Glossary Section P: Panel - Putto, Putti

Panel
A board supported by rails and stiles in joined furniture. The board can be flat or may have carved decoration. A popular decorative method is to machine a border when the panel is known as a raised and fielded panel.
Parcel Gilt
Gilded in part only. Also known as partial gilt.
Paring Chisel
A tang chisel with a blade which is longer and may be of a thinner section than a normal chisel. The blade can be bevelled. The tang is the long, thin point at the back end of the blade by which the blade is joined to the handle.
Parquetry
See marquetry.
Parting Tool
A double-ground-edge chisel used for cutting-off work and for making cuts to Size on the lathe. The long edges on both sides of the Made are thinner than the riblike middle of the blade to reduce friction.
Patina
A unique tinge resulting from aging, polishing, or seasoning of the surface or finish on a piece of wood. Ordinarily a natural process as the result of age.
Pediment
An architectural term for the triangular-shaped top of a classic building, which is a motif adapted for the tops of important cabinets and secretaries. The bonnet top is also spoken of as a pediment, it being a variant of this type of superstructure.
Pembroke Table
A small light table with drop leaves. It got its name from the Countess of Pembroke who is said to have had one made to her specifications.
Period Furniture
That which belongs to a definite style.
Petit-Point
French term for embroidery in small stitches on canvas, comprising at least 15 stitches to the inch.
Phyfe, Duncan
The best-known early American cabinetmaker. He did outstanding work in the Sheraton and Empire styles at the beginning of the nineteenth century. His shop was in New York.
Pierced
Carved ornament is described as pierced when the decoration is cut right through the piece, as in fretwork.
Pilaster
A flat architectural column fastened to a wall or cabinet.
Pin Members
The projecting members on the end of a board in a dovetail joint.
Pine
A widely used softwood gotten from conebearing evergreen trees. White pine lumber is soft, fine-textured wood, white in color when freshly planed. It fades with time to a warm yellow color, and it was and still is greatly favored as building lumber for houses and for inexpensive furniture. Because it was plentiful and easily worked, it was one of the principal woods used in early Colonial work. Yellow fine, which grows in Southern forests, has more distinct grain lines and is harder It was not widely used as lumber for furniture
Piping
See cording.
Plumb
Vertical.
Plywood
A panel made up of 3 or more thin laminations of wood in which the grain direction of each ply, or layer, is at right angles to the one adjacent to it. The layers are bonded together with synthetic resin adhesive under high pressure. The panel will have an odd number of layers to help stability. The face layers can be decorative timber veneer or plastic laminate material.
Polyvinyl Resin Emulsion Glue
A white glue better known as PVA glue that hardens when its moisture content is absorbed into the wood. It has elastic qualities which are beneficial to joints subject to dimensional changes.
Poplar
A semi hardwood used in furniture making extensively. Heartwood is olive green to pale brown; sapwood, grayish white. Easily worked with machine or hand tools and when properly seasoned it resists warping. It is widely used for inexpensive furniture, for drawer sides and other hidden structural elements, more expensive woods being used on exposed surfaces.
Portable Belt Sander
See belt sander.
Pounce
A fine powder of pulverised sandarac, used to prevent ink spreading on unsized paper; kept in a pounce pot.
Première Partie
See boulle.
Proportion
The comparative relation of one element to another, such as the ratio of the length to the width of an object.
Protractor
A semicircular instrument having gradations marked on one side for measuring the number of degrees in an angle.
Pumice Stone
A volcanic glass. ground into fine powders for rubbing down furniture finishes. It comes in grades F, FF, FFF, and FFFF. FFF is best for most rubbing jobs.
Punchwork
Decoration achieved by the use of punches struck by a hammer.
Putto, Putti
A naked infant, often winged, used as a decorative motif. Also referred to as a cherub, a cupid or an amoretto.