Carpentry: professional advice, techniques and secrets

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The article contains professional techniques for working with wood, for the construction of frames, scaffolding and other carpentry operations. You will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of self-tapping screws and nails, how to sharpen cutting edges, get professional advice on organizing work.

Carpentry works. Pro tips, tricks and secrets

Carpentry is very common in our country, so rich in timber. In our article we will talk about how to make woodworking easy and safe..

Nail or screw

These two hardware are constant companions of woodworking. With the invention of the self-tapping screw, nails, it would seem, should have receded into the background, that is, the scope of their application should have been reduced to the area of ​​auxiliary operations. However, this type of fastening has been in demand for several hundred years and today its design has not changed..

Advantages of a nail (in comparison with a self-tapping screw):

  1. Powerful rod.
  2. No electricity required for installation.
  3. Less waste in lots.
  4. Holds well the shear force.

Carpentry works. Pro tips, tricks and secrets


  1. Poorly adhered to the wood under pulling force.
  2. Single use (in 50-60% of cases).
  3. During installation, parts may move from impacts (inconvenience).
  4. Time-consuming dismantling – material is often deformed (from the nailer).
  5. Corroded (not anodized).

Based on this simple analysis, regular (smooth) nails are best used:

  1. For fastening roofing sheet material – slate.
  2. For work in remote places where it is not possible to use a power tool.
  3. In case of multi-point fixation (thin sheet material).
  4. In structures where the force is applied to shear.

Should not be used in cases:

  1. Furniture repair (except upholstery).
  2. For pressing thick sheet materials (chipboard, OSB) to the base. In general, you do not need to try to punch a wood board with a nail – there is a risk of spoiling the whole area.
  3. If the base (what holds the main part of the nail) is not wood.

Only a special screw nail can compete with a screw – it gives plus 50% to the effort against pulling out.

Tips for working with nails:

  1. A rusty nail will continue to oxidize in the structure and the attachment point will loosen 2–3 times faster than a clean nail. To clean rust, place nails in a container (not glass) with fine rubble (fraction 1-5) and fill with diesel fuel, gasoline, and solvent. Shake it vigorously, the longer the better – diesel will soak the rust, and rubble will clean the nails. Then rinse with water and dry.
  2. Before removing the nail, make sure that it is not through or bent over from the back.
  3. It is better to hold small nails with special devices. Home tip – Insert a nail into a comb.

Carpentry works. Pro tips, tricks and secrets

  1. For large volumes of work with 50-100 mm nails, use a hammer with a magnetic holder.

Carpentry works. Pro tips, tricks and secrets

The screw was invented by Leonardo da Vinci, but in order for this hardware to “conquer the world”, it was necessary to create a machine for mass production. Today, tens of millions of self-tapping screws are screwed in the world every day..

Advantages in working with self-tapping screws:

  1. Withstands high pulling loads.
  2. Provides good tracking force.
  3. Multiple use.
  4. Smooth mounting allowing on-the-go correction.
  5. Convenient dismantling.
  6. More resistant to corrosion (than nails).
  7. Less metal consumption per unit and less weight.

Carpentry works. Pro tips, tricks and secrets

Disadvantages of self-tapping screws:

  1. Power tool required (for carpentry).
  2. Often, when tightening, the caps break, after which it is difficult to remove the self-tapping screw. The same with knocked down splines.
  3. Relatively high rejection rate.
  4. Higher cost.

A huge assortment of screws, self-tapping screws and their derivatives allows you to find threaded hardware for any task. They are available for plastic, wood, concrete and metal. They are used wherever nails are, including furniture. Thicker, anchor screws, with double blade groove.

Do not use:

  1. On vehicles or objects with vibration.
  2. For fastening thin sheets where it is impossible to make a sweep.

Tips for working with self-tapping screws and screws:

  1. Thin self-tapping screws (3.2 mm) longer than 35 mm break in 20% of cases during the first installation.
  2. When screwing into a slab without a hole, a spall forms on its reverse side, which can create a gap between the slab and the base. In this case, make a preliminary hole with a diameter of 1–2 mm larger or smaller than the self-tapping screw.
  3. When tightening with a rotary tool (screwdriver, drill, hammer drill, wrench), the speed is not decisive, but the clamping force and torque of the tool. The higher these indicators, the more efficient the installation..
  4. Get into a comfortable position before curling, especially if you plan on using your body weight. If hardware breaks or slips, you may be injured or the tool may be dropped. Hold the axis – the bit should fit exactly into the splines, and the axis of the self-tapping screw should coincide with the axis of the bit (chuck).
  5. Fastenings in a plastic dowel screws for wood and metal are not always suitable – in half of the cases they turn together with the anchor.

Carpentry works. Pro tips, tricks and secrets

Sharpening of cutting edges

Sharpening the edges of drills, chisels, “feathers” is a responsible business and requires a keen eye and a steady hand. In the heat of work, there is no time to focus on small things, and many operations are done with the tools that are at hand. The edges are usually sharpened on the grinder’s cut-off wheel. In this case, the following rules must be observed:

  1. The grinder should not play! Skewed disc will not allow sharpening the edge exactly.
  2. Before the working contact, try on the sharpening angle on the turned off grinder – it should repeat the factory one. If an element (drill, chisel) breaks off, create a new edge.
  3. Do not sharpen “little by little” and in several approaches. The clamp should be one and until the plane is fully pointed.
  4. Do not press the element hard – the metal will overheat and become brittle.
  5. When working, use glasses, a visor, or keep your eyes at a safe distance.
  6. After developing the fiberglass (when using a disc for metal), replace the disc with a new one to avoid rupture of the weakened disc during subsequent work.

Carpentry works. Pro tips, tricks and secrets

Useful little things

It is better not to use a magnetic attachment when assembling large elements where significant pressure is required – a small bit can get stuck in a tree and come out of the attachment.

Have a magnet in your tools – it is convenient to collect small hardware, get something from the depth (even a hammer from a well).

If you need to introduce a lot of hardware (screws or nails) in one place, place them in a piece of foam – they will be close at hand and will not crumble.

A headlamp will allow you to carry out high-quality marking in dusk and poorly lit rooms.

The laser pointer on the power tool (especially on the jigsaw) is needed in order to enter the cut smoothly from the very beginning. Don’t focus on it after starting the cut – focus on the platform risks. But best of all, secure the guide rail-beacon so that the platform of the jigsaw goes along it, like on a rail. In this case, the quality of the cut will be comparable to a circular saw..

Carpentry works. Pro tips, tricks and secrets

Working in cotton gloves, monitor their condition. The untwisted thread can get caught in the moving parts of mechanisms operating at high speeds, and then injury is possible. Do not work with wet gloves. This not only increases the likelihood of electric shock, but also contributes to hypothermia of the hands (in winter and autumn).

The relevance of the main and auxiliary structures made of wood has not decreased even today – they began to make combined products from this material – pressed plates, spliced ​​lengths and much more. In the next few decades, the tree will not go out of construction turnover, so these recommendations will always be useful.

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