Could You Be a Carpenter?

By: Robin Tyler

Could You Be a Carpenter?
Image: vitranc / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

A stunning piece of crafted wood is a thing of rare beauty. And that takes in wood sculptures, finely crafted wooden furniture or even a massive house made out of lumber. Each and every one of these takes supreme craftsmanship to pull off. And those craftsmen are carpenters!

Since the beginning of time, man has worked with wood. We have used it in our daily lives ever since. Our ancestors used wood to make their homes, keep themselves warm and even to hunt their prey. Although a piece of sharpened wood against a wooly mammoth sounds like long odds to me! Yet, without this wood, humankind would not have survived.

Fast forward to our modern times and there is something strangely hypnotic watching a carpenter working in his chosen medium. The way he fashions a thick plank into the leg of a chair, slowly shaping it until it looks the part. And then using a chisel to give it a final shape, before sanding it down and applying some varnish to give himself just one piece of his final puzzle.

Carpenters have many tools in their workshops and methods by which they perform their chosen profession. There are also many terms that are unique to carpentry. But in this quiz, we would like to test your knowledge of this profession and ask the questions, "Could you be a carpenter?"

Let see how well you fare!

Good luck!

A carpenter that needed to make a deep, straight hole in a piece of wood uses which of these tools?
Drill
In carpentry, holes need to be made in wood all the time! For example, you may need to place dowels in a piece of wood to make a joint. To do this, you can simply drill a hole the width of each dowel and then glue them in place.
Hammer
T-Square
Band saw

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To check if a piece of wood is level, for example, when hanging a shelf, you would use which of these tools?
Speed square
Bubble level
A bubble level is a useful tool to have in your carpentry tool box. It is a simple device with a section in which liquid is stored. This liquid has an air bubble in it. When placed on a horizontal surface, you can determine if it is level by checking where the bubble is in the viewfinder. If it lines up straight in the middle, your shelf is level. It can be used on vertical surfaces as well.
Nail puller
Tape measure

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When it comes to carpentry accessories, how long is a 4D penny nail?
2 and 1/2" in length
10 inches in length
1 and 1/2" in length
In carpentry, you will come across many different nail sizes and types. These are used in a range of scenarios and often depend on what you are actually constructing out of wood. "Penny" nails were a traditional way of sizing nails for use in carpentry.
20 inches in length

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For a piece of wood to be considered timber, how thick should it be?
1 inch
20 inches
10 inches
4 inches
In carpentry, a piece of wood is considered to be timber if it is four or more inches thick. Of course, wood timber comes in a range of thickness as well as grades that are used in different aspects of carpentry.

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What is "countersinking"?
Using a specialized drill bit to ensure a screw will sit flush with a piece of wood
The overall finish of a piece of wood such as a table or desk is of utmost importance. And where screws will be showing, it is usual to use a countersink bit to ensure the head of the screw also sinks away in the wood, providing a flush and neat finish.
Drilling a small hole for a small screw
Hammering in a nail with a mallet
None of the above

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When hammering a nail into two separate pieces of wood to join them, how deep should the nail go into the second piece?
A third
Two-thirds
Nails are a great way to join two pieces of wood together. Add a little bit of wood glue and it will hold for years and years. That is if you hammer the nail in far enough into the second piece of wood. And how deep should that be? At least two-thirds of the way in.
Halfway
A quarter

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If a carpenter is sawing a piece of wood as a "cross cut" he is ...
Sawing with a saw with broken teeth
Sawing across the grain
Sometimes, a carpenter will choose to "cross cut," which means cutting through the grain of a piece of wood. This effectively rips the wood fibers, and using a saw with finer teeth makes the task a little easier.
Angry!
Using the wrong saw for the job

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When assembling a roof, which part should never be cut without first consulting an engineer?
Tiles
Rafter
Truss
Never ever cut a roof truss without consulting an engineer first? Well, unlike rafters, which can be cut if the load of the roof is held by other rafters, a truss works with the other trusses to support the other parts of the roof structure. Cutting one could cause a collapse.
Joist

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What tool would a carpenter use to measure angles?
Sliding bevel
An adjustable tool, the sliding bevel can be set at any angle a carpenter needs. This is useful for measuring and marking angles not only while busy with construction but also on drawings.
Plumb line
Bubble level
T-square

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True or false? Siliconized acrylic latex caulk can be painted over.
True
Unlike silicone caulk which does not hold paint and is used more in plumbing jobs, siliconized acrylic latex caulk is less messy and it bonds far better to a range of surfaces. And best of all, you can paint over it!
False

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What saw is not an absolute necessity in a carpenter's toolbox and can be hired when needed?
Hand saw
Circular saw
Miter saw
A miter saw isn't an absolutely necessary tool for most carpenters. Sure, they come in handy when doing cross cuts or miters, but they can be hired when needed. A miter saw is also sometimes called a drop saw.
None of the above

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Which tool is best to remove a nail that has bent?
Pliers
Crowbar
Hacksaw
Nail puller
Also known as a cat's paw, a nail puller is a handy little tool to have in your carpentry toolbox. Not only can they pull partially driven-in nails in much the same manner as a claw hammer but they can also pull nails at are deer, ones where a claw hammer would struggle.

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Choose from the options below the best answer that describes a "dovetail."
A type of carpentry joint
A dovetail joint connects two pieces of wood at a right angle. The two pieces fit together using opposite joints which look like dovetails and which slide together.
A kind of drill
A type of hammer
Chisel

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In what form of carpentry is a "speed square" most useful?
Furniture restoration
Framing
A "speed square" is a carpenter's tool that is triangular in shape. It is essentially a try square, combination square and framing square all in one. Particularly useful for carpenters who make frames, it is used by other carpenters as well.
Home building
None of the above

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Which of these tools would a carpenter use to shape wood?
Hammer
Chisel
Chisels come in all shapes and sizes. With a distinct cutting edge, chisels are primarily used by a carpenter to shape wood. They can be maneuvered by hand if the wood is soft enough or even tapped using a hammer for harder woods.
Drill
Circular saw

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Which of these is a joint used in carpentry?
Roaming joint
Lap joint
A lap joint is a carpentry joint used to connect two pieces of wood together. It gets its strength from the fact that the two pieces of wood overlap. A lap joint will have sections cut out from both pieces of wood so they can be fused together and glued to add strength.
Screeple joint
Flat joint

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From the options below, choose the tool a carpenter would use to make quick and easy measurements.
Tape measure
Just about every craftsman in the world, be it a carpenter or whatever type of trade they may be involved in, has a tape measure hooked onto their belt. The advantage of a tap measure is that it can measure small wooden boards to large sheets of lumber quickly and accurately.
Plumb line
T-square
Spirit level

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What tool would a carpenter use to shave off thin layers of wood?
Plumb line
Hand plane
A hand plane is a wood shaping tool that can take layers of wood off a larger piece of lumber. Planes are used to flatten, shape and make a smooth surface on pieces of lumber. Some specialty planes can even be used to cut joints.
Screwdriver
Band saw

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From the options below, which of these saws would you use to cut large pieces of lumber quickly?
Hand saw
Circular saw
Circular saws, often also called table saws or even chop saws are electricity driven cutting blades that are used to cut large pieces of lumber into smaller dimensions. They have a powerful blade that easily cuts through wood fibers. Remember to always wear safety equipment when operating one of these saws.
Hack saw
None of the above

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Which of these is an often used piece of lumber?
2x4
In the world of carpentry, wood can be bought in set sizes already cut for you. One of the most popular is 2x4. All this means is the piece of lumber has a 2-inch by 4-inch profile. These are often used in structural framing.
16x128
13x15
11x10

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True or false? Wood sheeting products such as OSB should not be allowed to get wet.
True
That is true. Any engineered wood products should never be allowed to get wet or stand in the rain. Otherwise, it can swell and quickly become useless. Always store these wood products in a dry, cool place.
False

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Which of these is the weakest joint in carpentry?
Butt joint
A butt joint is used to join two pieces of wood together, for example, a wooden from makes use of butt joints to join four pieces of wood at 90 degrees to each other. No shaping is necessary with this joint. It is the weakest of all wood joints as only glue holds the two pieces in place.
Dovetail joint
Mortise and tenon joint
Bridle joint

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When a carpenter needs to cut wood into shapes, which of these would get the job done?
Hand saw
Jigsaw
Also called a scroll saw, a jigsaw has a blade with a push/pull mechanism all powered by electricity. If a carpenter needs to cut curved pieces of wood, a jigsaw is the best saw to choose as it can be easily guided and is able to cut, even for intricate work.
Circular saw
None of the above

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A carpenter expects that an existing concrete wall when he is to put up wood paneling is damp. What would he use to confirm his suspicion?
Tape measure
Volt meter
Moisture meter
Moisture is bad for wood, even if it is has been sealed or treated. Why? Well, over time, if it is exposed to water, this moisture will eventually penetrate the wood, causing it to swell. If this happens, it will have to be replaced. A moisture meter is a good tool to measure water in an existing wall where wood paneling is to be used, for example.
None of the above

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If timber has "bowed," what has happened to it?
Got wet
Broken in half
Bent
The last thing a carpenter wants is lumber that is "bowed," especially longer planks. It can be corrected, however, usually through the process of steaming and bending it back into place.
None of the above

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What is the strongest joint in carpentry?
Butt joint
Dovetail joint
A dovetail joint connects two pieces of wood at a right angle. The two pieces fit together using opposite joints which look like dovetails and which slide together. Once glued in place, a dovetail is a very secure joint that is not easily broken. It certainly won't come loose either.
Bridle joint
None of the above

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Which of these tools would you use to quickly join two pieces of wood?
Nail gun
Nail guns remove the need for a hammer! And they speed up the process of joining two pieces of wood together as well. They are used in construction, especially when installing wooden floors, framing walls or in roofing.
Hammer
Plane
Jigsaw

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What does the term "flush" mean in carpentry?
A wood panel in a bathroom
Perfectly joined
When two wooden panels meet perfectly, they are said to be "flush"; if not, the lower one is said to be "shy" while the raised one would be "proud." Of course, no self-respecting carpenter would let any of the panels he joined be anything but flush!
One piece of wood is 90 degrees to another
None of the above

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In a piece of wood, what best describes the "grain"?
The width
The thickness
The direction the fibers of the wood run
The way the "grain" of a wood runs is important to know. To get a better finish for a piece that you need to chisel for example, you would chisel with the grain. Cutting against the grain with a hand saw can be tough, unless you use a saw with fine teeth.
None of the above

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What tool can be used to lower the nail head to below the surface of a piece of wood?
Speed square
Nail set
A nail set, also sometimes called a nail punch, helps to sink the head of a nail below the surface of wood. A hammer will only pound the head in to a point flush with the wood. A nail set is then placed against the head and a hammer then can be used to knock it further into the wood. The hole can then be filled with wood filler for a more professional finish.
Snips
Utility knife

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A carpenter using a "brace and bit" would be doing what?
Hammering
Sawing
Planeing
Drilling
If you were using a "brace and bit," the chances are you were living in a time before electrical handheld tools or you just like antique tools. A "brace and bit" is an old-school drill. To drill into a piece of wood, a carpenter would crank a handle which would engage gears to turn the drill bit.

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What does the term "beading" refer to in carpentry?
A wood joint technique
A decorative piece of wood
"Beading" is simply using a small piece of wood as a decorative piece. With a half-round profile, "beading" is used mostly to give an ornamental edge. It can be used in framing for example.
Filling wood with wood putty
None of the above

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What is a "dowel"?
A special saw type
A wood joint
A short, round piece of wood of varying circumference
Dowels are round pieces of wood of varying circumference. They are used to plug holes, join pieces of wood together and for many other purposes in carpentry.
None of the above

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If a carpenter needs to saw a piece of wood in two, what does he stand it on to provide stability?
Saw tiger
Saw horse
A saw horse is a nifty stand for a carpenter that needs to anchor a long piece of wood that he would like to saw in two. Similar to a trestle table, two saw horses can be used with thick plywood to create a temporary work table as well.
Saw seal
Saw giraffe

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When building a wooden home, where would you find the "rafters"?
Floor
Roof
"Rafters" are the large wooden structures that form part of your roof. Typically, they form a V-shape. In some houses, ceilings are left out to show off the rafters and extend the overall height inside.
Walls
Foundation

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