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BALUSTRADE A bet­ter word than the in­ex­act “ban­is­ter,” it means the as­sem­bly of a top rail, balus­ters or spin­dles, and a foot rail or bot­tom mould­ing, used on a stair­case, bal­cony, or porch. BARGEBOARD The trim piece, carved or pierced or oth­er­wise em­bel­lished, fixed to the pro­ject­ing edges of a gable in the roof. Very pop­u­lar in Gothic Re­vival ar­chi­tec­ture, also com­mon on Queen Anne and Tu­dor houses. BRACKET A pro­jec­tion from a wall or ver­ti­cal sur­face pro­vid­ing struc­tural or vis­ual sup­port un­der over­hangs such as a cor­nice or bal­cony. Scroll- sawn wood brack­ets were pop­u­lar. COR­NER BLOCK A square used at cor­ners where mould­ings and trim change di­rec­tion around win­dows, doors, and man­tels, elim­i­nat­ing the need for miter joints. Most com­mon was the bull’s eye, a set of con­cen­tric circles, which is still avail­able as stock millwork. Fo­li­ate ( leaf and flower pat­tern) blocks were also pop­u­lar in the Vic­to­rian era. FINIAL An ornament, usu­ally pointed, atop an ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ment such as a gable or newel. FRET­WORK An open­work or­na­men­tal de­sign con­sist­ing of re­peat­ing el­e­ments within a band or bor­der. The in­fill may be de­signs cut with a scroll saw, or re­peated turn­ings, or ball- and- spin­dles. GINGER­BREAD A ref­er­ence to an ex­cess of ap­plied wood ornament, com­monly ref­er­enc­ing Gothic Re­vival and Vic­to­rian Queen Anne houses. SPANDREL The tri­an­gle formed be­tween an arch and the out­side frame. In stair­build­ing, the va­cant or filled tri­an­gle un­der the stair, and also the tri­an­gu­lar or­na­ments ap­plied to an open stringer where ris­ers meet treads. In his­tor­i­cal millwork, the ornament used to span the top of a door­way or bay, and also in cor­ner treat­ments. SPIN­DLE A slen­der, lathe- turned el­e­ment used in a balustrade or as part of dec­o­ra­tive fret­work.


These com­pa­nies sell stock and cus­tom Vic­to­rian mill work, with many pe­riod de­signs. Blue Ox Mill­works blueoxmill. com Cum­ber­land Wood­craft cum­ber­land wood craft. com The Ginger­bread Man gin­ger­bread­man. com Mad River Wood­works ma driver wood works. com Pagli­acco Turn­ing & Milling pagli­acco. com Vin­tage Wood­works vin­tage­wood­works. com Western Spin­dle west­ern­spin­dle. com

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