Top Tips for Carpentry Beginners!
Deciding what career path to go down can often be an extremely daunting task; and even once you have selected a specific path, things may still seem stressful and unclear. ‘What is the first step towards success within my desired industry?’ is a question that many ask themselves during the early days of their career.
If you have thought about delving deep into the world of Carpentry; but don't know where to begin, you have already unknowingly taken your first step by finding this blog post! We have created this informative and advice-based piece for anyone who is interested in a career in Carpentry. Whatever your age, knowledge or skill of the industry, we hope this piece finds you well and steers you in the right direction.
We have teamed up with UK based, Industry expert, Andrew Walker, whose knowledge, experience AND portfolio is second to none, in hope that we can uncover and share insider tips and tricks and inspire many to venture into this highly skilled and creative industry.
To anyone who is new to our blog, we may need to get you up to speed with who Andrew is and what he has achieved with the world of Carpentry! The Leicestershire based Carpenter has always aspired to work within a creative and hands on industry; and at a young age he found himself hairdressing by day, designing cool and creative woodwork by night; and climbing and exploring National Parks on the weekend!
Andrew found great inspiration in his father’s friend Alan; who always had an incredible eye and talent for woodwork. “My father’s friend Alan was a trained Carpenter, who taught me everything I needed to know about the industry”, explained Andrew, as he recalled his younger days in the trade.
As Andrew grew, so did his knowledge and growth within the industry, the now self-employed Bespoke Carpenter, had a handful of jobs over the years, within a variety of sectors, from being a site foreman to a factory worker before then deciding to go at it alone and start his very own Carpentry Company.
From fitting fancy kitchens to creating magnificent dining tables, Andrew has certainly experienced and created a great deal within this sector and can therefore give detailed advice to those considering a Carpentry Career!
Below, we have listed and explained all of Andrew’s top tips for Carpentry beginners:
- “Find someone to shadow, a lot of people are more than happy to have a companion and helping hand; at the end of the day, you’re going to be helping them out too! They may ask you to complete jobs, such as sanding edges down, as well as organising their tools, all of which will help you learn and grow within the industry. More often than not, these professionals will have high quality tools as well; so it gives you the opportunity to work with decent tools, which will then help you recognise all of the things you need to work well within the trade!”
- “I think it’s worthwhile to understand what type of carpentry you like, for example, I was inspired by Alan’s creations; as he would carve cool images, such as the outline of leaves onto the tabletop using hand chisels. I think it’s important to know what inspires you and what you actually enjoy, whether it’s fitting and finishing domestic jobs, such as kitchens; dining areas and staircases, or creating bespoke bowls, spoons and chopping boards, I would definitely recommend knowing what it is you like before starting. Knowing this will also help you find the right person to shadow and gain experience off.
- “Invest in beginners tools, you don’t need to initially buy top of the range, expensive products, rather you can go to an antique shop or car boot sale and find older tools; that are in my opinion, still really good! This way it can be an inexpensive start up. The first tools that I would personally recommend and therefore you should look for are: A Tape Measure, Wood Plain, Stanley Knife, Combination Square, a Circular Saw and Sandpaper (oh and a pencil, make sure you always have a pencil at the ready”!
- “Another piece of advice would be to try and source cheap wood to begin with, old pallets are often great for practicing joints, it doesn't matter if it goes wrong; and if it goes right, bonus… You’ve got yourself a cool product!"
- “Remember that practice makes perfect. You’re going to make mistakes, it’s important to learn from them”.
- “Take your safety seriously, I remember one time, I was on my phone while working (don’t do this, avoid being on your phone while working, the job requires great focus), and I had a tea towel to polish something I was making, the tea towel got caught in my machinery and a large splinter went straight through my finger. I also forget to wear Safety Glasses on the job and had a horrible accident that resulted in me losing my sight for a month, so make sure you have all the proper protective gear on before you attempt any creations”.
- “Growth is important too, so make sure you are adventurous in your creations, even now, after years in the trade, I’m still growing and becoming more adventurous trying new things out”.
If you would like to find out more about Andrew Walker and his journey into the world of carpentry, be sure to check out our blog posts dedicated to the talented carpenter, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the trade. We would also highly recommend checking out Andrew’s very own Instagram page, where he uploads his latest creations! @AWMAKER
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this post; and can take something away from it. If you have any questions or require any further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! Simply leave a comment below and we will get back to you.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for new content COMING SOON!
The ToolFreak Team!