Calipers: a tool used to measure the distance between two symmetrically opposing sides. Used where acess by a measuring stick is not possible, or where grater accuracy is required.
Camber: slight arch in a beam or any horizontal member, preventing it from from bending downward in a concave shape due to vertical loading or it’s own weight.
Canted: angled or leaning. In architecture, a part, or segment, of a facade which is at an angle to another part of the same facade.
Cantilever: In general, any beam supported on only one end. In carpentry, a horizontal projection from a building, such as a blacony or canopy, having no external supporting members.
Cant Strip: triangular strip of wood placed under shingles at gable ends or under edges of roofing on flat decks.
Cased Opening: an opening in an interior wall without a door which is finished with trim or jambs.
Casein Glue: adhesive composed of casein and hydrated lime. Useful for glueing oily woods and laminating woods with high moisture content.
Casement: a type of window which has a sash that pivots on a verical axis, so that it may be swung in and out.
Casing: refers to the trimming around a door or window, either the outside or the inside. Also refers to the finished lumber aound a beam or post.
Caulk: to seal and waterproof joints, cracks and gaps, such as around window frames, exterior door frames and bathtubs in order to provide thermal insulation, control water penetration and noise mitigation. Also refers to the substance used; the ready-mixed construction chemicals sold as caulk such as silicone, polyurethane, polysulfide, sylil-terminated-polyether or polyurethane and acrylic sealant.
Center Punch: a hard metal rod with a shaped tip at one end and a blunt butt end at the other that is usually struck by a hammer. Typically used as an aid to drilling operations; a drill, when brought into contact with a flat surface, will have a tendency to wander on the surface until it gains sufficient purchase to start cutting a hole. A center punch forms a small dimple in which the tip of the drill (if it is small enough) will fit.
Chair Rail: interior molding strip installed along an interior wall to prevent chairs from scraping the wall finish.
Chamfer: a beveled edge connecting two surfaces. If the surfaces are at right angles, the chamfer will typically be symmetrical at 45 degrees. Two boards butt-jointed and with chmafered edges will form a V-joint.
Chase: a wood frame extending from an outside wall to support a chimney (prefabricated).
Check Rails: rails of a double-hung window, made thicker to fill the opening between top and bottom sashes; usually are beveled.
Chuck: built-in clamping mechanism used for holding cutting tool or material being worked on in a power rotating tool, for example, lathe, drill or router.
Clapboard: wood siding composed of horizontal, overlapping boards, the lower edges of which are usually thicker than the upper.
Cleat: strip of wood fastened to a wall to support a shelf or fixture. Also a strip fastened across a door to add strength.
Collar Beam: a tie beam that connects rafters above the wall plate; also known as rafter tie, collar tie.
Combination Square: tool composed of a ruled blade and one or more interchangeable heads that may be affixed to it. The most common head is the standard or square head which is used to lay out or check right and 45° angles. Used to lay out 90 degree angles as well as to measure distances.
Compound Miter Cut: a mitre cut made at an angle to both the edge and top of the board, for example, those used for cutting crown molding.
Conduit: hollow tube or pipe of metal through which electrical wiring is routed.
Contact Adhesive: rubber-based adhesive which bonds directly upon contact of the two parts being joined.
Cope: to shape or cut the end of a wood molding peice so it will cover and fit the countour of the adjoining molding piece, typically in an inside corner joint. see How to Use a Coping Saw
Corbel: architectural member which projects upward and outward from a wall that supports a horizontal member.
Corner Bead: Molding that is used to protect corners. Also, in plastering or drywalling, a metal reinforcement strip placed on corner joints prior to application of drywall compound or plaster.
Corner Brace: a diagonal brace let into studs for the reinforcement of frame structures.
Cornice: exterior horizontal trim of a building located at the junction of the wall and the roof. The function of a projecting cornice is to throw rainwater free of the building’s walls. In residential building practice, this function is handled by projecting gable ends, roof eaves, and gutters.
Counterbore: refers either to a cylindrical flat-bottomed hole, which enlarges another hole, or the tool used to create that feature. It is usually used when a bolt or cap head screw is required to sit flush with or below the level of a workpiece’s surface (By comparison, a countersink makes a conical hole and is used to seat a flathead screw ). A very shallow counterbore, such as one machined on a cast part to provide a flat surface for a fastener head, may also be called a spot face.
Counterflashing: flashing used on chimneys at the roof line in order to cover shingle flashing and prevent moisture ingress.
Countersink: a conical hole cut into a piece of wood, or the cutter used to cut such a hole. A common usage is to allow the head of a countersunk bolt or screw, when placed in the hole, to sit flush with or below the surface of the surrounding material.
Cove Molding: concave profiled molding used typically where two members mett at right angles.
Crippple Stud: short stud used above or below wall opening, installed parallel to the floor.
Crown Molding: molding applied the junction between the cieling and the walls, in order to decorate and cover up any gaps between the two surfaces.
Cupola: small vented 4 sided structure installed atop a roof for decorative purposes and to provide attic ventilation.
Curtain Wall: a non-load bearing wall between columns or piers. They are designed to resist air and water infiltration, wind forces acting on the building, seismic forces (usually only those imposed by the inertia of the curtain wall), and its own dead load forces.