Can You Ace This Wood Shop Test?


By: Bambi Turner

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you know the difference between a lathe and a jigsaw, or which plant is used to produce linseed oil? Know the difference between a batten and a bevel, or how big a 2x4 really is if you measure it? If you know the answers to these questions, you might have what it takes to ace this wood shop quiz!

Wood is one of the world's oldest building materials, and archaeological evidence shows that while the ancient Egyptians were busy building pyramids out of stone, they were also crafting beds and other furniture out of wood. In the thousands of years since that time, wood has never gone out of style, and the craft of cutting, shaping and finishing wood has been passed down from generation to generation.

While almost anyone can hammer a few nails in or refinish a piece of vintage wooden furniture, true woodwork takes real skill, talent and plenty of practice. It takes a knowledge of the material's natural properties, and how it reacts to things like sunlight, moisture and temperature changes. It also takes the right tools, and the knowledge of how to use them safely. 

Think you know all about the work that goes on in the average wood shop? Take our quiz to find out!

What shape is the tip of a Torx bit?

A Torx or star bit has a shape like a six-pointed star. It's used for tamper resistance, but also makes it easier to tighten a fastener without stripping it compared to other bits.


What shape is the tip of a Phillips head screwdriver?

Screws have different openings on the head, which require different types of screwdrivers to manipulate. The Phillips head has a characteristic cross shape, which allows for more secure and stable function than a standard slot-head.


Which of these is made of sheets of wood veneer glued together?

Plywood is made from sheets of wood veneer, while MDF is made from wood fibers. Particle board is the cheapest of the three, and is basically made from compressed sawdust.


What's the best saw to use to cut crown molding?

Crown molding requires carefully angled cuts to make the pieces line up perfectly when you install them. A miter saw, which has a pivoting swing arm, allows you to easily make the angled cuts that other saws can't.


What is a planer designed to modify?

Planers are old-school wood shop tools, though they've advanced over the years thanks to technology. This tool allows you to adjust the thickness of a slab of wood by planing shavings off the face of the board.


Which of these saw types are used to cut against the grain of wood?

Cross-cut saws have teeth designed specifically for cutting against the grain. Rip saws, on the other hand, are used to cut along the wood grain -- or parallel to the grain.


What is the biggest advantage to using a spade bit?

Spade bits can be inserted into the chuck of a power drill to quickly and easily cut a hole in a piece of wood. The biggest problem with these bits is that they tend to splinter or split the wood if you don't use them very carefully. Spade bits require more speed than you can achieve using non-powered hand tools alone.


What do you call a piece of pressed wood used to join two larger pieces of wood?

A biscuit is a piece of pressed wood used to join two or more pieces of wood. The pieces being joined must have a crescent-shaped hole to accept the biscuit, which is then secured with wood glue.


Which of these wood shop tools typically features replaceable blades?

A utility knife uses a simple razor blade to cut. When the blade is dull or damaged, it can simply be removed and replaced.


Which of these refers to a thin strip of wood used for reinforcement?

A batten is a simple thin strip of wood used to reinforce a joint or length of wood. For an easy example of this concept, picture a board and batten shutter, which uses strips of wood placed parallel to the ground to reinforce the vertical members.


What does it mean to bevel something?

To bevel something in the wood shop means to add an angle to it. Both the act of adding the angle and the angle itself may be referred to by the term bevel.


A board foot measures ...

Lumber is sold by the board foot. One board foot is equal to the volume of a piece of wood that is one foot long, one foot wide and one inch thick.


Which of these is the BEST definition of hardwood?

The terms hardwood and softwood can be super confusing for all but the most experienced woodcrafters. Hardwood refers only to wood from a broad-leafed tree, like an oak, while softwood is wood from a conifer, like a pine. The terms have nothing to do with how hard the wood is.


What is an ogee?

An ogee is an S-shaped curve, which basically consists of two connected arcs that face opposite directions. Ogee curves are very common in molding, trim and furniture.


Which of these would you make on a lathe?

A lathe is a piece of equipment used to turn or spin wood as you work on it. It's the ideal tool for crafting a pen, chair leg or table leg.


Which of these refers to wood veneer matched to create a mirror image?

When sheets of wood veneer are used to finish things like doors or furniture, they typically don't come in one continuous sheet. Instead, multiple sheets are placed side-by-side, and the pattern used to lay out these sheets is known as matching. With book matching, two adjacent sheets are placed so that they mirror each other, creating a unique effect.


What shape are carpenter's pencils?

Carpenter's pencils have an unusual rectangular shape. This not only means that they stay where you put them and don't roll away, but it also means more surface area so they are easier to hold.


What does it mean to countersink a screw?

When you place a screw into a hole, the head of the screw sticks out slightly from the surface of the wood. By countersinking, you widen and bevel the edges of the hole so that the entire head of the screw fits inside.


Which of these sandpaper grits should you use when doing ultra-fine finish work?

The roughness of sandpaper is measured in grit, with higher numbers equating to finer grits and lower numbers to rougher or more abrasive grits. Use higher grits for fine work, like the final smoothing of wood before applying a finish.


What does the Janka test measure?

The Janka test is a standard method to determine the various hardnesses of different types of wood. It's how we know that oak, walnut and cedar are stronger and harder than balsa, hemlock or white pine.


Which of these refers to highly detailed decorative woodwork?

Gingerbread trim, also known as fretwork, is full of fine, fanciful details. It's typically used on furniture or on the exterior of a home.


Which of these is true of the "pins" used in dovetail joints?

Dovetail joints serve as a way to join two pieces of wood together. Pins or teeth are cut in the edge of each section and fit together, with the pins taking on a trapezoidal shape for greater hold and stability.


What part of the hinge is visible when you close a cabinet door equipped with butt hinges?

Woodcrafters use a variety of hinges on the doors of cabinets and furnishings. The most basic are butt hinges, which consist of two metal leafs connected by a set of knuckles. When you close a door equipped with butt hinges, only the knuckles are visible, and the rest of the hinge is hidden behind the door.


Which of these is a type of reciprocating saw?

Reciprocating saws have blades that use a push-pull motion to cut. A jigsaw is an example of this. Most table saws feature a spinning blade to cut and don't use a push-pull action.


What does it mean when you laminate wood?

Laminating wood means gluing multiple pieces together. This can be as simple as joining two sheets of plywood, or adding a layer of veneer to a wood composite core.


If you use a ruler to measure a standard 2x4, what dimensions will you come up with?

A 2x4 only measures 2 inches by 4 inches when it's first cut. After it's been dried and planed and shipped to your local store, it will have an actual finished dimension of 1.5 by 3.5 inches.


Which of these power sanders is best for finish work?

Belt sanders provide a rougher, more aggressive sanding than orbital sanders, making belt sanders good for rugged work and orbital sanders good for finish or fine work.


Which of these joints features interlocking teeth that are all rectangular in shape?

Finger joints are used to join two or more pieces of wood. They are similar to dovetails, but have rectangular teeth rather than trapezoidal ones, and lock together like interlocking fingers.


Which wood finish comes from the flax plant?

Linseed oil, which comes from the flax plant, has long been a popular sealant and finish for wood. It not only helps accentuate the wood grain, but also serves as a protective sealant.


Which of these cuts of wood is the least expensive on average?

If you take a log and cut it longways, that's a plain cut. This is the cheapest and easiest way to produce lumber. Quarter-sawn wood comes from quartered logs, while rift-sawn is the most expensive and involves the most waste.


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