Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

Things that seem to be disappearing

20620 Views 125 Replies 51 Participants Last post by  Dustincoc
The inspiration for this thread came from over at decks and fencing when talking about Drills and augers and how I'd recognized people use their cordless drills for heavy duty drilling instead of using a real drill. Here are a few other things I see disappearing in the age of what I like to call the "Home Depot cordless screw gun contractor"

#1 Hand drive nails....just simply outdated or are they? Is it no one knows how to drive them by hand? I've seen deck framers actually frame their decks w/screws.

#2 Framing squares and the ability to read "the numbers on them".....With the proliferation of trusses you might have to do a little overframing in hips and valleys....ah just tape em for the measurement....soffitt will cover any mistakes

#3 Plumb Bobs, water levels......lazers changed this. For long distances I still maintain water level is the most accurate

#4 Combination square...replaced by speed square...at least this one doesn't poke you in the leg all day long

#5 Lumber grading that makes sense....Don't stamp it #1 if it has knots as big as my knee

#6 Carpenters that are true Carpenters and not just one trick ponies

I could go on, so much has changed, I just don't want to completely change with it. If it sounds like a lament it's because it is. Feel free to add more. I already know a lot of the old timers on here, so I expect to hear from them
1 - 20 of 126 Posts
Irish cant agree more. Lots of new generation guys get shafted bc most people are specializing. When I started out we built the whole house concrete to trim. (Minus plumbing and electric)
We never framed with trusses. All hand cut.
Sometimes, things come along that just make our jobs easier and more accurate.

I can't imagine either a plumber or an electrician would trade their reciprocating saw or right angle drill in for an older method.

If I've got only a few nails to drive, it's hammer time. When framing a basement, the toys are worth setting up.
Sad but true---So many younger guys have no clue about door hanging----or even own a good set of chisels---
  • Like
Reactions: Elyrain
I've only been working in carpentry/trades for 4 years or so and I never grew up around anyone who knew how to use tools. I do my best to learn the original methods and tools before grabbing the newest and most efficient ones. This doesn't always make sense but without knowing the roots of a method or practice, its hard to have confidence running the modern shortcut.
I still hand bang some times. I was doing it yesterday putting blocking in the deck we are doing. One of my laborers came over and goes "you know the nailer is right here" I was like I know and he gave me a funny look. I should race him some day. Me hand bang, him gun, would be fun
How about a good cross cut or rip saw, just don't see them used much anymore. Yankee screwdriver, when is the last time saw one around, let alone being used?
I agree completely.

I hand banged (wow that sounds dirty) a shed a few weeks ago, and it was great! I'd rather hear the *ping* of a framing hammer than a compressor any day.

Without going through it all, the older tools may take longer, but I think that's the beauty of being a craftsman. It takes a bit longer, but the end result is better.

As far as the one trick ponies, I think that's a result of our push towards specialization and speed. The people at the top would rather have a few guys who are good at drywall, and a few guys who are good at framing, and a few guys who are good at trim, and possibly have to hire multiple crews for this, than have a few guys who can do it all.

I think this is also what drives the wages down. A guy who can only do one thing is cheaper than a guy who is good at all aspects of the trade. It may be cheaper to use specialty trades in the long run, but it really diminishes what the trade is capable of as a whole.

I just did a scaffold job and a sheet went around to clarify who was a carpenter and a laborer. The one guy said he wouldn't call himself a carpenter, more of a "pin banger". Granted, he was good at what he did, but I think he'd be lost if you put some base trim in front of him. It's sad.
Those things are a given and certainly acceptable by my standards. What I have a problem with is seeing someone chuck a 4 1/2" hole saw into a cordless drill and burn through 2 batteries to get a hole through a tuff 2x
Sometimes, things come along that just make our jobs easier and more accurate.

I can't imagine either a plumber or an electrician would trade their reciprocating saw or right angle drill in for an older method.

If I've got only a few nails to drive, it's hammer time. When framing a basement, the toys are worth setting up.
  • Like
Reactions: EMINNYS
Yankees were the chit for adjusting bi fold doors
How about a good cross cut or rip saw, just don't see them used much anymore. Yankee screwdriver, when is the last time saw one around, let alone being used?
I definitely see so many people unwilling to plug in a high torque drill and instead blow out 18v guns that struggle through material.
If opening 4 1/2" holes is something that a trade does often, then they obviously should have a corded tool and if they don't then they are just...well either cheap or stupid.
Those things are a given and certainly acceptable by my standards. What I have a problem with is seeing someone chuck a 4 1/2" hole saw into a cordless drill and burn through 2 batteries to get a hole through a tuff 2x
Not many carpenters left I am only 40 but I find I am the old Guy one site. I am the one with the tricks up my sleeves even. When I am wearing short sleeves
  • Like
Reactions: CanningCustom
Yep. That's a good one. I get called upon every now and then to replace wood slabs in metal frames. Few have the accuracy, the know how, or the tools.
Sad but true---So many younger guys have no clue about door hanging----or even own a good set of chisels---
I carry a yankee in my box. I am only 24 years old, but they can be invaluable for doing commercial door hardware if you dont have a cordless on the job
How about a good cross cut or rip saw, just don't see them used much anymore. Yankee screwdriver, when is the last time saw one around, let alone being used?
Where can one find a Yankee screwdriver these days?
ubcguy89 said:
I carry a yankee in my box. I am only 24 years old, but they can be invaluable for doing commercial door hardware if you dont have a cordless on the job
Hand banging framing always draws the joints up tighter.. I still give it a tap sometimes after shooting a wall together:rolleyes:
  • Like
Reactions: Irishslave
I am 24 I can cut rafters, build stairs, hand nail, make my own water level, I use combo squares every now and then. I know how to profeciently read a framing square. I thank my unions training center for all this, but I would have forgot most of it, since I am in commercial construction, but I went the extra mile to learn it. They taught rafters. I went out and found a side job framing an attached garage shortly after. Guess what I can cut my own rafters. They taught me stairs I went and built a few more on the weekends for people. I am not the best at everything, but I knew this was going to be my career, and I made it a promise to myself that I was going to be the best that I can be in all aspects of my trade. I was going to learn as much as possible and go as far as I can possibly go. Well I run work now for a commercial contractor now and I will tell you if I had a laser on the job and some guy was using a water level and a 2'er for ceilings his layoff check would be here that afternoon. With that being said I still use plumb bobs for door jambs. But it comes down to time and time is money. and the more money I make my contractor the more likely I am to stay working
The inspiration for this thread came from over at decks and fencing when talking about Drills and augers and how I'd recognized people use their cordless drills for heavy duty drilling instead of using a real drill. Here are a few other things I see disappearing in the age of what I like to call the "Home Depot cordless screw gun contractor"

#1 Hand drive nails....just simply outdated or are they? Is it no one knows how to drive them by hand? I've seen deck framers actually frame their decks w/screws.

#2 Framing squares and the ability to read "the numbers on them".....With the proliferation of trusses you might have to do a little overframing in hips and valleys....ah just tape em for the measurement....soffitt will cover any mistakes

#3 Plumb Bobs, water levels......lazers changed this. For long distances I still maintain water level is the most accurate

#4 Combination square...replaced by speed square...at least this one doesn't poke you in the leg all day long

#5 Lumber grading that makes sense....Don't stamp it #1 if it has knots as big as my knee

#6 Carpenters that are true Carpenters and not just one trick ponies

I could go on, so much has changed, I just don't want to completely change with it. If it sounds like a lament it's because it is. Feel free to add more. I already know a lot of the old timers on here, so I expect to hear from them
  • Like
Reactions: 91782
One of my first looks into conventional framing was this video I found at the library with a framer named Larry Haun. This guy moved faster with a hammer than most guys I see shooting guns. I think he died a few years ago but this guy made me want to hand nail everything. Very efficient carpenter.
That WAS the name of his book. How apropos.
dielectricunion said:
Very efficient carpenter.
1 - 20 of 126 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top