What Do You Know About Becoming a Certified Carpenter?


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Monty Rakusen/Cultura/Getty Images

About This Quiz

We think you would agree that carpenters are fine tradesmen. With the ability to make something practical, such as a house, or to sculpt a piece of wood into something finer, such as an ornate jewelry box, carpenters practice a skill as old as time itself. 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 and the ability to work it, humankind would not have survived.

But don't be fooled; it certainly isn't easy. It takes dedication, a keen eye, and a love for all sorts of tools. Above all, it takes a love for and knowledge of wood! 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. In this quiz, we are going to test you on them and other aspects of carpentry to see just what you know about the profession. Are you ready? Then let's begin!

When attaching a door to a door frame, what keeps it connected?

When hanging a door, a carpenter will fasten it to the door frame using hinges and screws. Most standard doors will only require hinges at the top and bottom of the door to fasten it securely. A heavier door, however, could do with added support in the middle.


If you want a nail head to sink lower than the surface of the wood you tapped it into, what tool do you use?

A nail set or nail punch helps to sink the head of a nail below the surface of the wood. A hammer will only pound the head into a point flush with the wood. A nail set is then placed against the head, and a hammer can be used to knock it farther into the wood. The hole can then be filled with wood filler for a more professional finish.


Which of these can help hide unsightly gaps between two pieces of wood?

A caulking gun is a useful tool to have at your disposal. It holds a cartridge filled with a material that can be used to seal up areas where your wood joins are not great. It can be filled with wood filler or silicone to achieve this.


Which jack-of-all-trades tool might prove useful if a carpenter's toolbox is too far away and he needs to remove a screw?

A multi-tool can come in very handy in many situations. Because it has a variety of tools on it and it fits in your pocket, it is often the first gadget you turn to for easy jobs like tightening a screw or perhaps gripping something with the pliers. Of course, for heavy duty jobs, it just won't cut it.


Framing lumber is used to construct wooden walls. What are these frame pieces called?

All wall panels in a wooden structure are made using specific pieces of lumber. These are called studs. They are found in two popular sizes: 2 x 4 and 2 x 8 inches.


What measuring tool has two adjustable arms?

This tool is used to measure the distance between two ends of a particular object. They have any number of uses in different working environment, especially where exact measurements are needed. A carpenter will use this from time to time when they can't find a tape measure!


When needing to make a hole in a piece of wood, what would a carpenter use?

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.


In carpentry terminology, what are anchor bolts?

Often, a solid base is needed when making large wooden structures. When your base is concrete, that support takes the form of anchor bolts, which then will hold structural pieces in place.


What fastening tool with interchangeable heads can prove useful to a carpenter?

A multi-purpose screwdriver has a selection of detachable heads with different tips, for example, a flathead or a Phillips head. These are useful to have in a toolbox for light work, but if you want to unfasten a stubborn screw or make sure a screw is fastened really tight, use a normal screwdriver instead, as you can get more leverage.


What is a "batten" in carpentry lingo?

A "batten" is a small strip of wood that a carpenter will cut to a desired size. It is then used to cover a joint between two pieces of siding. Basically, it is used for aesthetic purposes.


In the world of carpentry, which one of these tools would a carpenter NOT have in his toolbox?

While a carpenter won't be seen without a hammer, chisel and drill, the likelihood of him ever needing a feeler gauge is practically zero. A mechanic, however, will definitely have one in his toolbox! This tool is used to measure the width of a gap or the amount of clearance in pieces of machinery.


If a carpenter wants to put in nails quickly, he uses a _____.

A pneumatic nail gun is a perfect replacement for a hammer, especially if you need to drive in a lot of nails. It usually fires through the use of a compressed air canister, but other setups are available. These are often seen in the construction trade or carpentry.


If he didn't have a nail gun, what tool would a carpenter use to sink nails?

Probably the most recognizable tool of them all, hammers are used in so many different situations, you would be lost without one. The most obvious is for hammering in nails, but stubborn nuts can be loosened with a few taps of a hammer as well.


Which carpentry tool would you use to manually shape wood?

Chisels can be used to shape wood or even stone. They have beveled edges and can be used for very fine work as well as for taking off larger pieces of whatever you are chiseling. This is usually achieved by striking the rear of the handle with a hammer or mallet.


If a carpenter has countersinked something, what has he done?

The overall finish of a piece such as a table or desk is of utmost importance. And where screws will be showing, it is common to use a countersink bit to ensure the head of the screw also sinks away in the wood, providing a flush and neat finish.


To remove a nail that has bent over, what is the easiest tool to use?

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 deeper, where the larger claw hammer would struggle.


Choose from the options below the best answer that describes a "dovetail."

A dovetail joint connects two pieces of wood at a right angle. The two pieces fit together using opposite joints that look like the tail of a dove and that slide together.


When putting on the roof of a house, what is the angle at which it sits called?

When building a wooden structure with a roof, a carpenter will follow the plans for the angle of the roof itself. This can be a number of different angles depending on the architect's design. The angle of the roof is called the "pitch."


Which of these is considered to be the most simple of joints in carpentry?

Remember when you were shown how to make your first wood joint in woodshop class at school? Well, that would have been a butt joint. This type of joint involves two pieces of wood connected at 90 degrees in a frame. They are in all likelihood kept in place by wood glue. A butt joint is effective in framing but is not very useful anywhere else.


In carpentry drawings, do you know what a "side elevation" is?

Carpentry drawings or plans, especially when it comes to building a wooden house, are extremely important. These show the exact layout of the building from every possible angle, including the side.


If you need somewhere to place a piece of wood and hold it while you saw, this is your preferred tool.

Every good workshop needs a vise, particularly a carpentry workshop. This device is used to hold a piece of wood securely in place, so there's no risk of it sliding out of your control while you're sawing.


In carpentry, what is a level?

It's no good if a piece of wood a carpenter is trying to make a shelf out of is not straight. When hanging a shelf, you want to use a tool called a "level" to determine that it is indeed hung straight. This small tool has a liquid viewer with an air bubble that will line up at a particular marked area of the level when the surface it's sitting on is perfectly parallel to the ground.


When a carpentry tool accidentally removes a piece of wood you were working with, it is called a _______.

Often when working with wood tools, a piece of wood can be torn out of a section of the wood itself. This is especially true when sawing against the grain, for instance. This is known as a tear-out.


In carpentry, what type of tool is a "plane?"

A plane is an important tool for a carpenter. It has a blade that can be set to take off large pieces of wood, or smaller pieces for finer work. It is used to shape wood or to remove thin layers -- for example, from the bottom of a door that might be jamming.


What is a "tread" in carpentry terminology?

And all along you thought a stair was just a stair. Well, no, because the horizontal part of it, the place where you put your foot, is known as the tread. The vertical part of the stair is known as the riser.


In a house constructed of wood, where would the trusses be?

The roof construction in a wooden house will involve many unique pieces that all fit together. These parts include rafters and trusses. These are made with extremely solid pieces of wood.


Of the tools below, which one cuts wood?

A hand saw is found in most workshops but especially in a carpentry workshop. In fact, there might be a few different sizes. A hand saw has large teeth that easily cut through soft wood. They are sometimes called panel saws.


Of the options below, which of these would best describe a "band saw"?

A band saw has a continuous looped blade that is able to cut large pieces of wood. To do this, the wood must be fed toward the blade as it spins. A band saw is good for creating an even, uniform cut and for cutting more precise curves.


Never underestimate the need for a utility tool that helps you see in the dark. What is it?

A flashlight is crucial for working in poorly lit spots, such as under the hood of a car. To keep your hands free, you can use a flashlight that straps to your head. Or employ an apprentice to hold a regular one!


When it comes to carpentry accessories, how long is a 4D penny nail?

In carpentry, you will come across many different nail sizes and types. These are used in a range of scenarios depending on what you are actually constructing. Penny nails got their name from a traditional way of sizing nails for use in carpentry.


What does it mean to "cross cut" wood?

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. Using a saw with finer teeth makes this task a little easier.


Need to know just how long a piece of wood is? What tool would you use to help you?

A toolbox without a tape measure certainly isn't complete. This tool is perfect for almost any measuring job, from smaller measurements to sizing up a room to determine how much wallpaper you would need. And it can clip onto your belt for easy use!


A piece of wood is "timber" only if it is how thick?

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.


What is the process of building the framework for a house called?

Watching a carpentry team build a house is something to behold. Once the foundations have been laid, the team starts to put up the skeleton of the house. This will include all structural pieces that divide the inside of the house into its rooms, all outer walls and even the roof, including trusses and rafters. This is called framing.


What would Allen keys be used for in carpentry?

Allen keys are used to tighten and loosen a specific type of fastener with a hexagonal head. Such fasteners are often used in carpentry, especially on parts of wood where you want a more neatly finished appearance than you would get with normal screws.


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