In my last post I described the typical tools that good carpenters in Singapore use to create their wonderful custom made furniture designs. So what kind of tools will you find in a carpenter workshop in Singapore? From kitchen carpentry to custom wood furniture, we’ll take look at hand tools that have been used for generations of carpenters!
As traditional as they get, hand tools are still an essential tool that really good carpenters use for very specific purposes, but aren’t particularly useful for day-long mass production. They are relatively cheap and easily found in most hardware stores. They rely on pure people-energy to operate and aren’t nearly as deafening as power tools are!
i) Chalk Line.
Consisting of taut nylon string or something similar, chalk lines are used to create straight, clear visible lines. By pulling and stretching the string tightly against a surface and plucking at it so that it snaps back and forth against a surface, chalk lines are capable of marking long straight lines that would otherwise be silly to do by hand.
Chalk lines are used to mark indicators on slabs as to where wall or floor tiles are going to be, starting points on rafters for roof decking, large plywood surfaces and so forth. Huh, chalk lines are used to mark just about anything, really.
Chalk lines come in a variety of colours, but red and blue are the most common. Preferably something bright, as they are easy to see.
ii) Carpenter’s Pencil.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a carpenter workshop in Singapore aren’t filled with these. A simple tool, the carpenter’s pencil isn’t too different from a regular pencil except that it has an elliptical or rectangular body to prevent it from rolling away. The pencils are built to be tough so that it isn’t destroyed when stored beside heavy metal tools such as hammers and chisels.
The angular-shaped pencil leads also allow carpenters to draw thick or thin lines on rough surfaces which stay, but are also easy to erase. They pencil lead can be sharpened using special pencil sharpeners or with razor cutters.
iii) Utility knife.
A general purpose cutter, these retractable knives are mainly used by carpenters to remove packaging from building materials. When not in use, utility knives are easily put away into pockets or tool bags.
Utility knives also feature blades with sections that are easily broken off when they dull. The blades can also be replaced entirely quickly and easily, usually by snapping off cap on one end in order to remove the old blade and replace it with a new one.
To be continued in Part Three…
For more reading, take a look at “What are the Characteristics of the Best Carpenters“!