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How to choose an online woodworking course

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Posted by Vik | Posted in Carpenters Job | Posted on 23-03-2011

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1284421 workshop How to choose an online woodworking courseAny carpentry course that you take should open your mind to new ideas and techniques which you did not know before. These days, there are plenty of good courses online which make applying for your desired specialization easier as well. What should you keep in mind before applying for an online woodworking course and how can you maximise your learning experience?

-       The course that you apply for should be a comprehensive one. It doesn’t make sense if you apply for an online course in a hurry only to find out later that they didn’t teach you so many essential things that every woodworker should know. Analyse the curriculum of any course before signing up for one. It should include a list of materials required, tools needed and details about the wood required for every project. Any plan should also have clear cut instructions preferably with images for better understanding so that even a beginner will not have trouble understanding it. Unless each instruction has been dealt with in further detail in an easy to understand style, a novice will not get the right training he seeks.

-       How many woodworking plans are you paying for? Reputed woodworking courses structure their material in such a way so as to cater to a wide audience comprising of apprentices, novices, experienced craftsmen and experts. The idea is to sign up for a course that gives you a general idea about how to work on furniture for different purposes, for example how to create  furniture for all the rooms in a house. The right course hones your skills in multiple ways so that you are confident about taking up any kind of project.

-       If you are a novice who’s keen on learning as much as possible from an online course, go for one that gives you plenty of additional material in the form of video tutorials, manuals and at least suggest other study material and e-books that are beneficial for you. There’s plenty of great material on woodworking available on the Internet itself, but ideally, the suggested reading material should also be easily available where you live. It will help you get into more in-depth details about woodworking and also help you understand the craft better.

It pays to spend some time surfing the Internet for an online woodworking course which caters to your level of expertise. There are plenty of websites which offer reviews of such courses as well and if you spend some time studying them, you will be able to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each course before registering for one.

How should you prepare an estimate for a job

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Posted by Vik | Posted in Carpenters Job | Posted on 14-03-2011

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1148665 instability    How should you prepare an estimate for a jobPreparing an estimate for a client is often a tough task for a carpenter. Although a client would want the best possible rate, it’s also important to ensure that you don’t under-sell your time and expertise. On the other hand, over quoting could hurt your credibility and you could get labelled as an ‘ expensive’ carpenter. So, how should you handle such a situation?

Firstly, it is very important that a carpenter stay aware of the latest market rates and have an idea about what other carpenters are charging. This helps you decide your price line and also gives you a reason to defend your rate as long as it’s reasonable. Secondly, what kind of a client is it? Is it a regular client who could need work done from time to time or a one-off client who doesn’t look like he may approach you again? Thirdly, you need to know the cost of materials, tools, extra labour and other related expenses that you will incur for the project.

Some carpenters prefer to charge an hourly rate to their clients. While a client may worry about whether a carpenter will delay completing the work on time, in most cases this concern is baseless because every hour of charged labour is expected to produce some output. For a carpenter, an hourly rate is beneficial because it helps in making big bucks, you get to choose which projects are worth working on, almost all the expenses incurred are indirectly borne by the client and you can even work on multiple projects in a single day. Other carpenters may prefer to make their estimate based on Time & Materials used. Here, the carpenter lets the client know how much time is required on his part to complete the job and also the total cost of materials used. They both then decide on an agreeable rate which can either be an hourly rate or a fixed price for the project as a whole.

So what are the factors you should bear in mind when making a price estimate? Your expenses are divided into ‘ General Overheads’ which refer to the cost of running your business on a daily basis and ‘Variable Expenses’ which refer to the cost of materials, labour and other miscellaneous expenses incurred. The cost of materials should include everything from adhesives to screws and should be the latest market figures too. Don’t forget to include the cost of additional labour if they are required onsite. Some projects may also require you to dispose of materials at allocated sites and could include a dumping fee as well and this cost should be mentioned also. Travelling expenses (if you need to travel a long distance to get to the project site) and the cost of permits can also be included in the final estimate. Make sure that you work on estimates when you are free and with a clear mind, so that you do not leave out any essential expenses. Your cost estimate should be easy to understand so that your client can understand what he is paying for.

Basic tools for you tool box

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Posted by Vik | Posted in Carpenters Job | Posted on 05-03-2011

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1152932 screws Basic tools for you tool boxA carpenter’s toolbox is such a handy companion- it’s something he relies on every now and then to get a job done. After all, every carpenter is comfortable working with certain tools and knows what he can use to his advantage any time a need arises. So, what should your toolbox contain?

Let’s start with the box itself. Choose one that is made from sturdy wood and which is weatherproof as well, so that you don’t have to worry about your box falling apart if it gets damp. Secondly, make sure it has a good handle which can carry the weight of the box itself plus that of the tools in it. Thirdly, make sure that your toolbox has plenty of compartments because tools vary in size and different compartments make it easier for you to store your tools properly. It’s advisable to invest in a tool belt as well, so that if you have to fix a roof or climb a ladder, you won’t be faced with the inconvenience of carrying one tool at a time. Here’s an overview of the best tools to have in your toolbox-

-       Invest in a good quality hammer like a Claw Hammer which is best for driving nails into wood. Go for one which has a synthetic handle so that it isn’t too heavy in your hand.

-       Your screwdriver set should contain a few Flathead Screwdrivers because they are ideal for driving in screws and for other small jobs. Although these days, the Philips Screwdriver which has a four star point at the end is more commonly used.

-       A Crescent Wrench which has a sliding jaw allows you to customize the width of the wrench depending on the nuts and bolts you are working with. If you are working on a job which is more time consuming, you may find that a Socket Wrench is a handier tool to work with.

-       A locking plier is a versatile tool to work with and is a favourite with many carpenters. Needle nose pliers are a must for electricians because it can easily fit into even the smallest spaces and do its job effectively.

-       Don’t forget your retracting tape to help you take accurate measurements when you’re on the job.

-       A quality cordless drill is great for drilling holes or for driving in screws and because it is a cordless, you don’t have to worry about finding a socket in order to use it either! Go for one that gives you plenty of power, has multiple speeds, has a reversible feature and which isn’t heavy for you to carry either.

-       A good Crosscut Saw is useful when you’re working with wood and be sure to buy only a reputed brand.

-       It may sound out of place in a carpenter’s toolbox but a Utility Knife is just the tool you’ll be rummaging for when you need to cut or scrape something.

Make sure that your tool box has different compartments. Keep your heavier tools in the lower slots and smaller tools such as pliers, nuts and bolts in the upper slots.