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Carpentry is a
skilled trade A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education Vocational education is education th ...
and a
craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted ap ...
in which the primary work performed is the cutting, shaping and installation of
building materials Building material is material used for construction. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, rocks, sand, and wood, even twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many man-mad ...
during the construction of
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house A house is a single-unit residential building, which may range in complexity from a rudimentary hut to a complex st ...

building
s,
ships A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishing. Ships are generally disti ...

ships
,
timber bridge A timber bridge or wooden bridge is a bridge A bridge is a Nonbuilding structure, structure built to Span (engineering), span a physical obstacle, such as a body of water, valley, or road, without closing the way underneath. It is constructe ...
s,
concrete Concrete is a composed of fine and coarse bonded together with a fluid (cement paste) that hardens (cures) over time. Concrete is the second-most-used substance in the world after water, and is the most widely used building material. Its ...

concrete
formwork Placing a formwork component Formwork is temporary or permanent molds into which concrete File:Pantheon cupola.jpg, Interior of the Pantheon dome, seen from beneath. The concrete for the coffered dome was laid on moulds, mounted on temp ...
, etc. Carpenters traditionally worked with natural wood and did rougher work such as framing, but today many other materials are also used and sometimes the finer trades of cabinetmaking and furniture building are considered carpentry. In the United States, 98.5% of carpenters are male, and it was the fourth most male-dominated occupation in the country in 1999. In 2006 in the United States, there were about 1.5 million carpentry positions. Carpenters are usually the first tradesmen on a job and the last to leave. Carpenters normally framed post-and-beam buildings until the end of the 19th century; now this old-fashioned carpentry is called
timber framing Timber framing and "post-and-beam" construction are traditional methods of building with heavy timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree ...
. Carpenters learn this trade by being employed through an apprenticeship training—normally 4 years—and qualify by successfully completing that country's competence test in places such as the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...

Canada
,
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = under an , leader_title1 = , leader_name1 = , leader_title2 = , leader_name2 = , legislatur ...

Switzerland
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
and
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities ...

South Africa
. It is also common that the skill can be learned by gaining work experience other than a formal training program, which may be the case in many places.


Etymology

The word “carpenter” is the
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
rendering of the
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...

Old French
word ''carpentier'' (later, ''charpentier'') which is derived from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
''carpentarius rtifex', “(maker) of a
carriage A carriage is a private four-wheeled vehicle for people and is most commonly horse-drawn A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels an ...

carriage
.” The
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments following ...
and Scots word (in the sense of “builder”) was ''wright'' (from the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
''wryhta'', cognate with ''work''), which could be used in compound forms such as ''wheelwright'' or ''boatwright''.


Use of terms in the United Kingdom

In the
UK
UK
, carpentry is more correctly used to describe the skill involved in ''first fixing'' of timber items such as construction of roofs, floors and
timber framed buildings Timber framing and "post-and-beam" construction are traditional methods of building with heavy timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree ...
, i.e. those areas of construction that are normally hidden in a finished building. An easy way to envisage this is that first fix work is all that is done before plastering takes place. The second fix is done after plastering takes place. ''Second fix'' work, the installation of items such as skirting boards, architraves, doors, and windows are generally regarded as carpentry, however, the off-site manufacture and pre-finishing of the items is regarded as
joiner A joiner is an artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly d ...
y. Carpentry is also used to construct the formwork into which concrete is poured during the building of structures such as roads and highway overpasses. In the UK, the skill of making timber formwork for poured or in situ concrete is referred to as ''shuttering''.


Use of terms in the United States

Carpentry in the United States is historically defined similarly to the United Kingdom as the “heavier and stronger” work distinguished from a joiner “...who does lighter and more ornamental work than that of a carpenter...” although the “...work of a carpenter and joiner are often combined.” Joiner is less common than the terms ''finish carpenter'' or ''cabinetmaker''. The terms ''housewright'' and ''barn right'' were used historically., now occasionally used by carpenters who work using traditional methods and
materials Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, anything that has mass and t ...

materials
. Someone who builds custom concrete formwork is a ''form carpenter''.


History

Wood is one of mankind's oldest building materials. The ability to shape wood improved with technological advances from the
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
to the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
to the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the ...
. Some of the oldest archaeological evidence of carpentry are water well casings. These include an oak and hazel structure dating from 5256 BC, found in Ostrov, Czech Republic, and one built using split oak timbers with
mortise and tenon A mortise (occasionally mortice) and tenon connects two pieces of or of material. Woodworkers around the world have used it for thousands of years to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at right angles. Mortise and t ...

mortise and tenon
and notched corners excavated in eastern
Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...

Germany
, dating from about 7,000 years ago in the early
Neolithic period The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the ...
. Relatively little information about carpentry is available from pre-history (before written language) or even recent centuries because the knowledge and skills were passed down person to person, rarely in writing, until the printing press was invented in the 15th century and builders began regularly publishing guides and pattern books in the 18th and 19th centuries. The oldest surviving complete architectural text is
Vitruvius Vitruvius (; c. 80–70 BC – after c. 15 BC) was a Roman architect and engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled ''De architectura (''On architecture'', published as ''Ten Books on Architecture'') i ...

Vitruvius
' ten books collectively titled
De architectura (''On architecture'', published as ''Ten Books on Architecture'') is a treatise on architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the ...

De architectura
, which discuss some carpentry. Some of the oldest surviving wooden buildings in the world are temples in
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
such as the Nanchan Temple built-in 782, the
Greensted Church Greensted Church, in the small village of Greensted, near Chipping Ongar in Essex, England, has been claimed to be the oldest wooden church in the world, and probably the oldest wooden building in Europe still standing, albeit only in part, since fe ...
, parts of which are from the 11th century, and the
stave church A stave church is a wooden once common in north-western . The name derives from the building's structure of construction, a type of where the load-bearing posts are called ''stafr'' in (''stav'' in modern ). Two related church building ty ...
es in
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
from the 12th and 13th centuries.


Carpenters in Ming China

By the beginning of the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming dynasty
, emperor Taizu categorized people into different occupations. At this time, all the carpenters throughout the state were registered by the imperial court, and the occupation remained strictly hereditary, according to the notes from historian Klaas Ruitenbeek. In later times of the Ming dynasty, roughly in the 1560s, however, people broke such restrictions, and the path into the occupation in the case of the carpentry became less fixed. Although the restriction regarding the path into the occupation dissolved in later times of the Ming dynasty, approximately starting from the 1450s. The Lu Ban Jing (鲁班经) was named after the Chinese patriarch of carpenter, Lu Ban. Lu Ban lived in the
Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China ( ...
, 2,500 years from modern-day and nearly 2,000 years from the beginning of the Ming dynasty. Although the Lu Ban Jing was entitled as the classic of Lu Ban, it was compiled during the Ming dynasty. One interesting fact about the Lu Ban Jing is that it included a detailed biography of Lu Ban and his wife Lady Yun(云氏). According to the biography, Lady Yun was "blessed with heavenly skills" and she could produce products with higher quality than those produced by Lu Ban. Being a carpenter requires a set of techniques, especially for the household carpenters. From the first to the last day of the construction, sometimes even long before the beginning of construction, carpenters must treat their work with a lot of care. With their meticulousness and perseverance, their products were so sophisticated that it appeals to untrained peoples as impossible. Moreover, in Ming times, people believed that certain behaviors bring good or bad fortunes, and the carpenters were responsible for helping their customers to make decisions. Questions like when to build the house, and which direction should the house face were among some of the most frequently asked. As a result, the techniques were both practical and metaphysical, including accurate calculation, using proper tools, avoiding ominous actions, singing for good fortunes, and choosing ideal locations for houses. Interestingly is that the carpenters in China will sing prayer songs for their customer to pray for good fortune. Good fortunes involve a series of good things, including wealth, reputation, social ranking, and the sustainability of families. Historian Ronald Knapp recorded one of them in his book ''China's Living Houses: The Phoenix does not light where there are no treasures. Today it perches at the end of the ridgepole. With one swing of my axe, the house will be solid forever. Ten thousand years solid, then thousand years prosperous, riches and position, a Number One family (凤凰不落无宝地,今日落在脊口里。我将钢斧一摇,一斧打的万年牢。万年牢万年发,富贵荣华头一家).'' The carpenters in Ming China, and particularly the first century of Ming China, experienced the division of labor process. Ruitenbeek emphasizes that the carpenters were divided into two categories, the “resident artisans” and the “shift artisans.”  The resident artisans, according to Ruitenbeek, lived in the capital of Ming China (first Nanjing, then Beijing) because of the forced immigration launched by Ming Taizu. They were required to do ten days for each month in the imperial palace. According to the difference of their household register, these resident artisans were further categorized as military carpenters and civil carpenters. The military carpenters belonged to the division of defense and were required to produce useful items for the military, such as bows and cannon supports. The civil carpenters belonged to the Board of Work. The shift artisans, on the other hand, did not need to reside in capital regions, but they were required to complete service on behalf of the Board of Work. Meanwhile, carpenters in Ming China also avoided intrinsic competitions by establishing guilds. Guilds were long-lasting in premodern China, and by the late Ming times, they developed into institutions with complete regulations seeking to minimize intrinsic competitions. Ruitenbeek provides a framework for the guilds of carpentry in Ming times: There was a system of apprentice, journeyman, and master. Welfare was an important task of the guilds; it ensured, for example, a decent burial for its poorer members. Speaking of the codes among the carpenters in the Ming dynasty, it included a set of rituals or taboos generated by people within the occupation. In the case of carpentry, the Lu Ban Jing regulates the carpenter's behavior as it provides a thorough, “from-cradle-to-tomb-style” of guidelines for the carpenters. The Lu Ban Jing also set the rituals for the carpenters when they were given magical spells. Those magical spells, according to Lu Ban Jing, require a complicated process of preparing the materials and praying for their effectiveness. For instance, carpenters can deliver a curse that forced people to die in rivers or in water wells. Such a curse needs a wooden boat, and the carpenters have to turn the boats upside and bury the wooden boat at the northern corner of the house. The mythical traditions for carpenters to deliver blessings and curses are various, and such mysterious rituals negatively influenced people's impression of carpenters in Ming times.


Carpenters in Europe

By the 16th century, sawmills were coming into use in Europe. The founding of America was partly based on a desire to extract resources from the new continent including wood for use in ships and buildings in Europe. In the 18th century part of the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
was the invention of the steam engine and cut nails. These technologies combined with the invention of the
circular saw A circular saw is a power-saw A saw is a tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of s ...

circular saw
led to the development of
balloon framing upright=1.35, The erection of a wooden frame in Sabah, Malaysia Framing, in construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b ...
which was the beginning of the decline of traditional timber framing. The 19th century saw the development of electrical engineering and distribution which allowed the development of hand-held power tools, wire nails, and machines to mass-produce
screw A screw and a bolt Bolt or bolts may refer to: Implements and technology * Bolt (fastener) A bolt is a form of threaded fastener with an external male thread requiring a matching pre-formed female thread such as a nut. Bolts are very clos ...

screw
s. In the 20th century,
portland cement Portland cement is the most common type of cement A cement is a binder (material), binder, a substance used for construction that solidification, sets, hardens, and adheres to other materials to bind them together. Cement is seldom used ...

portland cement
came into common use and concrete foundations allowed carpenters to do away with heavy timber sills. Also, drywall (plasterboard) came into common use replacing lime plaster on wooden lath. Plywood, engineered lumber, and chemically treated lumber also came into use. For types of carpentry used in America see American historic carpentry.


Training

Carpentry requires
training Training is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any s and or that relate to specific . Training has specific goals of improving one's , capacity, and . It forms the core of s and provides the backbone of content at (also known as ...

training
which involves both acquiring knowledge and physical practice. In formal training a carpenter begins as an , then becomes a ''journeyman'', and with enough experience and competency can eventually attain the status of a ''master'' carpenter. Today pre-apprenticeship training may be gained through non-union vocational programs such as high school shop classes and community colleges. Informally a laborer may simply work alongside carpenters for years learning skills by observation and peripheral assistance. While such an individual may obtain journeyman status by paying the union entry fee and obtaining a journeyman's card (which provides the right to work on a union carpentry crew) the carpenter foreman will, by necessity, dismiss any worker who presents the card but does not demonstrate the expected skill level. Carpenters may work for an employer or be self-employed. No matter what kind of training a carpenter has had, some U.S. states require contractors to be licensed which requires passing a written test and having minimum levels of insurance.


Carpentry schools and programs

Formal training in the carpentry trade is available in seminars, certificate programs, high-school programs, online classes, in the new construction, restoration, and preservation carpentry fields. Sometimes these programs are called pre-
apprenticeship An apprenticeship is a system for training a new generation of practitioners of a trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a gr ...

apprenticeship
training. In the modern British
construction Construction is a general term meaning the and to form , , or ,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Press 2009 and comes from ''constructio'' (from ''com-' ...

construction
industry, carpenters are trained through
apprenticeship An apprenticeship is a system for training a new generation of practitioners of a trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a gr ...

apprenticeship
schemes where general certificates of secondary education (GCSE) in
Mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
, English, and
Technology Technology ("science of craft", from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. I ...

Technology
help but are not essential. However, this is deemed the preferred route, as young people can earn and gain field experience whilst training towards a nationally recognized qualification. There are two main divisions of training: construction-carpentry and cabinetmaking. During pre-apprenticeship, trainees in each of these divisions spend 30 hours a week for 12 weeks in classrooms and indoor workshops learning mathematics, trade terminology, and skill in the use of hand and power tools. Construction-carpentry trainees also participate in calisthenics to prepare for the physical aspect of the work. Upon completion of pre-apprenticeship, trainees who have successfully passed the graded curriculum (taught by highly experienced journeyman carpenters) are assigned to a local union and to union carpentry crews at work on construction sites or in cabinet shops as First Year Apprentices. Over the next four years, as they progress in status to Second Year, Third Year, and Fourth Year Apprentice, apprentices periodically return to the training facility every three months for a week of more detailed training in specific aspects of the trade.


Apprenticeships and Journeymen carpenters

Tradesmen in countries such as Germany and Australia are required to fulfill a formal
apprenticeship An apprenticeship is a system for training a new generation of practitioners of a trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a gr ...

apprenticeship
(usually three to four years) to work as a professional carpenter. Upon graduation from the apprenticeship, he or she is known as a
journeyman A journeyman is a worker, skilled in a given building trade or craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages ...

journeyman
carpenter. Up through the 19th and even the early 20th century, the journeyman traveled to another region of the country to learn the building styles and techniques of that area before (usually) returning home. In modern times, journeymen are not required to travel, and the term now refers to a level of proficiency and skill. Union carpenters in the United States, that is, members of the
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America often simply, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) was formed in 1881 by Peter J. McGuire and Gustav Luebkert Peter J. McGuire (July 6, 1852 – February 18, 1906) was an Americ ...
, are required to pass a skills test to be granted official journeyman status, but uncertified professional carpenters may also be known as journeymen based on their skill level, years of experience, or simply because they support themselves in the trade and not due to any certification or formal
woodworking Woodworking is the skill of making items from wood, and includes cabinet making (cabinetry and furniture), wood carving, woodworking joints, joinery, carpentry, and woodturning. History Along with Rock (geology), stone, clay and animal parts, ...
education. Professional status as a journeyman carpenter in the United States may be obtained in a number of ways. Formal training is acquired in a four-year apprenticeship program administered by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, in which journeyman status is obtained after successful completion of twelve weeks of pre-apprenticeship training, followed by four years of on-the-job field training working alongside journeyman carpenters. The
Timber Framers Guild The Timber Framers Guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These ...
also has a formal apprenticeship program for traditional
timber framing Timber framing and "post-and-beam" construction are traditional methods of building with heavy timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree ...
. Training is also available in groups like the Kim Bồng woodworking village in Vietnam where apprentices live and work to learn woodworking and carpentry skills. In Canada, each province sets its own standards for apprenticeship. The average length of time is four years and includes a minimum number of hours of both on-the-job training and technical instruction at a college or other institution. Depending on the number of hours of instruction an apprentice receives, he or she can earn a Certificate of Proficiency, making him or her a journeyman, or a Certificate of Qualification, which allows him or her to practice a more limited amount of carpentry. Canadian carpenters also have the option of acquiring an additional Interprovincial Red Seal that allows them to practice anywhere in Canada. The Red Seal requires the completion of an apprenticeship and an additional examination.


Master carpenter

After working as a journeyman for a while, a carpenter may go on to study or test as a
master Master or masters may refer to: Ranks or titles *Ascended master Ascended masters in the Ascended Master Teachings of a number of movements in the theosophical tradition are believed to be spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarn ...
carpenter. In some countries, such as Germany,
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#N ...

Iceland
and
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
, this is an arduous and expensive process, requiring extensive knowledge (including economic and legal knowledge) and skill to achieve master certification; these countries generally require master status for anyone employing and teaching apprentices in the craft. In others, like the United States, 'master carpenter' can be a loosely used term to describe any skilled carpenter. Fully trained carpenters and
joiner A joiner is an artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly d ...
s will often move into related trades such as
shop fitting Shop fitting (shopfitting) is the trade of fitting out retail Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or Service (economics), services to customers through multiple distribution channel, channels of distribution to earn a profit. Retai ...
,
scaffolding Scaffolding, also called scaffold or staging, is a temporary structure used to support a work crew and materials to aid in the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings, bridges and all other man-made structures. Scaffolds are widely us ...

scaffolding
, bench
joiner A joiner is an artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly d ...
y,
maintenance Maintenance may refer to: Biological science * Maintenance of an organism * Maintenance respiration Non-technical maintenance * Alimony, also called ''maintenance'' in British English * Champerty and maintenance, two related legal doctrines ...
and system installation.


Materials used

Carpenters traditionally worked with natural wood which has been prepared by
splitting Splitting may refer to: * Splitting (psychology) * Lumpers and splitters, in classification or taxonomy * Wood splitting Mathematics * Heegaard splitting * Splitting field * Splitting principle * Splitting theorem * Splitting lemma * for the numer ...
(riving),
hewing In woodworking Woodworking is the skill of making items from wood, and includes cabinet making (cabinetry and furniture), wood carving, woodworking joints, joinery, carpentry, and woodturning. History Along with Rock (geology), stone, cla ...
, or sawing with a pit saw or
sawmill A sawmill (saw mill, saw-mill) or lumber mill is a facility where logs are cut into lumber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In bota ...

sawmill
called
lumber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...
(American English) or timber (British English). Today natural and
engineered lumber Engineered wood, also called mass timber, composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board, includes a range of derivative wood products which are manufactured by binding or fixing the strands, particles, fibres, or wood veneer, veneers or b ...
and many other
building material Building material is material used for construction. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, rocks, sand, and wood, even twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many man-mad ...

building material
s carpenters may use are typically prepared by others and delivered to the job site. In 2013 the carpenters union in America used the term carpenter for a catch-all position. Tasks performed by union carpenters include installing "...flooring, windows, doors, interior trim, cabinetry, solid surface, roofing, framing, siding, flooring, insulation, ...acoustical ceilings, computer-access flooring, metal framing, wall partitions, office furniture systems, and both custom or factory-produced materials, ...trim and molding,... ceiling treatments, ... exposed columns and beams, displays, mantels, staircases...metal studs, metal lath, and drywall..."


Health and safety


United States

Carpentry is often hazardous work. Types of woodworking and carpentry hazards include Machine hazards, flying materials, tool projection, fire and explosion, electrocution, noise, vibration, dust, and chemicals. In the United States the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA ) is a large regulatory agency of the United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government, re ...
(OSHA) tries to prevent illness, injury, and fire through regulations. However, self-employed workers are not covered by the OSHA act. OSHA claims that "Since 1970, workplace fatalities have been reduced by more than 65 percent and occupational injury and illness rates have declined by 67 percent. At the same time, U.S. employment has almost doubled." The leading cause of overall fatalities, called the "fatal four," are falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. In general construction "employers must provide working conditions that are free of known dangers. Keep floors in work areas in a clean and, so far as possible, dry condition. Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers. Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand." Examples of how to prevent falls includes placing railings and toe-boards at any floor opening which cannot be well covered and elevated platforms and safety harness and lines, safety nets, stair railings, and handrails. Safety is not just about the workers on the job site. Carpenters' work needs to meet the requirements in the
Life Safety Code The publication ''Life Safety Code'', known as NFPA 101, is a consensus standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement ...
such as in building and building codes to promote long-term quality and safety for the building occupants.


Types and occupations

A finish carpenter (North America), also called a
joiner A joiner is an artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly d ...
(a traditional name now rare in North America), is one who does finish carpentry, that is,
cabinetry A cabinet is a case or cupboard with shelves and/or drawers for storing or displaying items. Some cabinets are stand alone while others are built in to a wall or are attached to it like a medicine cabinet A bathroom cabinet (or medicine cabinet) ...

cabinetry
, furniture making, fine woodworking, model building,
instrument Instrument may refer to: Science and technology * Flight instruments two-seat light airplane. The flight instruments are visible on the left of the instrument panel Flight instruments are the instruments in the cockpit of an aircraft that pro ...

instrument
making,
parquetry Parquet (; French for "a small compartment") is a geometric mosaic A mosaic is a pattern or image made of small regular or irregular pieces of colored stone, glass or ceramic, held in place by plaster/mortar, and covering a surface. Mosaics ...
,
joinery Joinery may refer to: * Woodworking joints, techniques and processes for connecting pieces of wood or lumber to produce more complex items * Joiner, someone who builds things by joining pieces of wood See also

* Join (disambiguation) * Joiner ...
, or other carpentry where exact joints and minimal margins of error are important. Some large-scale construction may be of the exactitude and artistry that it is classed as finish carpentry. A carpenter and joiner has much broader skill sets ranging from joinery, finishing carpentry, building construction, and formwork. A trim carpenter specializes in molding and trim, such as
door A door is a hinge A barrel hinge A hinge is a mechanical bearing that connects two solid objects, typically allowing only a limited angle of rotation between them. Two objects connected by an ideal hinge rotate relative to each other about a ...

door
and
window A window is an opening in a wall A wall is a structure and a surface that defines an area; carries a load; provides security Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unrealize ...

window
casings, mantels, baseboards, and other types of ornamental work. Cabinet installers may also be referred to as trim carpenters. A
cabinetmaker A cabinet is a case or cupboard with shelves and/or drawers for storing or displaying items. Some cabinets are stand alone while others are built in to a wall or are attached to it like a Bathroom cabinet, medicine cabinet. Cabinets are typically m ...
is a carpenter who does fine and detailed work specializing in the making of cabinets made from wood,
wardrobe A wardrobe or armoire is a standing closet used for storing clothes. The earliest wardrobe was a Chest (furniture), chest, and it was not until some degree of luxury was attained in regal palaces and the castles of powerful nobles that separate ...
s, dressers, storage chests, and other furniture designed for storage. A ship's carpenter specializes in
shipbuilding Shipbuilding is the construction Construction is a general term meaning the and to form , , or ,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Press 2009 and c ...

shipbuilding
, maintenance, repair techniques, and carpentry specific to nautical needs in addition to many other onboard tasks; usually, the term refers to a carpenter who has a post on a specific
ship A ship is a large watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional propertie ...

ship
. Steel warships as well as wooden ones need ship's carpenters, especially for making emergency repairs in the case of battle or storm damage. A shipwright builds wooden ships on land. A
cooper Cooper, Cooper's, Coopers and similar may refer to: Professions * Cooper (profession) A cooper is a person trained to make wooden casks, barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container with a bulging center, longer than it ...
is someone who makes
barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical A cylinder (from ) has traditionally been a Solid geometry, three-dimensional solid, one of the most basic of curvilinear geometric shapes. Geometrically, it can be considered as a Prism (geometry) ...

barrel
s: wooden staved vessels of a conical form, of greater length than breadth. A scenic carpenter builds and dismantles temporary
scenery Modern-day rotating set for the play '' Noises Off''. Theatrical scenery is that which is used as a setting for a theatrical production. Scenery may be just about anything, from a single chair to an elaborately re-created street, no matter how l ...
and in film-making, television, and the theater. A
framer A framer is someone who Framing (construction), frames (shapes or gives shape to), or someone who constructs."Framer". def. 1. and "Frame, v." def. 5 and 7. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press ...

framer
is a carpenter who builds the skeletal structure or wooden framework of buildings, most often in the
platform framing Framing, in construction Construction is a general term meaning the and to form , , or ,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Press 2009 and comes from ...
method. Historically,
balloon framing upright=1.35, The erection of a wooden frame in Sabah, Malaysia Framing, in construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b ...
was used until the 1950s when fire safety concerns made platform framing inherently better. A carpenter who specializes in building with timbers rather than studs is known as a timber framer and does traditional timber framing with wooden joints, including joinery, post and beam work with metal connectors, or
pole building framing Pole framing or post-frame construction (pole building framing, pole building, pole barn) is a simplified building technique adapted from the labor-intensive traditional timber framing technique. It uses large poles or post (structural), posts ...
. A
luthier A luthier( ) is a craftsperson who builds or repairs string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings when a performer plays or sounds the string ...

luthier
is someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments. The word luthier comes from the French word for lute, "luth". A log builder builds structures of stacked, horizontal logs including
house A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house A house is a single-unit residential building, which may range ...

house
s,
barn A barn is an agricultural building usually on farm A farm (also called an agricultural Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Fami ...

barn
s, churches,
fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from Latin ''fortis'' ("strong") and ''facere'' ( ...

fortification
s, and more. A
formwork Placing a formwork component Formwork is temporary or permanent molds into which concrete File:Pantheon cupola.jpg, Interior of the Pantheon dome, seen from beneath. The concrete for the coffered dome was laid on moulds, mounted on temp ...
carpenter creates the shuttering and
falsework Falsework consists of temporary structure A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and h ...
used in
concrete Concrete is a composed of fine and coarse bonded together with a fluid (cement paste) that hardens (cures) over time. Concrete is the second-most-used substance in the world after water, and is the most widely used building material. Its ...

concrete
construction. In
Japanese carpentry Japanese carpentry was developed more than a millennium ago through Chinese architectural influences such as Ancient Chinese wooden architecture and uses woodworking joints. It involves building wooden furniture without the use of nails, scre ...
, ''daiku'' is the simple term for carpenter, a ''Miya-daiku'' (temple carpenter) performs the work of both architect and builder of shrines and temples, and a ''sukiya-daiku'' works on teahouse construction and houses. ''Sashimono-shi'' build furniture and ''tateguya'' do interior finishing work. A restoration carpenter is a carpenter who works in historic
building restoration '' of the Humboldt University of Berlin before and after its restoration. Image:Sidon2009d.JPG, Rebuilding of the historical city centre of Sidon in Lebanon after the civil war. Building Restoration describes a particular treatment approach and ...
, someone who restores a structure to a former state. A conservation carpenter works in
architectural conservation Architectural conservation describes the process through which the material, historical, and design integrity of any built heritage are prolonged through carefully planned interventions. The individual engaged in this pursuit is known as an arch ...
, known in the U.S. as a "preservation carpenter" who works in historic preservation, someone who keeps structures from changing. Green carpentry specializes in the use of environmentally friendly, energy-efficient and sustainable sources of building materials for use in construction projects. They also practice building methods that require using less material and material that has the same structural soundness. Recycled (reclaimed, repurposed) carpentry is carpentry that uses scrap wood and parts of discarded or broken furniture to build new wood products.


See also

*
Artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly decorative, for example fur ...

Artisan
* Atlanta Community ToolBank *
CCG Profiles CCG Profiles is software Software is a collection of instructions that tell a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...
*Guild *Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, Kobe, Japan *Traditional trades *Woodworking *Worshipful Company of Carpenters


References


External links

* * *
The Institute of Carpenters
(England)

entry in the ''Occupational Outlook Handbook'' of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor
Carpenters from Europe and beyond
{{Authority control Carpentry, Craft occupations Occupations Woodworking Scoutcraft ta:தச்சர்