Carpentry Glossary U-Z

Glossary Index

Understory: the vegetation of a forest below the canopy.

Unicom System: construction system using modules as units of measure that are multiples of a standard size. Term taken from "Uniform Manufacture of Components".

Utility Knife: also know as a boxcutter, razor blade knife, carpet knife or stationery knife. A common tool consisting of a simple and cheap holder, typically flat, approximately one inch (25 mm) wide and three to four inches (75 to 100 mm) long, and typically made of either metal or plastic. Some use standard razor blades, others specialised double-ended blades.

Valley: internal angle formed by two intersecting slopes of a roof.

Veneer: thin slices of wood, usually thinner than 3 mm (1/8 inch), that are typically glued onto core panels (typically, wood, particle board or medium density fiberboard) to produce flat panels such as doors, tops and panels for cabinets, parquet floors and parts of furniture. They are also used in marquetry. Plywood consists of three or more layers of veneer, each glued with its grain at right angles to adjacent layers for strength. Veneer beading is a thin layer of decorative edging placed around objects, such as jewelry boxes.

Veneered Wall: a fram buidling wall with facing of masonry. They are nonloadbearing.

Veneer Plaster: interior wall covering made of gypsum lath base surfaced with 1/8 inch thick gypsum plaster.

Vent Pipe: plumbing pipe installed to provide air flow to or from drainage system. Also provides circulation of air to prevent siphonage and back pressure in trap seals.

Volute: a carved spiral form in classical architecture; often used in pairs as in the capitals of Ionic columns.

Waferboard: formed panels fabricated from thin, long chips of wood. Wafers are coated with resin and bonded with pressure and heat.

Wainscoting: a paneling style applied to the lower 3' to 5' of an interior wall, below the dado rail or chair rail and above the baseboard or skirting board. Traditionally constructed from tongue-and-groove boards.

Wale: horizontal metal or wood reinforcement strip applied on the outside of concrete forms.

Warp: any type of deviation from a plane or true surface, including crooks, bows, twists and cups.

Water Table: slight projection or edge at a structure's bottom that drains water away from the foundation.

Weathering: discoloration and disintegration of the surface of wood; caused by exposure to light, abrasive action of wind-driven dust and sands, or swelling and shrinking due to mositure variation.

Wet Wall: an interior wall covering surface, typically 3/8 inch plaster lath and 1/2 inch plaster.