How Much Do You Know About Woodworking?


By: Joan Howard

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Calling all carpentry and carving experts! Are you a pro at distinguishing mortises from MDF? Do you skip shopping for furniture because you know you can build your own table better? If woodworking is your thing, this just might be the perfect quiz to show off your skills.

Wood is one of the oldest building materials on the planet, and there's evidence that people have been shaping objects out of wood since the days of the ancient Neanderthals. It seems even early man couldn't resist the appeal of crafting something with his own two hands, or the opportunity to reconnect with nature; something as a simple tree is transformed into something useful or beautiful. From mindless whittling to practical purposes like furniture or cabinet building, to artistic carvings or sculptures that can rival any other work of art.

The skill of woodworking has been passed down through generations, and advances in tools and equipment allow modern carpenters to craft things their ancestors could only dream of. Sure, you'll still need more rugged tools like axes and chainsaws to begin the process, but today's woodworkers have the advantage of power tools and routers that cut, rip, plane, polish and shape wood at the touch of a button.

Of course, that doesn't mean the old ways have fallen out of style; many woodworking pros still craft things the old-fashioned way, swapping nuts and bolts for mortise and tenon construction, or turning pens and other creations on simple lathes.

Think you know all there is to know about the art, science, and history of the woodworking field? Take our quiz to find out!

A nail set is used to do what?

Using a nail set ensures that the nails are flush, or just below the wood surface. It is also called a nail punch.


What is a rasp?

The rasp can be round, half-round, or rectangular, and it is used for shaping and smoothing wood. It is used in tandem with the rough cut of a saw and the smoothing of sandpaper.


How do moisture and climate conditions affect wood?

Moisture and changing climate conditions cause solid wood products to expand and contract over time. Major dimensional changes can occur, affecting the integrity and strength of the wood.


What is a c-clamp used for?

The clamp can also be used to clamp pieces together while glue is setting. The C shape allows room to maneuver.


What skills does woodworking include?

Woodworking is an employable skill, as well as a favored hobby. The craft dates back over 2,000 years, when it was all about using your hands. Today there are many computer-controlled machines in use.


How is a coping saw used?

The coping saw is very useful when cutting comb or dovetail joints. It can also be used to cut acrylics.


What famous fairy-tale character is made of wood?

Pinocchio is a puppet crafted by Geppetto, an Italian carver. Pinocchio wants to be a real boy. This fairy tale has survived for years, as a way to teach children not to tell falsehoods.


What is toenailing?

The typical reason to use toenailing is because a nail can't be driven in at 90 degrees, as when joining a wall stud to the sole plate. When toenailing, the nails or screws are driven in at an angle.


What are the measurements of a standard size sheet of plywood?

There are many types, sizes and grades available, but 4’ x 8’ is most commonly used. Plywood is also available with different glues, veneers and degrees of finish.


Which of these is a good glue to use on wood?

Choosing the correct glue for your project means taking many factors into consideration. For instance, if the wood will be used outdoors, moisture is a factor.


What does M.D.F. stand for?

Medium Density Fiberboard is similar to particle board, but denser and stronger. It is an engineered wood that has a smooth surface and works well for repairs and small projects.


What is wood veneer?

The veneer provides a decorative layer over less expensive wood. It is glued or bonded and disguises imperfections in the wood.


Which of these is a wood-turning tool?

The lathe remains stationary while it rotates the work piece. It allows the wood to be cut and shaped into decorative, intricate shapes and designs.


Which of these is a type of nail?

These nails are some of the most commonly used. They each have their own niche when using them with wood. Nails are often used in conjunction with adhesives.


What is the grit range of fine finishing sandpaper?

The lower the grit number, the rougher the sandpaper. The higher number, the finer the sandpaper.


How is nail size measured?

Penny size is an industry standard for measurement of a standard nail. This form of measuring dates back to the 15th century, when nails were sold by the penny.


Which game is played with wood tiles?

Scrabble is a classic crossword game in which every letter counts. Each letter tile has a value and there are special squares on the board that increase a tile's value. Q and Z are worth the most, at 10 points each.


What is a galoot?

A galoot - also known as a neanderthal - is a woodworker who prefers hand tools rather than power tools.


What is a kerf?

A kerf is a groove or slit that is made by a sawblade when cutting wood. After a series of careful kerf cuts are made in a piece of wood, it can be easily bent.


Hardwoods come from which type of trees?

Hardwood trees are broad-leafed trees which shed their leaves. Hardwoods are used in making flooring, furniture, cabinets and doors.


What is a biscuit joiner?

This tool is especially helpful in building large furniture. This joiner practically guarantees perfect alignment and is stronger than traditional dowels.


What is a mortise?

Paired with a tenon, it forms one of the strongest and tightest joints possible. A mortise and tenon joint is used when two pieces are joined at 90 degrees, as in furniture legs.


What TV personality plays a character who builds boats in his basement?

Harmon was a carpenter before he started acting. In his hit TV series, "NCIS," his character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, builds boats in his basement. Any idea how he gets them out of the basement?


What is plywood?

Plywood is composed of three or more thin sheets of wood which have been glued together, usually at right angles for extra strength. It is stronger and less expensive than solid wood.


What is S2S?

S2S is surfacing of hardwood lumber on opposite sides. The edges are the other two surfaces. The boards are run through the planer twice.


Softwoods come from which type of trees?

Softwood trees have needles instead of leaves and they remain green year-round. They are easier to work with than hardwoods.


Hardwood lumber is commonly sold by the:

Hardwoods are sold in a variety of lengths, widths and thicknesses. A board foot is a measurement of the volume of wood. One board foot equals one square foot of wood, one inch thick.


Which of these woods is favored for outdoor use?

Mostly impervious to bad weather, redwood does not warp or rot, and it is resistant to moisture and insects. It is easy to work with and an outdoor finish can be applied to help preserve the wood’s color.


What does TPI stand for?

The number of teeth a saw blade has is important because it determines the smoothness of the cut it will make. The more teeth, the smoother the cut will be.


What is the fastest way to stain wood?

While spraying is fastest, wiping is also fast and eliminates the need to clean the spray gun and surrounding surfaces. Uneven coverage is less likely with wiping.


Wood is given as a gift for which wedding anniversary?

The tradition of giving wood-themed gifts for the fifth wedding anniversary has been honored for decades. The wood symbolizes strength and stability.


Who has been called the “Hemingway of Hardwood”?

Sam Maloof is probably the most well-known woodworker and furniture builder. His work can be seen in the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the White House.


Which sandpaper has hard, sharp edges that fracture, continually forming new cutting edges?

As a natural abrasive, garnet is favored for raw wood sanding and finishing. However, due to its tendency to wear out quickly, it is not suitable for power sanders. Many of today's sandpapers are man-made.


What is a "granny's tooth?"

In common use before the power router was invented, this plane was known for its accuracy. It was used mainly to level the bottom of trenches, mortises, sockets and grooves.


Which is the best grade of hardwood lumber?

FAS stand for Firsts and Seconds, which is the best and most expensive grade available. It works well for fine furniture, cabinetry and other applications where wide and clear wood is desired.


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