Do You Know Enough to Be a Carpenter?
By: Zoe Samuel
Estimated Completion Time
Image: stevecoleimages / E+ / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Carpentry is to wood as masonry is to stone. It's a skill that is almost as old as civilization, and one that hasn't actually changed much in that time. Some tools are even made and used the exact same way. After all, wood hasn't changed, so there's no reason to update the equipment that much.
Being adequate at carpentry is something almost anyone can achieve. You just have to be patient, decent at math, and capable of wielding the tools steadily. This will save you from having to hire help whenever you run into a carpentry pickle in your house. However, being good at carpentry is like any other skill; it takes an enormous time commitment and a real willingness to stick out the tough moments as you gradually improve. Becoming a truly great carpenter is yet another click above that, as you have to add artistic flair and vision and study the work of great carpenters past as you work on beveling and inlay and all the elements that make something truly beautiful and unique.
Do you have what it takes? Let's find out!
Do you measure twice, cut once?
Do you have steady hands?
Which related skill do you have?
Which famous carpenter inspires you?
That band, The Carpenters?
There aren't any, surely?
Do you know much about types of wood?
Yes, I can identify it at a glance.
I know there are hardwoods and softwoods.
There's pressboard and there's wood that is not pressboard.
Do you know how to sand something neatly?
Sometimes I don't do it so neatly.
Only my nails, but I could learn.
Which shape is a Phillips head screwdriver?
Crisscrossed with high edges.
Can you sew on a button?
Yes, though I am slow at it.
Yes - it'll eventually come off again but it stays a while.
No, that is sorcery to me.
Do you know what a shim is?
A dance move but also a carpentry thing?
How patient are you?
Whatever it is, I want it now. I don't know what it is, I just want it now.
Do you know how to find sustainably-grown wood?
I don't think that's a thing that exists.
Do you live in a humid environment?
It's incredibly variable and often humid.
Are you a maestro with varnish?
Oh, yes, the things I can do!
I can put on a coat and then another coat.
I can just about put on an even layer.
No, it always looks lumpy and uneven.
Are you sometimes clumsy?
Only with things I don't really care about.
Yes, I'm basically Mr. Bump from the Mister Men.
Are you easily distracted?
No, but once distracted, I don't get back into it easily.
Yes but I get right back into it.
I'm sorry, what was the question again?
Can you hold a lot of thoughts in your head at once?
Do you love the satisfaction of making something?
It's better than buying it, I guess.
No, it's a waste of time.
Do you have a good imagination?
It's too good sometimes! I have too many ideas to execute them all.
It's a bit bigger than my talent, alas.
How's your math?
I'm basically Copernicus.
I'm not a professor but I hold my own.
I have a calculator, if that's what you mean.
I can barely count to four.
Can you rotate shapes in your head?
No, but I can rotate them with my hands and then look at them.
Do you persist even when you've made a mistake?
Yes, like a dog with a bone.
No, I have no fortitude whatsoever.
If you cut yourself, do you know how to take care of it?
I faint at the sight of blood.
What other materials do you like to work with?
Do you have a well-ventilated space to work in?
Yes, I have a barn on my property.
Do you like learning in small increments?
It's the only way to do it.
I don't like it but sometimes I do it.
Do you have some money to spend on the right tools and materials?
Not a huge amount, but my friend has a lumber yard and gives me spare stuff.
Do you know other people with dazzling carpentry skills?
Yes, everyone in my family.
I have a neighbor who built a treehouse.
No, my friends think microwaving is cooking.
Do you love the idea of building something as a gift?
Yes, I do it all the time!
I think that's a bit cheap actually.
What's the most annoying thing about carpentry?
It takes up a lot of space.
Did you take shop class in school?
I didn't, but I wanted to.
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