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Hunting Miters ...a better choice
Cutting & Coping Crown Molding Every cope can fit perfectly on the first try.
Warwick Area Career and Technical School A construction trades program in Warwick, RI
Book Review: From the Top Plates Up A Production Roof Framer’s Journey
Making a Murphy Bed A critical, space-saving project.
Nine Thirteen Interiors A team that respects the craft
Production & Precision Woodworking ...that won't break the bank.
Ten Rod Road Episode 3
Oregon Tradeswomen Feminism in the construction industry

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Oregon Tradeswomen

Feminism in the construction industry

“We have deeply ingrained ideas about what women are qualified to do, or want to do. So many women aren’t even aware of career paths that are available to them. Part of our intention is for women to know, ‘you’re needed, and you’re wanted.’”

Mary Ann Naylor has been working with Oregon Tradeswomen for more than a decade. Her educational background in sociology, political science, and women’s studies makes her a perfect fit as the Communications and Marketing Director of a non-profit organization that challenges the notion that women aren’t allowed or accepted on jobsites or in the trades. Read the full article…

Production & Precision Woodworking

Have you ever wondered how a furniture builder can replicate several pieces that are all exactly the same without the use of any fancy CNC machines? Well fortunately there is a method that won’t break the bank, and can be done in a reasonable amount of time. All it requires is some scrap wood or MDF (your choice), a pencil and straight edge for marking lines, a French curve if you want to get extra fancy, blue tape, CA glue, and a router with two different types of pattern cutting bits—one top bearing and one bottom bearing.

Read the full article…

Nine Thirteen Interiors

Producing the Katz Roadshow has provided benefits I never imagined. One reward has been the almost electrical experience of meeting carpenters who share the same passion for craftsmanship—which in our business also means a passion for productivity and solid profits; a passion for education and teamwork; a deep distaste for waste, and an eye for almost microscopic detail—all of which can be summed up in a single word: Respect. Since we first began publishing THISisCarpentry, our mission statement has been “Honor Your Craft.” You could just as well put it: Respect Your Craft.

Read the full article…

Book Review: From the Top Plates Up

If you’re building today you’ve probably succumbed to the demands of the ubiquitous smartphone, being assaulted with job-related texts, emails, and notifications—not to mention Instagrams from Mike Guertin and tips from Gary Katz on THISisCarpentry.

As much as I love technology, it can be a relief to take an afternoon off, and just hold and read a book. This is exactly what I did when my roof framing expert and friend, Will Holladay, emailed me asking if I would review his latest book, “From the Top Plates Up: A Production Roof Framer’s Journey.”

Read the full article…

Warwick Area Career and Technical School

As a kid, Michael wasn’t known as a strong student. He got into trouble a lot, or maybe trouble found him. “My parents weren’t saving for college,” Michael says, “they were saving for bail.”

Michael Haynes grew up on a family farm in a blue-collar rural area of Warwick, Rhode Island. His parents worked hard to make ends meet. Both his father and uncle built their own houses from the ground up. Michael learned how to work hard and how to work with his hands.

When Haynes entered high school, he decided to combine traditional learning with technical studies in construction by attending West Bay Vocational School (WBVS) in Coventry, Rhode Island. Like a lot of tradespeople, Michael discovered he wasn’t a poor student, he simply learned better with his hands than with a chalkboard. In fact, at WBVS, Haynes excelled at learning and soon found a trade that could support his future. Read the full article…

Cutting & Coping Crown Molding

Raise your hand if you have ever cut what you thought was a perfect crown cope only to find out it was open on the top or bottom? I’m raising my hand, too!

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about how copes work: for many carpenters, pressured by the need to ‘get the job done,’ cope joints are mysterious puzzles they haven’t the time or the patience to solve. But if we understand what makes a coped joint work then every cope can fit perfectly on the first try. Read the full article…

Hunting Miters

Carpentry is more than a job for me, more than just a trade, and more than a profession, too. Carpentry is rooted deep within me, along with my Swedish origin. I know this for a fact because I spend more time appreciating other carpenters’ work, and appreciating architectural ornamentation, than I spend doing anything else in my life—other than installing finish work, of course.

I return to Europe regularly, to visit family—at least that’s the excuse I use, but in truth, the siren of historic architecture lures me. I’ve taken so many photographs of architectural details that I can’t keep track of them. One detail that has always intrigued me is the hunting miter—a curved miter joint used when straight moldings and curved moldings intersect. Read the full article…

Ten Rod Road: Episode 2

Some of you suspected the same thing that I did. And we were right to be suspicious. The reason I had so much trouble getting the real estate broker to accept my offer was because there was another buyer! Apparently, another investor was so sure the deal was done that he hired a structural engineer to evaluate the house and submit a report to the town stating the home was unsafe for habitation. That was the strategy! If the town issued an “Order to Demolish,” then they’d have to issue a permit to replace the existing home. But the “Order to Demolish” came to ME! Read the full article…

Custom Tool Tote

Years ago, after all the trips back and forth to my truck for small hand tools began to tire me out more than the work, I started carrying a milk crate, fitted with a shoulder sling. But all the smallest tools, and the screws, driver bits, drill bits, wrenches, etc., ended up in a confused mess at the bottom.

I needed something I could organize and something I could stand on, something that would get me to the very top of a 6/8 door, something that would help me reach the pins on an 8-ft. door, something that would let me see over the top shelf in a closet. And I wanted something I could sit on, too, while chiseling tricky mortises in a jamb or drinking a cup of coffee on a break. Read the full article…

Ten Rod Road: The Journal of a Pro-Remodel

Not too long ago both of my wife’s parents passed and after about six months she took charge and decided to have their modest house fixed up and put on the market. A week later, sales agreements were signed with a 30-day closing date. Now the pressure was on to find a new place for her youngest brother who would need a new place to live.

My brother-in-law’s new place needed to be nearby, small, maintenance free, low cost and preferably not an apartment or condominium type complex.

As luck would have it, or at least that’s what it seemed like at the time, my wife noticed a “For Sale” sign in front of a very small property less than two miles from our house. Read the full article…

Framing A Patio Cover

Most contractors and carpenters are familiar with ‘once in a lifetime jobs.’ For some of us, a once-in-a-lifetime job is simply having a client that appreciates your work, and when the job is finished, doesn’t complain about your final invoice (with all the extras!). Instead, they just write you a check and say thank you, from the heart.

But this article isn’t about one of those once-in-a-lifetime jobs. This is about one of those jobs where you have to stretch your skills, learn techniques you never imagined using, and make something that’s truly memorable. That was the experience I’ve had working with Gary Katz, especially building his new patio cover—a faux timber-frame challenge of design, layout, and joinery. Read the full article…