The following terms are useful when discussing dowels and will be used throughout the 'how to' guides.
The thin edge of a piece of wood (on the end or side, depending which part you are using to make a joint) is referred to as the edge or edge butt.
The flat area on the top of a piece of wood is referred to as the surface.
The diameter of a dowel is the measurement across the widest part of its flat end through the centre.
The two parts of the wood that are being joined together are called 'mating surfaces'.