What Is Carpentry?

The homes we live in and the furniture we sit on would not have been made possible without the skilled trade known as carpentry. The field involves cutting, shaping and putting together materials to be able to build houses, offices, ships and furniture, among others. Wood or timber is the main material used in carpentry, although there are many other materials that are now used in construction as well.

Carpentry can be categorized in two types: 1) Rough Carpentry and 2) Finish Carpentry. Rough carpentry refers to the type of carpentry that does not require a fine finish. These include making the structural parts of the house like the posts, rafters and beams. Rough carpentry also involves making the roofing and framing of a structure. This type of carpentry does not need to be finely finished because the parts are going to be covered anyway.

Finish carpentry, on the other hand, refers to the flooring, staircases, window installation and moldings and trims on buildings, houses and other structures. As its name implies, finish carpentry is work that is going to be seen from the outside. Since this is going to be what people see, finish carpenters are expected to make their work as neat, clean and as finely-detailed as possible.

Rough and finish carpentry, however, are not the only types of carpentry. Other carpenters also specialize in different kinds of carpentry work. Cabinetmaking or cabinetry is a specialized branch of carpentry that deals with the making of stylish and durable cabinets for kitchen, homes and offices. Ship carpentry is another kind of carpentry that specializes in the construction, maintenance and repair of ships and boats. Another specialized field of carpentry is green carpentry. While this field requires the same set of skills as standard carpentry, it gives a lot of emphasis in utilizing environmentally-friendly materials and practices.

Carpentry work can also be categorized in terms of the kind of structure carpenters work on. Residential carpentry focuses on building new homes or remodeling old ones. The types of structures that residential carpenters construct include condominiums and townhomes. Commercial carpentry refers to carpentry used in the building of office buildings, malls and other commercial structures. These also include building and remodeling of schools, hospitals and hotels. Industrial carpentry, meanwhile, is the work done in industrial sites. Industrial carpenters assist in the building of dams, tunnel bracing and sewers.

Carpentry can be dangerous work. Since carpenters have to work with different types of equipment and tools, the risk of getting injured from cuts and wounds from improper handling of machines or from accidents exists. There is also the hazard posed by flying objects, fires, dust and toxic fumes as well as hearing risks because of the loud noise and vibration that mark construction sites. Moreover, carpenters are also expected to work high above the ground and as such the danger of falling also exists. To avert or minimize these hazards, carpenters must wear protective equipment and follow the safety protocols established by the company. They must also be knowledgeable about building codes to ensure that they will construct structures that are safe and durable for its occupants.

Career Spotlight: Carpenter

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