Upholstery, cleaning & general repairs

It is worth getting into the habit of vacuuming your upholstery on a regular basis, since if you spring clean it once a year, dirt will be ground into the fabric. Most suction cleaners have a special attachment for cleaning upholstery and for removing dust and dirt from awkward places in the backs and sides of chairs. If possible you should remove any spillage immediately after it happens. Treatment will depend on the type of fabric, so before you begin always check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure the cleaner you have in mind is suitable. You should check for such things as shrinkage and colour-fastness by making a small test with the cleaner in an inconspicuous place on the upholstery. To avoid over dampening the fabric and the padding beneath, it is best to use a dry cleaner on fabrics to get rid of spots and stains. This type of cleaner only wets the surface and dries very quickly to a powder; when you brush off the powder, it should take the stain with it. At least one make of this type is suitable for cleaning both upholstery and carpet.

Loose covers
These can be either dry-cleaned or washed, depending on the composition of the fabric. If you are in doubt, check with the manufacturer’s washing instructions or go to a reputable cleaner for advice. Some materials may be liable to shrink or run their colours in the wash and you should check for this before you begin washing.

Fixed covers
Very badly soiled areas in fixed fabric covers can be cleaned by using a special upholstery shampoo. Again, to avoid overdampening the fabric, you can use a dry shampoo with an applicator. The shampoo foam is forced through a sponge head in a controlled flow which eventually dries to a powder and is removed with an upholstery attachment on a vacuum cleaner. To make sure the shampoo will not harm the fabric, check on a small, hidden area first. Alternatively, if you are going to spring-clean yow carpets by hiring a hot water soil extraction machine, you can clean your upholstery at the same time. Ask for a special upholstery tool attachment when you are hiring one of these machines, which are available by the day or half-day from specialist hire shops and some carpet retailers. The machines are fairly heavy to manoeuvre; but this should not be a problem when you are cleaning upholstery, since you will probably be able to reach several chairs from one position. A shampoo is mixed with the hot water, ‘vacuumed’ over the upholstery with one sweep and sucked back with the grime and dirt in the next sweep, which takes out most of the moisture. It is best to treat very dirty areas with a spot remover to loosen the stain before starting to clean with the machine. The upholstery will dry out in a warm room.

Methods of repairing
Burst or frayed machine seams or tears near piping can be repaired by slip-stitching, which if done with care will conceal the damage. Neaten any frayed edges by trimming, but don’t cut into the fabric itself. If necessary, turn in a tiny piece along either side of the tom edges to make them neat. Use large darning needles fixed down firmly into the padding along the torn edges to hold them together while slip-stitching the tear. You will need matching strong thread and an upholsterer’s half circle ‘slipping’ needle, which you can buy from the haberdashery department of a large store or possibly an upholsterer’s shop. Tie a knot in one end of the thread and insert the needle into one side of the tear a little way in from the end, hiding the knot on the underside of the upholstery. Bring the two edges together by using very tiny stitches on either side, pulling the thread through very firmly each time and keeping the stitches parallel. Remove the darning needles as you go along and finish by fastening off the thread, working the thread end into the seam.

A hole can be successfully repaired by taking replacement fabric from elsewhere (from the underside of the chair or sofa, for example) and patching it in. If this is not possible and you feel it is worth the effort, try locating an extra piece of matching fabric from the manufacturer. Carefully cut away all the damaged fabric, tidying up the edges as you cut. The replacement patch should be slightly larger than the actual hole size and, where necessary, you should carefully match the pattern; if there is a pile make sure it is the right way up. Push the patch down into position onto the padding and underneath the hole edges. Coat round the edges of the patch and the undersides of the fabric edges round the hole with a fabric adhesive, taking care not to let the adhesive touch anywhere else. Wait until the adhesive becomes fairly tacky, press the two surfaces together and leave them to dry. This type of patch will satisfactorily disguise small damaged areas. For anything larger you will need to fit a replacement cover for that particular section: this is covered later in the book.

Leather and vinyl
Covers in leather and vinyl cannot be slip-stitched, but provided they are soft and well worn you can repair holes or tears with a special repair kit available from a hardware store or haberdashers. The kit enables you not only to match up the upholstery colour but also the grain, which is particularly important if you want to achieve a good repair. Clean the surface with white spirit to remove grease and dirt and insert a small piece of bonding sheet (provided with the kit) through the tear to form the base for the repair paste. Mix the paste to the exact colour and use a knife or spatula to spread it into the area. To match the upholstery grain use one of the patterns which come with the kit; alternatively for an unusual grain pattern you can use the rubber compound (which is also sup plied) to make a mould of an area identical to that which is damaged to provide a pattern. Place the grain pattern or rubber mould face down over the paste, place a piece of card on top and press down on it for two minutes with a warm iron to imprint the pattern on the paste.

Fitting a stair carpet

carpet fitters London staircase

Your stair carpet receives more wear than you might expect, so make sure you buy the right type and fit it correctly, for safety and maximum economy. When selecting a carpet for stairs, bear in mind the heavy wear to which it is going to be subjected. Most people do not realize how many times even a small family use the stairs every day. Wear is not only caused by treading but also by the scraping of heels against the risers and by strong rubbing against the nosing. Long pile carpets (for example shag and semi-shag) are not suitable for staircases and foam-backed carpets are best avoided, if possible, since they are complicated to install. As in all carpet installations underlay is essential since it provides longer life, increases sound insulation and gives greater comfort. Don’t use stair pads, which only cover the tread area. When fitting underlay, make sure there is enough to pass round the nosing of the stair. To give longer life, a stair carpet should be moved about six months after laying; this enables those parts of the carpet covering the risers to be placed over the treads and vice versa. Subsequently, at longer intervals, the carpet should be slightly moved to equalize the wear. When the carpet is laid, the extra amount is folded against the riser at the bottom of the staircase. Before fitting the carpet, make sure the natural inclination of the pile faces downwards.

carpet stairs

Measuring up
When buying a carpet, first measure the length you require. Assume the method of installation you are going to use will cause the carpet on the upper landing to overlap the top riser. Begin measuring from the base of the top riser and take the tape lightly over each tread and riser. Add to the total measured length an additional 38mm for each step to allow for the space taken by the underlay. Add a further 457mm to enable the carpet to be moved to increase its life. If the staircase includes a winder, measure along the path taken by the outer edge of the carpet.

Laying the carpet
The two main methods of laying stair carpets are by tacking down and by using tackless strip. Whichever method you use, it is necessary to mark on the stairs the positions of the edges of the carpet and the underlay; the marking for the underlay will also apply to the tackless strips when they are used. The purpose of this marking is to ensure the carpet is laid centrally when it is not wide enough to cover the stair fully. If the steps are 813mm wide and the carpet is 686mm wide, a mark should be made on the riser 63mm in from each edge. Then make a mark l9mm inside the first ones to indicate the width and position of the underlay and of the tackless strip.

Tack-down method
For tacking down a special type of tack is used which is less visible than the normal type. First attach all the underlay, using a separate piece for each step; the width should be 38mm less than the width of the carpet and it must be long enough to cover the tread and lap round the nosing so the lower edge can be secured to the riser below. Align the sides of each pad with the inner pair of marks and position the back edge 25mm in from the riser. Tack it down at intervals of 150mm across the back of the tread, stretch it over the nosing and tack it across the riser below. Starting at the top tread, position the end of the carpet as indicated by the marks so it is properly centred; allow an extra 13mm for turning under where the material reaches the top riser. Unwrap enough material from the roll to cover the first two or three steps. Before starting to tack, make sure the tuft rows across the carpet are parallel with the nosing. Turn the end of the carpet under so the cut end is not exposed and tack down one corner; stretch the carpet to make it even and


tack across the riser at intervals of about 100mm. Continue down the stairs stretching the carpet over the nosing and tacking the edges in at the crotch- Then insert tacks across the crotch at 100mm intervals- Where additional material has been included to allow for fitting the material is folded in and held against the bottom riser by tacking up the sides. A slight overlap is needed at the bottom end of the carpet so it can be folded back when the carpet is finally tacked at the base of the lowest riser; take “his into amount also when measuring the shifting allowance- The same is done to the overlap of the landing carpet which covers the top riser.

Tackless strip method
Tackless strip is a flat narrow strip of wood, which is nailed to the floor; it is fitted with pins at an angle onto which the carpet is hooked- For laying stair carpets the strip is sold in 762mm lengths, so to fit a carpet 686mm wide cut the lengths down. When installing tackless strips, first mark the stairs as explained above, then fix the strips on the stairs. One strip is nailed across the riser, parallel with and 16mm above the crotch. Another strip is nailed across the tread the same distance from the crotch; this provides a gap into which the carpet is tucked- These distances will have to be increased or decreased according to the thickness of the carpet sine it is important to ensure a tight fit. The pins of both strips should lean towards the crotch. Next attach the pieces of underlay, which should be longer those used in the tack-down method. The rear edge of the underlay butts up against the tackless strip on the tread and is tacked down. Then front edge is taken over the nosing stretched down.

Lifting floorboards

Because of the way floors are made lifting a floorboard is not always as straightforward as it may appear. Older houses usually have square-edged boards. These are not too difficult to lift, although some force may be needed.

Square-edged floorboards
To lift these check the surface of the board to see if it is secured with nails or screws; the screw slots may be filled with dirt so look carefully. If it is held with screws. the board will con-re up easily once the screws are removed; if nailed. it must be levered up. Start near the end of a conveniently placed board and insert a strong lever such as a long cold chisel, car tyre lever or flooring chisel into the gap between the boards. Hammer the chisel to prise up the end until another lever, for example a claw hammer, can be inserted under the board.

Work the two levers along the board until it is free. Alternatively. put a batten under the board. resting on boards either side, and hammer it along to avoid splitting the board or marking the next. Another method is to slip a length of steel pipe or rod under the end which has been lifted. Stand on the loose end and the leverage of the rod will force up the board further along its length. Keep moving the rod forward until the entire board comes up.

Tongued and grooved floorboards
The tricky part of lifting these boards is getting the first one up. Once this is out of the way the others can be lilted quite easily. To test for a tongued and grooved floor. take a thin-bladed tool, such as a screwdriver, and try to push it between the boards in several places. If the floor is tongued, you will not be able to insert the blade more than about 6mm . The best way to cut through the tongue (to release the board) is with a flooring saw, which looks like a tenon saw with a convex curved cutting edge. Cut right along the joint on one side and lever up the board as before. A circular power saw will cut through the tongue, but it makes a wide cut which may not be acceptable if the surface of the floor is to be left exposed. You can use a small pad saw, but take great care not to cut through electric cables and water pipes under the floor. To be on the safe side, tum off the electricity and the water. Cut with the blade at a shallow angle and use the tip to feel for cables and joists (which should be evident by the lines of nail heads).

Chipboard panels
Modem homes may have floors of tongued and grooved chipboard panels, which are very difficult to lift. The best way to remove an entire panel is to saw round the joints on all four sides using a powered circular saw with the blade set to cut 19mm deep. If this does not allow the panel to be lifted, increase the depth of cut to 22mm in case thicker panels have been used.

Cutting across boards
If there is not a convenient cut end at which to start lifting the board, make a cut across the board close to a joist. Look for the nail heads and use a thin blade to feel for the side of the joist. If you cannot get a blade between the boards, estimate the joist will extend 25-38mm on either side of the nails. Mark with a pencil a line across the board to one side of the joist. Drill three or four small holes at an angle away from the joist, just inside the pencil line, to enable you to insert a saw blade.

Using a pad saw or powered jig saw cut across the board , keeping the handle of the saw tilted towards the middle of the joist so the board will be supported when it is replaced. Give the board some additional support when you replace it by gluing and nailing a piece of scrap wood (50x25mm) to the side of the joist with clout nails 38mm long so its top is flush with the top of the joist.

Repairing timber floorboards

floorboards timber

Most homes have timber floors in upstairs rooms but in houses built in Britain since 1945 and in recent extensions to older houses – you will often find that the ground floor rooms have solid floors. As both timber and solid floors can be covered with wood blocks or plastic tiles it may not be immediately obvious which type you are dealing with. So always check first what sort of floor you have.
floor joists timber
Timber floors downstairs consist of boards or sheets of chipboard nailed over sturdy timber joists, which are often supported on low walls (called sleeper walls). Upstairs the joists may be built into opposite walls or supported in galvanized steel brackets (joist hangers). As they are supported on joists, timber floors are also called suspended floors. Unlike solid floors they make a hollow sound when stamped on and also have a certain amount of bounce. Another means of recognizing a timber floor downstairs is the presence of airbricks on the outside walls just above soil level.

These bricks allow air to circulate beneath the floor to keep it dry and free of rot. Solid floors at ground level do not have airbricks. Fixing loose and squeaky boards Loose boards move when you walk on them and will increase wear on any floor coverings laid over them. They may also develop annoying squeaks and creaks as two faces of timber rub together. To cure this, refix the boards by nailing them down properly. Possibly not all the nails were replaced the last tin.re the boards were lifted: more likely the nails are loose. Renailing with cut floor brads or round head nails slightly to one side may solve the problem. but there is a danger this will cause the end of the board to split. It is better to drill small pilot holes and refix the boards, using No l0 countersunk screws 38mm long. The screws must pass into the joists. the position of which can be seen by the line of nail heads on the surface of the boards. If the boards are properly fixed but still squeak because they are flexing, the problem can be temporarily overcome by dusting the crack between the boards with French chalk or talcum powder. If the squeak returns, one of the boards must be lifted and the edge planed to give slight clearance.

Sometimes boards which have been properly fixed to the joists still spring up and down usually because the joists themselves are not properly secured. The only way to check this is to lift some boards in the affected area and examine the joists.

Repairing hardwood floors

wooden hardwood flooring

Minor damage to parquet blocks and wood strips, such as deep scratches and cigarette burns, may be repaired by sanding the damaged area or the whole floor if necessary. If the damage is more extensive, you will have to replace the blocks; chop out the first block with a chisel and prise up subsequent blocks with a lever. When chiselling out parquet blocks, you should start from the centre and work towards each end, taking care the chisel does not cut into adjacent blocks.

Replacement blocks should be the same thickness as the original ones; slightly thicker ones can be planed down after laying but do not buy blocks which are too thin. It is quite difficult to place packing pieces to bring them up to the correct height. Clean and scrape the sub-floor leaving it dust free. Use a notched spreader to apply adhesive, either to the floor or to the back of the block. Some bitumen-based damp proofing liquids are suitable for fixing wood blocks.

The blocks should be tapped into place with a hammer after the adhesive has been applied; use a piece of scrap wood to protect the surface of the block. Wood strips are repaired in the same way as blocks, but lifting them from the sub-floor may prove more difficult. Often the strips are tongued and grooved along their length and they may be fixed with hidden nails (secret nailing), which are inserted at an angle through the tongues as the wood strips are laid. The best lifting method is to free one end of the strip in the manner described to chisel out parquet blocks. It may now be possible to lever up the strip along its length. If this is not so, you can use a circular power saw, set to cut three quarters of the distance through the strip, running down the centre of the strip.

By levering the strip in the middle at the chiselled end you should now be able to split the board into two and pull out each half. Fitting new strips is similar to flitting blocks; taper the sides of the strip inwards, so when it is hammered down it wedges into place along its length. If the strip is slightly proud of the surface after fixing, you can plane or sand it level.

Repairing Timber Wooden floors

If the floor is in good condition, you can improve its appearance and provide a durable, non-porous surface by applying a polyurethane sealer. Wash the floor thoroughly with household detergent and water to remove dust and grease, then rinse with clean water and leave the floor to dry. To remove polish and stubborn stains, you can use white spirit; but afterwards always wash with detergent and rinse with clean water to ensure there are no traces of spirit left on the floor.
wooden floor sanding
If the floor is painted, you should hire a floor sanding machine and use it to strip the paint back to bare wood; then wash and rinse the floor as before. Apply the sealer, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and leave each coat to dry before applying the next (three coats should be sufficient); on the penultimate coat, use abrasive paper or wire wool to give a perfectly smooth surface for the final coat.

Joints , Joinery & Carpentry

Basic Woodworking Joints

butt joint carpentry

1. The butt joint is the simplest of all joints in carpentry. It may be made straight or right angled, and needs nails, glue or screws to hold it together.

dowelled joint

2. The dowelled joint is basically a butt joint reinforced with dowels-lengths of wooden rod. Both halves of the joint are drilled at once to make the holes line up.

secret dowelled joint

3. The secret dowelled joint is better-looking, because the ends of the dowels do not show. The two rows of holes are drilled separately, so great accuracy is essential.

mitred joints

4. The mitred joint has a very neat appearance, because no end grain is visible. Unfortunately, it is a very weak type of joint unless it is reinforced in some way.

halving joint

5. The halving joint is used at the corners of a rectangular frame. It is simple to make, has a reasonably neat appearance, and is quite strong if glued together.

T halving joint

6. The T halving joint is a variant of the usual L-shaped halving. It is used in conjunction with the previous type of halving in the construction of simple frameworks.

x halving joint

7. The X halving joint is the third member of this versatile family. It is used where two pieces of timber have to cross without increasing the thickness of the frame.

dovetail halving joint

8. The dovetail halving joint is an extra strong halving. Its angled sides make it impossible to pull apart in a straight line, though it still needs glue to hold it rigid.

through housing joint

9. The through housing joint is used for supporting the ends of shelves, because it resists a downward pull very well. It, too, must be reinforced with glue or screws.

stopped housing joint

10. The stopped housing joint has a neater appearance, but is harder to make because of the difficulty of cutting out the bottom of the rectangular slot neatly.

Tongued-and-grooved joints

11. Tongued-and-grooved joints are most commonly found along the edge of ready made boarding. But a right-angled version is also found, for example at corners of boxes.

lapped joint

12. The lapped joint has a rebate cut in one side to hide most of the end grain. It is often found in cheap cabinet work, because it is easy to make with power tools.


13. The mortise-and-tenon joint is a very strong joint used to form T shapes in frames. The mortise is the slot on the left; the tenon is the tongue on the right.

through mortise-and-tenon joint

14. The through mortise-and-tenon joint is stronger than the simple type. It is generally locked with small hardwood wedges driven in beside, or into saw cuts in, the tenon.

haunched mortise-and-tenon

15. The haunched mortise-and-tenon is used at the top of a frame. The top of the tenon is cut away so that the mortise can be closed at both ends, and so retain its strength. Four more kinds of mortise-and-tenon joint:

bare-faced tenon

16. The bare-faced tenon is offset, with a ‘shoulder’ on one side only. It is used for joining pieces of different thicknesses.

Twin tenons

17.Twin tenons are used in very thick timber. They give the joint extra rigidity and do not weaken the wood as much as usual.

Forked tenons

18. Forked tenons add rigidity to a deep, narrow joint. The angled edge of the tenon is sometimes found in a haunched m-&-t joint.

Stub tenons

19. Stub tenons are used on even deeper joints, but are weaker and less rigid than the forked tenons shown above.

bridle joint

20. The bridle joint is used where a long horizontal piece has to be fitted into the tops of several vertical pieces.

bridle joint single dovetail

21. The box joint is quite strong and has a decorative appearance. It is used for the corners of wide frames and boxes.
22. The single dovetail, like all dovetails, is extremely strong and hard to pull apart. It is used at the corners of heavy frames.

23. The through dovetail is used at the corners of boxes where great strength and a good appearance are required.
24. The lapped dovetail is nearly as strong, but also has one plain face. It is used in very high-quality cabinet work.
25. The mitred secret dovetail is also used in very high-quality work. It looks like a mitred joint, but grips like a dovetail.
26. The lapped secret dovetail looks like a lapped joint. It is slightly easier to make than a mitred secret dovetail.

27. The cogged joint is like a dovetail with the tails subdivided into smaller tails. It is extremely strong and rigid.
28.The scarfed joint is used for joining frame members end-to-end where only moderate strength is required.


Commonly used nails:

1. Lost head nail.
Head can be punched below surface for a neater finish in fine work.

2. Round wire nail.
For work where strength is more important than a neat appearance.

3. Oval wire nail.
Oval cross-section makes nail less likely to split wood.

4. Clout nail.
Large-headed, for fixing roofing felt, etc,to wood.

5. Picture sprig.
Headless, holds glass to picture frames; also for fixing down lino.

6. Panel pin.
Small nail for securing light pieces of wood; used in conjunction with glue.

7. French nail.
For rough carpentry work; large, ugly head ensures a firm grip.

8. Masonry pin.
Hardened steel nail for fixing wood direct to masonry.

9. Wrought nail.
Soft iron nail; point can be ‘clenched’ (turned over) for extra grip.

10. Hardboard pin.
Unusual head shape countersinks itself in hardboard, can be filled over.

11. Chair nail.
Decorative head for fixing leather, etc, in upholstery work.

12. Tack.
Small nail with broad head, for fixing down carpets and fabrics.

13. Staple.
For securing wire, upholstery springs, etc, to woodwork.

Special-purpose nails:

14. Corrugated fastener.
For butt-jointing timber quickly and easily: not very strong.

15. Screw nail.
For fastening sheet materials to wood. Great holding power.

16. Floor brad.
Holds down floorboards. Great holding power, but now obsolete.

17. Joiner’s brad.
Small carpentry nail used where extra holding power is needed.

18. Cut clasp nail.
Obsolete general-purpose nail superseded by oval wire nail.

19. Needle point.
Steel pin for fixing small mouldings: head broken off flush.

20. Annular nail.
Used like the screw nail, but larger and stronger.

21. Duplex head nail.
For concrete formwork: double head permits easy removal.

22. Dowel nail.
For end-to-end hidden joints in high-quality work.

23. Chevron.
For joining corners of frames where strength and appearance are unimportant.

24. Insulated staple.
For securing telephone and other low-voltage wiring.

25. Saddle tack.
For wiring: first tacked down, then folded over and fastened.

26. Roofing nail.
For securing corrugated iron or asbestos roofing to wooden rafters.

27. Chisel-headed nail.
For fastening gutters, etc, direct to mortar.

Carpentery saws

Points per inch (ppi) refers to the number of saw teeth to the inch along the saw blade. Woodworking saws with a small number of ppi are suitable for cutting softwoods and those with a larger number should be used lor sawing hardwoods. The kerf is the name given to the width of the saw cut. The gullet is the distance between one saw tooth and the next. The gullet carries sawdust out of the kerf to make the task of sawing easier.

Hand saw.
There are 3 types of hand saw.

A. Rip saw.It is used for cutting softwoods ,working with the grain. The teeth are chisel edged to shave off the fibres of the grain. The large gullet carries the sawdust out of the kerf.
B. Cross cut saw. The saw is used to cut across the grain of hardwoods and softwoods and lor working with the grain on very hard woods. The knife point shaped teeth gives the sharper cut needed when working across the grain.
C. Panel saw. The panel saw is used for fine cross cut and jointing work and for cutting plywood, blockboard and hardboard. The teeth are a similar shape to those of a cross cut saw.

Double sided saw for cutting greenwood.
One side is flne toothed for cutting slender plants and the other has large open gullets to carry away sawdust when cutting larger timber.

Tenon or back saw.
It is used for jointing and for cutting across the grain on small pieces. The back may be brass or steel. The saw with 20 ppi is for cutting dovetails. Its blade is thin to give greater accuracy. All cuts made with a dovetail saw should be along the grain as it performs a ripping action.

Saw knife or pad saw with a keyhole blade. Metal keyhole saw blade. Both are used for cutting small irregular shapes in the middle of a board.

Flooring saw.
The rounded nose allows you to cut into floor boards without damaging adjacent boards.

General purpose saw.
The teeth are hardened and tempered. It is used for cutting wood laminates, plastic, mild steel, rubber, etc. It is a handy odd job tool but is not recommended for first class, accurate work. The handle is adjustable to enable work in awkward places and positions.

Coping saw.
It has very fine teeth and is used for cutting tight curves. Tension is applied to the replaceable blade by tightening the handle.

Fret or piercing saw.
It is similar to coping saw but is deeper to allow work with larger boards. There are many types of blade available, the choice depending on what material you wish to cut.

Junior hack saw.
General purpose saw for light metal work.

Adjustable frame hack saw.
It can take 254mm to 305mm blades. Blades are available in range of ppi from 14 to 32.

Sheet saw.
This is for cutting thicker building material such as insulation slabs and metal covered plywood. It is more accurate for cutting straight lines than general purpose saw.

Carpenter’s basic tool kit

1. Tenon or back saw.
These saws are available in blade lengths of between 203mm and 355mm (8in and 14in) with 13, 14, 15, 16 or 20 points per inch (ppi). This is used for jointing and cutting across the grain on small pieces. The back of the blade may be of brass or steel. The saw with 20 ppi is for cutting dovetails and it has a thin blade to give greater accuracy. The dovetail saw performs a ripping action, so cut along the grain on very hard wood.

2. Hand saw.
This is used for cutting larger pieces of timber. There are three types of hand-saw. The one shown here is a panel saw. It is 508mm to 558mm long with 10 ppi. Its specialist purpose is for fine cross cut and jointing work and for cutting plywood, blockboard and hardboard. The other types of hand-saw are the rip saw and the cross cut saw. The rip saw is 661mm (26in) long with 5 ppi. Its specialist purpose is for cutting softwoods, working with the grain. The cross cut saw is 610mm to 661mm (24in to 26in) long with 6,7 or 8 ppi and is specially used for cutting across the grain of hardwoods and softwoods and for working with the grain on very hard wood.

3. G cramps.
These are used for a range of cramping purposes. These cramps are available in a 25mm to 457mm (1in to 18in) range of opening and between 25mm to 203mm (1in to 8in) depth of throat. When using G cramps always place a waste scrap of timber between the piece to be cramped and the shoes of the cramps. This prevents bruising of the piece.

4. Rachet brace.
This has spring loaded jaws in a screw tightened chuck. It is specially designed for holding wood auger bits

(5). The brace is available with or without a reversible rachet in a sweep (the arc described by the turning handle of the brace) ranging from 148mm to 355mm .

5. Wood auger bits.
These are used with Rachet braces.

6. Hand drill.
This is used for holding wood and metal twist drill bits and countersink or rose bits.

7. Twist bits.
These are commonly available in sizes ranging up to 13mm. The type of steel used depends on the use to which the bit is to be put.

8. Countersink or rose bit.
This is used for countersinking drilled holes so that countersunk screw heads will fit flush with the surface of the piece you are working with.

9. Warrington pattern or cross pein hammer.
This is used for general nailing and joinery and can be used for planishing and beating metal. Weights of these hammers range from 170g to 450g.

10. Claw hammer.
This is used for general purpose carpentry, in particular, for driving and removing nails. When taking out nails, make sure that the nail head is well into the claw of the hammer and, if it is necessary to protect the surface of the wood, place a scrap piece of timber between the claw and the wood. Exert even pressure to lever the nail out.

11. Carpenter’s or joiner’s mallet.
This is used for general carpentry and cabinet work and is available in head lengths of between 100mm (4in) and 180mm

12. Handyman’s knife.
This useful carpentry knife can be fitted with a variety of blades to suit specific purposes. The blades include angled concave, convex, linoleum and hooked blades. Wood and metal saw blades can also be fitted to this tool as can a blade for cutting plastic laminate.

13. Bench plane.
There are various types of bench plane and they are available in a range of lengths and widths. The smooth plane comes in lengths of between 241mm to 260mm. The Jack plane is available in lengths of between 356mm and 381mm. The Fore plane is 457mm long and 60mm wide. The Jointer or Try plane is 561mm long. When working with resinuous or sticky woods, a plane with a longitudinally corrugated sole makes the job of planing easier because friction between
the timber and the plane is reduced. If you do not have such a plane apply a spot of vegetable oil to the sole of your ordinary plane – this will perform much the same function.

14. Surform plane.
This is one of a range of open rasp/planing tools, all of which are useful and versatile. They are primarily used for rough work but with care some reasonably fine craftmanship can be produced. Each tool in this range has replaceable blades.

15. Block plane.
This small plane is particularly useful for fine cabinet work and for planing end grain.

16. Sliding bevel.
This tool is used for setting out angles, or bevels.

17. Bradawl.
This is a chisel pointed boring tool used for marking screw positions and counterboring for small size screws.

18. Adjustable steel rule.
The pocket size variety, when fully extended, range in lengths. The larger varieties are available in either steel, glassfibre or fabric.

19. Carpenter’s square.
This is used for setting out right angles and for testing edges when planing timber square. The tool has a sprung steel blade and the stock is protected by a thin strip of brass or other soft metal.

20. Marking gauge.
This is used to mark one or more lines on a piece of timber, parallel to one edge of that timber. Some types have a mortise gauge which has a fixed point on one side and one fixed and one adjustable point on the other. Its specific use is for marking out mortise and tenon joints but it can be used in the same way as an ordinary marking gauge.

21. Folding boxwood rule.
This tool is also available in plastic. Primarily for joinery and carpentry use, it should be used narrow edge onto the timber for the most accurate marking.

22. Scriber marking knife.
One end of this tool is ground to a chisel shaped cutting edge for marking timber. The other end is sharpened to a point and can be used for scribing metal.

23. Nail punch or set.
This tool is used for tapping pin and nail heads below the surface of timber. A range of head sizes is available to suit pin and nail sizes.

24. Centre punch.
This is used for spot marking metal to give a guide for drilling. The point is marked by tapping the wide end of the tool with a hammer. Automatic centre punches are available. These are spring loaded so you do not have to tap the end of the tool.

25. Carpenter’s pencil.
This has an oblong shaped lead which is sharpened to a chisel edge so that it can be used to black in lines scribed on timber.

26. Pozidriv type screwdriver.
This tip is designed for use with Pozidriv type screws which are increasingly replacing screws with the conventional blade head. The Pozidriv screw head allows for greater contact between the screwdriver tip and the screw head – providing of course that the correct size of screwdriver is used. This makes for greater torque (twisting power) and reduces the likelihood of tool slip and consequent damage to the work.

27. Cabinet screwdriver.
This tool is available in blade lengths of between 75mm and 457mm and tip widths of between 4.8mm to 13mm. The screwdriver tip should fit the screw slot completely and the risk of tool slip will be further reduced if the screwdriver tip has been cross ground.

28. Carpenter’s chisels.
These are available in several shapes and sizes of both handles and blades. The firmer bevel edge chisels are probably the most useful all round chisels to have in a basic tool kit. Chisel handles are either of ash, boxwood or plastic. Plastic handles are virtually unbreakable on quality chisels but timber handles should be treated with care and should only be hit with a wooden mallet.

29. Oilstones.
These are used for sharpening the cutting edges of such tools as planes and chisels. There are two main kinds of oilstone, natural and artificial. Natural stone comes in several types. Artificial stones come in three grades – coarse, medium arid fine – and have the advantage of maintaining their quality.

30. Fine machine oil.
This has many lubricating uses in the workshop and is a reasonable substitute for Neatsfoot oil when using an oilstone.

31. Honing gauge.
This is a useful device for holding bladed tools at the correct angle for sharpening on an oilstone. The disadvantage of this tool is that it tends to cause wear in the centre of the oilstone rather than distributing the wear evenly over the whole stone.

32. Junior hacksaw.
This is a general purpose saw for light metalworking jobs.

33. Shoulder pincers.
These are used for pulling nails and pins from timber. If possible, always place a scrap of waste timber between the jaws of the pincers and the work piece to avoid bruising.

34. Slip joint pliers.
This tool has a thin section so that the jaws can reach into tight places. It has two jaw opening positions and shear type of wire cutter.