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Glossary of Home/Building Structural Components

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The following terms define Building and Machine Parts

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backstay: supporting or checking piece in mechanism, esp. anchored tension member that supports compression member.

baffle: obstructing member, esp. used to hold back or turn aside flow of gas or liquid.

bail: supporting half hoop; hinged bar that holds paper to platen in typewriter.

ball-and-socket joint: joint between rods or links in which ball-like termination fits into concave, spherical socket.

baluster: small vertical member connecting stair tread and handrail.

band: ring or encircling strip, used esp. to bind something.

bar: straight supporting to.

barb: sharp, hooked projection.

barb and shaft: point and length of weapon, missile, or tool.

base: bottommost component on which structure rests.

baseboard: finished interior trim where wall meets floor.

baseplate: steel plate at bottom of steel column.

baseshoe: molding placed against baseboard at floor.

batten: narrow wood strip that covers seam between boards.

batter boards: horizontal crosspieces nailed to posts in ground at corners of excavation to locate corners and establish level.

beam: horizontal structural member of wood or steel, used to support load.

beam pocket: notch that holds supporting beam.

bearing: sliding or turning machine part point of support.

bearing pile: column sunk into ground or foundation to support vertical load.

bearing wall: wall that supports a floor or roof and walls above it.

becket: looped rope with large hook and eye, used to secure loose ropes and spars.

bed: horizontal layer of masonry mortar that holds bricks.

berm: narrow dirt ledge that supports beams.

bilge: point of largest circumference of cask or barrel.

bit: cutting or drilling part of tool.

block: enclosure for pulley; mold; building unit.

boom: projecting beam, spar, or supporting arm.

boss: raised knob on flat surface.

box beam: hollow structural member that supports loads.

brace: connecting or reinforcing element, usually of wood.

bracket: projecting support fixture.

brake: machine element used to stop motion.

breather: vent, as in machine covering or storage tank used to equalize pressure or permit entry or escape of vapor .

bridging: rows of small diagonal braces nailed between ceiling joists to support floor weight.

bristle: stiff hair, filament.

building block: component or part of structure.

building material: substance from which something is made or constructed.

built-ins: furniture and other nonstructural elements permanently incorporated in building.

built-up beam: support made of several smaller beams joined together.

bulkhead: partition; retaining wall.

bulwark: fortified wall or rampart.

bumper: shock-absorbing element.

bung: stopper in opening or spout of cask.

butt: thick end of something.

button: small, pressable control knob.

buttress: projecting support structure.

bypass: auxiliary pipe or channel connected to main passage, used to conduct gas or liquid around pipe or fixture.