Having completed this course the learner will be able to: - Describe the history and scope of carpentry as a trade; - Identify the opportunities for carpenters in the construction industry; - Classify the various building materials used by carpenters; - List the most commonly used fasteners and adhesives used by people in the carpentry trade; - Explain the different types of hand and power tools available to carpenters; - Outline the general safety procedures and guidelines that should be followed to operate the tools; - Discuss the importance of employee responsibility and human relations to being successful in the trade; - Identify the various types of construction drawings that make a drawing set; - State the guidelines to read and interpret reading plans and drawings, blueprints, and specifications; - List the various terms associated with floor systems, wall, ceiling and roof framing; - Explain the different methods of framing and constructing houses made of wood; - Describe the types of beams/girders and supports used in construction; - Outline the sequence involved in constructing a platform floor assembly; - Summarize the basic procedure for laying out, assembling, and erecting wood frame walls; - Recognize the different types of roofs used in residential construction; - Determine the length of a common rafter required to construct a roof; - Discuss the terms associated with concrete, concrete reinforcing materials, and formwork; - Apply the concrete mixing information to get different types of concrete, designed to suit various purposes; - Explain the basic concrete curing methods and materials; - List the various components of windows, exterior doors, and stairways used in residential construction; - Summarize the basic installation procedure for pre-hung windows; - State the various types of exterior doors used in residential construction; - Identify the essential requirements for framing stairs; - Describe the design and layout techniques used for stairways and stairwells.

Table saws help the woodworkers rip, miter, crosscut, and bevel wood. The versatility of the tablesaw is what makes it so useful for the woodworker, making it the workhorse of any woodshop. A tablesaw has a heavy but smooth surface and is made of cast iron to keep it stable. The tablesaw also has two handles: one raises and lowers the blade and the other adjusts angles for the saw. The second handle also enables dust collection.

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.


Using wood glue and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws, attach the frame you just built (19" x 11") to the 4x4 frame posts. You will use the pocket holes you drilled in the 19" boards. The frame will sit on the edge of the grooves, not inside. See plans for details. The frame should sit flush with the tops of your 4x4's. This will make the bottom 4" off the ground.
With a hardness of about 4 on a 1 to 5 scale, walnut is a rich brown wood that’s easy to work with. Unfortunately, walnut is somewhat expensive (usually around $8 a board foot), and finding large boards for big projects is getting difficult. In spite of this, walnut is still a great wood to work with and lends itself nicely for use as accents and inlays to dress up a project. You won’t find walnut at your local home center; you may need to special order it from a lumberyard if you want a large quantity.
An associate's degree program can be very valuable if your ultimate goals extend to working in management since many leadership roles require a degree credential in a related field. However, if you are more interested in the hands-on aspect of the profession, then a diploma or certificate program can provide the technical knowledge needed to meet the demands of the job.

Loveland, CO (population: 68,614) has four carpentry schools within a 100-mile radius of its city center. Emily Griffith Opportunity School, the highest ranked school in this group with a carpentry program, has a total student population of 2,230. It is the 2063rd highest ranked school in the USA and the 22nd highest in the state of Colorado (#1 is Colorado College).
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.
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Solid wood will always remain a top choice where furniture is concerned. Its unique texture, sturdiness and resilience in time improves and add warmth and coziness to any home. Even though it might be considered rustic and rudimental, in some cases the bold contrast between a modern interior design scheme and a solid piece of wood is to be desired.
I work with a lot of rough sawn boards (Wood Mizer) that are up to 12 inches wide. The worse defect is twist. First I saw the stock to rough project lengths and then using winding sticks, I attack the twist with a #5 hand plane, gradually moving the winding sticks toward the center. If there is bow or cup I can plane that out also. I now have a reference surface that can go thru my planer. The finished boards are perfect. This is not really difficult or excessively time consuming.

Being without machinery to dimension and dress rough timber myself I can definitely see the benefit, but I think the investment (both in money and space) in machinery like this is premature for ‘basic’ woodworking. Additionally, without some other machinery (table saw, bandsaw) you’re still going to have trouble dimensioning smaller timber for projects from large/rough stock (e.g. producing timber strips for case fronts, ripping to reduce thickness, etc).

Like cedar, redwood is used mostly for outdoor projects because of its resistance to moisture. Redwood (California redwood) is fairly soft and has a straight grain. As its name suggests, it has a reddish tint to it. Redwood is easy to work with, is relatively soft (2 on a scale of 1 to 4), and is moderately priced. You can find redwood at your local home center.

Mark the table up with various tools to give the table character. I like to use a hammer and a small bit to punch holes in the top that resemble worm holes (see Episode 3 -Part 2 video). You can also run a circular saw blade across to give it individual saw marks (without it being plugged in). Hammers, scraping tools, bolts, pipe wrenches, crow bars, and other tools can be used to mark up the table and give it a unique look. Make sure to keep marks random so they look natural and don't overdo the distressing!


Rip your 1x4's so they are 3" wide. This should make them nice and square, so they fit together without any gaps or rounded edges. Drill pocket holes in both ends of each board. Drill several pocket holes (3 or 4) on the edges of each board. Spread wood glue on the edges of each board, and sandwich them together, using bar clamps to keep them tight. Using 1 1/4" pocket hole screws, attach the 1x4's together. (see photo on next step)
The lumber industry uses the “Janka hardness test” to test and rate common woods for hardness. The test involves pressing a steel ball to gauge how much pressure each wood species takes to push the ball half way into the wood. You can download my free PDF of the Janka chart here. {If you can’t open a PDF then install the free Adobe PDF Reader here.}
Always be on the lookout for usable wood. You might be able to salvage some. You can use a metal detector to find nails and screws. You don’t need a full fledged metal detector. I use a pinpointer made by Garrett. If your wood has some woodboring beetles you can still use it if not eaten too badly. A healthy dose of cyfluthrin will take care of them.
Carpenters craft structures and products from wood, steel, fiberglass and other materials. There are different types of carpenters, including residential, industrial and commercial carpenters. Residential carpenters may build new homes or do remodeling work, building structures like walls, stairways, floors, roofs and decks. Commercial carpenters, who may construct schools, malls and hospitals, use many of the same skills, but they may work more with concrete and steel. Industrial carpenters build infrastructure like tunnels, sewers and dams.
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Not all species are available in quarter sawn form from all dealers, but it can be possible to cut parts from wider boards to accomplish the same end. At the lumberyard I will often look for wider planks for this very reason. When a wide board is cut from the log it will have some vertical grain on the outer edges and some face grain in the center of the board. By purchasing enough stock and carefully laying out the parts it would be possible to use quarter sawn material for all visible parts. Decisions like this must often be made at the lumberyard based on the stock on hand. It is a way to stretch your material budget a little further, by buying a lower grade and resawing it for appearance back in the shop.

As someone who is just progressing past being a “beginner” (just getting into building furniture) in the woodworking community, I would say there are a number of changes I would make to your list. First, I would say that a power jointer/thicknesser does not belong on the list by any means. They are way too large of an investment and take up a lot of space (not to mention you can buy your stock at the desired dimensions). I also strongly disagree with the concept of joinery devices. As someone new to the trade, I feel this is a very important skill that must be developed, not skipped over by buying devices power devices that achieve a single goal. I think the jigsaw should be replaced by a good bandsaw. I just purchased my first major power tool and it was a 14″ bandsaw and not a tablesaw for space reasons as well as versatility. The bandsaw allows me to resaw, cut curves, (now that it is adjusted for drift) rip pieces of stock accurately that are thicker than a table saw could handle, etc. Once the cut is complete, a handplane can remove any saw marks and square/flatten a surface. It is also really useful for cutting tenons and dovetails. Handsaws can be used for crosscutting and anything else the bandsaw cannot handle. As for a bench, if you are getting into woodworking, this should be your first real project (and it is not expensive to make). You are also missing a good vise to be attached to the bench.


Wow, what a great problem to have Boris! If you can send some photos I’ll look at them. But unseen, I’d ask them to try to get some quartersawn boards out, and also some full width flatsawn boards. It just depends on how much wood you’ll get if you quartersaw it. It also depends on what you think you’ll build down the road. Some furniture pieces don’t need to be quite as stable as others. Good luck!
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The most common type of cedar is the western red variety. Western red cedar, as its name implies, has a reddish color to it. This type of wood is relatively soft (1 on a scale of 1 to 4), has a straight grain, and has a slightly aromatic smell. Western Red cedar is mostly used for outdoor projects such as furniture, decks, and building exteriors because it can handle moist environments without rotting. Western red cedar is moderately priced and can be found at most home centers.

Rustic furniture look is the hottest furniture look that is chosen to score high value styles and living room fashion trends! So why not get some style-worthy living room coffee table out of some old wood logs? Follow the construction steps and pattern here to get a fab like shown one for good reputation of your living room! Here is the tutorial bhg
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.

All trees share common growth characteristics (annual growth rings, branches, sap, etc.), but these individual characteristics vary widely from one species to another. Different species have marked variations in the characteristics of their wood. For example, ash wood is pale with wide, open grain, while cherry wood is reddish brown with fine, closed grain. It is these variations that give each species its unique characteristics, making them suitable for one job and unsuitable for another. Wood falls into one of two categories, either softwood or hardwood, though it could be argued that the categories might better be labelled "Wood I can afford" and "Wood I can only dream about". Generally, coniferous trees fall into the softwood category, and deciduous into the hardwood.
Attach each 2×6 ( 41″ long ) to each other using 2 1/2″ pocket screws. The Pockets holes should be spaced about every 8 inches from each other. Use clamps to help hold boards as you attach them to each other if needed. Note that you will drill the two boards on each side into the center. Thus, the center board will not have any pocket holes drilled in it.

Carpentry skills can be applied to residential or commercial remodeling, cabinet making and exterior and interior trim. Coursework in carpentry classes commonly includes instruction in building safety, construction codes, framing and site layout. These courses are widely available at technical schools and colleges. Hands-on practice is emphasized in most classes.
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).
Like you, I too am benchless. I built the “Mozilla” Molson vice variant from last year’s issue (I forget which) and it comes in handy for a lot of operations. I clamp it down to a piece of plywood that I have covered with formica (actually, it’s two pieces that I have piano-hinged together for easier storage) laid across two sawhorses. As long as lateral thrust is not involved, this is a pretty stable way to work. I also have a Zyliss vise for working on smaller pieces. I’ve made do for nearly forty years with a radial arm saw and circular saw. I have only recently acquired a planer and router table (both on wheels) It makes the garage croweded because also sharing the space are two motorcycles and about 400 board feet of rough sawn Camphor. I currently attend classes in woodworking and this coming semester I’ll be enrolled in a class for handtools only (and sharpening).

Often referred to as Douglas Fir, this wood has a straight, pronounced grain, and has a reddish brown tint to it. Fir is most often used for building; however, it’s inexpensive and can be used for some furniture-making as well. It doesn’t have the most interesting grain pattern and doesn’t take stain very well, so it’s best to use it only when you intend to paint the finished product. Douglas fir is moderately strong and hard for a softwood, rating 4 on a scale of 1 to 4.

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