3 Basic Carpentry Skills You Can Learn in an Hour

There are a lot of ways you can improve your HDB flat in Singapore, whether it’s adding a section of drywall or making your own tables and chairs to fit your living room or dining area. You don’t need to be a carpenter to do it yourself, but it does help to know the basics before diving into any woodworking project.

Here are the basic carpentry skills you can easily learn in less than an hour:

1. Measuring
The real secret to any woodworking or carpentry project is this: not misplacing any of your tools and equipment.
While it seems like a no-brainer at first, it turns out that you’re likely to spend more time looking for the right tools instead of actually using them, and this is why a tool belt is invaluable.

You’ll also be surprised to know that most of carpentry is taking careful measurements, and this is where you should always learn to keep a pencil with you. If you don’t have a pencil, you can’t mark your measurements, and you can’t build.

Before doing anything else, keep the woodworker’s axiom in mind: “measure twice, cut once.”

2. Cutting
Handsaws may be more tiring to use, but they do the work just as well as a circular saw – they’re also cheaper to get and easier to maintain.

If you’re having trouble using a handsaw, be sure to keep it straight and hold it at a forty-five degree angle. Push and pull using an even motion and let the saw do the work. If cutting through the wood is difficult with it, sharpen it to make cutting easier.

Circular saws are easier to use, but they also come with their own risks, so be careful when handling one. As much as possible, cut only on the supported side of the board and unplug it whenever you want to adjust it to cut at another angle or area.

3. Nailing
Nailing is easily both the “soul” and the frustration of carpentry, and while you can easily hammer one into place with just two or three hits, it’s a kind of skill that takes a lot of time and practice to really master.

The trick to making this easy on yourself is by choosing a hammer that’s neither too heavy nor light. The next thing is choosing the right nail to suit the wood you’re working with: common flathead nails for ordinary outdoor jobs, spiral nails for more holding power, and finishing nails for inside jobs.

As much as possible, avoid leaving nails in loose pieces of wood especially if the points are sticking out, as this could cause serious injury.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

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