A field guide containing some of the terms used in the articles that appear on this site.  A psuedo glossary:

1x (by) – Wood trim having a nominal thickness of 1 inch. Because of the milling process, actual thickness is ¾ of an inch.

5/4 board – Wood trim known for having a thickness of 1 and ¼ inches. Because of the milling process, actual thickness is closer to 1 and 1/8 of inch.

Appliance cart – A large hand truck (aka dolly) equipped with straps and rubberized rollers. Designed for moving appliances.

Articulator – The strike assembly of a lockset. This is the part of a doorknob that actually latches and unlatches.

Aviator snips – (my grandfather’s tin snips) Hand tool designed similar to scissors for cutting sheet metals. They come in straight, right and left, and are color-coded to indicate.

Backerboard — A sheet product, used as a substrate for tile. Typically made of cement reinforced fibers, and cut with specialty tools.

Baluster – The spindle providing support in a rail assembly (aka the balustrade).

Blocking (n. or v.) – This term is used loosely to describe a support that can be built into almost anything. Incorporated from wall to floor systems, from cabinets to built-ins. Blocking is typically made of scrap wood material.

Brake (n or v) – A tool or technique used to manipulate sheet materials like aluminum.

Casement – Type of window in which the movable part swings outward in line with the frame’s dimension.

Chair rail – A decorative, and functional, interior trim element characterized by molding placed part way up the wall surface.

Chase – A vertical bulkhead through which components of mechanical or other systems are run.

Coil stock – Strips of gauged sheet metal (often aluminum) “wound” and sold as a coil. It is often worked with a brake and is installed over trim, at eaves, etc.

Cove molding – A type of molding detail or the associated cut that produces it. Think of it as a long scoop taken from wood trim.

Dipped (v) – Having an item stripped of paint. Usually done at a refinishing works, in a hot or cold chemical bath.

Door sill – also called a subsill — similar to a window sill, doors have sills as well. Sometimes the sill is also called a threshold.

Door slab – The door panel in a door assembly.

Dutchman – A small patch made of wood and set in wood.

Glazing (also v.) – The material often putty-like that holds glass in a frame.

Gutting – Removal of finished surfaces from a home or a space.

Guy (or a guy) – An individual hired under the table to perform common handyman or maintenance tasks.

Hipped roof – A roof style without flat sides like a gabled roof. Hipped roofs slope along their face to meet side walls of the structure (this one might need work).

Jamb – The part of a door or window assembly that constitutes the finished opening.

Jig – A template used for woodworking.

Jury stick – A reference marker usually made on the fly from scrap lumber, and used with spacing courses of tile or siding.

Kerf – The void produced in a material at the exact location where it is cut.

Knock-out – Typically with electrical boxes and other rough-in material — knock-outs create a point of exit or entry.

Legs – The vertical pieces of door trim.

Luann (also spelled Luan) – The “Kleenex” of 1/4″ plywood underlayment. Luann as a species of wood is a type of mahogany. In this context, however, it is a water resistant 4×8 paneled good, installed typically under vinyl flooring products.

Margin trowel – A small trowel with an angled handle and a flat blade. Indispensable when working with mortar and other cementious products.

Mending plate – A flat metal bracket containing screw holes used to join various materials and other assemblies.

Millwork’s Desk – At home centers and lumber yards. This department is typically responsible for doors and windows.

Miter – A cut typically associated with wood. Most typically refers to a 45 degree cut that will then be paired with another 45 degree cut.

Mortise – A recess, typically in wood, that accepts either a tenon or a piece of hardware.

Nail punch – A hand tool with a smaller tip used to set finish nails below the surface of wood

Pipe dope – Thread sealant — used with threaded piping for gas and water applications.

Plinth blocks – Smaller blocks of trim used at the base of the vertical portions of door trim.

Plumb – Exactly perpendicular to the center of the earth. In other words, true in the vertical direction.

Poly (n or v) – Short for polyurethane. Typically a clear finish applied to wood.

Post form countertop – Opposed to custom laminate counters, post form counters are pre-fabricated and typically have integrated and scooped backsplashes.

Pre-hung doors – Interior door units typically; purchased already bored and mounted the frame.

Pressure treated lumber (pt for short) – Dimensional lumber that is injected with weather resistant chemicals at a high pressure. Used typically on the outside of the home, in decking and such.

Punch out (v) – The stage in the construction process when loose ends are tied up. Always budget for — and spans multiple areas of the project.

Rack (v) – Typically associated with pre-fabbed sections of fence. Refers to the desirable or undesirable forcing of a “frame” out of square.

Rail – A door component that runs on a horizontal (as opposed to a stile)

Rake board – Flat vertical trim board (type of fascia) typically finishes the pitching of a gabled end.

Reciprocating saw – A category of power tool that is characterized typically by a thin blade, and the way it does its work — with a rapid back and forth motion.

Ridge (roof) – As opposed to a valley. The intersection of two roof surfaces that create an upward projection.

Rip (or ripped) (v) – The act of cutting a material along its length. (The opposite of a cross cut.)

Rough-in – A stage in construction when lines (as with electrical or plumbing) are run to a fixture location.

S4S – A Wood Molding profile standing for Surface 4 Sides. Any of the variety of trim rectangular in shape. Sometimes also called lattice.

Saddle threshold – A type of threshold. Typically exists where no door is present and acts a dividing point between rooms. It may also act as a meeting point between varying flooring materials.

Sash – The portion of a window unit that holds glass is typically movable.

Self-rimming sink – A type of sink (typically found in a kitchen) that is cast with a lip which then overhangs a rough opening.

Shadow boxes – A wall treatment typically built of Ogee or another diminutive trim profile. As the name would dictate, they are formed in rectangles to create boxes.

Sister — (primarily a verb) — the act in framing of attaching one framing member to another (where the original is usually failing).  The second the “sister” reinforces the first.

Skim coat – Most typically used to refer to the 3rd and final coat of the drywall finishing process.

Sleeper – A technique often used with wood flooring where a matrix of wood framing is supplied over an old floor and under a new finished floor.

Split-Jamb Doors – Inexpensive pre-hung doors that are split in half at a point below the door unit’s stops. The advantage is quick installation; does not require the removal of door casing before installation.

Square – A category of tool that helps distinguish a 90 degree ideal. (More on this elsewhere.)

Stack – (aka plumbing stack) the main Waste and Vent line. Serves multiple purposes including outlet for waste and venting for gases. Venting in general is essential physically in this gravity system.

Step flashing – L-shaped roof flashing installed at the intersection of vertical structures; walls, chimneys, etc. Because it is installed often by course of shingling material, it appears to step.

Stile – A door component that runs on a vertical (as opposed to a rail).

Stipple – A textured finish over drywall or plaster, typically on a ceiling. A true stipple is produced using a flat rounded brush designed for that purpose. The effect is produced by dabbing.

Stringer — The framing member that makes up the sub-system for a set of stairs.  But note there can be “rough” stringers and “finish” stringers, with the second not being necessarily structural.

Subfloor – A structural element, typically planking or plyboard that is nailed to the floor joists. It is below (hence sub) the finished flooring.

Substrate – A supporting surface under (or sub) a finished surface. e.g. Underlayment under tile.

Tear out – A phenomenon typically associated with a miter (aka chop) saw. The force of the blade rotating at high speed causes the material being cut to move just slightly creating an inaccurate cut.

Tile spacers – Small accessories in various sizes used in the setting of tile. They help keep consistent grout line joints.

Tile stone – A small abrasive stone used for honing unfinished edges of tile. Typically shaped like a small black gritty brick.

Torpedo Level – A small spirit level. Typically about a foot in length.

Underlayment – Not to be confused with a subfloor, and not limited to panelized wood products, any material that is installed prior to finished flooring.

Weatherstripping – Material placed around a house’s operable parts, such as windows and doors. Weatherstripping is designed to minimize air movement from inside out and vice versa.

Working lines – Most commonly associated with tile work, working lines in pencil or chalk act as guides for keeping work uniform.

Z-flashing – Pre-fabricated aluminum profile installed above windows and doors. Gets its name from its z like shape.