Decking Deck Pictures Discounts FAQ IpeDepot.com Decking Blog WoodSlabs.com Contact

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 "P"

Lumber Glossary Term Definition
P&T

Posts and Timbers

PAD Partly Air Dried
Pacific Coast States

Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.

Paint

Any pigmented liquid or mastic composition designed for application to a substrate in a thin layer that converts to an opaque solid film after application.

Paint Brush A brush used for applying paint.
Pallet

A portable platform used as a base for stacking, storing, and transporting goods in a unit.

Palm Nailer (Push Nailer/Brad Nailer) A palm held, spring loaded tool with a barrel for holding fine brads and pins. A fine hobby nail or brad is dropped down the barrel of the tool and the tool is then held against the wood and pushed.
Pan

Large, flat upward-curving metal plate on which log ends or pallets are placed to make skidding easier and prevents digging in and rutting.

Panel Product Any variety of wood products, such as hardboard, oriented strand board, particleboard, plywood, or waferboard, sold in sheets or panels. Although sizes vary, a standard size for most panel products is 4x8 feet.
Paperboard

The distinction between paper and paperboard is not sharp, but broadly speaking, the thicker, heavier, and more rigid grades of paper are called paperboard.

Paper Wrapped (PW) Lumber strapped into units and wrapped in weather resistant material prior to shipment.
PARA

Paragraph PART — Partition

Parenchyma Short cells having simple pits and functioning primarily in the metabolism and storage of plant food materials. They remain alive longer than the tracheids, fibers, and vessel elements, sometimes for many years. There are two kids of parenchyma cells; vertical strands, also known as axial parenchyma, and those in horizontal series, also know as ray parenchyma.
Parent Tree

Any tree whose seeds are used to product progeny for use in genetic experimentation. Usually the parent tree is selected because it displays characteristics either interesting from a research standpoint or desirable in an operational forest management program.

Particles

The aggregate component of particleboard manufactured by mechanical means from wood.

Particleboard

A type of manufactured plywood that is made from ground up and glued scrap wood. Particle board is very dense, heavy and flat.

Partial Cut

A logging area in which only part of the trees are felled and bucked, as opposed to clear cut.

Particleboard Core Plywood

Plywood that is made by gluing a thin layer of veneer to a piece of particleboard.

Partly Air Dried (PAD)

Seasoned to some extent by exposure to the atmosphere, but still considered green or unseasoned.

PAT

Pattern

Pass Block

A light-weight block hung at the top of the spar tree and used to lift the bull block and other gear in rigging the tree.

Pay-As-Cut

Timber purchased based on a dollar amount for a certain amount/volume of wood, such as dollars per MBF. Payment is made only as timber is cut and transported.

Payload

The gross weight of a loaded vehicle minus the weight of the vehicle itself.

Payout To unreel cable.
Peat

Generally, unconsolidated material that consists mainly of un-decomposed, or only slightly decomposed, organic matter accumulated under conditions of excessive moisture. More specifically, a layer of organic material containing plant residues that may show little, if any, morphological change and that have accumulated as a result of submergence in water or through being in a very wet environment.

Peavey

A stout wooden lever, fitted with a strong, sharp spike used for rolling logs.

Peck

Pockets or areas of disintegrated wood caused by advanced stages of localized decay in the living tree; it is usually associated with cypress and incense cedar; there is no further development of peck once the tree is felled.

Peel

To convert a log into veneer by rotary cutting.

Peeler

A high-grade log from which veneer is peeled, on a lathe, for the production of plywood. Peelers are most frequently from old-growth trees. The resulting veneer is usually clear and used in sanded plywood.

PEFC

Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes, which was formally known as the Pan European Forest Certification Scheme.

Peg

A hardwood dowel usually ranging from 5/8 of an inch to 2 inches in diameter.

Pencil Stock Made from Incense Cedar, pencil stock is graded for the percentage of clear pencil squares that may be obtained from a piece by ripping and cross cutting.
Pendant

An ornamental termination to the low end of a hammer post, king post, queen post, etc.

Pennyweight

A system of measuring the size of a nail. Originally derived from a unit of weight, pennyweight is represented by the letter “d”.

Periodic Annual Increment (PAI)

Mean annual growth or increase in volume during a specific period of time.

Persimmon
  • Belongs in the Ebony family
  • Orange-brown streaks, in dark brown and black heartwood
  • Straight grain and fine and even texture
  • High bending and crushing strengths
  • Medium stiffness
  • Used for textile shuttles, cabinets, and paneling
Peruvian Walnut
  • Dark brown with blackish streaks
  • Straight to wavy grain
  • Medium bending strength and resistance to shock loads
  • High crush strength
  • Low stiffness
  • Works easily with hand and power tools
  • Nails and screws easily
  • Moderately durable
  • Used for high-class furniture, cabinet making, musical instruments, carving, sporting goods, and decorative veneer.
PET

Precision End Trimmed

Phillips Head

A type of screw head requiring a driver in the shape of +.

Phloem

The inner part of a trees bark that delivers water and other nutrients.

Photosensitivity

Photosensitivity is the degree in which all species change in response to natural sunlight or UV light. Contrary to popular belief, all species, both domestic and exotic are affected by sunlight. Depending upon how much natural sunlight or UV light the hardwoods receive will determine how quickly the change takes place. Red Oak, Maple, Hickory, and many other domestic species will generally fade in color and/or yellow as the urethane/stain is effected by the UV light. Generally exotic species will darken and richen in color with exposure to UV light. There are manufacturers who have UV inhibiting finishes on their products, and these will prolong the changes due to UV light, but this does not prevent them completely, the floors will still change.

Photosynthesis

The process that plants use to synthesize nutrients from water and minerals, using light.

Phylum

A class of a group of plants. Phylum is a botanical term used by botanists to classify plants.

Picket

A sharpened or pointed pale, post, or stake usually used as fencing.

Piece Rate

Payment for labor where income is related to output.

Pier

A masonry post. Piers often serve as above-gate footings for posts and often are made of pre-cast concrete.

Piedmont

Located or formed at the base of a mountain range; an example would be piedmont terrace. Area, plain, slope, glacier, or other feature at the base of a mountain, such as a foothill or bajada. In the United States, the plateau extending from New Jersey to Alabama and lying east of the Appalachian Mountains is considered a piedmont.

Pike A long pole with a pointed steel head used in raising bents, also called a barn pole.
Piling

Round timber of any required size or length, usually used with smaller end in the ground.

Pilot Bit

A router bit fitted with bearing above the cutter which rides on the edge of a board or template, keeping the bit a fixed distance from the edge.

Pin Hole

From any cause approximately 1/16” in diameter.

Pin Knot

One knot over ½” in diameter.

Pine

Any evergreen tree of the genus Pinus, native to northern temperate regions. Trees with needle shaped sprees growing in clusters.

Pin Router

A router that is fixed above a table with its bit point down. A pin in the table is aligned with the bit and used to route the workplace.

Pintle Hook

Hooking device normally found on the rear of a piece of equipment and used to pull or attach a cable or trailer.

Pit

A colloquialism for a landing, also known as a deck or ramp.

Pitch

The number of teeth on a saw blade per inch.

Pitch Pocket

A pocket of resinous sap confined within the grain of many conifers.

Pitch Seam

Shake or check which is filled with pitch.

Pitch Streak

A well-defined accumulation of pitch in the wood cells in a more or less regular streak.

Pith

A soft core in the center of a tree trunk.

Pith Fleck

A narrow streak, resembling pith on the surface of a piece, resulting from burrowing of larvae in the growing tissues of the tree.

Plain and Profile

A drawing showing both horizontal (plan) and vertical (profile) delineation of the road survey.

Planimeter

An instrument used to mechanically measure an area by tracing the perimeter on a place surface. This is typically used to estimate the size of an area from scale maps.

Plain-Sawn Lumber

A method of sawing lumber, where the log is cut tangential to the growth rings.

Planing Mill Products

Surfaced or planed lumber; products worked to pattern, such as flooring, ceiling, and siding.

Plank

A piece of lumber, from 2 but not including 5 inches thick, generally used with wide face horizontal.

Plantation

A forest stand regenerated artificially either by sowing or planting.

Planting

An artificial regeneration method in which a new stand of trees is established by restocking the area with tree seedlings.

Plant

The major horizontal timber which runs from one end of the frame to the other and supports the base of the rafters.

Plate Joint

A butt joint that is reinforced with a football shaped “biscuit”. The biscuits are usually made from compressed pieces of wood, usually birch. When a biscuit comes into contact with glue in the joint, it swells creating a tighter joint.

Plasticizing Wood

Softening wood by hot water, steam, or chemical treatment to increase its moldability.

PLIB

Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau

Plumb

A term used to describe something that is perfectly perpendicular to the earth relative to gravity. A plumb bob on the end of a string will give you a line that is plumb or straight up and down.

Plumb Bob

A usually conical metal weight attached to the end of a plumb line.

Plunge Cut

Starting a cut in the center of a log using the tip of the chain saw blade. This is also known as boring.

Plunge Router

A router mounted on a spring loaded base. The router can be turned on and plunged down into the work piece.

Plywood

A flat panel made up of a number of thin sheets, or veneers, of wood in which the grain direction of each ply, or layer, is at right angels to the one adjacent to it. The veneer sheets are united, and under pressure, via a bonding agent.

Pneumatic Nailer

A nail gun activated by air pressure.

Pocket

A well-defined opening between the rings of annual growth, usually containing pitch or bark.

Pocket Hole

A hole drilled on an angle with a step bit to make a butt joint. The larger hole is for the screw head to enter, and the smaller hole is for the shank.

Pocket Rot

Advanced decay which appears in the form of a hole, pocket or area of soft rot usually surrounded by apparently sound wood.

Pogo Stick

A stand used to hold the air hose and electrical connections mounted behind the cab on a truck tractor. This is also known as a hitchhiker.

Polar

Characteristics of a molecule in which the positive and negative electrical charges are permanently separated, as opposed to non-polar molecules in which the charges coincide.

Pole

Young tree at least 4 inches and less than 8 to 12 inches in D.B.H.

Pole Size

Trees from 5 to 11 inches in D.B.H.

Pole Timber

Arbitrary term for small sawn timber trees. Generally, trees 12 to 18 inches in D.B.H. This is also known as small saw timber.

Polymer

A compound formed by the reaction of simple molecules having functional groups that permit their combination to proceed to high molecular weights under suitable conditions.

Polymerization

A chemical reaction in which the molecules of a monometer are linked together to form large molecules whose molecular weight is a multiple of that of the original substance.

Pond Value

Market price of logs delivered to a wet site, log pond, or tidewater.

Poplar
  • Creamy-white to grey in color
  • Straight grained and fine texture
  • Very low stiffness and resistance to shock loads
  • Medium crushing strength
  • Low bending strength
  • Nails satisfactory and glues easy
  • Used for bottoms of trucks, wagons, and carts, drawers, interior joinery, toys, flooring, and boxes.
Porous Wood

Wood with larger than normal pores and vessels.

Portable

Something that can be picked up and carried from one location to another.

Portable Chipper Terms
  • Anvil – A fixed steel block that provides support and resistance for the chipper knife.
  • Chipper Deck – Infeed deck of a chipper, including the chain that feeds the material to be chipped.
  • Chipper Discharge – Denotes the direction chips leave the chipper housing. May be horizontal, overhead, or from the bottom.
  • Chipper Infeed – A series of rollers at the front portion of the chipper where the material to be chipped enters.
  • Chipper Knife- Replaceable piece of steel with sharpened edge; attaches to a rotating drum.
  • Chip Separator – Portion of a chipper that includes a chipper spout for the separation of needles and twigs from chips.
  • Chute – Out-feed portion of a chipper. This is also known as a discharge spout.
  • Counter Knives – A piece of steel that breaks a chip into desired lengths. Found behind, and similar in appearance to, the chipper, knife.
  • Fan – The part of a chipper that creates an air stream, moving the chips out of the chipper housing.
  • Feed Plate – A vertical plate of steel that prevents the tree in the chipper from passing beyond the disk.
  • Reed Rate – Distance the stock being chipped moves during a given interval of time or operational cycle.
  • Infeed Throat – The somewhat funnel-shaped portion of the Infeed that causes the tree to move forward to the feed and downward to the anvil.
Post

Upright or vertical timbers erected within the frame that provide structural support of the members above.

Post Anchor

A metal piece attached to or imbedded in the footing that attaches the post to the footing and keeps the post from being exposed to moisture in the ground.

Post Cap

A small piece of wood attached to the top of the post to cover the posts wood grain and protect the post from the weather.

Post Cure

A treatment applied to an adhesive assembly following the initial cute, to complete cure, or to modify specific properties.

Posts and Timbers

Large pieces (nominal dimensions 5” by 5” and larger, width not more than 2” greater than thickness) of square or approximately square cross section graded primarily for use as posts or columns.

Potential Yield

The estimated maximum sustained yield cutting level (stated for a period of time such as a year or decade) attainable with intensive forestry; considers productivity of the land, conventional logging technology, standard cultural treatments, and interrelationships with other resource uses and the environmental. Excluded in the estimates are the effects of fertilization, genetic improvement, and irrigation, which have not yet been proven to be economically feasible over large portions of the country.

Power Shift

Transmissions that can be shifted while transmitting full engine power to the tracks or wheels.

PP

Ponderosa Pine.

Precision End Trimmed (PET)

Lumber is trimmed square and smooth on both ends to uniform length.

Precure

Condition of too much cure, set, or solvent loss of the adhesive before pressure is applied resulting in inadequate flow, transfer, and bonding.

Preservative

Any substance that, for a reasonable length of time, will prevent the action of wood-destroying fungi, bores or various kinds, and similar destructive life when the wood has been properly coated or impregnated with it.

Pressure Pricess

Any process of treating wood in a closed container whereby the preservative or fire retardant is forced into the wood under pressure greater than one atmosphere.

Pre-Commercial Thinning

Cutting trees from a young stand so that the remaining trees will have more room to grow to marketable size. Trees cut in a pre-commercial thinning have no commercial value and normally none of the felled trees are removed for utilization. The primary intent is the improve growth potential for the trees left after thinnings.

Prehauling

Moving pulpwood from a stump site to a truck loading site by carrying it off the ground. This is also known as forwarding.

Preload

To circle several logs with binders so the entire unit can be hauled as one log.

Prelog

To remove small understory trees, windfalls, or special products such as poles or pilings from a stand ahead of the main logging to prevent breakage.

Pre-logging

Cutting specified high-valued wood products such as poles and pilings before cutting the remainder of the trees.

Prescribed Burning

Deliberate use of fire under conditions where the area to be burned is predetermined and the intensity of the fire is controlled.

Preservative

Any substance applied to wood that helps it resist decay, harmful insects, or rotting.

Pressure-Treating

A process of impregnating lumber or other wood products with various chemicals, such as preservatives and fire-retardants, by forcing the chemicals into the structure of the wood using high pressure.

Preventive Maintenance

Maintenance measures taken in advance to avoid breakdowns.

Primary Logging Road

Road designed and maintained for a high level of use. Typically an all-weather gravel road that is used in a permanent road system.

Primary Transportation

Movement of a felled tree from the stump to a landing.

Primary Wood

This is the wood that is on the main or primary surfaces of a piece of furniture. These are the premium or money woods of the cabinet.

Prime Log

A log that is a given size and free from defects.

Principle Rafters

A pair of inclined timbers that are framed into a bend and used with either purlins or secondary rafters or alone.

Priority Sequence

The order in which items are to be yarded.

Producer

An independent operator who produces and delivers pulpwood to a deal or pulpwood company.

Productive Machine Hour (PMH)

Time during scheduled operating hours when a machine performs it’s designated function (time exclusive of such things as machine transport, operational or mechanical delays, and servicing or repair).

Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Schemes

An organization that was developed to address the issues of the multitude of certification programs with competing standards and serves as an endorsement system that provides international recognition for national forest certification programs.

Proud

To protrude above the surface so it is sticking out a bit.

Pruning

Removal of live or dead branches from standing trees, usually the lower branches of young trees and of multiple leaders or shoots in plantation trees – for the improvement of the tree or its timber. Cutting away of superfluous growth, including roots, from any plant to improve its development.

Psychrometer

An instrument for measuring the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.

PT

Pressure Treated

Pulp

Mechanically ground or chemically digested wood used in manufacturing paper and allied products.

Pulp Hook

A curved steel hook with a wooden cross handle; used in handling pulpwood.

Pulp Log

A log that does not meet the one-third merchantability standard for a sawn log but contains a minimum of 50-percent sound wood fiber by volume.

Pulp Mill

A mill that converts pulpwood to wood pulp.

Pulp Trees

Small trees and saplings that will be ground to produce paper. Lumber farmers often over-plant their acreage and remove smaller trees for pulp as the crop matures.

Pulpwood

Round wood used as a source of wood fiber in a pulp mill. Wood cut or prepared primarily for wood pulp and subsequent manufacture into paper, fiberboard, or other products, depends largely on the species cut and the pulping process.

Pulpwood Dealer

The middleman who buys pulpwood from the producer and sells it to the pulp mill company or acts as a commission broker for the company in producing pulpwood.

Purnice

A fine, abrasive powder that is made from volcanic ash. Pumice is used with a felt block in woodworking to rub out (polish) a finish.

Purlin

A horizontal member of the roof frame which runs between rafters.

Purpleheart
  • Deep-purple violet when freshly cut
  • Straight grained, sometimes interlocked
  • Moderate to fine texture
  • High strength in bending, stiffness, and crushing
  • Medium resistance to shock loads
  • Rather difficult to work with
  • Very durable
  • Used for heavy outdoor construction, bridge building, dock work, flooring, tool handles, furniture, and billiard tables.
Push Stick

A tool used that is to safely push a board through a table saw or other power tool.

PW

Paper Wrapped

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
breaker
As seen on/in
Dwell
Fine Home
Coastal
Deck Builder
Log Home
PROUD members of
Dwell
NADRA
Appalachian
HBA
Dwell
Dwell
Dwell
Dwell
Hours of Operation