Glossary Section S: Sabre Leg - Swag

Sabre Leg
A furniture leg which is curved and tapered like a cavalry sabre.
Saddle Seat
A dipped seat, or in other words one that is hollowed in the center.
Salon
A French reception room.
Saloon
Large, formal reception room in a stately British home.
Sans Traverse
A French term for a commode or desk where there are no visible divisions between drawers, and decorative motifs can continue uninterrupted.
Saw Kerf
See kerf.
Sawhorse
A rack on which wood is laid for sawing by hand.
Scale Drawing
A working drawing in which a dimension of the drawing represents a smaller or larger fraction of a dimension of the actual object depicted.
Scale Model
A replica of an object which may be smaller or larger than the original, in which each part is reduced or increased in size in the same proportion as the whole.
Scratch Carving
Carving in which the figure is formed by lightly incised lines.
Scratch Stock
A tool resembling a marking gauge, but on which the spur is sharpened to a chisel point and used to serape out narrow grooves in Wood.
Screen Writing Table
see écran à secrétaire.
Scribed
A small tempered-steel shaft, ground to a fine point at one end and fitted to a handle. It is used to mark off fine lines on wood or metal. A scratch awl.
Scriptor
A Contemporary English term for a writing desk, now used to denote the small fall-front writing cabinets of the late 17th century.
Scroll
A Spiral or convoluted form in ornamental design resembling the rolled end of a parchment scroll.
Scrollwork
Fancy designs in wood in which interrelated curves are an important element.
Scrutoire
A 17th century English term for a writing desk.
Sealer
Wood-finishing materials thinned with solvents so they penetrate the wood and harden the surface to resist penetration of succeeding coats of finishing material. Sealers also "tie down" stains and fillers and prevent them from being absorbed into subsequently applied finishing coats.
Seat Rail
The horizontal framework which supports the seat of a joined chair.
Secrétaire
A French term often used for all sorts of desk, but originally denoting those where papers and documents could be kept locked behind a flap. In Britain a secretaire is a pull-out writing compartment disguised as a drawer with pigeonholes and small drawers behind a fall-front, usually part of a larger piece.
Sécretaire à Abattant
A French term for desk which stands against the wall like a cabinet or cupboard with a large fall-front which is vertical when closed. Also known as a secrétaire en armoire.
Secrétaire à Culbute
Another form of mechanical writing table with a rising bank of drawers which swings up on a hinge along its front edge.
Secrétaire â la Bourgogne
A mechanical writing desk which resembles a table à écrire. When in use one half of the top rises vertically to reveal a bank of small drawers and the other hinges forward as a writing surface. Supposedly named after the Duc de Bourgogne, who was paralysed and had a mechanical desk made for him by Oeben.
Secrétaire en Armoire
See secrétaire à abattant.
Secrétaire en dos d'ane
A French term often used indiscriminately to refer to all sorts of slope-front desk (secrétaires en pente), but more correctly describing the secrétaire à double pente with two flaps, at which two people can write facing one another.
Secrétaire en Pente
A French term for a free-standing slope-front desk with a flap which serves as a lid when closed and a writing surface when open.
Secretary
A Modern American term for desk and bookcase.
Serpentine
In the form of an undulating curve, convex at the centre and concave on each side.
Serre Papiers
see cartonnier.
Settee
An upholstered sofa.
Settle
A wooden bench-like seat with back and arms; sometimes has a box base for storage.
Shaper
A machine for cutting moldings to shape.
Shell Ornament
Carved ornament resembling various seashells, found especially on Queen Anne, Chippendale, Louis XIV, and Louis XV furniture.
Shell Top
Refers to the ceiling of china cabinets which were carved to resemble cockleshells.
Shellac
A finishing material made from processed lac mixed with alcohol. Lac is a resinous substance secreted by a scale insect to cover its eggs on twigs of trees in India.
Sheraton Thomas
Thomas Sheraton was born in the North of England. He was apprenticed as a cabinet maker, but moved to London in 1790 where he became better known as a teacher of architecture, and cabinet design. It is believed that Sheraton himself never made any of the pieces shown in the successful books he published. Many of Sheraton's designs are based on classical architecture, and his name is associated with styles of furniture fashionable at the very end of the 17th Century and early 1800s. Sheraton died in 1806.
Shoulder Of Tenon
The rear end wall of one or more sides of a tenon, and perpendicular to its sides.
Show Wood
Wood which is revealed on a piece of furniture; it is usually polished.
Side Chair
A chair without arms.
Side Rail
Wooden connecting struts at the sides of chairs or sofas.
Silex Wood Filler
A powder ground from crushed flint or quartz and mixed with an oil-base thinner for filling pores of open-grained wood.
Skew Chisel
A chisel on which the cutting edge is ground to an angle to the edges of the blade. SLIDING BOLT. A door fastener consisting of a metal housing front the end of which x rod may be slid into the socket of an adjoining member to hold the door in place.
Sliding T-Bevel
A steel blade hold in a handle with a thumbscrew, so it may be rotated to lay out angle lines on wood.
Slip Feather
A triangular-shaped Spline used to reinforce the miter joint of a picture or mirror frame.
Slip Seat
An upholstered scat slipped into a rabbet in the chair-seat frame.
Slip Tack
The temporary tacking fast of upholstery material by driving tacks only partway into the wood, so they can be moved in order better to adjust the position of the cloth.
Sloyd Knife
A thin-bladed knife with a short fixed blade in the handle, used for carving.
Snake Foot
Properly a snakehead foot, front its resemblance to the head of a serpent.
Socket Firmer Chisel
One in which the handle is fastened into the cone-shaped socket of the blade.
Soft-Textured Cabinet Wood
Wood, the fibers of which are soft enough to offer little resistance to the cutting action of a plane or other edge tools.
Spacer
The chipper blade of a dado head so called because its thickness is a factor in determining the width of the cut.
Spindle
1. A horizontal or vertical axle revolving on pin or pivot ends in a machine. It holds cutting tools and transfers motion from the power source to the tool. 2. A light shaftlike turning, or other long, thin stick of wood, used in chair construction or on other pieces of furniture.
Spindle Shaper
A machine in which the cutter or shaping tool is fastened to a spindle revolving at high speed.
Splat
The vertical central member in a chairback, so called if it is a single piece. It generally joins the seat rail to the top rail.
Splat Back
A chair having a splat in its back.
Spline
A thin piece of wood glued into grooves for joining two members together and to strengthen the joint, especially the ends of a mitered joint.
Splined Miter Joint
A miter joint reinforced with a spline.
Spokeshave
A two-handled tool used to plane sticks of wood to cylindrical shape, or to round sharp corners It usually has an iron body and its bottom, from which the blade protrudes, is very short so it may smooth curves too small for a circular plane.
Spoon Back
The back of a chair or sofa which is curved like a spoon.
Spring Seat
The seat of a chair or sofa in which the stuffing and upholstering material is supported on a network of springs fastened to a frame. SPRING TWINE A strung twine usually made from twisted jute fiber and used for tying springs on upholstered furniture.
Spun Center
The short tapered shaft fitted into a tapered socket in the headstock of a lathe to hold spindles for turning. Sharp spurs on the end of the spur center are hammered into the stock to spin it when the motor turns.
Spur Of Gauge
The steel pin fastened to the beam of a gauge to do the marking.
Squab Cushion
A stuffed cushion with straight sides. Originally used in 17th-century day-beds, it is primarily connected today with modular seating, which uses rubber or foam cushions.
Square-Section Leg
A leg which would be square if cut at right-angles, but which may also be tapering or shaped in some other way.
Stain
A coloring agent that penetrates wood fiber to color it.
Steaming
Exposure of lumber to steam for a certain length of time so that it may more easily be bent.
Stencil
A pattern, usually made of cardboard or similar material, sections of which are cut out so the lines of the pattern may be transferred to the wood with a pencil.
Sticker
A piece of wood of approximately 2 cm x 2 cm and length as available, which is used to separate boards to be dried. Stickers are normally placed across the grain, the first one about 10cm in from the ends, and at 40 cm - 60 cm centres depending on thickness of boards to be dried. Stickers in successive layers should be placed vertically above the lower ones.
Stile
The vertical member of a frame enclosing panels in a door, or the vertical member of some other type of furniture framework.
Straight-Edge
A thin, flat rod or bar of steel, wood, or plastic material, one of the long edges of which is perfectly straight. It is used to lay out straight lines on wood, to test surfaces for flatness, and to line up two or more members when assembling them.
Strapwork
A form of decoration particularly popular in Northern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, resembling interlaced, pierced and scrolled bands of leather.
Strecher
Any turned, straight, or curved horizontal bracing member on a chair, table, or cabinet frame.
Stretcher
A horizontal crosspiece used to join and strengthen the legs of a piece of furniture.
Stringing
Thin strips of wood or metal inlay used to decorate furniture.
Stuff-Over
A term used when the upholstery ot a chair covers the framework rather than being a panel within it.
Surface Planer
See planer.
Swag
A decorative motif in the form of a loop of cloth and similar to a festoon.