Today’s Article – Herms, Terms & Therms: Synonymous Terms?

~fig_11A“As woodworkers and furniture makers, we have become accustomed to an arcane technical vocabulary that may sound foreign to the uninitiated. For example, kerf, quirk, pith, and muntin are just a few terms that we can all quickly visualize in our minds because we have learned the specific attributes of each and because there is consensus on their meanings.”

In this week’s article, Mark Arnold adds another entry to his Arcane Dictionary in which he writes about therming. You know what therming is, don’t you? If your head is shaking back and forth, you’re not alone. I had to Google it, too. But it wasn’t until after reading Mark’s article that I had a clear understanding.

“The tapered legs and feet of neoclassical furniture have been labeled herm, term, and/or therm by furniture designers of the 18th century, by furniture scholars today, and by cabinetmakers through the ages. One or more of these three terms have been used either inconsistently, or to the exclusion of others in period sources. Some 220 years later, there still appears to be no universal agreement as to when and where each term is best used.”

If you’d like to get the facts about these terms and when and how to properly use them – if that’s a possibility – take a minute to subscribe to 360 Woodworking. If you’re already a member of our community, travel to the members page and log in. And be sure to check out the old method for quasi-square therming on built-up cylinders near the end of the article. It’s unbelievable.

— Glen D. Huey

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