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Old 01-09-2011, 05:38 AM   #1
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Getting into the trade.


I want to learn as many aspects of carpentry as I can. However, I am married, working full time, and helping pay for a house. I could go to school to learn the trade, but there are no schools near by that offer any kind of carpentry courses.

I am stuck between a rock and a hard place, I really want to learn some things, but the opportunities nearby are few and far between.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-09-2011, 07:29 AM   #2
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Getting into the trade.


Google online carpentry schooling I found quite a few that look to be a good place to start. The library may have some good books to help you as well.

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Old 01-09-2011, 07:34 AM   #3
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Google online carpentry schooling I found quite a few that look to be a good place to start. The library may have some good books to help you as well.

DM
Where were they? The only ones I have been able to find are 2 hrs.+ drive away from where I live, which puts them out of commuting distance for me.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:46 AM   #4
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Getting into the trade.


The ones I saw are not brick and mortar, they're online schooling. Another good way to 'study up' is to go through our carpentry section and read up on common problems our members have. That may give you a head start too!

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Old 01-09-2011, 10:30 AM   #5
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Getting into the trade.


I know of no short cuts to becoming a good carpenter. All the good ones that I have met over the span of 30+ years of working in the carpentry trades have started at the bottom and learned as they went along.

I don't mean to sound discouraging, only honest. Every carpenter has to pay his dues and attend some sort of apprentice program to learn his or her trade. Some go the union route. I'll leave that one alone as I have no personal experience with it. The rest go to work and get paid to learn from more experienced carpenters.

It takes time and can be quite frustrating at times. But the good ones will always find work and ride their passion like a knight on a mighty steed.

I do want to say that there may be a bit of luck involved as well. Finding a good mentor that you get along with takes some magic on your part. Keep a good attitude and sense of humor. Don't whine or shirk a task. Be on time and look presentable. All that good stuff.

Good luck to you.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:35 AM   #6
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Getting into the trade.


You can catch some shows on discovery/hgtv/etc, read some books, and just try it out. It's not as formal as an apprenticeship program, but that will get you going. It's how I learned. I'm not a master carpenter, but I'm generally satisfied with my skills.

You should be able to find episodes of the New Yankee Workshop on line. Watch that show and try out some of Norm's projects. Then try watching David Marks http://www.djmarks.com/woodworks.asp. David Marks is pretty advanced, so give yourself some time before you try any of his projects.

I also suggest that you buy a book on joinery and read it. If, at some point, you want to be a master carpenter, you will have to find some to apprentice under.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:37 AM   #7
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Getting into the trade.


If you are willing to start with basics or you know what phase of carpentry you want to learn you may find companies with saturday work that you can start with. I cannot stress enough the importance as said above to find a quality oriented teacher so you learn the correct way vs the short way
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:45 PM   #8
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Getting into the trade.


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Originally Posted by WarEagle86 View Post
I want to learn as many aspects of carpentry as I can. However, I am married, working full time, and helping pay for a house. I could go to school to learn the trade, but there are no schools near by that offer any kind of carpentry courses.

I am stuck between a rock and a hard place, I really want to learn some things, but the opportunities nearby are few and far between.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If you have a Habitat For Humanity near you(or any other volunteer network) you can volunteer and get basic on the job training. You will also come into contact with people in the trade who might take you on as an intern on a part time basis.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:13 PM   #9
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Getting into the trade.


Good luck--You have been given good advice from some respected men--
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
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Getting into the trade.


Thanks, there are some great answers and great advice here. I am not looking to go into busniess for myself and I am certainly not looking for any shortcuts.

I want to be able to learn as much as I can, because I have always enjoyed myself when doing little wood working projects with others, I have just always been in the role of the helper and not in as great of position to learn a lot.

I have learned quite a bit, but I want to learn more technical stuff.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:45 PM   #11
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Getting into the trade.


I like the H4H idea, volunteering there could really help you learn a LOT, and fast!
And they always need good people to help and will never give you jobs they don't think you could handle.

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Old 01-09-2011, 07:17 PM   #12
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Getting into the trade.


Some good ideas on here. I don't believe the DIY shows are a good source as they rush through stuff too fast. I do recommend a good book that describes the frame to finish process. You can also check out houses that are being built to see first hand how it goes together. Best thing to do is just get in there and ask lots of questions. It takes time
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:18 PM   #13
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Getting into the trade.


When a 'greenie' starts it is always as a helper--first step up is cut guy- then nailer-eventually you will be trusted to made the layouts--You will know are earning their respect the first time the carpenter builds to your layout--

I got lucky--my first real carpentry job,the boss assigned me to be the helper for the only skilled carpenter on the crew---

I had some building experience with my dad--but never for a pay check--

When I went to talk to the boss about a job,I asked to see the blue prints for the building--

He hired me----then he smiled and told me that I was the only applicant who had ever asked to look at the blue prints ----"How else would I know what we are building?"--He smiled again.

Great boss,one of the finest I ever met.---Mike--
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:25 AM   #14
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Getting into the trade.


x2 to the above.

Reading and more reading is the key. Be leery of the books at HD and other Big Boxes with all the glossy photos. Many of them are more entertainment than education.

Its great to find someone to work with but take his advice with a grain of salt and always double check through other sources. The past boom put a lot of guys in the trade who knew little and were just there for a quick buck. The slow down has weeded a lot of them out.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:41 AM   #15
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Reading helps--The best framing book I found when I started back in the 1970s was a free government publication---Do you remember the adds for the govt. publications in Pueblo Colorado?

I actually dug out that old book a year ago for a friend who wanted to add dog houses to an old Cape--

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