WOODWORKING INDUSTRY TERMS
Customer Process Definitions
Architectural submittals – Detailed Drawing complete with Plan, Elevation, Cross Sections, Clips and Written information needed to bid a construction job or secure a contract with General Contractor, Home Owner, or Architectural / Engineering Firm. Many of our customer’s are required to submit architectural drawings for approval prior to starting manufacturing.
CAD – Stands for Computer Aided Drafting or Computer Aided Design, and refers to software that enables a user to replace his drafting table with a computer screen. Drawing a line at a time is not much faster than on paper, but the copy and editing features speed up drafting considerably. AutoCAD is the de-facto standard against which all others are measured.
Change Order – Work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of work of a contract, however, depending on the magnitude of the change, it may or may not alter the original contract amount and/or completion date. A change order may force a new project to handle significant changes to the current project.
Elevations – A drafting nomenclature for what you see on a wall or product if standing and directly facing it. A Front Elevation reflects what would be seen if standing in front. A Left Side Elevation reflects what would be seen standing to the left and so on.
Field Verification – Onsite measurements to approve or create designs and / or drawings before manufacturing of products. Sometimes templates and / or rough lines drawing are created at the work site and brought back to the design departments. Most custom shops, especially those in the commercial market, not only verify dimensions of where their products will be installed, but also need to alter the products size to accommodate for as-built conditions.
Finish Schedule – Specifies the finish material for each room, space, and floor in the building. The finish schedule provides information for the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
Grain Matching – A term used in custom woodworking that is sometimes required (AWI premium grade spec) so that the doors or panels appear to be cut out of the same veneer or wood grained material as if they were arranged right next to one other.. An example cabinet would appear like all the doors and drawer fronts on the face of a cabinet would appear to cut out of the same piece of veneer, with only the lines between them breaking the surface.
Model Space – AutoCAD terminology for the main environment for creating a drawing, or model on the screen. The model can be 2D or 3D.
Paper Space – AutoCAD terminology for the environment to manage what printed pages will look like. It includes tools to open, size, and arrange several different Model Space views on the same page. These Model Space views can be of the same project or of different ones. Also available is a 2d drawing environment which works as a transparent overlay to the Model Space views. Most title blocks and page borders are drawn or inserted in this Paper Space environment.
Plan View – As opposed to Elevation View, it is a drawing of a room or project as seen from the top looking down also referred to as a bird’s eye view.
Project Management – As the name implies, the process of managing a project. We will have a single project manager assigned to your project. The duties almost always include job site coordination with the General Contractor and other trades, preparing change orders and other documents, preparing submittals and samples, preparing information for billing, obtaining color selections, etc. The Project Manager works very closely with the Production Manager to coordinate completion and delivery times. The Project Manager also does the following: shop drawings, material ordering, work order preparation, CNC programming, and field measuring.
Punch List – is a document prepared near the end of a construction project listing work not conforming to contract specifications that the contractor must complete prior to final payment. The work may include incomplete or incorrect installations or incidental damage to existing finishes, material, and structures. The list is usually made by the owner, architect or designer, or general contractor while they tour and visually inspect the project
Rendering – Converting 3D wire drawings into solid format often includes color, grain patterns, and shading. This is a hot topic for those in the residential markets, but seldom to commercial applications care about this capability. A photo realistic representation of the job is often helpful for the consumer to make a decision about a kitchen, bathroom, etc…
Scheduling – The establishing of a flow through the manufacturing process by product, job priority, machine availability, and completion dates. This is often plotted out on magnetic boards by Flow or Gant Charts.
Sections – Shop drawing terminology which refers to a drawing of the interior of room or project as if part of it were removed. The removed portion is always a perfectly straight plane parallel to the exterior. There are 4 major types. A Plan Section is a view from the top down similar to a Plan View, but with a portion sliced away. An Elevation Section is similar to an Elevation View, but with a portion sliced away. A Cross Section is a view from the side, either left or right, once again with a portion sliced away. The Cross Section is the most commonly used and many are present in almost all submittal drawings. The last is a Detail Section which is simply a blowup of a small area of another section. It could be of a Plan, Elevation, or Cross Section.
Templating – When having to build a project to fit perfectly to an area of a job site, frequently our customers will make a full size model, or template, first. This is done at the jobsite, and may be of plywood, paper, cardboard, strips of wood making just the borders, or special foam templating material. This is a time consuming, manual process, and usually requires a lot of trial and error. Then this template, which may be quite large, must be transported back to the shop, sometimes in pieces, and reassembled on the floor or a large table. If a CNC machine is to be used in the production process, this template then has to be measured and drawn in a CAD or CAM program. This too, is a time consuming, manual process, and usually requires a lot of trial and error. It is usually not done on simple rectangular spaces, but only when odd angles or curves are involved. Tools such as the LT55 Laser Templator cut the time required for making the template from hours to a few minutes, eliminate transportation headaches, and eliminate the redrawing process.
Parts & Materials
Edgebanding – Material placed on the edge of a part or counter top, a wide range of material can be placed on the edge such as real hardwood lumber, strips of plastic laminate, rolls of PVC tape and more.
Conversion Varnish – is lacquer which consists of a high-end solid two-part post-catalyzed application process. What this means is that at the time of application a hardening agent must be mixed in with the lacquer to provide the additional durability. Conversion varnish is chemical-cured and consists of 40-60% solids. Conversion varnish is much more durable and easy to clean than traditional lacquer. It is this characteristic that makes it an excellent option for painted cabinet doors.
European or Frameless – Frameless, or European-style cabinets, have no front frame. The doors are attached directly to the sides of the cabinet. Frameless cabinets, which are more contemporary in style, offer the advantage of completely unobstructed access to the cabinet interior because there is no front frame. Frameless construction utilizes pin and dowel construction, blind dado, Confirmat construction. Euro and frameless are really the same thing. Euro is the majority of commercial work and growing in the residential market.
Face Frame – The traditional framed cabinet has a front frame around the cabinet opening to which the door is attached. These are the most popular type of cabinets in the U.S. residential market. Framed cabinets are available in Traditional ½ overlay doors, Full Overlay where the door and drawer front cover most of the frame as well as inset doors where the door is inset flush with a small reveal around the opening. Framed construction utilizes glue, staple, dado and dowel or screw construction.
Filler – A filler is a piece of finished wood used to "fill" openings or gaps between cabinets, or a cabinet and any obstruction, that would inhibit the doors or drawers from fully functioning. ... Typically, fillers are used to finish the space where an overall dimension of cabinetry is less than the overall wall dimension.
High Pressure Laminate – Many old guys refer to this as Formica but that is a brand of HPL, HPL is the 1/16 laminate that is glued to the Particle board substrate for many counter tops. Wilson Art, Nevmar and Formica are major manufactures of HPL
Inset Doors – Cabinet doors that are set in side the opening of a cabinet instead of set on top and over lay the opening
MDF & Particle Board – An engineered wood offering an extremely tight and smooth surface. Exceptionally stable, MDF is favored for laminating with thermo-foils and melamine. Created form sawdust and glue.
MDF Doors – The good face and edge machining characteristics of MDF make it an excellent choice for painted cabinet products. MDF Doors are nothing more than a slab of MDF machined on a router to look like a more like a more expensive raised panel door. If the doors are going to be painted the MDF is great inexpensive option.
Melamine – This is a very thin material used on cabinet shelves, drawer and doors surfaces to cover the substrate of either particleboard or MDF. Many confuse Melamine with High Pressure Laminate but HPL is not only thicker but much more durable.
Mounting Plate – A mounting plate is the portion of a hinge that attaches to the cabinet. Mounting plates can be used in doors, cabinetry and furniture. Mounting plates are available in a variety of sizes. The size of the mounting plate affects the door overlay.
Overlay Doors – Overlay is the amount of front frame covered by the door and drawer. The exposed front frame is referred to as the “reveal.” The reveal on Traditional Overlay cabinets is typically 1 inch.
Reveal – A reveal is the part of the cabinet frame that can be seen after the door is attached. A reveal overlay occurs when there is slight space between cabinet doors that allows the cabinet's frame to be viewable. A reveal is a type of cabinet door in which a portion of the frame can be seen.
Scribes – Used in face frame to refer to the amount the face frame over hangs the cabinet box, This scribe can be trimmed on the job site to fit the wall, In Euro construction they use a separate piece of wood called filler on the end of the box to accomplish the same task.
Solid Stock – Solid Lumber (real wood from the trees) bought usually in random widths and lengths priced by the board foot. Examples would be oak, cherry, maple, etc…
Stiles, Rails, Flat and Raised Panels – Refers to face frame as well as flat and raised panel doors, Stiles are the end pieces running vertically, Rails are the top and bottom of the frame running horizontal. Flat panel are referred to ¼ plywood panels in the door frame and flush and raised panels would generally be hardwood (solid wood) panels in a door frame that are flush or raised above the surface of the styles and rails. Intermediate stiles and rails are common in multiple panel doors and cabinet openings.
Toe Kicks – Apply to only cabinets sitting on the floor. Shops have the option to build the toe kick attached or detached, Many Euro shops build a long detached toe kick box around 4 inched in height for the cabinet boxes to sit on and recessed around 3 inched from the front of the cabinet. Face frame cabinets usually notch 4×3 cut out for the toe kick on the cabinet ends allowing the cabinet end to sit on the floor.
True 32 System – Building Euro cabinets on 32 mm increments in all dimensions not just using the 32 mm line boring for placing hinges and drawer slides. Most Us shops build Euro boxes where the size of the cabinet is English dimensions but utilizes 32 mm line boring.
Valance – A board running horizontally between two cabinets on each side of a window or opening. That only covers the top of the cabinet as well as the support system, styles include , arched valance and valance solid or raised panel.
Veneer – A veneer is a thin piece (1/32 of an inch) of solid wood which is attached with glue to a substrate (usually “particleboard” in raised panel doors and “hardboard” in flat or recessed panel doors). Veneered components are more uniform in finish and grain consistency. Veneered center panels in doors provide stability by minimizing its shrinking and expansion in dry and moist climates thereby eliminating cracking and splitting.
Production Machinery Definitions
CAD/CAM – A piece of software that allows a user to import or define the geometry of a part and to select strategies or toolpaths in order to process the part on a CNC machine. More sophisticated CAM/CAM systems not only allow the import of multiple parts generally .DXF or .CSV files, but also can have automated strategies for processing of those parts. Any software that does not write direct g-code files to the controller of a CNC machine must use a CAD/CAM system.
CNC – Stands for Computer Numeric Control. In the early years of automation, machines were simply Numeric Controlled. A series of letter codes, such as G, M, T, followed by a number or two, were used to give a machine a specific instruction, i.e. move the ½” router bit 12in in the x direction and 16in. in the y. The operators would feed these codes to the machine 1 at a time. Then punched paper tapes were used to feed the instruction lines to the machine. Now a computer, (but not necessarily a PC) stores and doles them out to the machine.
CNC Router – A Computer Numerically Controlled machine that is able to perform functions such a drilling, grooving, and routing to an object, part or sheet of material. These machines operate on a general language called g-code. Programs may be written at the machine via the controller and or with a CAD/CAM if one is installed on the machine. Downloading of programs from the office is also possible and is generally considered the most automated method to deliver a large amount of data to the machine.
Edgebander – A machine that automatically applies edging material to a part and trims any overages. Edgebanding is used on most parts in a European or frameless method of construction, but used seldom in modular and full-length face frame strategies of production.
Flat Table Router – A CNC machine with a flat bed enabling parts and or sheets to be placed upon it for processing. Typically vacuum holds the parts in place while they are machined. Unless special fixtures and or pod are used, horizontal processing such as drilling and routing are not possible. These machines are also often referred to as machining centers, nested-based machines, and or routers.
Nest – A group of parts laid out on a sheet of material meant for separation by a CNC machine. There are two basic types of nests; 1) block nests that look at the rectangular geometry of a part no matter its shape and 2) true-shaped nests that are able to nest parts within parts and to account for the actual part geometry. Both are powerful strategies and depending upon the product or part mix, one or both strategies may be required.
Nested Based Machine – A CNC machine that has a flat table for placement of parts and or sheets that is generally used in a nested-based strategy. In most cases, sheets of material are placed on the bed and the CNC processes the parts and finally separates them for other processing and or assembly.
Optimization – The sorting of manufactured parts by materials and arranging those parts in cut patterns to create the optimum material usage. Good optimization can also allow for stacking of multiple sheets of material in order to gain the most productivity. A parts list sorted by materials is fed into the optimizer and the results are typically output to a NC panel saw. The most common name for this file type if CPOUT, but many saws require direct links or posts.
Parts Labeling – Identification of parts by description, product, and job, usually to be used in the sorting of parts for assembly of products and work order tracking. Typical items on parts labels include job name, material, cut size, finished size with edgebanding, edgebanding instructions, routing information, barcode of program name, item number of job, however most labels can be user defined for the specific information they want for each part. Generally these labels are fairly small and are simply stuck to the parts temporarily and then removed at assembly. Parts are generally either labeled at the panel saw or the nested-based CNC.
True 32 System – A production strategy referring to modular cabinets, founded by the Europeans where holes used for things such as adjustable shelves are on 32mm center-to-center. All CNC machines in the woodworking industry with drill packs have their drill heads on 32mm centers. In most cases, the same shelf holes also act as placement holes for items such as hinges and drawer slides. With the advent of CNC machines, this strategy is less talked about, because a CNC frankly doesn’t care, but many have designed their cabinet construction around this principle.
Style of Production Definitions
Architectural Millwork – This term is somewhat loosely used in our industry, but refers in general to a company that produces casework, running trim and items such as nurse’s stations, cash wraps or other such items that require custom engineering and production. In most cases architectural millwork is associated with commercial applications, but it can also refer to high-end residential as well. In some cases, architectural millwork is also used in parallel with the term millwork.
Casework – A modular configuration of a box or boxes typically referred to in commercial applications. A stand alone cabinet would be an example of casework. In commercial application, several individual pieces of casework are aligned to make the proper configuration for an elevation, room, etc…
Fixture Manufactures – There are several types of fixture manufactures, but in general to our industry we thing of those who produce retail or point of purchase “POP” fixtures (ex. Clothing displays), restaurant fixtures (ex. Booth, salad bars), or display fixtures (ex. Trade show booths). In many cases, these fixtures are complex products made of many parts, but are often produced in reasonable quantity. For example a retail fixture manufacture might land an account with a chain retail store to produce a display for their jeans which would meant that at least one fixture would be required per store.
Millwork – Is generally related to the production of wood moldings or running trim, turnings, windows, stairs, entry doors and or other such products generally made up of solid wood stock.