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Look at the above picture, you'll see 2 pieces of wood that are long and square in cross-section. They are used to make chair legs.

What are they called?

I don't think they are called "plank" but a plank is normally flat not square in cross-section like that.

  • 1
    I don't think English has any "dedicated" term for such pieces, sticks, lengths,... of wood. But if you were gonna make your own table, you probably wouldn't buy 4 metre-long lengths for the legs - you'd normally be buying a longer length and cutting them up yourself. Or maybe get someone at the lumber yard to cut up the 4-metre length you just bought, so the pieces will fit in your car. Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 11:56
  • whilst I'm sure there are technical terms used in DIY or carpentry (as shown in the answers), I wouldn't expect any such term to be widely understood, and certainly not commonly used, by most people (who don't do much wordworking). Like @FumbleFingers says you'd be more likely to here pretty generic terms like "stick", "piece", "bit", "length", etc
    – Tristan
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 13:40
  • wood pieces for chair legs. Not plank which has the wrong semantic trait. We already told you all about planks so why repeat it? Didn't you read all about planks and boards in your other question?
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 14:54
  • @Tristan: There certainly won't be any "technical terms used in DIY or carpentry" with any currency in British English. I worked on a wide range of building sites as summer jobs, then full-time for almost 2 years after college. Plus my father (a site foreman) and myself were pretty dedicated DIY-ers. If there was a word with any significant currency, I think I'd have heard it. Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


You might call them blanks. Merriam-Webster defines this sense of blank as meaning “a piece of material prepared to be made into something (such as a key) by a further operation.”

  • That is not a woodworking term unless you maybe you call blocks of wood for carving "blanks".
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 14:48
  • Note, @Lambie, I didn’t assert that it was a woodworking term, but that one could use it (and be understood). The OP doesn’t indicate that what is required is a term of art, so I offered what might be appropriate instead in a more colloquial setting. This is, after all, ELL, not a site about woodworking. Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 14:52
  • 3
    A search for "chair leg blanks" gets plenty of hits, including "chair leg turning blanks" (pieces as pictured above, to be turned in a lathe into round chair legs). duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=chair+leg+blanks&ia=web So, "blanks" isn't wrong and doesn't deserve downvotes. Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 16:17
  • 1
    From the first hit on the link in the last comment: "Turning blanks are wooden square posts that are intended to be turned and created into a new design." Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 16:22
  • I stand corrected. I didn't downvote anything. Twasn't me.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 17:37

That is some square timber, or perhaps rectangular, about 20x30.

When talking about types of timber, the dimensions are referred to, traditionally in inches, hence stud-work might be build with "two-by-four", but more commonly nowadays in millimeters.

Other words, while talking about wood: A dowel has a circular cross section. Slats are thin planks, used to cover something. Veneer is paper-thin that is stuck onto the surface of, for example, a tabletop. Lumber and timber have similar meanings. In British English timber tends to be more processed; lumber could be logs or roughly sawn wood; timber might be dried, cut, and planed smooth. In the US, exactly the opposite!

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