Can You Answer All of These Questions a Carpenter Should Know?


By: Todd Betzold

6 Min Quiz

Image: Yuri_Arcurs

About This Quiz

Carpenters are the kind of profession that doesn't get the credit for all that they do for a living. I mean, carpenters are the ones building and putting your house together. You would have no place to live unless a carpenter was able to figure out how everything is built and put together for the house to not fall over in a windstorm.

There are many skills that a carpenter exhibits on a daily basis, but that is where this quiz is going to come into play. There are a set of rules and concepts that every carpenter should know, which we are going to test you on today. Besides knowing how to read a tape measure, carpenters also have to be able to distinguish between the different types of tools in their tool belt, and then the dreaded math comes into play!

Math, unlike some jobs, plays a very integral part in the job of a carpenter. If it's not trying to find the square foot of a bedroom, then it's trying to add fractions together and getting those measurements from the tape measure. Overall, there is a lot a carpenter should know, but can you make it through this list of questions and pass, like any carpenter would be able to do?

What is used to flatten a piece of wood?

Not only is a block plane used to flatten a piece of wood, but you can also use it to add a curve to the wood or square your work. A block plane is used in place of a sander, as it knocks down the amount of time done sanding.


What is the tool called that you use to pound and remove nails?

The claw hammer would be the tool used if you need to drive nails into or take the nails out of another object. While claw hammers are normally used with wood, they're not limited to wood products only.


The tool you would use when a nail won't lay flat in the wood is called what?

A nail set is a tool used to lower the nail below the surface. The nail set is used by placing it on the nail head and pounding it into the surface using a hammer.


Which tool does a carpenter use to hold things together?

Clamps are designed to hold multiple parts together. In carpentry, there are a wide variety of clamps that can be used to secure things together.


When measuring a job, what is 1/4 inch plus 1/8 inch?

For this, you would need to create a common denominator for the fractions, which would be 8. That would change 1/4 to 2/8 and than add that to 1/8 and you get the answer of 3/8.


When you rub a tool on a sharpening stone to sharpen the blade, it's called this?

Whet means to sharpen the blade of a tool. To do this, you would rub the blade onto a sharpening stone.


Which hand-held power saw uses a toothed disc to cut through many different materials?

Circular saws are one of the most versatile tools that a carpenter can own. By using a sawhorse and clamps, it can be just as accurate (and easier) as using a table saw.


If you are measuring angles, what tool is best to have?

A sliding bevel is also known as a T-Bevel. This handy tool is adjustable, which means you can lock it into any angle you want and then draw out your plans for construction.


What is the name of the saw designed to cut through metal?

The hacksaw was originally made to cut through metal. It is a fine-toothed saw that is designed to easily cut through metal.


What does a GFCI outlet do?

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. It compares currents from the hot side and neutral side and stops any electric shocks from getting to us if a fault in the electrical devices.


This is normally the first permanent fixture in a woodworking shop and it tends to be the workhorse of the shop also.

While a table saw can be moved, it is very heavy and not something you just throw into the back of your truck when going out to work on a job. There are so many things you will use a table saw for, so make sure you get a good one that fits your needs.


What would a jigsaw be used for?

A jigsaw is known for being able to cut curves into a variety of materials. The jigsaw is easy to use and safe, so it's one of the first power tools many people use.


What do you call the compass saw's thinner version?

A compass saw is a hand-held saw that is used for cutting curves. The keyhole saw is a similar version, but a thinner blade that allows it to small holes, like a keyhole.


How much is 11 feet + 9 feet 3 inches + 4 3/4 inches equal to?

To start, add the number of feet, which would be 11 + 9 and that equals 20 feet. Then add the inches, which would be 3 + 4 3/4 and that equals 7 3/4 inches, so the answer is 20 feet, 7 3/4 inches.


What is the tool used to make a straight line that consists of string and colored powder?

The chalk line is a metal box that contains colored powder and a long string. You place the string in the spot you need a line, preferably on a straight surface, and snap the string and it leaves a line for you.


When checking the level of your construction, what does the term level mean?

On a level, there is a bubble reading for the level. This is measuring the horizontal level of your construction. You want to make sure the bubble is in between the lines to be level.


PL 400 is popular with carpenters, but what is it?

PL 400 is an adhesive that is used for heavy duty subfloor construction. Carpenters can use this adhesive in extreme temperatures and it will stick to all types of lumber, including dry, wet or even frozen.


When using a level, what does plumb mean?

By using a level, you are checking the level and the plumb of your construction. For this, level means horizontal and plumb would mean vertical.


While using a table saw, what should a carpenter wear?

You never know what might fly out when using a table saw, so safety first. That is why all of these things should be worn to help protect you if something goes wrong.


When doing trim work, which hammer is mainly used?

A sledgehammer would ruin the trim! These types of hammers need to be lightweight, as they are used to place trim nails into the trim and you don't want to ruin it.


On a tape measure, what is the smallest marking?

When looking at a tape measure, there are 16 markings in between each inch. The inch marking is the biggest and then the 1/2-inch marking is next and so on, as they get smaller as the increments decrease.


Which is the best wood for cabinet work?

For cabinets, you are going to want to use a hardwood, like oak. Many fine furniture stores will sell oak furniture, as it ranges in color tones from white to reddish tones.


What does the 3-4-5 rule help create?

The 3-4-5- rule helps you create a 90-degree triangle. One side would measure out to be 3 feet and then 4 feet on another side, so the final side of the triangle would connect together and be 5 feet.


What are the plugs called that are small plastic fittings that grip and hold screws when they are installed in hard walls?

Rawl plugs are wall plugs, but they are referred to as Rawl plugs because of the company that created them. They are there to add support to the screw holding up the object.


The technique used to have counter tops sit flush against the wall is called what?

Scribing is when you try and get a nice tight fit for your counter tops. Instead of leaving a gap between the counter tops and the wall, carpenters use this technique.


What do you need to do to a door in order to make sure it doesn't catch on the frame/lining?

If a door is catching on the frame or lining, you need to plane a leading edge on the lock side. This allows the clearance that you need when swinging the door shut.


Which tool is used to keep pressure on a piece of wood when using a table saw?

A featherboard helps you get a smooth, quality cut. It helps you push the wood through all kinds of saws without cutting off your fingers. A lot of woodworkers make their own featherboards, so they can design them for their own needs.


What is the path called that a saw blade cuts into a piece of wood?

Kerf is described as the thickness of the cut that a blade would make while cutting the wood. Also, it is sometimes used to describe how thick an actual blade is.


When do you use plywood clips?

Plywood clips can also be called panel edge clips or H-clips. They are small metal brackets carpenters would put between the edges of plywood sheathing that are unsupported, and they help stiffen the plywood and reduce the support spacing.


What nails would you use if you were nailing 2x6 inch joists?

In nails, the "d" stands for penny, so a 12-penny nail would work. A 12d nail measures 3 1/4 in length, so it would work for a 2x6 inch joist.


What do you call the full-length studs that are on either side of a door or window opening?

For a door or window, the stud to the left or right of the opening is called the king stud. These studs run from the bottom plate all the way up to the top plate.


When it comes to wiring, where would you drill holes in a stud?

For this, you can drill right in the center of the stud. However, you need to make sure you stay at least 1 1/4" away from the front edge of the stud.


Which of the following is not a rule to follow when laying out stairs?

Some stairs don't even have risers. However, that is a mistake and it would cause the stringers to crack or split a lot sooner.


When marking for a circle, which one is best to use?

A divider helps you measure out when drawing a circle, arc or radii. You would place one of the points on an inch mark of a ruler and then open the divider to your desired measurement and draw.


What is placed between the studs that helps strengthen the wall when building a stud frame?

The noggins are placed between the studs to help give stability to the wall or floor frames. They help the joints from bucking from any load put on the frame.


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