Using and maintaining framing hand tools


This intermediate level standard provides the learner with the information and skills to safely and competently use and maintain framing hand tools.

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry


Minimum 1 day of 6 learning hours


This training module, ‘Using and maintaining framing hand tools’ will provide the attendee with the information and skills to safely and competently use and maintain framing hand tools.

The scope of this standard covers:

  • personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
  • select, store and maintain hand tools
  • use specific framing hand tools

Occupational relevance

Training delivered against this standard would be relevant to the following occupational groups:

  • operative and craft

Candidate pre-requisites

It is expected that the candidate will be employed within the oak frame industry or have significant relevant carpentry experience.


As a minimum, course instructors must be able to demonstrate that, in relation to this standard, they have:

  • a train the trainer or instructional techniques course certificate
  • successfully completed training to this standard
  • at least 10 years relevant industrial experience
  • a verifiable CV


Delivery may be in an on or off the job environment.

All materials and equipment must be of a suitable quality and quantity for candidates to achieve learning outcomes, and must comply with relevant legislation.

The class size and candidate/instructor ratio must allow training to be delivered in a safe manner and enable candidates to achieve the learning outcomes.

The following delivery methods may/may not be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • classroom
  • workshop

This standard is considered to contain 51 per cent or more practical learning.

This standard is considered to be set at an intermediate level.


For the successful completion of training, candidates must complete an end of course practical assessment and knowledge test that measures the learning outcomes and has a pass or fail criteria.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance against this standard will require initial approval of the training organisation and their content mapped to the standard. 

CITB will also conduct an approval intervention, either desk-based or centre visit, to ensure the training organisation can meet the requirements of the Training Standard. 

Approved training organisations will be required to present information on records of training and assessment upon request to CITB for desk based analysis. They will also be visited annually by the CITB quality assurance team.


There is no mandatory renewal or recommended refreshment requirements for this standard.

Approval date

April 2019

Review cycle

Either on request or in 3 year(s) from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The candidate will be able to: Additional guidance to support learning outcome

Select, fit and use the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), store, maintain and report defects in training and work equipment.

Will be able to Identify the correct PPE and understand storage, maintenance and employer damage reporting procedures for:

  • safety footwear
  • safety gloves
  • safety eyewear
  • RPE/dust masks
  • knee protectors
  • hearing protectors
  • hard hats
  • high visibility clothing

Be familiar with Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) regulations, workshop hazard identification, safe working conditions

For each of the range of hand tools described below, candidates will be able to:

  • select and use the appropriate hand tool for a given task
  • use the tool safely without causing a hazard to themselves or to others
  • use the tool effectively and efficiently showing an appropriate level of skill
  • store the tool in a suitable way to avoid damage or hazard
  • maintain the tool in good working order and correct any defects

Framing chisel / gouge

  • Describe what would be an appropriate chisel/gouge for the task, selecting from different types and sizes.
  • Explain how to sharpen the chisel/gouge effectively using a suitable sharpening tool.
  • Describe the importance of the appropriate sharpening and honing angles for best cutting performance for different tasks, and in timbers with different properties.
  • Explain how to avoid damage to the temper of the steel when sharpening.
  • Identify when it is necessary to maintain or replace the handle.
  • Select an appropriate mallet for the chiselling task


  • Describe what would be an appropriate plane / shave for the task, choosing from a variety of patterns and sizes
  • Explain how to sharpen the chisel/gouge effectively using a suitable sharpening tool
  • Describe the importance of the appropriate sharpening and honing angles for best cutting performance for different tasks, and in timbers with different properties
  • Explain how to disassemble and reassemble the plane correctly and maintain the parts.
  • Describe how to correctly use and adjust the plane / shave
  • Recognise the most effective iron profile for different types of plane, different planing tasks and different timbers


  • Describe the criteria for selecting an appropriate saw for softwood, hardwood, different grain direction and size of cutting task
  • Explain tooth pattern, gullet profile, distinction between rip- and cross-cut
  • Describe how to sharpen different types of saws including tooth angle, tooth setting and selecting the correct saw file
  • Explain the principles of cleaning and maintaining saws

Scribing and marking tools

Describe how to use and maintain, to accurately mark timbers

  • scratch awl
  • scribing knife
  • dividers
  • ink/chalk line
  • other scribing and marking tools

Levels and plumbs

Describe how to use and maintain levels and plumbs and to accurately ascertain relative position at appropriate locations on the frame lay-up, and to judge accurate position of the framed elements on site

Measuring tools

Explain how to select and use appropriately, to measure, layout, or accurately position

  • rule
  • framing square
  • combination square
  • tape measure
  • trammels

Sharpening tools

Describe how to select and use appropriate sharpening tools including

  • water stone
  • oilstone
  • diamond stone
  • high and low speed grinding tools
  • burnisher

Other edged tools

Explain the use, maintenance and sharpening of other edge tools including

  • axes
  • adzes
  • scrapers
  • slick
  • drawknife
  • froe

Additional information

Recommended reading:


FRAMING ROOFS – The best of Fine Homebuilding

BARNS OF RURAL BRITAIN –Graham Hughes ISBN 0-906969-36-0

TIMBER FRAME – Ted Benson ISBN 1-56158-281-6

TIMBER FRAMED BUILDINGS – John Bailey Bed Bucks and Cam Historic Building Research Group