Glossary Section M: Macaroni - Muntin


<dt>Macaroni</dt><dd>A term sometimes applied to wood-carving chisels whose cutting edges are formed into a square U-shape.</dd>
<dt>Mahogany</dt><dd>A tropical wood having a richly figured, somewhat open grain. It is orange red in color. It is the king of cabinet woods, medium hard; when once correctly dried, it holds its shape remarkably well. The fine grain is easily worked with edge tools and is neither too hard, too soft, nor too brittle.</dd>
<dt>Maître</dt><dd>A mastercraftsman under the Paris guild system, who was entitled to own a workshop and stamp his pieces, having served an apprenticeship and paid the necessary fees. See estampille</dd>
<dt>Mallet</dt><dd>A hammer of wood or hard rubber or some other material. It has a barrel-shaped head and is used for driving some other tool, like a chisel, into wood. It is also used for striking a surface without marring it.</dd>
<dt>Maple</dt><dd>A light-colored, close-grained wood. The wood is hard and dense, and widely used in making high-grade furniture.</dd>
<dt>Marking Gauge</dt><dd>A tool that consists of a square wooden bar, or steel beam, usually about eight inches (20cm) long, on which a wooden or cast-iron head or block slides. The bar may be graduated and has a steel point or spur on one end. This is used to mark lines on a board parallel to the edge or side along which the block or head is made to slide.</dd>
<dt>Marquetry</dt><dd>The use of veneers (woods of different colours, bone, ivory, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, etc.) to form decorative designs like scrolls, flowers and landscapes. Abstract geometrical patterns formed in the same manner are known as parquetry.</dd>
<dt>Masonite</dt><dd>A fiberboard made from steam-exploded wood fiber.</dd>
<dt>MDF</dt><dd>MDF is an abbreviations for medium density fiberboard. MDF is a manufactured sheet material made from compressed and bonded wood fibers. MDF is dense and stable, and easily worked with machine or hand tools. It is widely available with a wide variety of veneers and makes a good substitute for timber in furniture making.</dd>
<dt>Medial Stretcher</dt><dd>A stretcher joining two other stretchers at or near the centers as a brace.</dd>
<dt>Member</dt><dd>Any of the structural components (rails, uprights, stretchers etc.) of a piece of joined furniture.</dd>
<dt>Menuisier</dt><dd>See ébéniste.</dd>
<dt>Méridienne</dt><dd>An 18th-century French form of day-bed, curving up at one or both ends to form scrolls.</dd>
<dt>Miter</dt><dd>An angle cut on the end of a molding or other member, to form a joint with an intersecting member.</dd>
<dt>Miter Box</dt><dd>A tool or instrument for sawing miters, especially those needed to join moldings together. In bygone years these were made of three boards nailed together in the form of a trough, into which saw cuts were made to guide the saw so it would cut several of the angles most often needed, like 90°, 45°, and perhaps a few more. Miter boxes today are made of metal and the saw may be adjusted to cut a greater variety of angles than was possible on the old wooden miter boxes.</dd>
<dt>Mitred</dt><dd>Joint wherein the two pieces connect after they are cut at half the angle of the joint, eg 45 deg for a right angle.</dd>
<dt>Modeled Surface</dt><dd>Shaped or carved surface.</dd>
<dt>Modular Seating</dt><dd>Type of seating wherein complementary units, built to standard sizes, can be linked or placed against one another to form a variety of arrangements.</dd>
<dt>Moisture Content</dt><dd>Moisture content (MC) is the measure of the amount of free water in a sample of wood. It is obtained by weighing the sample, and then drying it totally. MC is expressed as a percentage of wet weight - dry weight / dry weight. For fresh cut timber this can be as high as 100%. For timber which has been air dried the MC might be 15% - 20%. Timber which has been kiln dried might be 6% - 10%. The moisture content should be approximately the same as the intended final environment.</dd>
<dt>Monopodium</dt><dd>Greek-derived term for a single foot, eg, as in a table which stands on a single column.</dd>
<dt>Moquette</dt><dd>Fabric with a wool pile. Some varieties are cut in imitation of cut silk velvet.</dd>
<dt>Mortice and Tenon</dt><dd>The basic method of joining the framework of a piece of furniture. The tenon is a projection (usually a slim rectangle) at the end of a rail which fits exactly into the mortice, a cavity cut in the side of an upright. The tenon can be secured by cross dowels.</dd>
<dt>Mortise</dt><dd>The rectangular cavity cut into a piece of lumber into which a tenon is joined.</dd>
<dt>Moss</dt><dd>A traditional material previously used for stuffing upholstered furniture. Made from hanging moss which grows on trees in Southern US states, it is an air plant that must be especially prepared for this use.</dd>
<dt>Moulding</dt><dd>A length of wood or other material applied to the surface of a piece of furniture. The shaped section of a moulding is usually made up from a number of curves, and there are various standard types (astragal, ogee, cavetto, ovolo) mostly of architectural origin.</dd>
<dt>Mounts</dt><dd>Decorative motifs, usually of brass or giltbronze, fixed to the cabinetwork.</dd>
<dt>Muntin</dt><dd>The molding or wooden divisions between panes of glass in a door or window.</dd>