Carpentry is one of the oldest and most useful of all the trades. But, there is much more to it than hammering a nail in a piece of wood. Whether you are beginning your career, finishing an apprenticeship or are a seasoned professional, these five tips and tricks for carpentry contractors will improve the quality of your woodwork.
1) Build a Simple Saw Bench
A miter saw bench is an essential but expensive tool to help carpentry contractors’ saw in place when making cuts. Instead of buying one, you can actually build it yourself. If you work with wood, this DIY project is right in your wheelhouse.
What you will need
- Circular saw
- Miter saw
- Cordless drill
- Drill bit set
- Framing square
- Socket/ratchet set
- Table saw
- Tape measure
A miter bench is an effective tool to keep your saw in place when making cuts. Learn how to assemble one here.
2) A Framing Formula for Carpentry Contractors
Carpentry contractors often struggle with estimating the amount of materials needed to complete a job.
This is a simple formula that will work regardless of how many doors, windows or corners you have:
- One stud per linear foot of wall
- Five linear feet of plate material (bottoms, tops and ties) per linear foot of wall
It may appear that this is a lot of wood, but you will need the extra material for corners, wood and door frames, blocking and braces.
3) Don’t Forget your Pencil
Carpentry contractors know that just one measurement mistake can jeopardize a whole project. If you are in the business of assembling woodwork, this simple measurement trick can fix that problem.
At your next job, use a pencil instead of a measuring tape. For example, hold the piece of trim in place and mark it. This technique is more accurate than measuring, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting numbers.
When sawing remember that cutting slightly outside the pencil line isn’t bad, because you can always trim the piece later.
4) Secret fixings
One of the hallmarks of a professional carpentry job is a clean presentation where no one can see how the pieces are fastened to each other.
There are several steps you can take to ensure your fixings are never visible.
- Make sure nail heads are punched under the surface
- Pre-drill and countersunk screws
- Drill pilot and clearance holes
- Use wood glue when appropriate
5) Practice makes Perfect
Before using these tips on your job site, practice them first. You can avoid costly mistakes by grabbing some scrap wood and working on your technique.
Whether you are building a miter saw or learning how to precisely cut wood, carpentry tips and tricks are best learned through a process of trial-and-error.