"Carpenter" and "Carpenters" redirect here. For other uses, see Carpenter (disambiguation).
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Carpentry is a skilled trade in which the primary work performed is the use of wood to construct items as large as buildings and as small as desk drawers. Note: in the UK, strictly speaking, the term is more correctly used to describe the skill involved only in 'First Fixing' of timber items and mainly covers areas such as constructing roofs, floors and timber framed buildings - i.e. those areas of construction that are normally unseen in the finished building. 'Second Fix' work - i.e. skirting boards, architraves, doors etc., is more correctly referred to as 'Joinery'. Carpentry is also used to construct the formwork into which concrete is poured during the building of structures such as roads and highway overpasses. Note: in the UK, the skill of making timber formwork for poured (in situ) concrete, is referred to as 'shuttering'. While the primary material used is wood, the construction of walls with metal studs, and concrete formwork with reusable metal forms is a carpentry skill.
Professional status as a journeyman carpenter in the United States may be obtained in a number of ways. The most formal training is acquired in a four year apprenticeship program administered by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, in which journeyman status is obtained after successful completion of a 12 weeks of pre-appenticeship training, followed by 4 years of on-the-job field training working alongside journeyman carpenters.
There are two main divisions of training: Construction Carpentry and Cabinetmaking. During pre-apprenticeship trainees in each major division spend 30 hours a week for 12 weeks in classrooms and indoor workshops, learning mathematics, trade terminology, and skill with hand and power tools. Construction carpentry trainees also have a daily calisthentics period to prepare for the physical aspect of the work.
Upon completion of pre-apprenticship, trainees who successfully pass the graded curriculum (taught by highly experienced journeyman carpenters) are assigned to a local union, and to union carpentry crews at work on construction sites or in cabinet shops as First Year Apprentices. Over the next four years as they progress in status to 2nd Year, 3rd year, and 4th Year Apprentice, they periodically return to the training facility for one week every three months for more detailed training in specific aspects of the trade.
Less formal methods of obtaining Union Journeyman status exist, such as working alongside carpenters for years as a laborer, and learning skills by observation and peripheral assistance. While such an individual may obtain journeyman status by paying the union entry fee and obtaining a journeyman's card (which provides the right to work on a union carpentry crew) the carpenter foreman will by necessity dismiss any worker who presents the card but not demonstrate the expected work skill.
Carpentry skill of a varying degree may be gained through non-union vocational programs, such as high school shop classes.
The word "carpenter" is the English rendering of the Old French word carpentier (become charpentier) which is derived from the Latin carpentrius artifex, "(maker) of a carriage. The Middle English and Scots word (in the sense of "builder") was wright (from the Old English wryhta), which could be used in compound forms such as wheelwright or boatwright. In British slang, a carpenter is sometimes referred to as a "chippy".
Carpentry in the United States is almost always done by men. With 98.5% of carpenters being male, it was the fourth most male-dominated occupation in the country in 1999.
1 Types and occupations,
2.1 Carpentry schools and programs,
2.2 Journeyman carpenter,
2.3 Master carpenter,
3 Notable carpenters,
4 See also,
6 External links,
Types and occupations:
A finish carpenter (North America) also called a joiner (traditional name now obsolete in North America) is one who does finish carpentry; that is, cabinetry, furniture making, fine woodworking, model building, instrument making, parquetry, joinery, or other carpentry where exact joints and minimal margins of error are important. Some large-scale construction may be of an exactitude and artistry that it is classed as finish carpentry.
A trim carpenter specializes in molding and trim, such as door and window casings, mantels, baseboard, and other types of ornamental work. Cabinet installers may also be referred to as trim carpenters.
A cabinetmaker is a carpenter who does fine and detailed work specializing in the making of cabinets made from wood, wardrobes, dressers, storage chests, and other furniture designed for storage.
A ship's carpenter specializes in shipbuilding, maintenance, and repair techniques (see also shipwright) and carpentry specific to nautical needs; usually the term refers to a carpenter who has a post on a specific ship. Steel warships as well as wooden ones need ship's carpenters, especially for making emergency repairs in the case of battle or storm damage.
A cooper is someone who makes barrels: wooden staved vessels of a conical form, of greater length than breadth.
A scenic carpenter in filmmaking, television, and the theater builds and dismantles temporary scenery and sets.
A framer is a carpenter that builds the skeletal structure or wooden framework of buildings most often in the platform framing method. Historically balloon framing was used until the 1950s when fire-safety concerns made platform framing inherently better. A carpenter who specializes in building with timbers rather than studs, is known as a timber framer which may be traditional timber framing with wooden joints including mortise-and-tenon joinery, post and beam work with metal connectors or pole building framing.
A luthier is someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments. The word luthier comes from the French word for lute, "luth".
A formwork carpenter creates the shuttering and falsework used in concrete construction.
In Japanese carpentry, daiku is the simple term for carpenter, miya-daiku (temple carpenter) performs the works of both architect and builder of shrine and temple and the sukiya-daiku work on teahouse construction and houses. (Sashimono-shi build furniture and tateguya do interior finishing work.)
A Restoration carpenter is a carpenter who works in historic building restoration.
A conservation carpenter works in Architectural conservation known as a "preservation carpenter" and Historic Preservation in the U.S.
Green carpentry is the specialization in the use of environmentally friendly, energy-efficient and sustainable sources of building materials to use in construction projects. They also practice building methods that require less material to be used yet have the same structeral soundness.
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Carpentry schools and programs:
Formal education in the carpentry trade is available in seminars, certificate programs, high school programs, online classes, associate degree programs, and advanced college degrees in the new construction, restoration and preservation carpentry fields. Training is also available in groups like the Kim Bồng woodworking village in Vietnam where apprentices live and work to learn woodworking and carpentry skills.
Tradesmen in countries such as Germany are required to fulfill a formal apprenticeship (usually three years) to work as a professional carpenter. Upon graduation from the apprenticeship, he or she is known as a journeyman carpenter. Up through the 19th and even the early 20th century, the journeyman traveled to another region of the country to learn the building styles and techniques of that area before (usually) returning home. In modern times, journeymen are not required to travel, and the term refers more to a level of proficiency and skill. Union carpenters in the United States - United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America - are required to pass a skills test to be granted official journeyman status, but uncertified professional carpenters may be known as journeymen based on their skill level, years of experience, or simply because they support themselves in the trade, and not due to certification or formal woodworking education.
After working as a journeyman for a period, a carpenter may go to study or test as a master carpenter. In some countries, such as Germany or Japan, this is an arduous and expensive process, requiring extensive knowledge (including economic and legal knowledge) and skill to achieve master certification; these countries generally require master status for anyone employing and teaching apprentices in the craft. In others, it can be a loosely used term to describe a skilled carpenter.
In Canada, each province sets its own standards for apprenticeship. The average length of time is four years and includes a minimum number of hours of both on the job training and technical instruction at a college or other institution. Depending on the number of hours of instruction an apprentice receives, he or she can earn a Certificate of Proficiency, making them a journeyman, or a Certificate of Qualification, which allows them to practice a more limited amount of carpentry. Canadian carpenters also have the option of acquiring an additional Interprovincial Red Seal that allows them to practice anywhere in Canada. The Red Seal requires the completion of an apprenticeship and an additional examination.
In the modern British construction industry, carpenters are trained through apprenticeship schemes where GCSEs in Mathematics, English and Technology help, but are not essential. This is deemed as the preferred route as young people can earn and gain field experience whilst training towards a nationally recognized qualification.
Fully trained carpenters and joiners will often move into related trades such as shop fitting, scaffolding, bench joinery, maintenance and system installation.
Jesus of Nazareth (some translations reflect a general Laborer rather than a carpenter),
Sympson the Joiner,
Norm "New Yankee" Abram,
Theo Wade Brown,
Thomas J. MacDonald,
Paulinho da Viola