 4 inches thick and 2 to 4 inches wide. The abbreviation (LF) is used to indicate a specific section in the grading rules under which the lumber was graded.

Light Sap Stain

A slight difference in color which will not materially impair the appearance of a piece if given a natural finish.

Lignin

A complex chemical substance making up approximately 25% of wood substance; interspersed with cellulose in forming the cell wall. Lignin stiffens the cell and functions as a bonding agent between cells; the second most abundant constituent of wood, located in the secondary wall and the middle lamella.

Limbwood

The part of the tree above the stump that does not meet the requirement for saw logs or upper stem portions. Includes all live, sound branches to a 4-inch outside back diameter minimum.

Limestone

A sedimentary rock composed largely to minerals calcite, and/or aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium.

Lineal (LIN) A term referring to length; lineal footage is the total length in feet of a piece or of all pieces of the same width in a shipment. It is used largely for specialty itmes such as mouldings and millwork.
Linear Foot

A measurement of the length of a board (i.e. – Three 8-foot-long 2x4s and four 6-foot-long 2x4s both would be described as 24 linear feet of 2x4s).

Line Level

A level that hangs from a mason’s line; typically used to transfer level elevations from one post to another.

Linseed Oil

This is an amber-colored, fatty oil extracted form the cotyledon and inner coats of the linseed. The raw oil extracted from the seeds by hydraulic pressure is pale in color and practically without taste or order. When boiled or extracted by application of heat and pressure, it is darker, has a bitter taste and an unpleasant odor.

Live Load

The amount of weight any structure is designed to support. Most deck designs call for a live load of 60 pounds per square foot.

LNG Lining
Load Area

The area found by multiplying the beam spacing by the post spacing to determine the post thickness required by building codes.

Loaded to Full Visible Capacity (LFVC)

A railroad term to accord light weight lumber shipments the same freight rate consideration as heavier species on higher carload minimum weights. If a car is loaded full, shipper obtains benefit of lowest rate even though minimum weight requirements for lowest rate haven’t been met.

Loading Jack

Rigging suspended from a spar tree guy line immediately above the line of haul and terminating in a loading block.

Lock Set

A door lock.

Log

8-foot or longer tree segment.

Log Deck

A pile of logs on a wood landing or in a mill yard.

Logger

A person employed in the production of logs and/or wood from standing timber, also known as a Lumberjack.

Logging Plan

Used in the eastern and western regions: layout, on a topographical map, of roads, landings, and setting boundaries of a logging area.

Logging Residues

Unused portions of pole timber and saw timber trees killed by land clearing, cultural operations, or timber harvesting.

Logging Setting

An area to be logged; a block or strip.

Logging Truck

A vehicle used to transport logs. A logging truck consists of a cob, containing the engine and a place for the driver to sit, and a trailer on which logs are placed. The trailer usually has an adjustable carriage in order to accommodate loads of various lengths.

Log Jack

A tool used to raise a log from the ground during bucking. Similar to a peavey, but with a flattened steel loop on the underside so when the hook fastens into a log on the ground and the handle is lowered, the log is jacked up and remains elevated.

Log Rule

A table intended to show the amounts of lumber that may be sawn from logs of different sizes under various assumed conditions.

Log Scale

Measure of the volume of wood in log/logs, usually expressed in board feet and based on various log scaling rules.

London Dispersion Forces

Intermolecular attraction forces between non-polar molecules that result when instantaneous dipoles induce matching dipoles in neighboring molecules.

Long Butt

A section cut from the bottom log of a tree and culled because of rot and other defects.

Long-Line Skidding

At term currently synonymous with skyline skidding.

Longitudinal

Parallel to the direction of the wood fibers.

Long-Span Skidding

A cable system capable of skidding logs for 3,000 feet or more.

Longwood

Pulpwood 120 inches or more in length.

Longwood Harvesting

A timber harvesting method in which harvested trees are moved to the landing either as whole trees or as topped and limbed tree-length logs. At the landing, further processing such a limbing, topping, bucking, chipping, or loading is carried out as necessary.

Loose Knot

A knot not held in place by growth, shape or position.

Loosened or Raised Grain

Consists of a small portion of the wood being loosened or raised but not displaced.

Low Voltage Lighting

Commercially available lighting systems that use a transformer to reduce the needed electrical current. These lighting systems are designed for do-it-yourself applications.

LP

Lodgepole Pine

Lumber

Logs which have been sawn, planed, and cut to length; a manufacture product derived from a log in a saw mill, or in a sawmill and planing mill. Which when rough shall have been sawed, edged and trimmed at least to the extent of showing saw marks in the wood on the four longitudinal surfaces of each piece for its overall length, and which has not been further manufactured other than by cross-cutting, ripping, resawing, joining crosswise and/or endwise in a flat plane, surfacing with or without end matching and working.

  • Factory and Shop Lumber – Lumber intended to be cut up for use in further manufacture. It is graded on the percentage of the area that will produce a limited number of cuttings of a specified minimum size and quality.
  • Matched Lumber – Lumber that is edge dressed and shaped to make a close tongued-and-grooved joint at the edges or ends when laid edge to edge or end to end.
  • Nominal Size – As applied to lumber, the size by which it is known and sold in the market, often differs from the actual size.
  • Patterned Lumber – Lumber that is shaped to a pattern or to a molded form in addition to being dressed, matched, or shiplapped, or any combination of these workings.
  • Rough Lumber – Lumber that has not been surfaced but has been sawed, edged, and trimmed.
  • Shiplapped Lumber – Lumber that is edge dressed to make a lapped joint.
  • Side Lumber – A board from the outer portion of the log; originally one produced when squaring off a log for a tie or timber.
  • • Structural Lumber – Lumber that is intended for use where allowable properties are required. The grading of structural lumber is based on the strength or stiffness of the piece as related to anticipated uses.
  • Surfaced Lumber – Lumber that is dressed by running it through a planer.
  • Yard Lumber – Lumber of all sizes and patterns that is intended for general building purposes having no design property requirements.
Lumber for Dimension

The National Dimension Manufacturers Associated defines both hardwood and softwood dimension components as being cut to a specific size from kiln-dried rough lumber, cants, or logs.

Lumber Tally

A record of lumber giving the number of boards or pieces by width, thickness, length, grade and species.

Lumber-Core Plywood

Plywood where thin sheets of veneer are glued to a core of narrow boards. Lumber-core plywood differs from regular plywood in that regular plywood is made up of successive layers of alternating grain veneer.

Lumberjack

One who works in forest performing a variety of jobs related to the harvesting of timber; most commonly used in the Northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Also known as a logger.

Lumber Ruler

A tool resembling a ruler with a handle at one end and a hood at the other which is used to calculate the board footage of a piece of lumber.

Lumber Tally

Record of lumber giving the number of boards or pieces by size, grade, and species; often expressed in MBF.

Lumen

The cell cavity in wood anatomy.

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