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Dowelling Terminology

Dowelling terminology

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Dictionary of dowelling terms The following terms are useful when discussing dowels and will be used throughout the ‘how to’ guides.
Diagram to show the location of the edges of a plank of wood

Edge butt

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.

Diagram to show where the surface of a piece of wood is


The flat area on the top of a piece of wood is referred to as the surface.

Image to show how the diameter of a dowel is measured


The diameter of a dowel is the measurement across the widest part of its flat end through the centre.

Diagram illustrating which are the mating surface in a dowelling joint

Mating surfaces

The two parts of the wood that are being joined together are called ‘mating surfaces’.