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We asked carpentry pros who have invested years pounding thousands of nails to pass along a few of the very best of what they have found out on the job site.

Best way to ideal mitres

Practice on test pieces for the best mitre

Fine-tuning a mitre for the best fit is frequently a trial-and-error procedure. Practice on smaller sized test pieces until you get your mitre saw set to precisely the best angle, then cut the original parts.

Forget strings and stakes

Utilize the construction lumber as a design template

You see it in print and on TV all over some stake and board device established to hold lines to assist place postholes or set out footings or structure footprints. However most of the time, there’s a far better way. Tack together the construction lumber to lay out the structure, square it up and use it as a considerable design template to do all your marking. Set it aside to do your digging and change it to set the posts.

Easy framing formula

Utilize this formula to buy framing products

You don’t require a math degree to approximate framing products for walls. Here’s a method that works each time, no matter the number of doors, windows or corners your walls have:

One stud per linear foot of the wall.

Five linear feet of plate product (bottoms, tops and ties) per linear foot of the wall. It’ll appear like excessive lumber when it shows up. However, you’ll need the extra stuff for corners, window and door frames, obstructing and braces. Reserve the rough stuff for short pieces.

Throw together a mitre saw bench

Use materials on hand for this essential bench


Whether you’re operating in your garage, out in the backyard developing a shed or up at the in-laws’ cabin constructing a deck, take a couple of minutes and cobble together a mitre saw bench, With a little imagination, you can use almost any materials you have on hand. The only custom-made work you’ll need to do is to rip some spacer boards to make the outfeed support the same height as the saw table. It sure beats kneeling on the lawn or perching the mitre saw on horses. Also, the bench does double duty as a super-convenient work surface area too.

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Purchase a trim gun

No more hand nailing

I haven’t hand-nailed a piece of interior trim in 25 years. Why? Since air-powered trim guns make the outcomes so much faster, better and neater. No divides, no predrilling, no knocking the piece out of place as you hammer, and only itty-bitty holes to fill. The weapon I paid $300 for at that time can now be had for $125, and it’s better than the old one! If you’re going to buy just one size, the most flexible option is one that shoots 5/8- to 2-inch 18-gauge brads.

Memory (or lack thereof) technique

Compose measurements down

Stick masking tape to your measuring tape for writing shapes and numbers. That way you won’t forget the length en route to the saw.

Harness the power of a toenail

Use the toenail technique to position lumber

On my first task as a framing carpenter, I was beating on a stud to try to coax it into position. The stud just got better. A veteran framing carpenter walked over and drove a big nail at an angle through the edge of the stud. The last two hammer blows moved the stud into position, where it stayed. Now I utilize the toenail technique whenever I require to adjust stubborn lumber.

Mark, do not measure

Use your pencil instead of your tape

Early on in my woodworking profession, I mismeasured an expensive baseboard and sufficed too short. Somewhat of yelling, ‘You’re fired,’ my employer simply stated, ‘Don’t utilize your tape measure unless you have to.’ He was right. Holding trim in location and marking it is always more accurate than determining, typically faster and it removes errors. This is excellent advice for other kinds of carpentry work too, like siding, laying shingles and in some cases even framing.

Take a nip now and then

Use nippers to pull nails

Keep a pair of ‘nippers’ in your pouch whenever you’re doing trim carpentry. When you pull trim from the wall, please utilize them for removing the nails through the back of the trim.

Best all-purpose hammer

Carry this multi-purpose hammer

Whether you’re doing rough construction or excellent finish work, the very best well-rounded stick is a smooth-faced 20- ounce with a straight claw. I utilize the nail to drive it under walls for lifting, to embed it in framing and even to do exceptionally unrefined chiselling. However, most importantly, it’s a better shape for pulling nails than the curved claw style