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· Registered
5,442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It takes Years. early in my career, (about 5 years in) I thought i was on top of my game. I started working with Mike A, he was 7 years older than me, and had been at it for at least 14 years. He had a big box truck called THE WUBBIE, Loaded and organized. I remember one day in particular that we worked together, we where installing cedar perfections on a gable end, ground level, returns, Big windows to work around, pretty cut up. This house had 2 gables, he instructed me to set up, work on one, he would work on the other. This was my opportunity to smoke the boss..Now let me describe mike, a little stockie, maybe pudgie Italian guy, he was a technician in all areas of construction, we would build from the ground up, (In House) and there where 4 of us. Mike moved SLOWLY, but never wasted a step, he would spend and hour setting up a job, safely, and efficiently, he would have mid day cleanups to organize his work area. He would never leave the job unorganized at the end of the day. He would set up an area as soon as we arrived on a new job, this area would hold all our hardware, tools, screws, caulking, you name it, he spent time and money keeping it stocked and organized.. Now let me describe myself at the time.....Lets GO GO GO, No need to take the time to set up that scaffold, i will do it all off this ladder, STOP TO CLEAN UP:eek:, are you crazy, that will cut into production time. Lets work till 6 producing, we will clean up tommorrow. Shortcut, where is the shortcut, walk fast, almost run around the job, because i am the fastest and the best:no:. Well here is my chance to smoke the boss, he walks slow, he moves slow, he is always calm. me, i am a ball of energy, SUPERCARPENTER. As the day progressed, and he plotted along, neat and organized, I continued my high wire act, over the bushes, leaning till it hurt, tripping over my cords and cutoffs. Holy ****, he has more shingles up, and his work looks tighter, i dont understand, he is barely moving. By the end of the day, he doubled my production, he smiled, looked just as calm as he did when we first started, i looked in amazement, determined to figure out what he had that i did not, years later i realized, at that time, he was a carpenter, i was not, thats what it means to me. GMOD

· I like Green things
24,340 Posts
Well said. I remember being like that. I remember trying to work like that too, killed me.

It's like the joke:
Baby Bull and Papa Bull were standing on top of the hill, looking at the herd.
Baby Bull says: "Let's run down there and 'make relations' with one of those heffers."
Papa Bull says: "How 'bout we walk down there and 'make relations' with them all?" :shifty:

Being organized and effecient will save guys a couple hours of lost production a day.
It takes me 4 hours to do what I did in 10 hours, ten years ago.
It takes me 3 hours to do what I did in 4 1/2 hours Three years ago.

I am happy to put in a nice steady 6 hours a day of actual labor per day,
with about 30-45 minutes alloted each day for set-up and break-down.

I get bored when nothing challenges me in a day of work, I am actually starting to loathe doing those taks.
I like to learn something new each day, or a better way to go about it.

I am trying to walk now, it is more enjoyable.

· wannabe
2,316 Posts
There's a running joke with me and the few still around....

when I was green a few of us had beers after work and I said..."all I want to be is a carpenter"...I was 21 doing grunt work all day while the crew was doing cool stuff. I hated being a grunt.

I would come home and watch, This Old House, the the New Yankee Workshop, and I hung on all the talk I didn't understand at the time...

I looked up to those guys 'cause they had something I didnt....

somewhere along the line I crossed the threshold.....what got me where I am was realizing that I was working for the crew (make them happy) not the office.....

· Registered
4,220 Posts
My opinion on a carpenter is anyone who has the tools and who has either been doing it a while, or is just starting out but has a willingness to learn. A laborer is someone who doesn't want to learn but just wants to clean up garbage and pack lumber.

When I first started out, I purchased all the tools and was ready to go out and learn the trade, improve my skills. If anyone called me a laborer, I'd say screw you, I'm a carpenter.
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