Working with wood – Carpentry and joinery

November 16, 2018 9:00 am Published by

Wood is still one of the most common construction materials, used in all areas of buildings for centuries. This means that the skills to work with wood will be needed throughout your maintenance schedule. But what skills, joinery or carpentry?

The skill in making construction components is in the joints and this is where a joiner is specialised. But, carpenters normally work on site, so their specialised skill is in dealing with wood fixtures in the context of a building. A joiner is essentially someone who makes the product that a carpenter installs or repairs. Common jobs for joiners would include, making doors or window frames, creating fitted furniture and building staircases, whereas a carpenter would be fitting floors and staircases or installing cupboards and shelving.

Carpentry is more complicated than it might seem. Working to a high standard takes dedicated practice and training. To quote Tom Hanks’ character in A League of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard … The hard is what makes it great.” Taking a component prepared off site by a joiner and making it an integral part of a building or repairing a structure that can be decades or centuries old, so that the repair matches is what you expect and what a good carpenter will deliver.

The skills needed to make a good carpenter are not only those associated with working with wood, but mathematics, carpentry requires a lot of calculation and measurement, and also problem-solving skills, not everything in woodworking goes exactly to the plan, so a good carpenter will be able to take a basic item and make it fit the client’s expectations. This can be particularly true when working with kitchens, and commercial furniture and fixtures. Often off the peg parts need to be adapted to fit the building, not all surgeries, schools or shops are the same shape.

One of the growth areas for carpentry is flooring. Many buildings are now being refitted with solid wood or laminate flooring. As public areas can be heavily trafficked repairs to existing floors can be needed regularly. It is important to make sure that the physical conditions, like subfloor or base, are adequate for your new flooring, and the skills of a good carpenter can make the difference between a floor that lasts well and one that fails quickly.

Natural wood is a dynamic material which responds to its environment. Creating components and then installing them are skills centuries old, that update with every generation of buildings. Working with a carpenter who can sympathetically install components and repair your building will reduce long term maintenance needs and improve the longevity of the timber parts of your building. Get in touch to discuss your woodworking requirements.

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This post was written by Express Property Services