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ambitous aprentince/student

locallabor's picture

i am really interested in getting more advanced in carpentry but books only take me so far. for the last few years i have been teaching myself various forms of woodwork (kitchen cabinets, tables, trim ect.) by working on my own house and then freinds i  get asked to do jobs by people who have seen my work but am limited by not having enough knowlege to go into more complex projects. any reccomendations as to where to learn the things i want to know? i am 21 and live in the chicago area. any information is apreciated. i also have pictures of alot of my past work if  that would help.

(post #156854, reply #1 of 22)

There has got to be a trade school near you somewhere.


Excellence is its own reward!

"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.

The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

--Marcus Aurelius



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #156854, reply #2 of 22)

i was more intersted in working w/ an experiaced individual or small business. is that too unorthadox? or is trade school my only option. i have had one experiace w/ a woodworking class at my local community college to learn from an experianced person on how to use shop machines safley/properly but after that the class had not much more to offer that i hadnt already read about/practiced. there must be somekind of tests during trade school, is there any way i could get access to these online if they do exist. or is trade school just hands on training? thanks for the reply.

(post #156854, reply #3 of 22)

since you've already done that, an apprenticeship or job with someone who can mentor for you is the right way to go.

If you were in my neighborhood, I'd be calling you for a visit.


Excellence is its own reward!

"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.

The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

--Marcus Aurelius



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #156854, reply #4 of 22)

What part of the Chicago area? That could be a huge factor in which way you decide to go.  I live in Chicago so I might be able to point you somewhere to look.

(post #156854, reply #5 of 22)

i live in la grange (nw suburb). Why would my location be such a huge factor? 

(post #156854, reply #6 of 22)

any new suggestions/info from new faces is apreciated and/or needed

(post #156854, reply #7 of 22)

Join us!

We are a small Timber Frame company in SE Pennsylvaina doing High quality work.

It's great carpentry like no other.  I'll teach you whatever you want to learn...Acctualy, we can learn it together.

The more I learn...the more I don't know.

If you are young and amitous...the world is yours. (plus I lived in Milwaukee for a few's better out here.)



Do anything...even if it's wrong...It's not wrong...It's rustic!

Methods & Materials Building Co.

Authentic Timber Framing & Classic Carpentry


(post #156854, reply #8 of 22)

You allowed to hire Canajuns, being that what you do is specialized and so am I? A Whistler timber framer.

It's been a problem in the past putting American carp.s out of work and all.....Cheers,Phil.

If it is to be, 'twil be done by me..

(post #156854, reply #9 of 22)

Perhaps your post was written in Cajun?

Or beers too many you had New Years on? 

I don't understand. I want to put them to work...not out of it.

To me Timber Framing is the earliest and still the purest form of Carpentry. Regetably we all don't have the patience to endure a disertation of mine on why...but think about it...Most homes are built with "Two By Somthing". We call on the Saw mill and order "Whatevers" and go from there.

PLEASE DON'T misunderstand....I respect each and every CARPENTER out there...wheather working with wood or not. Our Building System (2x's) is the Envy of the world...I just like to be a little broader.

Be well


Do anything...even if it's wrong...It's not wrong...It's rustic!

Methods & Materials Building Co.

Authentic Timber Framing & Classic Carpentry


(post #156854, reply #12 of 22)

what you have to offer is most likely just what im looking for. but your far away and im not sure i would be able to make a living (or would i...).i am currently saving for a new van and some other machines. is it possible to go over ther for a few projects and make enough to survive while im there? profit isnt as much of a motive compared w/ learning. btw how long does it take to build a tf and what tools are needed.

(post #156854, reply #13 of 22)

Make a living.....Hmmm

Pay rates vary around here, but like that fellow said about working with several people...there are lots of opportunities here. And of course they vary in many ways.  Lets say and entry level guy around here gets 10-12$ per hour...If your single and can live in a small apartment say 4-600/month, perhaps with some room-mates...I'd say no problem.

What we do is craft the Structural Timber frame portion of the project in the shop then travel to the Job Site and erect the structure....Depending on size the whole process may take 1-3 months. Although this spring I'm doing a complete home (7-9 months) so you'll see a lot more.

Tools are simple and you would need basic hand tools. Oddly enough, they are what a veteran carpenter may carry...not necessarily a modern framer. (OK GANG...DON'T TRASH ME HERE...I'm sure I missed something)  A good starting tool budget is 500$

1-1/2" Mortise Chisel, Framing Square, Dividers, Block plane, Hand saws, Mallet, Brace, Bits and whatever power tools you like to complement the above.  I have most of the fancy power tools the shop needs.

Check out  for a look at what we do. (my web site is under construction)

Be well


Edited 1/4/2003 10:41:08 AM ET by Got Pegs?

Do anything...even if it's wrong...It's not wrong...It's rustic!

Methods & Materials Building Co.

Authentic Timber Framing & Classic Carpentry


(post #156854, reply #15 of 22)

sound good but am still not sure if i could make it. i dont know any one out there as far as roommate is concerned. what would i be doing as an individual on the job?and how much help are you looking for in other words how big of a crew would their be.  would love to learn i have all the tols minus the motise chisle.from the tools you mention it seems every thing is done the old fashioned way which to me is a plus i have experiane w/ hand cut joinery although not in TF obviosly. what would be my first step in persuing this?btw are you building the entire house start to finish?

(post #156854, reply #22 of 22)

This all sounds nice, but remember the Bible story about the guy who searched the world for a Diamond...only to find it in his own back yard after he returned. I'd look at home (region) first. Hey, Go to Milwaukee or Des Moines....There not that far.

Your 21....Ditto what Buck Said. like Nike says...Do it.  (or my friend...just do anything-even if it's wrong)

When I was 22 I took 2000$ and a friend and traveled the country for a summer...

I'd do it again in a split second!

If you would like to apply for a position, we can arrange a phone chat and an application. Remember, there is mutual risk and reward.

Be well!

Do anything...even if it's wrong...It's not wrong...It's rustic!

Methods & Materials Building Co.

Authentic Timber Framing & Classic Carpentry


(post #156854, reply #10 of 22)

Hi local,

    I can give you my recipe for success.  I was once in your position.  I am now 43 and have been doing carpentry/construction in one form or another for 25 years. Jimmy Carter was president when I entered the workforce and interest rates were 18%.  The economy was in recession and national patriotism was at an all time low.  I was determined to learn the trade of woodworking much as you seem now.  First I would suggest finding a builder with a good reputation for doing excellent work in your area and try to get yourself a job there.  I started with a home framer .  You are 21 which means to me you are a stud.  Hard work is good for the spirit and soul.  Framing may be a great start for you.  Once working in the trade you can network with other builders in your area.  Some may not agree with me here because this may seem to lack loyalty, but I changed jobs several times and worked with several excellent carpenters.  In this way I learned the best each had to teach me and it gave me a great background of knowledge.  Most carpenters have several things that they do very well and you can learn these things from each of them as you work with them.  I think as in any line of work it is best to find someone that you admire then try to emulate the things you like best about that person.  Don't be in too much of a rush to classify yourself as a topnotch craftsmen.  I found when I turned 35, after being a carpenter for 17 years I thought I was top flight, top notch and had arrived as a journeyman carpenter.  Except the funny thing is that over the last 8 years I have refined my skills and I have bettered myself.  I was too arrogant to think I could get better when I was 35 and too my astonishment I have even made myself better.  I like to tell people that I have 25 years experience and over 50,000 hours experience.  One more tip to remember, and this is true in all facets of life-----every year you will either improve or deteriorate in your work, relationships and in life in general.  You never really stay the same.  I make the same New Years resolution every year.  Improve.  Remember don't rush it, the hours of perseverance will pay off.

(post #156854, reply #11 of 22)

thank you for the positive reply i like what you had to say and have been considering doing framing if i could get the chance. i enjoy learning just as much knowing. whether i wind up learnig w/ someone who offers me the chance or just continuing to learn from my own mistakes/success i will continue to do this kind of work until i no longer get the satisfacion i do now. once again thanks for your advise.

(post #156854, reply #14 of 22)

I wish I could find an apprentice. Too bad you live in Chi. How about moving to NY?

(post #156854, reply #16 of 22)

what kind of work do you specializing in?

(post #156854, reply #17 of 22)

can any one tell me what kind of licence you need as a carpenter? no one has mentioned anything about getting any license.

(post #156854, reply #18 of 22)

My specialty for the past ten years has been almost anything built in a shop for residential housing. This ranges from custom furniture and cabinets to decorative roof trusses and fittings for new high end homes or historical restorations and rehabs. Before that I worked on residential construction crews where the job was frame to finnish. I gave that up when I finally got tired of working out in sub-zero weather, and the work load in the shop was too much to do both. Not a hard decision. The main drawback is the lack of young people interested in learning carpentry and the building industry in general.

(post #156854, reply #19 of 22)

im interested in your work i have a small shop myself that i am adding machines to when i can. its a concern to me that your so far away relocating inst out of the question for me i just want to make sure it would be apropriate before such a big comitment/investment. i have experiance w/ some of the thing youve mentioned but it is mostly basic. do you know of any one in my area that could help me? thanks

(post #156854, reply #20 of 22)

One thought was for you to contact the instructor of the course you took, another is to make some hanbills and put them up at some of the local *real* building supply houses.

(post #156854, reply #21 of 22)

PA has no licensing of carps.'re 21.....either move or don't.....but Pa's gonna be cheaper than any chicago suburb......and ya ain't gonna find out over the internet...maybe visit?

You're young....think about taking a chance on a great matter where ya move.

Once again.....21.....ya can always move back! You ever hear of mac and cheese?

21......get on with it.

cheap beer and chicks.....a car that mostly're 21!

Way into the future when yer 36 like'll think back to those good and bad decisions and be glad ya made them both. There's lotsa life outside of the home town when yer 21.

Just don't screw up so bad ya can't return to the home town if ya want when you're an old man of 36.


Buck Construction   Pittsburgh,PA

 Fine Carpentery.....While U Waite                  

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa