The carpenter’s job is to make the doors, windows and cabinets work. Here are tips on fine homebuilding to keep your trim carpentry looking perfect.

1.  Practice first 

If you are trying something new, always practice the cut or technique first on a scrap wood. Make mistakes where people will not see them.

  • Pencil markers

Finish marks should be crisp arrow points. The tip of the arrow is the exact mark. Just remember what side of the line to cut on! 

2. Calibrate your tape  

I’ll bet you have dropped your tape measure a time or two. Look at the tip of the blade. See if the little prongs that grabs onto the end of a piece of wood are bent. If they are, your tape is going to read wrong when you translate an inside measurement to a length. Take two pliers and carefully straighten the tape prongs

3. Cut upside down 

If you are making cross cuts or trimming down a door or cutting finish plywood, you can reduce splintering if the circular saw blade cuts up through the finish grain. This means cut plywood with the good side facing down.

If both sides are good, make a pencil line and are a straight edge or razor knife to score the wood first.

4. Glue and stain  

If you are staining woodwork, watch out for excess glue. If you wipe glue off with wet rag, the glue can get into wood pores and block stain penetration