Some of you might know, I became a carpenter without going to school for it. 5 years in now and I am still a long ways from becoming a master carpenter. Although, through out those years, I am confident that these quick 3 tips are hands down the best advice I could give for any one wanting to try to trade and give themselves a chance.
As a labor, your job is basically to make whom ever your working with’s job easier . This means making sure they have all that is necessary to get the job done nice and quick. This involves, setting up their tools, gathering their lumber, making sure they NEVER run out of nails, and yes, picking up after them. On top of all this, you must make sure that, that person isn’t always waiting on you. I know that sounds unfair to some, but know that the people your working you a** off for, are going to teach you all the best knowledge you won’t ever learn at school. Also, unless it’s break, keep your pouch on.
Watch and listen
When I say listen, yes I obviously mean when people are speaking to you, but also when other experienced workers are speaking amongst one another about something work related. By doing so, you’ll often figure out why you’re doing something which eventually leads to you understanding how to do it. Also, when you have the time, get the habit of watching others work, how they use tools, what they are doing, how they are doing it and use different techniques to make their job easier. From worker to worker, it will often be different. Remember that every piece you add in to framing a house, usually has a purpose that you must know.
Clean, clean and clean
Sounds awful right ? Every piece of lumber over 2ft, remove the nails, stack it up nicely somewhere that is easily accessible and not in the way. Same thing for plywood. Air hose and extensions getting tangled, take care of it. Scrap at the cutting station, clear it up quick. Trailer out of hand, hurry up and place it.
Oh and don’t forget, always be ready for measurements to be called out.
Keeping your site tidy, avoids you and others from wasting time looking for things and prevents an unspeakable amount of injuries and frustration.
The last thing people who have been in the trade for a long time need, is the new guy/girl complaining about everything. If you stay happy yet focused, energetic and motivated that will reflect on others. They will put more time in to teaching you if they see it’s worth it. Know that every great carpenter will be proud to see you grow.
Remember, stay happy, stay safe and get it done !!!