Carpenters would have a hard time building anything without math. Without the knowledge and application of math skills houses may end up looking like something from a fun park. Constructing a solid piece of furniture, a level counter top, or a comfortable room with plumb walls requires many different math skills. A good carpenter will have a strong understanding of general mathematics, measurements and geometry.
If you’ve ever been involved with carpenters, or carpentry in general, you may have heard the phrase “measure twice, cut once”. This is a key phrase in carpentry. Being accurate in measurements helps to eliminate making mistakes when cutting lumber. This helps to eliminate wasted time and money associated with these mistakes. Fractions are a constant math function in a carpenter’s life. Also, being able to add, subtract, multiply and divide is critical to know what your measurements should be as well as accurately estimating costs. Many carpenters will have sharp math skills and don’t be surprised if they can quickly calculate these general math functions in their head.
In addition to accurate math skills for measurements. Carpenters need to be able to convert measurements. Not everything is measured with one length or weight unit. Being able to convert between measurement units is key. Converting between inches, feet, yards, pounds, ounces, and even metric units is important.
To be sure that walls are straight, cabinets are level, and furniture is built solid, carpenters use geometry. Being able to calculate area, volume, side lengths, circumference and hypotenuse lengths, are key math skills needed for a carpenter. Knowing the equations for these basic geometry functions are important to building solid structures.
The next time you look at a piece of furniture, a cabinet, or a house, think about some of the math used to build that structure and how important it is to your daily life.
For more on some of the math calculations a carpenter uses, try the online calculators at CalcuNATION.