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Cabinet Nomenclature Questions6/29
We are producing some training videos that include written text along with spoken words. Words like "cope" & "stick" might be easier to relate to if you could see them on the screen rather than just hear them over the machinery.
I want to make sure we are using the right vernacular. I am self-taught so had to make up a lot of these gaps in knowledge on my own.
When we speak of "mortise" & "tenon" I understand this to be a male/female type joinery with a haunched shoulder and recessed pocket.
On a coped door we call the "cope" a tenon. I'm not sure what to call the "groove". Would this also be a "mortise" or would it be a "plough"?
As I understand it a "plough" is a groove that travels with the grain. A "rabbet" would similarly travel with the grain but be on the corner of the stave.
A "dado" is differentiated from a "plough" by grain direction. "Dado" goes across the grain and "plough" goes with the grain.
James W. See wrote the need for formal shop nomenclature 135 years ago. We still haven't completely put this to bed in our shop (but I am working on it this week).
What do you call the space between two vertical bulkheads in a cabinet?
I have never seen a formal description for this value. It is a very important value because all the math for rollout shelves or drawers derives from it.
We call this space HOZ which is short for horizontal. The word HOZ fits neatly on a CAD document or a line of database code. It is succinct & unambiguous.
The same element in a drawer is called DOZ at our shop. This plays off the original HOZ concept but distinguish the drawer value from the box value.
Drawer bottom is easy to differentiate. The front and back of a drawer, however, are very different items. The front of the drawer needs to have holes drilled to mount drawer faces. The back of the drawer needs to be notched to accommodate blum tandem slides.
We don't want to confuse, however, the drawer front from the drawer front.
Sometimes the "drawer front" is called the "drawer face".
We build slab drawer faces and we also build framed drawer faces. The framed drawer faces have a different set of math than the framed doors. We use 1/2 inch thick plywood for framed drawer faces because sometimes the inset panel needs to have more substance to mount drawer pulls to.
There's a lot for a new person to get their head around. We want to make them successful immediately.
How about posters around the shop that have a picture of a drawer box and labels like DB- Front, DB- Back and DB Sides. Then add a Drawer Front and Label it.
We are in the labeling mode ourselves and everything from storage cabinets to tool boxes are getting them.
The poster of a 5 piece door should have the 5 pieces labelled first, then a close up of the assembly joint.
A pretty smart fellar said this about 2400 year ago:
"“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”
I often think that the reason cabinetmakers become cabinetmakers is the lack of terminology in cabinetmaking.
We're going to take a multi-faceted approach to this.
The videos will be supported with PDFs and we will take the PDFs to Kinkos to get some posters made. All the processes will be listed in sequential format then laminated. The back side of the laminated form will contain any particular math formulas that are germane to that product.
The goal here is to not only eliminate distraction but also formalize status of a work order. The guys are assigned wet-ink pens with unique colors. Rather than constantly poll someone about the status of a work order we can merely see what has been crossed off the list and what has not. It's like a bingo board with accountability.
Lists keep people focused and keep the work flowing in the correct sequence with less dependency on brute memory or powers of observation.
Lists are how every man, woman & child in our shop navigates in their personal life when it is mission critical to them. If they have to get somewhere on their own dime they always go to Google Map. When they navigate on my dime it's usually more of the "ever descending circle" approach.
I've been giving this idea a lot of thought since I read Jeffrey Liker's book 'The Toyota Way', He describes a warehouse that receives their work orders on the internet but passes out their tasks with a white board.
It's the perfect blend of database management with analog participation.
Database is how you manage strategy but these bingo boards are how you implement strategy. Doing it all with just the computer is like using an ICBM to squash a bug. It's got a lot of "golly gee" to it but not so much on the efficacy.
It's different for a shop like mine because I can write code like some people play piano but for your average shop I think that database management is a black whole with quickly diminishing returns.
Mortise and tenon are the female and male halves of the joint. 'Cope' is the female/negative/reverse pattern or profile. The 'stick' or 'sticking' is the positive profile that surrounds the panel/glass opening.
'Panel' is often used to name a panel as in flat or raised, or an assembled door or panel - end panel, back panel, etc. To be clear in this shop, we try to refer to flat panel, raised panel, plywood panel or assembled panel, with the assembled denoting something more than a single piece of wood.
Cabinet doors have what we call (subject to interpretation) a 'plowed' mortise, meaning both the panel plow ('plough' if you are in Britain) and the mortise for the rail are the same. Plow is more specific than groove in our shop. I have heard it referred to as a lineal mortise, among other things.
While it is worthwhile to gather and apply the proper terms, documenting it is the solution. Then 'police' the use of the term so it is not replaced by other terms. I once toured the Morgan Door Company in Wisconsin - a several city block, 3 story plant with hundreds of people making mostly doors. Above nearly every work station were information plaques that named/defined the work station, and had numerous examples of what was allowed and what was not allowed so even a novice would know what they were doing, what it was called, and could produce good parts.
Fun Fact #34: "Mortise" comes from the Greek/Latin word that is also the root for mortal, mortuary, mortem, mortality, and even mortgage. It referred to the shape in the ground of a grave being similar to a mortise. Mortgage refers to having debt that follows one to the grave.
The AWS manual has industry standard definitions. Using standard "correct" words can be important when we need to communicate with other professionals..
About 30 years ago we built some restaurant fixtures that we sold to a Restaurant design company.
The project ended up in arbitration.
I spent about 4 hours explaining to the end user and the arbitrator how a finished end on a laminate cabinet was not the same as a wood veneer with a "finish". They kept coming back to our shop drawings which had "finished" ends.
We also had lumber trim "finished to match" the laminate in other locations.
The end user was expecting wood veneer casework. They were sold a rich veneer look interior.
We used to call exposed ends finished ends.
We used to call the application of a coating to a surface finishing. Now it would be an exposed end and if it received a coating the material and coating would be described as well as the sheen and fill.
We eventually were paid in full but I don't like being in those rooms with lawyers and arbitrators.
One phrase on the shop drawings "exposed plastic laminate end"
You can use any words you want internally but you need to know the industry definitions so sometimes it helps to use the correct words.
Hello, Tim. So where can I find your videos? I bet they must be interesting enough! Did you place them on youtube channel? Thanks in advance.
Canada has an apprenticeship program--4 years till anyone can call you a joiner. I can't say the idea is perfect, but it does yield uniform nomenclature.