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I am constantly amazed at what my brother in law has been able to do with their home. My sister’s husband can build/remodel anything. He’s a carpenter working for the local union and helps do large scale projects like malls, hospitals and a lot of schools. But where I have really seen him shine is at home. They bought an old home in the country on some acreage and they have just about gutted the whole thing at this point and redone every inch of the house and it’s amazing. When we lived in NY he helped us out with a few odd jobs here and there. If there is one skill I wish we had when we owned our own older home, it’s carpentry! I came across this great article over at Family Handyman… carpenter’s top 10 tips and tricks. Find the full article here: Family Handyman: Carpentry Tips and Advice Carpentry can be very difficult because it involves lots of complicated skills and techniques. There are however some carpentry tips and tricks which can be used by anyone to improve their woodworking skills. Many of these secret techniques have been discovered by carpenters after years of trial and error, you can benefit from their experience straight away. Tips and Tricks for Carpentry: – Don’t measure unless you have to – Remembering Measurements – Removing Nails – Use a Straight Claw hammer Don’t measure unless you have to When most people do any form of woodwork they will always measure using a tape measure, and then mark the wood which needs to be cut down. This works most of the time, but it’s very easy to accidentally mismeasure which can be very costly. Where possible simply hold the trim or wood up and mark where it needs to be cut. By marking the wood itself you reduce the chance of errors. There will however be times that you will need to measure, in this case make sure you measure twice to check you are right. Remembering Measurements When you do have to use your tape measure it can be very difficult to remember exactly what you measured. To avoid this being a problem stick some masking tape onto the front of your measuring tape. Then you can jot down the measurements in pen or pencil. Removing Nails Use a pair of sharp nippers to pull any nails out of woodwork by gripping the head firmly. This is better than a pair of pliers which could cause damage to the wood. Use a Straight Claw Hammer The most common type of hammer is the curved claw hammer, but this isn’t the best all round hammer for woodworking. A straight claw hammer is perfect for pulling nails, and can even be used to lift doors and partition walls. It can also be used as a very basic chisel if needed. Additional Resources: Looking for more carpentry tips? Don’t miss this article by Mother Earth News and also this one from DIY Advice.