Glossary from THE FOSSMILL STORYThe following are definitions of some of the terms used in the text as indicated by bold type. Terminology sometimes varied from location to location, so some terms may have different meanings elsewhere than those indicated here. Many words also have different meanings in other contexts. For example, the men in the bush are called various names bushworkers, woodsworkers, lumberjacks, loggers and, more recently, forest workers.
Annual allowable cut The amount of timber that is permitted to be cut to keep the forest at the same level of growth in a sustained yield logging system.
Barnhart steam log loader A steam shovel adapted for loading logs (see page 206).
Beaver Bushworker who cleared skidding and hauling roads.
Binding Chains A chain that was wrapped around a load of logs. Usually the last few logs were placed on top of this chain to pull it tight.
Board foot A unit of measurement of dimensional lumber 1inch thick x 12 inches wide x 12 inches long. Wholesale lumber is usually sold in thousands of board feet.
Boom A line of logs chained together at each end to encircle and control floating logs.
Brakee The colloquial name used for the man who operates the brakes on log hauling sleighs and log cars to control speed.
Buck To saw a felled tree into log lengths.
Buck beaver The person in charge of a road crew building a hauling road. The workers are called beavers.
Bunk Timber crossbars forming the bed for logs in a logging sleigh. Also the bed people slept on at night.
Bush Walker colloquial term for the woods superintendent of a logging company. Also see Cruising.
Cadge To deliver supplies usually with a cadge team on a cadge road in the bush.
Calk Boots High cut boots with ¼ inch spikes in the sole, used when walking on logs in slippery or risky situations.
Caterpillars A brand name type of tractor with a linked tread to provide better traction. Also a generic name for tractors using linked treads.
Chickadee The person, often a youngster, responsible for removing manure and keeping a hauling road clean and smooth for the sleighs passing over them.
Clearcutting The process of cutting all trees from an area without regard for the regeneration or sustainability of the area.
Cull To remove poor and defective logs or lumber from a pile. These logs were called cull logs and the lumber cull lumber.
Cupola An observation tower projecting above the roof of a caboose so that the conductor and brakemen can watch the train.
Cord Pile of wood 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet.
Cordwood Small logs cut to 4 foot lengths.
Cookee A cooks helper who does whatever is necessary to prepare the camp meals.
Cross-chain The chain going from one inside corner of a sleigh bunk across to the other bunk to allow the bunks to operate separately on rough roads.
Cruise To walk over an area to be logged and estimate the amount and value of the standing timber.
Decker See decking
Decking The temporary stacking of logs in a pile or skidway. The men who deck are called deckers, and a decking line and horse are used to assist in the work.
Decking line or chain A chain or rope with a hook on one end that passes around a log to a pulley and then to a horse so that when it is pulled by the horse the log rolls onto a skidway or a log sleigh.
Depot The main headquarters for a logging operation.
Diameter limit An established appropriate minimum size below which logs will not be cut.
Dogger Mill worker who stands on the saw carriage in the mill and positions the dogs.
Dogs Pointed metal tool used to hold a log in place for cutting.
Edger A machine with a number of stationary and adjustable saw blades that cuts the rough edges from boards to straighten the edges.
Endless-flat-link Chain A conveyor belt made of spiked steel links that ran up the centre of a jackladder. The spikes grabbed the logs at the bottom and pulled them into the mill.
Flywheel The large drive wheel on a steam engine in a mill power plant from which power is taken by a system of belts, pulleys and shafts.
Gas car A small open flat four wheel railway car used for transporting people and goods, or for pulling cars without power. Some are hand pumped and others are driven by gasoline engines. (also see speeder)
Go-back road A road used by a team and sleigh returning to a skidway so as to not interfere with loaded sleighs on the main hauling road.
Gondola car A large railcar with a full length storage tank for sawdust or chips with an opening in the top for filling.
Grade The name for the quality of a piece of lumber as established by a grader so all lumber purchased is of similar quality.
Grade (2) The extent that the rails on a railway or the ground itself is off level.
Grader A worker who determined the grade of each piece of lumber.
Hauling road A road built specifically for the safe and easy hauling of logs.
Hog A mill machine that grinds or chews scrap wood into chips for burning in the firebox of a boiler.
Hot pond A log pond that was heated in the winter.
Incendiary fire A fire that is purposely set; better known as an arson fire.
Jackladder An angled ramp that has an endless-flat-link chain moving up the middle to hook and carry the logs to the top of the ramp and into the mill.
Jammer A tall A-frame of two logs mounted on a sled and rigged with a pulley and rope to lift logs as required. It is sometimes worked by horses and sometimes with steam power.
Jobbers Contractors who takes on the job of logging an area for a lumberman.
Jumper A lumberjack who moves from camp to camp either because they find the work too hard or the conditions unsatisfactory.
Kicker The device that pushes or kicks a log from the trough at the top of a jackladder onto the logdeck.
Lath The 3/8 inch x 1 ½ inch x 4 foot strips of wood used on walls prior to plastering before drywall was developed.
Lath mill Machinery that cut slabs and edgings into lath.
Live rollers Continuously moving rollers that automatically pulled slabs away from the bandsaw.
Log deck The platform on which logs are placed prior to being cut into lumber by the bandsaw
Log dump Central log pile
Logging camp A base site for a logging operation providing accommodation, meals and related activities, as required by the operation.
Logging limit A section (berth) of government owned land leased to a lumber company for the removal of timber. Also sometimes used as a generic term for the area a company is logging.
Logger A generic term for a person cutting logs. In eastern Canada usually called a lumberjack.
Lorry A platform with 4 wheels used to transport goods on a railway.
Lumberman Up until 1850 anyone engaged in the lumber trade, with little distinction between the owner and the worker. After 1850 the owner became known as the lumberman and the workers as lumberjacks.
Mantle A fine bag fixed around a gas flame in a lamp to produce a bright glow.
Merchantable timber A log that can be profitably made into lumber.
Peavey A long-handled tool with a pointed end and hinged hook, used to roll or turn logs.
Pickets Pieces of lumber cut from slabs of wood cut from logs and used in the manufacture of furniture requiring small pieces of lumber.
Pulpwood Any wood with a fibre suitable for making pulp for paper production.
Railcar An automobile whose wheels have been adapted so that it can travel on railway tracks.
Reciprocating shotgun carriage The steam driven platform on wheels that carries a log into the bandsaw blade for cutting. It shoots forward and back on a track, cutting stock on each forward motion. It carries a dogger and setter who lock and adjust the log to facilitate the cutting.
Resaw bandsaw The saw used to cut planks into thinner boards of specific sizes to fill orders at the mill.
Roller The bushworker responsible for rolling logs up skids onto a log pile in a skidway or depot using a peavey and assisted by a decking line.
Roller (2) A portable platform used in the lumberyard to transfer lumber from the tramway over a first pile of lumber to a second pile.
Running shunt The technique of uncoupling a car from a train in motion so that the car can roll freely onto a siding.
Saddle tank switching engine A small locomotive used to move railway cars in a yard. Water was carried in a tank that wrapped round the boiler like a saddle.
Sandpiper The bushworker who prepares and applies sand to a hill on a hauling road to slow sleighs down.
Sawfilers loft A room above the main sawing floor where the saws were sharpened and maintained.
Saw log A log suitable for sawing into lumber as distinguished from squared timber or pulpwood.
Sawyer Worker who cuts down trees in the bush and the worker who saws logs in the mill.
Scaler Person who measures logs to calculate their volume and value. He works with a partner who measures the opposite end of the log.
Scaling stick A rule, marked with a table, used by the scaler to quickly determine the volume of wood in a log.
Selection cutting The removal of mature, defective, or dead trees to allow young trees to mature naturally for future use.
Sender The bushworker who guides logs when decking and also the person who hooks the logs to be lifted and lowered onto a log car.
Setter The mill worker on the shotgun carriage responsible for adjusting the width of the cut in a sawmill at the direction of the head sawyer.
Shay-geared locomotive A specially geared engine that allows the pulling of heavy loads on steep grades.
Shunt To move railway cars onto sidings, see running shunt.
Skids Sturdy poles placed at right angles to a log pile in order to roll logs onto the pile.
Skidding The process of hauling logs from where they are cut, along skidroads or trails, to a skidway.
Skidway temporary log pile close to the cutting area where logs are stored until hauling roads are frozen.
Slab The rough outside piece cut from a log in the process of sawing the log.
Slash The branches cut from trees or the small trees removed when clearing trails.
Snaking trail A log-removal trail that zig-zags down a grade to prevent accidents caused by the acceleration of the team of horses.
Sorter The mill worker who separates different grades and sizes of lumber for storage.
Spark arrestor A mesh enclosure on the stack of an engine to prevent sparks from escaping and starting a fire.
Speeder or velocipede A small three wheel railway car, which was easily removed from the tracks.
Square timber A large piece of timber squared by a crew using broad axes and other tools in the early days of logging.
Sprinkler tank A sleigh with a wooden box mounted on it to hold water that is spread on hauling roads to make them stable and smooth to accommodate hauling sleighs.
Steam log-turner The device used to rotate a log so another cut can be made when sawing into lumber.
Stickers The long narrow pieces of wood used between layers of piled lumber to allow for air circulation in the drying of lumber.
Stumpage The royalty paid by a lumberman to the government for the logs cut on a site.
Sustained yield The concept of cutting logs in such quantity as to allow the forest to continue to grow naturally or be replanted, pending a similar cut in the future.
Swampers Road builders, see beavers and buck beavers.
Switchback A rail line that zig-zags down the side of a hill in order that the track is not too steep for the locomotive to pull the loaded cars.
Tailer Bushworker who controls the horse that pulls the decking line when loading log sleighs.
Tally Board Clipboard used by the scaler to record the volume of logs.
Tanbark The bark of the hemlock tree used in the tanning and preserving of leather.
Teamster The person in charge of a team of horses.
Timber Trees that have a merchantable value to a lumberman.
Top loader The bushworker who controls the building of a pile of logs by standing on the top of the pile and directing logs into place.
Tote road A temporary rough road used to get goods to and from the bush. Sometimes referred to as a cadge road.
Two-man crosscut saw Long saw with handles at both ends used in felling and bucking trees.
Trail cutter The bushworker who clears brush to create a trail for the removal of logs by a teamster.
Tram Narrow gauge rail car used to carry lumber.
Tramway The elevated framework and track in a lumberyard used for transporting lumber into the lumberyard.
Transfer chains General name for a number of different types of continuously moving chains that moved lumber and slabs to various parts of the mill.
Transfer track The lateral moving bed that moves tram cars into alignment with the tracks on a tramway so tram cars can progress in to the yard.
Undercut A notch cut in the tree before sawing it ensured the tree fell in the direction wanted.
Van The store in a camp where men purchased items they needed for daily use.
Velocipede See speeder
Walked See cruise
Woods Superintendent The man in charge of a companys forest operation. Sometimes called a bush boss, or walking boss.