Posted by Vik | Posted in Carpenters Job | Posted on 25-11-2010
Carpentry is quite a diverse profession where each person has a specific job to do and a well-chalked out role to play. While reading articles on carpentry, you may have come across different terms assigned to people and you may have wondered what their daily work actually includes. Let’s take a look at 2 such profiles:
- Bench Joiners: As the name suggests, a bench joiner does all his work in the workshop itself. He prepares and assembles windows as well as doors and staircases making them all ready for immediate installation. Bench joiners also create fitted furniture such as kitchen cupboards, wardrobes, cabinets and all other fixtures. His day begins quite early and depending on the project at hand; the work can also be quite stressful and demanding at times. The bench joiner has to go over blueprints for a project and first make a list of all the fixtures that need to be made. He then needs to decide which wood to work with (after consulting with the client) and gets all the supplies necessary for getting the job done. He also has to make drawings of all the furniture required with the dimensions specified. The bench joiner is responsible for all the carpentry work done from start to finish. After the job is done, he then hands over the finished furniture and fixtures directly to the construction site or may ask the client to pick it up.
- Site Carpenters: These carpenters only work on the site and usually work with a set of basic tools like a cordless drill, a circular saw, hammer, nails, screws etc. It is the site carpenter’s job to install all the fixtures and other items that the bench joiner has made, in the designated places. In some cases, a site carpenter may be asked to install hinges for all the doors or even install wooden frames for the building structure. His work involves quite a bit of manual labour and his day isn’t over till the work is over. Depending on the number of fixtures to be installed, the time required for the work can range from a few days to even weeks. If there is anything wrong with a particular fixture or any last minute adjustments to be made; the site carpenter may do so by himself or take the particular fixture back to the bench joiner.
Next week, we’ll take a look at 2 more carpentry profiles and the different responsibilities that come with each profile.
Posted by Vik | Posted in Carpenters Job | Posted on 17-11-2010
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Although we often talk about the importance of power tools in carpentry; we forget to mention the humble nail which does an even more important task of holding things together. Different types of nails are used in carpentry depending on what they are meant for. As a rule of thumb; nails are sold based on length, longer nails give a better grip than shorter ones whereas cut nails have more advantages than wire nails. When purchasing nails for a job, consider getting galvanised nails which are rust resistant or nails made from metals like brass and copper. Here’s a list of the different types of nails used by carpenters at work-
- Round Wire Nail: They may not enhance the look of a finished piece but are great when the emphasis is on strength. These round head nails are ideal for use on wood.
- Tack: A tack is a short nail mostly used for projects which involve fabric- such as for fixing carpets to floorboards.
- Oval Wire Nail: These nails are thin and long in appearance and usually used when two or more pieces are joined together.
- Round Nail: These nails are similar to oval wire nails in appearance but are stronger and can be punched below a piece of wood’s surface.
- Panel Pin: These are lightweight and therefore great for small fixtures or for making cupboards where small nail holes are needed. They can be used for small beads and mouldings too.
- Masonry Nail: These steel nails are extremely sturdy and used for different kinds of masonry work, such as for attaching wood to a surface of bricks.
- Square Twisted Nail: These are slightly expensive but have a very firm grip, which is a must when working with hard materials like wood.
- Spring head Roofing Nail: This kind of nail is perfect for fixing corrugated sheets on to timber.
- Cut Clasp Nail: These nails once used are very hard to remove and are apt for pre-drilling masonry or for use on wood.
- Hardboard Nail: These are used on hardboards and look very neat after they are hammered into the wood.
- Sprig: These little nails play a very important part in attaching a glass pane to the window frame. They are usually unseen because a layer of putty keeps them covered.
- Upholstery Nail: These are used along with tacks and are available in chrome, brass and metallic finishes. When used, they give a stylish look to the furniture and are often used in chairs to enhance the neat look.
Posted by Vik | Posted in Carpenters Job | Posted on 09-11-2010
No matter how good you are at your work, whether you ultimately get a job contract in hand or not depends on your reputation and on the carpentry work estimate that you give your client. Although it’s important to be paid for your hard work and the number of hours you put in, attempts to overcharge a client to increase your profit will not get you far. Bear in mind that expenses per se come under two categories- General Overhead expenses which include factors like rent, insurance etc and Variable expenses which are incurred because of the specific job at hand such as waste removal, special materials etc. Here’s what you need to do in order to make a carpentry estimate-
- Be honest: Meeting the client face to face allows you to discuss the project and the specifics in better detail. You need to ask the client about the work he wants to get done, about any time restrictions or any other limitations that you need to be aware of. Suggest different options to the client and be honest about what meets his requirements best. Most clients lay out a budget and ask carpenters to get the work done within the specified amount. Taking down notes allows you to make the correct estimate.
- Labour cost- It is likely that the client may have taken quotes from other carpenters as well, so it’s important to have a competitive rate for the total cost of labour. Keep in mind the number of workers required, their daily wages and the number of days needed to complete the job. Take time to correctly assess the size of the team you will need.
- List the materials required. A client needs to be assured that you are the right person for the job and also that he is not being overcharged. List the cost of materials and special equipment which needs to be purchased or hired and include the quantity and relevant delivery charges.
- Consider time required. Most carpenters make the mistake of overcharging clients for the project or purposely take longer to complete the work, in order to increase profits. Just as you wouldn’t like to pay more for something that can be purchased at a lower rate, neither would a client. Be fair in your estimate and remember that a satisfied client can lead to more projects in the future.
- Submit your bid. Once you have worked out the total cost, call the client to fix another meeting. Giving the client your estimate in person adds a personal touch to and allows the client to go over the details with you. If the client has any questions, you can clear his doubts and make changes in the estimate if so required. Always take time to explain the estimate clearly so that your client knows you can be trusted.
Remember that clients love a carpenter who quotes a fair price and who gives great customer service too. So, always wear a smile and be ready to rework any estimate if asked!