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Carpenters: They Aren’t a Dime a Dozen

A typical housing tract with an ongoing building is home to many different types of construction workers. And even within certain disciplines, like carpentry for example, there are different craftsmen who specialize in different things. The truth about carpenters is that they aren’t a dime a dozen. Carpentry is actually a highly specialized skill.

Most master carpenters started out as carpenter helpers. From there they became apprentices. If they were part of a carpenter’s union, they likely took classes coinciding with their apprenticeships. Only after completing their apprenticeships and putting in a certain number of hours on the job were they able to complete the final steps to become master carpenters.

Among the many master carpenters active today, there are more specialties than most people know. Here are just five of them:

1. Finish Carpentry

Finish carpentry deals with certain types of functional wood products. For example, you might have a finish carpenter who specializes in custom furniture. The master carpenters at Salt Lake City’s Modern Craftsman are a good example. Their woodworking skills are ideal for building furniture that qualifies as functional art.

Finish carpenters are known to build models, instruments, and all sorts of complex pieces. One of their specialties is joinery, the art of joining two pieces of wood in a way that guarantees structural integrity and aesthetic beauty.

2. Trim Carpentry

You undoubtedly have molding around the doors and windows in your home. You might even have floor and crown molding. That molding was likely installed by a master trim carpenter. Trim carpentry focuses on molding, trim, window and door casings, mantels, baseboards, etc. It is a form of carpentry that emphasizes ornamentation.

3. Cabinetmaking

It is easy to look at your kitchen cabinets and assume just anyone could have made them. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Cabinetmaking is an art form that requires quite a bit of knowledge, skill, and experience. Thus, it is considered its own form of carpentry.

Cabinetmakers obviously make cabinetry for kitchens and baths. But they also make dressers, nightstands, wardrobes, and even storage chests. Their work can be very basic or incredibly ornate. It just depends on what the customer wants.

4. Framing Carpentry

Plenty of master carpenters who work in other specialties got their start as framing carpenters. Among all of the carpentry disciplines, framing is considered the most basic. Framing carpentry involves building the wood frame of a home or commercial buildings.

Framers essentially erect the shell of a new building. They put up the exterior walls and install roof trusses. Then they build the interior walls and sub-floors. The quality of their work largely determines how well the rest of the project goes.

5. Ship Carpentry

Last on this particular list is ship carpentry. As its name suggests, ship carpentry is all about the woodwork involved in building and maintaining watercraft. In the old days, before ships were made of steel, a good ship carpenter was like gold. He would never have trouble finding work in any city with an active harbor or a shipbuilding operation.

Today, ship carpenters still work hard to keep wood vessels afloat. Some are stationed on cruise ships and military vessels for the purposes of handling all maintenance carpentry. Needless to say, ship carpentry is a highly specialized skill.

There are other forms of carpentry not listed here. The point is this: carpenters are not a dime a dozen. They are highly trained and skilled individuals capable of doing amazing things with wood. DIYers they are not. And in the end, it shows in their work.

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