Carpentry 101

Contents

Carpentry 101 – All You need to Know to Get Started

If you are setting out either on a new career or just want to pick up a new hobby or a skillset – Carpentry is a great place to start.

We have gathered a lot of information – from basic tools and small projects – to working as a professional carpenter. Lets start with a bit of history:

Brief Introduction to the History of Carpentry

A carpenter is a skilled craftsman who constructs things out of wood such as structures and pieces of furniture. The carpentry history dates back to the first days of tool use. The ancient Greeks were skilled craftspeople, a fact demonstrated by the ornate temples they erected. Another place where master carpentry flourished was 7th century Japan where intricately detailed buildings were constructed. Some of these buildings are still standing to this day.

Another notable period is definitely that of colonial Williamsburg. During this time carpenters were extremely important as it was they who created the homes, stables, businesses and furniture used by the settlers. Thanks to the efforts of hardworking colonial carpenters Williamsburg grew by leaps and bounds into a thriving city that still stands today. There are all kinds of historic attractions in this city that are a direct testament to the skill of those colonial carpenters. People travel to Williamsburg every year to get a glimpse of an important part of national history.

The carpenters in colonial Williamsburg included men like Benjamin Powell, Christopher Ford and so many others. These men and their laborers used basic carpentry tools to build their structures. Wood used included local choices like oak, juniper, poplar and pine. Today you can see reenactments of life in colonial Williamsburg and construction being performed just as it was in the old days, without modern conveniences or technology. Speaking of modern conveniences, in the 20th century carpentry become more high-tech. With the invention of handy tools like pneumatic nail guns, electric drills and power saws, 3D wood plans, carpenters were able to work even more efficiently on all kinds of woodworking projects.

Learning about the history of carpentry is a good thing to do for anyone interested in a carpentry career. It’s likely you will be taught a brief rundown of carpentry history in trade school. There are courses and schools designed to train you for a career as a carpenter. As part of your education, you will have to apprentice with an experienced carpenter. The practice of apprenticeship is one dating back many centuries, and is still as important now as it was then. By working with a skilled carpenter you get hands-on training and learn not just by observing but also by doing. The education required to be a master carpenter is well worth it, as they are paid a great deal more than unskilled laborers.

Basic Carpentry Tools

Completing do it yourself carpentry projects requires the proper tools. Amateur carpenters and woodworkers should make sure they have basic carpentry tools on hand before beginning any new project. While tools required can vary depending on what kind of projects you set out to do, there are several items that no carpenter should be without.

Before we go into the different types of basic carpentry tools that you will likely find useful, it is so important to make sure that you have a proper working area in which to accomplish your projects. Many people simply use their basement or their garage, and while this should be sufficient, you have to make sure that you get enough ventilation and that there is sufficient light.

It is also worth mentioning that you don’t necessarily have to spend for the most expensive tools in the store. There are lots of great deals in used woodworking tools out there, and you should be able to score a few choice pieces if you know where to look. The local classified ads are a good place to start your search and don’t forget the online listings like Craigslist as well.

Those interested in medieval carpentry tools can learn a lot from the illustrations of this era. During medieval times, artists depicted things they saw everyday. Therefore one can reasonably assume that the depictions of tools were close to what carpenters actually used in the Middle Ages. Many of the tools used during this time period continued to be used for centuries and some of them still are to this day. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that tools became more high-tech. They were sometimes modified for greater efficiency but retained many characteristics of the original design.

Medieval Carpentry Woodworking Tools

Medieval Carpentry ToolsAxes and hatchets were commonly used tools in medieval times. They were used to fell trees and make cuts in timber. The felling axe was designed to take down trees, while the broad axe allowed for precise wood shaping and square cutting. The broad axe has beveling on one side of only, while the felling axe is beveled on both sides. The hatchet is a smaller version of the axe and was used for smaller wood pieces and more detailed items. A relative of the axe is the chisel, another common tool for medieval carpenters.

The chisel was used to make holes and detail edges. Gouges are chisels that have curved cutting edges. A plane is a chisel mounted in a wooden block designed for making smooth edges. Planes were used as far back as the ancient Romans. Saws were also a popular tool in medieval times, just as they are today. The basic handheld saw used a blade of iron mounted on a wood handle. Mallets and hammers were also crafted from iron and wood and were also commonly used during this period of time. As you can see many of the tools used in the Middle Ages are the same tools used on carpentry projects today.

The subject of medieval carpentry tools is a fascinating one. If you are pursuing a career in carpentry it is always helpful to know a little about the history of your craft. Maybe you are a student, or the parent of a student researching medieval times. Doing a report on the medieval tools used for carpentry is a creative idea that can give you a new look at this era. What’s amazing is the knowledge these early carpenters had. Many of the tools they developed have changed very little throughout the ages.

Lets Get into Moder Times: Here are Some Basic Tools for Carpentry

One tool you will definitely need in your workshop is the power circular saw. The circular saw will be used for a variety of projects and saves you a lot of difficult and time-consuming labor. Another tool that can really save you a lot of time and effort is a power sander. While you can cut and sand things manually, you will find it takes forever and is hard on your body. Using power tools to complete these tasks can significantly decrease your work time and increase your comfort level.

If you plan to do a lot of nailing, you may find it worthwhile to invest in a nail gun. Again this will save you a lot of time and effort, and possibly more than a few sore thumbs. If you are quite the expert with nailing, however, or would simply like to get better at it, you should be able to make do with a good basic hammer.

A power drill is an important tool to have. Not only can it be used to drill holes, it can also be used to attach screws. While there are some instances where it is easier to use a normal screwdriver this function can be very handy. There are all kinds of removable drill bits you can buy for your power drill. Today’s power drills have all kinds of handy functions that make lots of jobs easier. Of course, you will need to have a good set of screwdrivers anyway, but there are certain cases wherein a power drill is the better choice.

Yet another power tool every carpenter needs is the router. A router is used to create hollowed areas in wood and is used for many practical and cosmetic woodworking purposes.

Other basic carpentry tools include the level, tape measure, and framing square. A level is a device that helps you ensure straight edges. Old fashioned levels are two to four-foot bars that feature a small liquid filled glass tube with a line on it. While these work fine, you can get digital levels that are even easier to use and read. The tape measure is something every household should have, whether you are working with wood or not. A framing square is an L-shaped square that is very simple but very important as it helps you lay out angles.

There are various other basic carpentry tools that aren’t really very exciting per-se but are nevertheless essential parts of any toolbox. Tools such as a carpenters protractor, carpentry protractor also called a measuring angles protractor aren’t exactly the stuff that many woodworker’s dreams are made of, but regardless of what the other tools regularly are used, woodworking tools would be a lot less effective without them.

While you may need more tools for certain projects, the ones described here can definitely get you started on basic carpentry projects.

Carpentry Protractor

Measuring tools are very important to carpenters. One of the most useful tools is called a carpentry protractor. Protractors are used for measuring angles and are frequently used in the carpentry and woodworking world. One example of a protractor is the Starrett ProSite 505A-7 model. This tool can be yours for under $100 and is very useful for many projects. It is a seven inch miter saw protractor that features two scales — one for miter cut and one for single cut.

A miter saw is a saw that makes a fast and accurate crosscut. This protractor lets you transfer your work angle to your miter saw with zero calculations in three easy steps. Although this item is seven inches it is also available in twelve inch size. It features aluminum alloy and a Teflon O-ring for the ultimate in smooth operation. With this tool you will never have to worry about making errors when miter cutting.

There are no difficult math problems to work out as this tool does the work for you. It is a must-have for every miter saw owner.

Basic Miter Saw Protractor

If all you need to do is mark angles for a project, you can get a basic protractor for under $10. These low priced tools are often used by students learning advanced math. These cheap protractors can come in handy especially if you’ve got basic angles to calculate that do not involve using your miter saw. For carpenters who need a work grade protractor but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg there are moderately priced ones that cost around $40. The protractor you should choose depends upon what your budget are and what your needs are.

The carpentry protractor is not the only measuring tool you’ll need. A measuring tape is important for making straight measurements, while a level ensures all your cuts and lines are straight. There are the old-fashioned levels that use liquid filled tubes to show alignment, then there are new high tech levels that give you a fast digital reading. Some carpenters enjoy working with the latest high tech gadgets, while others prefer a more old fashioned approach. Either way, you can find every imaginable carpentry tool for sale at home improvement superstores like amazon, eBay, Lowe’s and Home Depot or you can look up online listings for used carpentry tools on Craigslist.

Used Woodworking Tools

As anyone who has ever tried breaking into the carpentry business knows, you will probably have to spend a considerable amount of money on tools before you can even get started. Good quality woodworking tools can be quite expensive, and even basic carpentry tools may end up costing you a few hundred dollars. For this reason unknown, you may want to give thought to purchasing used woodworking tools as opposed to buying new ones from the store.

You actually have your work cut out for you when buying used tools since there are many satisfactory options available on the secondhand market. In fact, you could even build a very respectable shop by purchasing used woodworking machinery that in most cases worked just as well as brand-new models.

Even if you don’t want to go that route yet, second-hand woodworking tools will get you started without having to spend a lot of money.

Where do you begin your search for used woodworking tools? A good place to start is the classified ads of your local papers or the free ad papers that proliferate in any decent sized city. Here you will likely find several listings for used woodworking tools from people that have started out the basic carpentry tools and have since had reason to upgrade. Still, other used woodworking tools are being sold by people that have tried to get into carpentry but later on decided that it wasn’t for them. Used woodworking tools sold by such people are generally great deals since they likely wouldn’t have been used very much. In some cases, you may even find barely used woodworking tools that are practically brand-new at a much lower cost than you would normally have to pay.

On Craigslist, you can search for most anything including used tools. Usually, transactions on Craigslist are done face to face, although sometimes the seller will ship the item to the buyer. Because tools and machinery can be heavy, picking up the items in person is recommended. You can find sellers in your local area easily as Craigslist is arranged by city and state.

Another place to track down used tools is eBay. Lots of people buy and sell all kinds of tools on eBay. You can find great bargains on eBay, just make sure you deal with a reputable seller with a positive feedback rating.

Woodworking Machinery Supplies

If you are shopping for woodworking machinery supplies it helps to know where to look. There are all kinds of machines you may need for your workshop or DIY project. Examples may include a power saw, router, drill, lathe, and sander. There are also larger pieces of equipment that may be used in a factory setting for mass-produced wood items. When shopping for equipment you will definitely want to compare features and prices from various companies before making a purchase. Woodworking equipment can get expensive but if you are a savvy shopper you can save money.

One resource you may want to use when searching for woodworking machinery is the Woodworking Machinery Suppliers Association. This organization can help you learn more about buying and selling woodworking machines. They have a website where you can access a variety of information.

The Internet can also be used to track down all kinds of new and used machinery for many different purposes. There are websites devoted especially to woodworking tools and machines where you can view and purchase items. Some of the items sold by these sites are brand new while some are used or refurbished.

You might also want to look for machinery on Craigslist and eBay. Craigslist is a nationwide classified ads site where people advertise in many different categories. Often buying a piece of used machinery from an owner can get you a better deal than using a professional vendor. The same goes for eBay. You can find rock bottom deals on this huge auction site, although you may want to watch out for high shipping costs on bigger items. Some items are pickup only, which means you must pick them up from the owner’s location.

Woodworking machinery supplies can help you complete a variety of tasks in your home woodworking shop. The average hobbyist woodworker will need basic tools that can be purchased at most any home improvement or hardware store. If you want to learn more about machines and tools used for carpentry and woodworking, check out a book like Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Using Woodworking Tools. This colorful volume teaches you everything you need to know about buying and using tools for your workshop.

Used Woodworking Hand Tools

Even if there aren’t many listings for used woodworking tools in your local papers, you may still have a bit of luck by placing your own want ads. Many people have used woodworking tools hanging around that they are simply not using anymore or even know what they are, and they may just be waiting for a buyer to pick them up. Buying used woodworking tools from such people can get you even better deals, as most such sellers are usually only too happy to get rid of them.

Check your local newspaper classifieds ads to see if anyone is selling their old tools. Often amateur woodworkers will list their old tools for sale when they are ready to upgrade. Or, they may need to raise money and have old tools they haven’t used in a long time. Either way, this can add up to big savings for you.

If there are no listings for tools you need, don’t despair. The answer just might be a click away. Craigslist is an online classifieds ad site that is very similar to your local newspaper classifieds section but much bigger. There are sites like Pennysaver. There are so many websites that offer quality used woodworking tools for sale over the Internet, and most of them will be happy to ship them to you. You may even convince a private seller to ship his or her used woodworking tools provided you take care of the costs.

Used woodworking tools usually do not come with a warranty plan. This is one drawback to buying used. However, if you know what to look for when it comes to tools and machinery you should be able to tell which items are of high quality and which aren’t. While you may want to invest in brand new tools later on, used tools can give you a good start on establishing your woodworking shop. To learn more about the tools you will need, check out a book like Woodworking Tools and Techniques by Creative Publishing.

There is no reason why you’re used woodworking tools shouldn’t be every bit as good as brand-new tools. Do your shopping carefully and make sure you deal only with reputable sellers, and you will soon have a toolbox that you can be proud of.

Woodworking Machinery Buyers

Woodworking machinery buyers and sellers need the right resources to help them conduct business more effectively. The first stop for any buyer or vendor should be the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association or WMIA. This organization has been around for 30 years and provides the wood products industry with high tech woodworking systems from the global machinery market. Another important issue to this organization is woodworking safety which is why they run public service ads in a variety of trade magazines on the subject.

The WMIA website is packed with information about the organization and its goals. You will find industry news, educational information, award programs, scholarship information, a calendar of events and much more. If you are in the woodworking business or even a hobbyist woodworker looking through everything this site has to offer might be a good idea. Maybe you are ready to make a purchase. If so, you will need to research the item you are buying and find out where to get the best quality item at the best price. Because woodworking machines can be so expensive you definitely want to comparison shop unless money is not an issue for you.

The Internet is a fantastic resource for comparison shopping. You can easily find a variety of competing manufacturers offering the same or similar products at various prices. You can even purchase tools and machinery online, although this is not always practical. One reason is that many pieces of machinery are too heavy to be shipped in a conventional manner. Small machinery for home woodworkers can easily be bought online and shipped through any preferred carrier such as the USPS, UPS or FedEx to name a few. The best way to purchase a piece of machinery depends on what kind of machinery it is.

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Woodworking Machines Books and Videos

Woodworking machinery buyers should learn as much about the machines they are buying as they can. There are all kinds of books and videos devoted to woodworking machines and tools. Check out the following:

  • Mastering Woodworking Machines by Mark Duginske
  • Workshop Machines by the Editors of Fine Woodworking
  • Woodworking Machines by Time-Life Books and Care
  • Repair of Shop Machines by John White

These books and others like them can give you a solid education regarding woodworking machines that you may need for your workshop.

Carpentry DIY

If you are interested in carpentry DIY projects, it helps to have the right resources in your corner. DIY stands for Do It Yourself, which is no big deal if you are a professional carpenter but exponentially more challenging if you are an amateur with little to no experience starting out on a woodworking project.

Luckily there are all kinds of resources including books, magazines, videos, software programs and more designed especially for the do it yourself carpenter.

Carpentry Materials

Carpentry is a skill that involves making things out of wood. Structural carpenters work with buildings while detail carpenters work with objects such as furniture. As a carpenter, you may build structures and objects from scratch or restore existing ones. Whether you are a career carpenter or a hobbyist woodworker, it is important to learn as much as you can about carpentry materials. The materials you use can have a direct effect on your success as a carpenter. One of the most important materials you will ever use is, of course, the wood.

The wood you should use for a project depends on what kind of project it is. For example, teak wood is excellent for garden furniture and other outdoor items because it is sturdy and naturally weather resistant. Pine is a nice lightweight yet sturdy wood perfect for average furniture pieces. Oak is beautiful and strong and makes the perfect wood for a variety of applications including all wood furniture and hardwood flooring. Then there are exotic woods that can be used for creative projects. The more experience you get as a carpenter, the more you will learn about the suitability of various woods.

About Carpentry Materials

You will also need a variety of carpentry tools. If you are just starting out, stock your workshop with the basics and expand your tool collection as necessary. One of the best items a carpenter can have is the power drill. Today’s power drills have all kinds of settings and attachments that help you do so much more than just drill holes. Many of them are cordless, which makes it even easier to do your job. A power saw is another must-have item and will be used a great deal. If you are working on large pieces, a power sander is a good tool to have. Some crafters enjoy sanding by hand, but this can get tiring and tedious if you work on large items.

When learning about materials in carpentry you will discover many of them are tools you probably already have around the house. For example, in order to complete even the most basic projects, you will definitely need a hammer and nails. A router is something you may not already have but is necessary for making hollowed areas in wood. If you’re new to the world of carpentry, consult with a more experienced carpenter about the tools of the trade or visit your local home improvement store and take a look at the products they offer for woodworking and carpentry.

DIY Basics

For anyone who is looking to get started in the wonderful world of carpentry, DIY or Do It Yourself – is the way to go. While you will certainly benefit from an apprenticeship with someone who is thoroughly experienced in carpentry, DIY will certainly get you further on the road to gaining your own experience.

The following tips should be useful to you if this your first time to work with carpentry joints, hammers, circular saws, and all the other wonderful tools used in carpentry, DIY style.

Carpentry DIY Basic – First Rule: Always Take Down Notes

Carpentry DIY involves a fair amount of measuring, and if you are like most people you probably always forget where you wrote down those all-important measurements. Most likely, you will write them on bits of wood or scrap pieces of paper that are lost soon afterward. Make it easy on yourself and pack a roll of masking tape in your toolbox. Small bits of tape can be a lot more useful in keeping track of measurements than the wooden plank or being that you have already nailed into place.

Easy Screw Removal

With many woodworking projects, you often have to remove a few screws or several before you can start working. Most crews can be quite difficult to remove, in which case heating it up with a soldering iron beforehand will make it easier for you to remove.

Keep it Handy

As anyone who is experienced with carpentry DIY, carpentry joint types, and the various other aspects of carpentry will tell you, those have a way of disappearing when you need them the most. How many times have you had to move a heavy tool out of the way repeatedly only to lose track of it when you finally have a use for it? To avoid these bothersome annoyances from happening, bring along an extra bag or a box aside from your regular toolkit, and keep it close by. Any tools that you have done using but will use again, later on, can be stowed out of the way yet still be easily accessible.

Keep it Clean

As annoying as dust sheets can sometimes be, you can’t deny that they are useful in keeping dust from covering up everything. In addition, they are always getting snagged on sharp corners, tools that you may be looking for, and make a mess anyway when liquids are spilled on them. As an alternative, you may want to look into placing hardboard over the areas where you will be working on. This is certainly a lot more stable than dust sheets and can handle virtually any liquid that is spilled on it.

These are only some of the essential carpentry DIY tips you can use in your day-to-day work. There is a lot more to learn out there if you’re serious about taking on carpentry DIY projects, so get cracking and do your research! With a bit of luck and careful study, you may be a carpentry DIY expert in no time at all!

Carpentry DIY – Woodworking Projects to Get You Started

At the library or bookstore, you will find lots of titles geared towards the do it yourself carpenter. One book you may want to check out is The Complete Guide to Home Carpentry: Carpentry Skills and Projects for Homeowners by Creative Publishing International.

This title is part of the Black and Decker Home Improvement Library and is packed with useful info and colorful illustrations. You might also want to take a look at Homebuilding Basics Carpentry by Larry Haun for more helpful information.

You may prefer to learn by watching a DVD rather than reading a book. There are a wide variety of woodworking and carpentry DVDs available. These give you the benefit of watching someone else complete a task before trying to do it yourself. One general title is How to DIY: Carpentry. While this title is quite broad in focus there are others geared towards a particular aspect of carpentry. One example is

Installing Doors and Windows with Tom Law. There are even DVDs designed to help you learn how to use your carpentry tools, such as Mastering Your Bandsaw.

Then there are handy software programs that help you with any carpentry DIY project you want to do.

Master Carpenter is made by Renaissance Software and helps you calculate data such as board feet, spacing, concrete volumes, survey angles and so much more. A great thing about this program is that it was developed with the help of actual carpenters who gave their input on what was most needed from such a software program. It is the perfect problem solver for a variety of tricky carpentry problems and a must have for any do it yourself carpenter. As you can see there are all kinds of helpful resources available for anyone who wants to learn more about carpentry.

Carpentry Joint

A carpentry joint is a place where two pieces of wood come together. Sounds simple, but in fact, there are many different types of joints. A joint may be glued or held together without glue, it all depends on the type of joint and what the carpenter prefers to do. Fasteners like nails and screws are commonly used on joints and may be used on their own or in conjunction with wood glue. Joint types range from simple to more sophisticated.

Woodworking Joint

The bridle joint is one example of a woodworking joint. This joint use a mortise and tenon. The tenon is cut on one piece of wood while the mortise is cut on the other. A variation of the bridle joint is the corner bridle joint. This type is normally used for projects like tables, benches, and chairs. Another type you may come across is the dowel joint. Also called the butt joint, the dowel joint is perhaps the most simple type of joint. The pieces are simply held together usually with glue. Although this joint is simple it is not one of the strongest.

A dado joint involves a slot cut into the wood. This type of joint is often constructed using a router, a power tool that creates a hollowed area in the wood. Another common woodworking joint is the dovetail joint. This style involves alternating pins and tails that fit together. You can often see this style of joinery used in ornamental boxes. It is thought that the dovetail style joint dates back to ancient times. Other types of joints carpenters use include scarf joints, splice joints, miter joints and lap joints.
As you can see there are all kinds of carpentry joints you can use to attach pieces of wood to one another.

If you are unfamiliar with what these joints look like, you may be able to find pictures of them online or in carpentry books. Anyone pursuing a carpentry career should know the main types of joints that are used for the type of project they want to do. Because the road to becoming a master carpenter involves learning on the job, you will likely come into contact with various types of carpentry joints during your training.

Lathe Woodworking Instruction

Using a lathe is something not every woodworker knows how to do. For this reason, it is sometimes necessary for crafters to use books and DVDs that teach lathe woodworking instruction. You may also hear lathe work referred to as woodturning. What makes woodturning so unique is that the wood is moving thanks to the lathe yet the tool shaping it stays still. This is an ages old craft that is used for making all kinds of items. Examples of items made with woodturning techniques include pool sticks, chair and table legs, canes, pens and so much more. A lathe is a tool that dates all the way back to ancient Egypt and was also used in ancient Rome. These days woodworking lathes are motorized, making for convenient use for any kind of woodworking projects.

Woodturning Techniques

Before you learn the basics of using a lathe, it is important to take safety precautions. One of the most important safety devices is safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris and dust. You can find full face masks that not only include eye protection but respiratory protection as well. One thing you don’t want to wear is gloves as they can get caught in the machinery. Another thing you may not need is ear protection because the lathe is a reasonably quiet piece of machinery.

There are a variety of books devoted to using a lathe. One is Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Turning by Richard Raffan. This book is a wealth of detailed information and more than 900 full-color photographs that show you everything you need to know about using a lathe. You will also learn about various other materials and tools used in the art of woodturning. Another recommended book that can help you master your lathe is The Lathe Book: A Complete Guide to the Machine and Its Accessories by Ernie Conover.

You might also want to try some DVDs to learn lathe woodworking instruction. Turning Wood by Richard Raffan. This DVD shows you the basics of this craft. Another title is Beyond Wood Portrait of an Artist — The Fine Art of Turned and Sculpted Wood. This DVD focuses less on the technical aspects of using a lathe and more on the artistic aspects of the craft. Both of these DVDs make a welcome addition to any woodworking library.

Mini Hobby Woodworking Lathe

One tool you may decide to purchase if you are serious about carpentry is a mini hobby woodworking lathe. This is especially the case if you work on fine carpentry projects such as decorative woodworking.

Before you decide whether or not a lathe is right for your workshop, it helps to know what this tool does.

A lathe is a machine that spins a piece of wood in order to perform certain duties like sanding, drilling or cutting around a rotating axis. A simple example of a lathe is a potters wheel. Lathes can be used to make things like pool sticks, chair legs, baseball bats and other similar items.

Mini Hobby Woodworking Lathe Basic Information

A woodworking lathe features a horizontal rail that is adjustable. This is called the tool rest. The tool rest lets you place your shaping tools, which are most often held by hand. After you are done applying the desired design or shape to the item, you can smooth the wood by holding sandpaper against the spinning piece of wood. Some woodworking lathes are designed for making items like plates and bowls. This type of lathe does not have a metal rail.

You may also hear lathe use referred to as woodturning, a common term. The art of woodturning involves crafting items out of wood with the help of a lathe machine. When woodturning, the wood is moving while the item being used to shape or decorate the wood stays still. Chisels, routers, and sanders are examples of tools used along with a lathe. Woodturning dates all the way back to BC times which is when the ancient Egyptians used a two-person lathe. The ancient Romans also made use of lathe technology. These days lathes are motorized which makes for much easier work, although the theory behind them is the same.

A mini hobby woodworking lathe costs anywhere between $300 and $1000 depending on where you shop and is ideal for anyone who enjoys working with small detailed items. You will be surprised how many different projects can be done with the help of a lathe. There are instructional DVDs that you can get that show you how to make the most of your new equipment. You can purchase woodworking lathes online or at home improvement stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. These items make a handy addition to any wood crafting workshop.

How Much Money Do Carpenters Make?

A carpenter is a skilled professional who has been educated and trained in building wood structures and objects. Carpenters build everything from homes to furniture and much more. There are many different types of carpentry. For example, rough carpentry involves putting up foundations while trim carpentry involves putting the finishing touches on a piece of work whether it is a house or a set of cabinets. If you are considering a career in carpentry you may be wondering how much money do carpenters make.

How Much Money Do Carpenters Make a Year?

The pay for a carpenter depends on several factors. First is your geographic location. The pay scale for carpenters in a small town is going to be higher than the pay scale for carpenters in a big city. However it equals out because of the cost of living. Another factor is your education and experience. The more training and experience you’ve had, the more you’re likely to get paid. Speaking of education and experience, one way to get it is by serving as an apprentice. An apprentice works alongside a master carpenter to learn hands on carpentry skills.

An entry level carpentry job may pay minimum wage or slightly more. However a master carpenter makes a lot more than that. It is estimated that the average carpenter makes anywhere between $13 and $23 per hour on average. The lowest paid carpenters can make as little as $8 per hour while the highest paid can exceed $28 per hour. One thing you will have to consider is whether or not the pay is salaried or hourly. Inclement weather and economy fluctuations can have an effect on a carpenter’s hourly wages. Salaried workers make the same annual income regardless of hours worked.

When considering how much money do carpenters make it is important to think about the various factors that contribute to their income such as your training. If you are considering a career in carpentry the first step is to get the proper education. There are carpentry schools and trade schools around the country that can provide you with the training you require. After training in a classroom setting you will need to apprentice with a master carpenter during which time you will get valuable on the job experience. Once you become a master carpenter you will be able to command rates at the top of the pay scale.

Training Centers

There are a large number of carpentry training centers in the United States through which you can obtain your education and training in this field. Unless you want to work as an unskilled laborer making minimum wage, the right training is essential to your success. These centers and schools give you everything you will need to begin your career as a professional carpenter. One such school is the Southeast Wisconsin Carpentry Training Center. This center recently moved from Milwaukee to Pewaukee and offers apprentice day school classes for aspiring carpenters.

Carpenter Skill Advancement Program

Many training centers offer the CSAP, which stands for the Carpenter Skill Advancement Program. This program has been offered for 15 years in a total of 300 classrooms. It is estimated that more than 7,000 apprentices applied for this program in order to further their education. The classes offered under this program range in length from 3 to 40 hours in length. They are available in several languages including English and Spanish. If you are in Illinois you can take these courses at the Chicago Carpenter Training Center as well as at centers in Elk Grove and Joliet.

One organization that you may want to consider joining regardless of where you are in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners or UBC. There are more than 500,000 members of this organization which helps educate and protect the interests of carpenters. This organization can give you more information about working as a carpenter and finding apprentice opportunities. Every carpenter must work as an apprentice for a specified amount of time before being able to advance to the next level of their career. Apprenticeship provides valuable hands-on training that is essential to your success in this field.

The Internet can help you locate carpentry training centers near you. You can find them using the search engine of your choice. You will probably want to narrow down the field by including the name of your state in the search phrase. While there may not be a training center in your town or city, there is likely one within reasonable driving distance. You may also want to check the listings of your local Yellow Pages. In addition to looking for carpentry training facilities contact the trade schools in your area. Many trade schools offer a variety of different courses including carpentry.

Carpentry Schools

If you are at all serious about making a living as a carpenter, you may want to consider furthering your education by way of carpentry schools. With more and more people entering the field every year, you can imagine just how stiff competition has become for getting jobs in the industry. Going to a carpentry school and getting your training and certification may just give you the edge that you need to close a contract.

Of course, this is not to say that carpenter schools are absolutely essential for anyone who is looking to get into the carpentry trade. After all, there are still countless numbers of carpenters out there that have learned the craft firsthand or through someone else, and the apprenticeship system remains a good way to break into the field of carpentry. Nevertheless, if you want to solidify your education and build a strong foundation for your future career in carpentry, carpentry trade schools are the best way to accomplish that.

Carpentry Schools and Training Programs

Before enrolling in carpentry trade school, you will first have to decide on what particular aspect of carpentry you will want to specialize in. But carpentry is generally divided into two categories: structural carpentry and detail carpentry. Structural carpentry refers to the construction of buildings and other fairly large structures. Detail carpentry on the other hand usually involves working with furniture and interiors. As you can imagine, structural carpentry requires a great deal more education and training, which is why a carpenter trade school typically offer courses primarily in structural carpentry, with courses in detail carpentry included as required.

Regardless of which particular type of carpentry you will want to go for, it goes without saying that you will need to be equipped with a wide variety of skills. In addition, you will have to be physically up to the task and willing to work in any setting that the job requires. You have to be in reasonably good physical condition, and must be willing to work outdoors for long periods of time. The work can be pretty labor-intensive and tiring as you could imagine, so you have to be certain that you can handle the demands of the job.

Carpentry schools can also teach you valuable skills that go beyond the physical. As an experienced carpenter knows, strong math skills can be tremendously valuable for the carpenter, and possession of such skills can spell the difference between a master carpenter and a hack. In fact, anyone who is looking to enter a carpentry school, later on, would do well to brush up on his or her math skills.

The practical aspect of learning carpentry is dealt with in the wood shop. This allows the student to actually handle the tools that he or she will regularly use on the job later on, and provide numerous opportunities for working on projects that closely mirror real-world scenarios.

The decision to go to carpentry schools is of course entirely up to you. But with all the benefits that such an education can provide, you almost certainly have the edge when you enroll in a good carpentry school.

Carpentry Training Courses

Anyone pursuing a career in carpentry must attend carpentry training courses as part of their education. If you are serious about your career it is imperative that you are trained and certified properly. There are a variety of options available when it comes to preparing for your career. The first thing you should do is make sure carpentry is a good fit for you. There are two main types of carpentry. The first is structural carpentry which of course deals with buildings. The second is detail carpentry which involves building and restoring furniture and other items. Out of the two structural carpentry requires the most education and experience.

What Can You Learn from Carpentry Classes

There are a variety of skills you will need in order to be a good carpenter. First, you’ll need to be in reasonable physical shape and enjoy working outdoors when required. Strong math skills are also a must. High school and college students preparing for a career in carpentry can get a head start by taking various math courses. Woodshop is also an essential class for anyone who wants to pursue a career in woodworking of any kind. If you are well past your high school or even college years it is still possible to get your carpentry education.

It is likely there is a trade school in your local area that offers carpentry courses for students of all ages. Some localities even have schools devoted to carpentry. You might also want to contact some well-established carpenters in your area and ask them about pursuing an education in this field. There are even online courses that can be done from home as a supplement to on-campus classes or on the job training. Speaking of on the job training, it is required for any carpenter in training. This is called apprenticeship and is a part of every carpenter’s education. Being an apprentice means you work closely with a master carpenter and get a substantial amount of hands-on learning.

The Internet is a good place to search for carpentry training courses near you. You can also search for distance learning courses which are done online. The Yellow Pages might also be a helpful resource when seeking a trade school. If you want to learn more about pursuing your career in carpentry, check out some books on the subject.

One helpful title is “Opportunities in Building Construction Careers” by Michael Sumichrast.

Art of Fine Carpentry

The art of fine carpentry is one that takes years to master. It is quite different from rough carpentry, which involves working on large structures that do not require detailed finishes. Fine carpentry involves creating highly visible parts of structures and various objects such as furniture. The first step when pursuing your career as a carpenter is getting the right education. Your education can begin as early as high school. It is crucial to have a good grasp on math fundamentals because there are so many measurements done in carpentry.

Fine Art Carpentry Schools

There are also trade schools that can be attended by people of any age who want to learn carpentry. Some schools offer a variety of programs which may include carpentry. Then there are schools entirely devoted to carpentry. If there is not a trade school or carpentry school in your city there is likely one nearby. Although the right education is very important, on the job training is even more so. This is why you must complete an apprenticeship before being able to work as a carpenter. An apprenticeship involves working with a master carpenter for a specified amount of time.

Fine Carpentry Tools

An apprentice may also be referred to as a journeyman. In some nations like Germany and Japan, a journeyman must study for several years before being permitted to work as a carpenter. Even in the U.S. there are stringent requirements when it comes to carpentry certification. It is important for carpenters to have the right training because the structures and items they make must be strong, safe and crafted according to strict quality guidelines. The education and training required is well worth it, as a master carpenter can make a lot of money.

If you love woodworking then learning the art of fine carpentry is perfect for you. There is a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes with completing a beautiful wood project. To learn more about fine carpentry, check out some books about it.

Here are some titles to get you started on your quest: Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship by Peter Korn, Woodworking for Dummies by Jeff Strong and Finish Carpentry: A Complete Interior and Exterior Guide by William P. Spence.

Carpentry Apprenticeships

Carpentry apprenticeships are a tremendously essential aspect to becoming a full-fledged carpenter. As anyone who has ever asked the question how to become a carpenter realizes sooner or later, the road to master carpentry can be a long and difficult one, with several years required before you can even work on your first project as a legitimate carpenter. And many of those years will be spent in carpenter apprenticeship program…at least if you truly want to learn the finer points of the trade in a practical and personal way.

Among the things that you will learn during your years in carpentry apprenticeship is the difference between the different types of carpentry. Fine carpentry is a task that will probably take the longest to master. This particular discipline involves working with elements of the structure that will be quite visible after final construction such as wood detailing, cabinet making, window installation and other such tasks.

Different Kinds of Carpentry Apprenticeships

Rough carpentry, on the other hand, involves larger structures such as supports, pillars, and the like. This discipline does not take nearly as long as fine carpentry to train for, but it remains an essential component to the industry of carpentry, which is why you will have to familiarize with both disciplines during your years in carpentry apprenticeship program.

Ideally, you will already have equipped yourself with a fair degree of math skills before you enter carpenter apprenticeship since this is quite essential if you hoped to be able to do your job properly.

Even if you aren’t equipped with the necessary math skills, however, there can be quite a lot that you can learn from your carpenter apprenticeships. Any master carpenter will have his own set of methods and tricks for measuring, and these can be quite a valuable skills that you won’t pick up from any carpentry school.

This is not to downplay the importance of trade schools and vocational courses, as they can greatly enhance your skills and capabilities as a carpenter. Schools remain the best way to get the thorough grounding in the fundamentals of carpentry, and you will be able to pick up invaluable theoretical knowledge that most self-trained carpenters simply do not have a grasp of.

Nevertheless, apprenticeships in carpentry are essential for solidifying all of that theory that you have absorbed and putting them into the practical real-world application. Think of formal educational training as the brain of carpentry, and carpentry apprenticeships as the heart and soul, and you will gain a greater appreciation for how these two aspects work together.

Figures that you will spend in carpentry apprenticeships may be long and hard, and it will often seem that you have a ways to go before you learn all the tricks of the trade. With a bit of perseverance and hard work, however, you will be on your way to a lucrative trade that could be financially as well as personally rewarding.

Finish Carpenter Jobs

If there is any one particular aspect of carpentry that most people can identify with, it would have to finish carpentry. After all, finish carpenter jobs are the pinnacle of the carpentry industry, and anyone who has managed to achieve the lofty title of finish carpenter will definitely have a bright future ahead of him. A considerable degree of experience in finish carpentry jobs is a great thing to have on your carpenter resume, and this capability will automatically place you above the level of less specialized carpenters.

High-End Finish Carpentry Jobs

This is not to downplay the other aspects of carpentry by any means. After all, each of the specific carpentry disciplines is essential to the completion of any project in question, and each carpenter will have a very important role to play in the building process. Nevertheless, the finish carpenters jobs is primarily responsible for the visual appearance of the final work, which is why the discipline requires a little bit more training and experience.

Finish carpentry jobs typically involve working with wood trim, cabinets, windows, doors, fixtures, and basically anything else that will be visible after all of the work is done. As you can imagine, it is quite a specialized task and project that requires a keen eye for detail, precision, and an artistic touch, aside from all the other skills that are required of any other carpenter.

A lot of home builders and homeowners actually ought to take on certain finish carpenter job themselves. This is particularly true of people who want to save a bit of money on construction costs.

Some homeowners may opt to have rough carpenters or structural carpenters work on the basic structure, leaving them to accomplish the finish carpenter jobs. If you feel reasonably confident that you are able to handle the job and that you have a fair degree of experience working with fine carpentry, this may be a more cost-effective solution for you.

Finish carpentry requires many of the same skills that are required of any other carpenter, in addition to the unique skill set that is demanded by finish carpenter jobs. You also need to be equipped with a good set of math skills, and a thorough grounding in geometry wouldn’t hurt either. Even with the advent of numerous high-tech tools that are able to do so tedious task of measuring for you more accurately, you never know when there will be a need for you to whip out the pen and paper and perform some quick calculations on the spot. This is definitely a skill that separates the master carpenter from the hobbyist, and if you ever want to be taken seriously in your field, you would do well to do a fair bit of learning on the subject.

Apprenticeship is also something that you will have to take very seriously. Serving as an apprentice under a master carpenter can equip you with skills and knowledge that you simply will not pick up in any carpentry school, and may just give you the edge that you need to excel at finish carpenter jobs.

Finish Trim Carpentry Instructions

Trim carpentry is a type of carpentry that includes finishing touches on a home or building including the wood trim, cabinets, and other visible items. Also sometimes called finish carpentry, trim carpentry requires a certain level of skill. While there are thousands of trim carpenters around the country many homeowners decide to do the job on their own. Finish trim carpentry instructions can help you get through a basic woodworking project such as installing baseboards or cabinet doors. Whether or not you can do this depends on how handy you are with wood and tools.

There are some universal instructions and tips that can help you succeed with any carpentry project. For example, the number one tip you should remember is measure twice and cut once. While there are plenty of high tech tools that do the measuring for you, it is still necessary to have a rudimentary grasp on geometry and basic math. The tools you use also have a lot to do with your success. For example, if your project involves a lot of nailing consider a nail gun as opposed to doing all the work by hand. Power tools can help you do the job in less time with less effort.

Interior Trim Carpentry

On the subject of tools, there are some basic tools that every carpenter needs. A miter saw circular saw, router, protractor, sander and a cordless power drill are essential items that you will need in your workshop. Of course, you may need other tools, it all depends on the projects you are doing. If you are a homeowner who wants to do a carpentry project on your own, you will definitely need some good resources to refer to. Luckily there are plenty of books and DVDs that can teach you everything you need to know about trim carpentry.

The following books will provide you with finish trim carpentry instructions, tips, and guidelines:

  • Trim Idea Book by Mary Ellen Polson, Precision Trim Carpentry by Rick Williams
  • Guide to Trim Carpentry by Creative Homeowner Press
  • inish Carpentry: Custom Techniques by Gary Katz.

Then there are DVDs made on this subject that can also be very helpful, such as How to DIY: Carpentry.

While this title is more general in nature it still provides useful information for those working on trim carpentry projects.

Carpentry Building Construction

Let’s face it: today’s trying economic climate has cost many people to question the possibility of things ever getting better. It seems that more and more people are out of a job nowadays, and skills that were previously ideally suited to making a living are now no longer in demand. If you are looking for a set of skills that can keep you working even in the midst of today’s economic crisis, you may want to take a closer look at carpentry and building construction. Carpentry building construction remains one of the few lucrative industries in the country, and you can be fairly certain of being able to find work opportunities practically anywhere you go.

In order to be able to find jobs in carpentry and building construction, you have to be fairly broad ranging in your research. There are the traditional avenues such as the classified and free ads in your local papers and even job search sites on the Internet. These are great places to begin your search for jobs in carpentry and building construction, and you should be able to round up a few leads after only a few hours of research.

Carpentry And Building Construction Jobs

Nonetheless, you’ll also want to explore opportunities that exist outside of these listings. This is where a bit of creativity will come in handy. If you know someone who has recently had carpentry done on their property, he or she will probably be able to refer you to friends of theirs that need similar work to be done. If someone has had a little remodeling or carpentry done recently, there is a good chance that their friends and family know all about it and have asked them to recommend a good carpenter. This is a great way for you to jump the gun on the competition without having to resort to underhanded tactics.

Carpentry and building construction can be quite a competitive arena, and many individuals and firms are understandably keen to build on their customer base, especially in light of the present financial crisis.

You may also want to take a drive around your town and look for any property that has recently been foreclosed. A lot of these homes will probably be sold to new owners sooner or later, and they may need a fair bit of sprucing up before they can be placed on the market. If construction and/or renovation hasn’t started yet, you just may be able to convince the back to allow you to handle the job.

Another potentially useful source of future contacts is your local hardware store. A large number of people that come in for hardware supplies may actually need someone to perform such tasks as doorknob changing, window installation and repair, and brick or tile installation. Leave a business card with the store manager or owner, and you might be surprised at how many people call you for jobs ranging from the simple to the more extensive.

Master Carpenter

If you are interested in a career in master carpentry, there is much for you to learn. A master carpenter is a highly trained craftsperson who builds items such as structures and furniture from wood.

Master carpentry is a lofty position that relatively few carpenters are able to attain, and it takes a fair bit of commitment, perseverance, training, and experience in order to reach that level.

This career can be lucrative and enjoyable, but also a lot of hard work. This is especially the case for rough carpentry. However, if you are in good physical shape, have a reasonable grasp of math principles and enjoy outdoor work carpentry might be the ideal career for you.

There are many different specialties to consider when it comes to working as a carpenter. The little-known term ‘mayster’ is used to describe a carpenter who does rough carpentry. This refers to work such as building framework that does not need to be finely detailed, hence the term rough. The opposite of a mayster is a finish carpenter, who does finish work like detailed cabinetry and other intricate work. A trim carpenter does trim work and may also install cabinets. A cabinetmaker does just what the term suggests, makes cabinets from wood. Roofers are carpenters who specialize in installing and maintaining roof structures.

Once you have an idea about what kind of carpenter you want to be, you need to get the right education. While you don’t need to go to college to be a carpenter, you do need training. There are carpentry schools all over the world that can teach you. Carpentry trade schools also often provide carpentry training.

Before you can become certified as a master carpenter, you will need to complete a carpentry apprenticeship with one. During this period you will be known as a journeyman or apprentice. This is the most important part of your training because you get on the job experience.

Master Carpentry Training

The carpentry apprentice period can vary depending on where you are and what kind of carpentry you’re studying. In Germany, it is necessary for carpenters to fulfill a full three year period as an apprentice before being allowed to work as a carpenter.

In some states in the US, you may have to serve as an apprentice for a number of years before you can begin working as a carpenter. In addition, you may have to go through additional training after becoming a carpenter in order to achieve master carpentry status.

Once you are a master carpenter you can open your own business or even work as an instructor for carpentry students. Eventually, you may have your own apprentices and teach them everything you know about the career of carpentry and woodworking.