A carpenter is a person that works with wood, therefore carpentry refers to any field where the worker repairs or builds various wooden structures. Wood was among the first of any materials used by humans to construct. Carpentry and woodworking can be traced back to about 8,000 BC. During this time and up to the point of transportation, woodworkers relied on the wood that was native to their area. Ancient Egyptian carpentry has been analyzed and has been found in many aspects of ancient life. The Egyptians used woodworking to make coffins for tombs as well as chests, boxes, beds and tables found throughout its history.
History of Carpentry
As civilization developed, the tools and methods of carpentry did as well. To some historians the development of civilization was marked by the intricacy and complexity of the civilization’s woodworking skills. There have been many notable woodworkers throughout history and each lends a hand in the progress of this trade. Many aspects of life depend on the structures that carpenters help to create.
- Authentic Carpentry Tools – Historically, tools such as augers, braces and chisels were used to create objects out of wood.
- Carpenter Tools – A historical list of carpentry tools used dating back to biblical times.
- Furniture Heritage Center – A center that is dedicated to displaying furniture from different points in history.
- Carpenters of the Ancient World – Walks through what life was like for carpenters in the ancient time period.
- Ancient Carpentry – Information on ancient carpentry evidenced in Egypt as well as the objects created and methods of creation.
- History of Carpentry – An analyses of carpentry throughout history with detailed descriptions of how modern day carpentry came about.
- Carpentry in the 1800’s – Described what carpentry was like during the 1800’s and the progression that has been made to the field of woodworking through modern tools and appliances.
- Woodworkers Institute – A great resource for those in carpentry, woodworking and furniture making.
- Basic Carpentry Skills Today – A great resource for carpenters today that covers tools, skills, and learning institutions for carpentry.
- Carpentry Fundamentals – Modules that discuss the various aspects that carpenters should know in today’s field.
- Bureau of Labor and Statistics – Outlines the nature of carpentry work today as well as statistics on salary and job requirements.
- Careers in Construction – Information on carpentry and what skills are needed to work in this industry.
- Finish Carpentry Help – A guide that assists modern carpenters with specific issues when working in the carpentry field.
Training for carpentry is typically done through an apprentice program. Some students attend specialized schools that focus on carpentry and woodworking as well as the business of carpentry courses. Apprenticeship generally lasts for approximately four years, but can vary according to the organization. General carpenters can handle all basic aspects of the trade while specialized carpenters create specialized services such as the intricate designs on doors and cabinetry.
- Carpentry Apprenticeship – Many courses that teach basic skills for carpentry work can be found at community colleges.
- Preservation Carpentry – Specific skill sets are required for resorting vintage houses to original condition.
- Carpenter Training – Information on what is needed to become a carpenter in terms of skills and education.
- Studying Carpentry – An overview of the field of carpentry and the education and skills it takes to become a carpenter.
- Woodworking School – Training for different types of woodworking skills including furniture making, carving, tuning and finishing.
- Becoming a Furniture Maker – A guide to becoming a furniture maker that gives insight on how to become a carpenter that specializes in furniture.
- Woodworking Classes – Gives a description of why woodworking classes are beneficial.
- A Foundation Course in Furniture Making – Gives a step by step guide and examples of the foundations and basic skills needed for furniture making.
- Furniture Masters – Offers a curriculum for those interested in specializing in furniture making.
- International Contemporary Furniture Fair – A market place for furniture makers from around the world to showcase their work.
- Making Wood Cabinets – Fine woodworking skills are needed for making cabinets. There are basic cabinets and those with ornate decorations on the wood that requires fine skills in cabinet making.
- Furniture Mastery – The art of making furniture using the craft of woodworking.
- Furniture and Wood Finisher – Includes information about what tasks a furniture maker is capable and licensed to handle.
Various Types of Carpentry
- Instrument Building and Repair – Instruments made from wood such as violin and some pianos require carpentry to build.
- History of Furniture Making – Designing and creating furniture by woodworking can require specific design and carpentry skills.
- General Woodworking – This type of carpenter can handle most types of carpentry including re-modeling, furniture making, and custom millwork.
- Different Types of Carpentry – Information on the various types of carpentry as well as what skills it takes to make a career out of each type of carpentry.
Associations and Links
Carpentry is an industry that can work very closely with other construction or contractor work. There are many unions and associations a carpenter can belong to. This can ensure the most up to date training as well as the organization’s ability to offer support for such aspects as fair wages and policies. The carpentry industry and workers in this field are often grouped with other contractors or laborers.
- United Brotherhood of Carpenters – One of the oldest American carpentry unions that has chapters all throughout the US.
- Residential Union Carpenters Contractors Association – A national association of carpenters who work on residential carpentry.
- Association of Wall to Ceiling and Carpentry Industries – An association founded in 1918 to advocate for the interests of those in the carpentry and wall to ceiling industries.
- Subcontractors Trade Association – Many carpenters are subcontracted to handle the woodworking portion of a remodel or design build project.
- Build It Union – A union with members that are contractors and carpenters. This union is based out of New York City and advocated for fair wages and other union benefits for its members.
- The Furniture Society – An organization for specialized carpentry in furniture making whose mission is to advance the art of furniture making.
- Carpenters Union – A Chicago based carpenters union that offers support in fair wages and advocacy for its members.