6 Woodworking Skills Every Beginner Carpentry Student Should Learn

What they say
Subscribe Newsletter

Integer posuere erat a ante venenatis dapibus posuere velit aliquet sites ulla vitae elit libero 

Carpentry is a skill that can take some time to master. It’s also a field that requires you to learn quite a number of different skills to enjoy a long and fulfilling career.

However, to even enjoy carpentry as a hobby, you need to develop some basic skills that’ll help you create the best wood products.

Here’re the 6 skills every carpentry student should learn to enjoy it as a career or hobby:

  • Jointing
  • Painting
  • Measuring
  • Drawing interpretation
  • Hammering
  • Cutting

Top 6 Skills that Every Woodworker Needs to Learn

  1. Jointing

It goes without saying that joinery is one of the most important skills to possess in carpentry.

Joints allow a carpenter to assemble different parts of a wood product being made into one unified whole. There’re different joints that serve different purposes in woodworking.

The most basic joints a beginner should learn include:

  • Butt joint
  • Mortise & tenon joint
  • Tongue & groove joint
  • Bridle
  • Dovetail joints.

Some of the joints are stronger than others. Also, the aesthetic appearance differs from one joint to the other.

Besides knowing how to make the joints, the carpenter should also know how to choose the right joint to use for a particular item, the required appearance and strength.

  • Painting

Painting is one of the best ways to give the products a lasting and aesthetically appealing finish. Traditional painting methods to learn include using a brush or roller. These methods are ideal for small projects.

For large projects, painting by hand becomes ineffective.

Airless paint sprayers work well in such situations. The airless paint sprayers use a high pressure system to overcome the viscosity of the paint and eject it onto the surface quickly. No compression is required in this system.

Air spraying comes with a lot of benefits for the user. First is that it moves the project quickly and efficiently. Good air paint sprayers have a user-friendly setup, making them easy for beginners and DIYers to use.

Air spraying also ensures an even coat of paint is applied on the entire surface for a smooth finish.

  • Measuring

You may have heard the old adage, “measure twice cut once”. In carpentry, this saying literally emphasizes the need for accuracy. Cutting without measuring or without precise accuracy can lead to loss of material, time and resources.

In order to take precise measurements, a carpenter should be able to use different kinds of measuring tools. Examples of common measuring tools for carpenters include:

  • Tape measures
  • Framing square
  • Levels
  • Rules
  • The good old try square.

Besides knowing how to use the tools, a carpenter should learn how to take measurements in different units. Sometimes, quick conversions in the head may be required when interpreting drawings, bringing us to the next skill you’ll need.

  • Drawing interpretation

A carpenter should be able to easily and quickly interpret technical drawings, especially to help during renovations of buildings. If the carpenter has estimate materials required, take measurements and stick to the required specifications of the building.

To become successful at reading and interpreting drawings, a carpenter needs to have a keen eye for detail, good analysis and some solid mathematics skills. Conversions might also be required from one unit to the other for the carpenter to get the measurements required accurately.

  • Hammering

A hammer is one of the most basic carpentry tools that a beginner should learn how to use.

There’re different types of hammers used in carpentry for different reasons. However, the most basic reason why carpenters need harmers is to drive in and remove nails from wood.

The types of hammers used in carpentry include:

  • A claw hammer
  • A ball pein hammer
  • Joiners’ mallet
  • Soft hammers.

A good carpenter learns how to use these basic hammers before learning the use of power tools.

Although power tools make work easy and fast, learning how to use hand tools allow the carpenter to work even in places where power may not be available.

  • Cutting

There is no carpentry without cutting. A hand saw is one of the most basic tools that a carpenter should learn how to use.

Cutting allows the carpenter to get the right size of required pieces of wood after taking the correct measurements. It’s also essential when making joints.

There are types of handsaws a beginner should learn how to use:

  • An adjustable hack saw
  • A tenon saw
  • A dovetail saw
  • A coping saw.

The coping saw is used to cut curves while the hacksaw cuts straight lines. The tenon saw is used in joinery while the dovetail saw is used where small accurate cuts are needed.

Learning how to use this simple hand tool allows a beginner to slowly graduate into using power tools. It also helps them in developing fine motor skills they need to handle fast cutting power saws that can also be dangerous when not handled with care.


These aren’t the only skills a beginner will need but they’re amongst the most essential to acquire. Other skills that will help include:

  • Learning how to use a hand plane to prep wood
  • Sanding
  • Sharpening tools such as chisels, saws and planes.

Learning these skills will make work easy and fast for the carpenter, not to mention even more fun. When carpenters understand tools of trade well, they’re able to minimize chances of accidents occurring. They also reduce fatigue at work because they understand and know how to maneuver the tools for the best results.