Introductory carpentry classes provide students with an overview of the methods and technologies used in residential and light commercial carpentry and are typically taken at the beginning of a carpentry program. Hands-on experience and lectures make up the class content, which can cover building codes, site layout, estimating, interior and exterior finishes, framing and cabinetry. Additional subjects of instruction may include footing and foundation forming, concrete specifications, OSHA/WISHA construction safety standards and basic carpentry math.
For someone just beginning to purchase hardwood lumber, lumber grades can be overwhelming. Most lumber companies use the generally accepted grading rules set by the National Hardwood Lumber Association. Grades are based on the amount of usable clear material in a board. The highest grade boards are FAS and Select, followed by #1 Common and #2 Common. What grade you choose depends on your project. Some projects, such as tabletops and high quality furniture, may dictate the highest grade available. Many other projects are just as easily adapted to #1 Common (often referred to as cabinet grade) – kitchen cabinet doors, smaller projects and items where some character is acceptable.
The next important hand tool for the woodworker is an accurate tape measure. Get a retractable one that is at least 25 feet long. Any longer than that, and you start having problems getting it to roll back up. Since measurements on large scale projects can be very susceptible to even the most minute measurement variations, you’ll want to make sure the “hook” or tab at the end of the is firmly attached, with no give. When they get loose, you’ll have as much as 1/8” variation in your measurements. This can add up to some severe accuracy problems in the long run. 

Even if you are using a beautiful (yet unstable) grain pattern on part of your furniture, it’s a good idea to use stable wood on the other parts. For example, look at an old wooden door. The panels usually have more decorative (less stable) wood, but the rails and stiles (parts of the frame) are usually very stable straight grained wood (don’t worry, I’ll clarify “straight grain” below).
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.
Carpenters learn many physically-oriented skills, like joining, framing and refinishing. Carpenters also must be adept at measuring and planning to complete the layout portion of their tasks. Errors in this important pre-step to the building process can negatively impact, or even ruin, a finished product. Additionally, mathematical skills and blueprint reading and sketching are vital skills for carpenters.
Description: In this four day class, we will start with rough lumber and finish with a simple box. Along the way we will teach you how to use the jointer, planer, table saw, and router table This is THE class to take if you are interested in getting started the right way in woodworking. This one will fill up fast, so sign up. soon. Woodworking 101 is strongly recommended for beginners and people looking to review the basics.
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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