Must Tools for Finish Carpentry and for the DIY Finish Carpenter

What Every Finish Carpentry Project Needs for Tools

By Mark J. Donovan

If a DIY homeowner really wants to do a quality job installing baseboard trim and window casings a finish nail gun, with compressor, and a powered Miter saw are a must. The use of Hammer and finish nails, and a Miter box are acceptable for the very minor job, but if quality and efficiency are desired then push them aside.

When selecting a compressor determine what projects you may eventually want to use a nail gun on. If you want to do more than finish carpentry, I would recommend a compressor of 150 psi and at least 16 gallons.

If you only plan on doing finish carpentry work, then you can probably get away with a 150 psi/4 gallon unit. Just remember however, that the larger the air capacity, the less frequently the compressor will be turning on, thus preserving the life of the compressor motor and your ears.

Regarding the nail gun, there is a different one for each project you could conceive of: e.g. Finish work, Framing, Decking, Roofing.

Likewise on the Miter saw. Don’t skimp if you expect to do more than finish work with it. Get one that supports at least a 10” blade and preferably bigger. Many of the latest models have laser guides. These are real handy for getting accurate cuts.

In addition to the nail gun, compressor, and Miter saw, a Do-it-yourself homeowner will also need a table saw, coping Saw, tape measure, Drill, Pliers, level, square, center punch, wood filler, and a carpenter’s pencil. Also shims come in handy.

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For information on installing Window and Door trim see’s  Installing Interior Window Trim Ebook and  Installing Interior Door Trim Ebook.  These Ebooks are loaded with pictures and provide easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to install interior window and door trim.

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