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Carpentry and Joinery Glossary A-Z Part 7

Explanation of terminology used in Joinery and Carpentry P-Q

‘I’ll have a P please, Bob!’

How do you tell the difference between a pavilion roof and a pent roof? Could you spot a purlin at fifty paces? If you’ve answered no, you need to read on and find out more! Below is the next section of our informative and interesting Carpentry and Joinery Glossary; this time, the focus is on P and Q.

Quick links – A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z



Two of the same things matched on opposite hands.

Narrow vertical boards or stakes forming an open boarded gate or fence.

A thin wide piece fitted between the members of thicker framing. Also, any sinking below the level of the surroundings.

Glass panels.

Paper Joint
Placing paper between a glued butt joint so that it can easily be broken without any damage to the wood.

Parliament Hinge
A hinge shaped like a letter H and also known as a H hinge.

Parquet (Right)
Geometrical patterns formed of differently coloured woods. Usually the term is applied to flooring.

Parting Bead
A thin bead used to separate sliding sashes.

Parting Slip
A thin slip used to separate the weights for sliding sashes.

Parting Tool
A V shaped gouge.

A thin internal wall, it may be fixed or movable.

A plate, or sill, resting on the ground to support vertical timbers.

Either a template or a a wood (or plaster) model of a casting to made from metal.

an example of parquet flooring

Pavillion Roof
A roof with a polygonal plan.

Peak Joint
The joint at the apex of a roof truss.

An ornamental head to a door opening, which may be triangular or segmental in shape.

The ornamental finish at the bottom of a suspended post.

A protecting hood to an opening.

Pent Roof
An alternative name for a lean to roof.

A staircase outside a building.

A marine insect very destructive to timber.

Alternative name for Hip Rafters

Arranging timber in piles or stacks, for seasoning and storage.

A small cylindrical piece of wood used to secure tenons. Sometimes (incorrectly) known as Dowels.

The name given to a number of different cone bearing trees. The distinguishing name of the particular species is also given, i.e. Weymouth pine, Pitch pine, e.t.c.

The ratio of the rise to the span in a sloping roof. The inclination of a flight of stairs.

A stock, or body, containing a cutting iron, for shaping surfaces. Also, a flat surface.

A term applied to mouldings that are attached to something and not formed from the same piece of timber.

A horizontal structural member carrying inclined or vertical timbers, i.e. a sole plate in studding or a wall plate in roofing.

plough plane

A Plough plane, used for cutting grooves.


A disease in trees due to the uneven distribution of the sap.

A plain thin piece of wood at the base of a wall, column or fitment.

Plough Plane or Plough (Above right)
A Plane used for making grooves for Panels. The Plough plane has an adjustable stop to control the depth of groove and an adjustable fence so the cut can be positioned accurately on the timber to be worked. Usually the plane will come with several cutters. The Record plane pictured came with eight cutters of varying sizes.

Plumb Rule
A parallel straight edge carrying a plumb bob or weight, to show whether a surface is vertical or not.

Plywood (Right)
An engineered timber board manufactured from several layers of thin timber, each layer of timber is laid at ninety degrees to the previous layer giving the Plywood its strength. Another version of Ply known as Bendy Plywood is also available, this is a flexible plywood and used for making curved parts – in bendy plywood the grain all runs in the same direction allowing the plywood to form whatever shape is required. The picture right shows the different layers of timber in a typical piece of plywood.

cross section of plywood

The opening in a pulley stile of a sliding sash window, for the insertion of the weights.

Pole Plate
A horizontal timber usually supported by the ends of the tie beam of a roof truss, which carries the Common Rafters.

An upright piece of timber used as a support.

Post and Pane
Half timbered buildings with panes or panels of brickwork, or lath and plaster.

Any small door or gate serving as a private entrance, usually at the rear of a building. You can see examples of Postern gates over on our website under gates for a walled garden.

The trussed frames carrying a roof. The principal rafters are the inclined members of the truss, carrying the Purlins.

Pulley Stile
The stile of a frame, for vertical sliding sashes, carrying the pulley and the Pocket.

A metal tool for driving nails below the surface of the material.

A horizontal beam supported by the Principal Rafters of a roof truss, and carrying the Common Rafters between the Eaves and Ridge.

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A lozenge-shaped panel or pane of glass.

Quarter Round
An Ovolo moulding.

Quarter Space
The term given to landings that are only as wide as one flight of the stairs, or half the width of the staircase.

Queen Bolts
Metal bolts used instead of wooden Queen Posts.

Queen Posts
The vertical posts in a queen-post roof truss, tying the tie beam and principal rafters together.

Queen Post Truss
Differs to the King Post Truss in the respect that the Queen Post Truss has two vertical uprights (Queen Posts) and has a horizontal straining beam at the top of the truss.

Quick Sweep
The term given to a semi circular arc with a small radius.

A narrow sinking forming part of a moulding. Also, a deep indentation.

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If we’ve missed anything out, or you have any comments or questions, please send us a message in the lovely box below.

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