Now that you know how to become a carpenter, you might wonder what the job's like on a day-to-day basis. Because carpentry work demands vigorous exertion, carpenters must be physically fit, strong, and have a good sense of balance. Carpenters must able to work long hours standing, climbing, bending, and kneeling. Additionally, carpenters must be detail-oriented, with good hand-eye coordination and strong problem-solving skills. As carpentry work can be stressful, they must also be able to manage tension and handle workplace pressures. Carpentry work often involves physical risks, like falling and slipping injuries or bruises and cuts from working with sharp tools and rough, heavy materials. Weather conditions and exposure can also pose dangers for carpenters working outdoors.
My $0.02 worth. I agree with the thickness planer [mine is 10″] but anything over a 6″ jointer is expensive and space-consuming, so use hand planes as in your later blog. I inherited an 8″ table saw that my dad and I used to build a 12′ outboard boat back in 1955. I’ve used it for ripping, but I’m having second thoughts because of safety issues. Some have suggested a band saw for ripping, which is quieter and safer to use. I gave my router away [and hope to get rid of my Freud biscuit joiner and 6″ jointer]. A quality eggbeater drill works every bit [pun not intended] as well as a power drill, and they cost less. A coping saw and a jewelers saw negate the need for a jigsaw unless you are into making puzzles. Chris Schwarz has a video short on one of the Highland Woodworker series showing how to joint the edge of a board with a plane and a simple jig on the workbench surface. Another reason to bypass the jointer.
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Online carpentry education opportunities may be offered as certificate programs or as career diplomas. In programs like these, you'll practice basic carpentry in addition to studying building codes, blueprint reading, math and business management. The courses will typically cover roofing, wall paneling, wood-joining techniques and materials estimation, among other topics. You'll also learn how to use hand and power tools. Depending on the program, you might even take a Spanish course.
After you've used one of these free coffee table plans to build your dream coffee table, check out these other free woodworking plans for bookcases, TV stands, dressers, nightstands, step stools, entertainment centers, farmhouse tables, desks, jewelry boxes, dining room tables, wine racks, picnic tables, kitchen islands, home bars, bunk beds, toy boxes, and even dog houses.
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However, if you want to stain or clear-coat the project, you'll have a number of choices to look through. Since your local home center megamart will probably only carry a couple of hardwood species (poplar and red oak are common) spend time at a fine wood supplier and look through the vareties available. They should be able to help you determine how each species will look when finished, which will go a long way toward refining your decision.
I love this & your videos. It’s really helped my confidence level (as a total beginner.) I’ve built your floating shelves (LOVE them) and the cake stand you did (I’m adding dowels in the middle for the connecting parts so I can take it apart & store it almost flat & not worry about Velcro) I’m wondering if you’d do a console that matches this? I really like Ana White’s x console but liked your legs better!
Screwdrivers are another must-have in the woodworker’s set of hand tools. Not only will you need Phillips and slot, or flathead screwdrivers, you’ll need star drivers and Torx drivers, too. A quality construction is vital to a good set of screwdrivers. So many of them are made out of soft metal, and the first time you put any “oomph” behind them, they strip out, becoming absolutely useless.

There are no formal education or training requirements to become a carpenter in the U.S., but the BLS reports that three to four years of experience is the industry standard for becoming a skilled craftsperson. Training and experience can be acquired by working with an experienced journeyman or through an apprenticeship offered by an employer or labor union. Formal in-class instruction is offered through certificate, diploma or associate's degree programs in carpentry at trade or vocational schools. Employees with some formal carpentry education generally start at higher positions in the field. Carpentry courses may include carpentry math, building layouts, foundation work, roofing, stair construction, siding and moldings. You can also study interior and exterior finishes.


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A layout square, or combination square, comes in 6” and 12” sizes. Most woodworkers use the 6” model, simply because it’s easiest to carry around. Also, most of the stock you’ll use will be no bigger than 6” wide, so 12” is overkill. The layout square is a triangle that you can use to mark square cuts on stock. Once you measure the length of the cut, you line up the layout square with the edge of the board. The short side will give you a straight, square cut across the end grain. You can also measure off angles with the layout square. This helps when you’re trying to measure for a bevel on a table saw, or marking a cut for a miter saw. You can even use your layout square to determine an existing angle. Just be sure to buy one made of metal. The plastic ones are not only fragile, but they also can warp, making them pretty useless.
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
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