Our Ultimate Guide to Mastering Basic Carpentry Skills

Learn how to master the tools in your toolbox to create beautiful, practical pieces of furniture to enjoy for years to come.

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If you've done some home repair or even a bit of remodeling, you've already acquired many of the basic skills needed to build bookcases and shelves. These projects will add to that knowledge. If you're just getting started as a do-it-yourselfer, this is essential information to increase your range of skills as you complete your first project, then another.

This section is your go-to for the next level in putting your basic woodworking skills to use and making projects that require making angled and curved cuts, drilling, chiseling, and more.

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How to Make a Basic Layout and Mark With Precision

Learning how to create square lines is essential to any woodworking project. Due to imperfections in manufacturing, not all wood boards are square when you purchase them. Working with natural materials like wood requires careful measuring at every point in the woodworking process. To avoid the pitfalls of a project that doesn't measure up quite right, you'll learn how to accurately measure and precisely mark each piece of wood.

How to Make Angled and Curved Cuts

Joints are a tricky part in most woodworking projects for the average DIY homeowner. Angled and curved cuts are often used in the beginning stages of making joints. These cuts can be made with a variety of tools and measured to a variety of angles. To learn more about these important cuts, check out our expert tips. We will show you all you need to know so you can confidently move forward with your weekend project. 

How to Make Straight Cuts

As basic as straight cuts may be, they're even easier when you know the right tips. We show you how to make the most precise, clean lines for both kinds of straight cuts: rip cuts and crosscuts. The difference between the two has to do with how you're modifying the original board. Rip cuts come first and run parallel to the long edge while crosscuts come next and shrink the board's height. Learn more with our helpful how-to. 

How to Drill a Hole

You need two basic tools to make holes in wood: a bit to cut and a drill to turn it. If you want the hole to be of a precise depth or angle, you'll need some extra help. While it may seem like basic work, you can actually master some pretty neat techniques while drilling. We'll show you how to drill repetitive holes, make a precision guide, countersink, and more. 

How to Use a Chisel

Chisels are fairly easy to use and maintain, if you know how to handle them correctly. A staple in every DIYer's toolbox, the first step to using a chisel is knowing which one to purchase. Our experts explain every stage in using a chisel from buying the right tool to working with various materials. Follow along with our steps to make sure your DIY project gets done right the first time. 

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