master carpentry

Unlocking the Secrets of Master Carpentry: Dive into ‘Talking Carpentry: Part 2’

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

As we know with all trades there’s the

Unlocking the Secrets of Master Carpentry: Dive into ‘Talking Carpentry: Part 2’

Ever wondered what it’s like to swap a desk for a building site? Is it daunting to think about working with your hands, working at different locations, learning a skill that can be employed almost anywhere in the world? In our latest video, we invite you to step into the shoes of a master carpenter and experience a day in the life of a working on a building site. We get hands-on with drywall work, carpentry, and even an intriguing renovation project, bringing an old door back to life.

But this isn’t just about the tasks, it’s about understanding the appeal. Ever felt the thrill of creating something tangible, something that’ll stand the test of time? Ever wondered what it’s like to see a blueprint transform into a building right before your eyes? Or how it feels to preserve a piece of history in a remodel? That’s the daily reality of a master carpenter.

Sure, there’s dust and there’s hard work, but there’s also creativity, problem-solving, and the satisfaction of a job well done. So, why not swap that never changing office view and cubicle for a changing landscape of dynamic building sites?

So, are you content to sit beyond a desk all day, or are you ready to explore the satisfaction of creating with your hands? Do you have what it takes to shape the world around you as a master carpenter? Join us on this journey and who knows, you might just discover a new passion for the trades.

Video Transcript

Well, just noticing your shoes – they look like you’ve been icing a cake or something, you know? Before I got here, I spent a couple days with Lydia, and she makes drywall work look really easy. But in fact, I was really bad at it. Yeah, she’s definitely got a lot of practice – she’s pretty good. I was looking terrible at the end of the day; I dropped a lot of mud on myself.

Let me show you my place of work. I have a feeling I won’t get dust mode on me, but I got a little dust in the workshop – yeah, a little bit of sawdust. It’s definitely easier to clean off. It’s fun to finally be here, Zach, ’cause I’m used to seeing this background in all your Build Show Network videos. Uh, plus you get a little project in the workshop.

What are we working on today? Today, it’s an old door we removed from one of our remodels, and we like to try and save a little bit of the past. So, in this case, we’re saving the back door. We’re going to patch some of these holes. Cool. I think they call that a “Dutchman,” right? It is – I don’t know what we call it, but the Dutch definitely call it that.

All right, guys, let’s dig into Zach’s past. I want to hear how you got into the carpentry trade, and I’m looking forward to seeing you do a little work as well. Talking trades – we’re talking carpentry. The Build Show original series, hosted by Matt Risinger. Talking trades, brought to you by Front Door and Sashco.

Zach, what you got going on on the workbench today? So, we’ve got this old door – it’s about 130 years old, came out of a home that we’re remodeling. So, we like to try and, and, was this a stained door? No, it was originally a painted door, so it was a spec home.

So, they didn’t have any sort of fancy hardwood, so there was about 60 layers of paint on this door, and we had it chemically dipped, and then they take all the paint off for us, so we don’t have to deal with any of those laborious hours.

Heck, yeah, and it’s money well-spent. So, now we just go ahead and patch some of these holes. We’ll probably putty the whole door and make it look much better. Patch the holes so that you can maybe go back to a painted door again, and the weird hardware locations that have been drilled over the years will kind of go away.

Exactly. So, little indentations like this, we’ll probably fill with like an auto-body filler. Some of these bigger ones, we can do as well. But something like this, we really need to make a wood patch out of a like wood. And where, and how do you do that? What’s that process look like?

So, basically, what we’ll do is we’ll take a piece of wood – this one was salvaged from elsewhere in the house, so it’s similar grain – and we’ll just pop it in here, use a router to cut that shape out, and then we can drop it in and glue it. And what do you, how are you doing that? Are you going to pencil the shape and freehand it, or what are you going to do here?

So, we’ll just make a router template. I just have, you know, random scraps, so we can pretty much just surround the template with the scraps like this, right?

We’ll just make that with a little bit of glue and pocket holes. And then we’ll grab a router with a flush-cutting bit. So, the flush-cutting bit will ride on the template, the template, and basically cut out precisely what this shape is.

How about we show these guys how to do that? Let’s do it.

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All right, I like it. So, I just want to point out first, though, that this template is totally going to – or this, uh, plug, I should say, is going to cover over the holes. Maybe a little too big, though, huh, Zach? What do you think?

I think so. Why don’t we, uh, if you don’t mind, why don’t you trim it down so that we’ve got about an inch on either side? How about, let’s say, 7 and a half by 8 inches? Maybe, yeah, make it 7 and 1/2 by 8 inches, that’d be perfect.

I’m going to jump in and pocket-hole the end for this. I’m going to use the Festo tool over here. Pencil, Zach said 7 and 1/2 by 8 inches. I, uh, learned from an old carpenter the little trick to make a V-notch – the bottom of my measurement is the bottom of the V.

Of course, Zach’s very organized with his PPE. He’s got his hearing protection, and he’s got his eye protection.

Okay, boss. 7 and a half, all right. So, what I’m going to do, I’m going to add a pocket hole to the ends of the template, just so it’s nice and robust, doesn’t move on us when we’re making that cut.

Got it, man. That’s nice – that’s the Festo, for an, uh, product, right? Isn’t that what they call that jig? Yep, that’s by Festool, and it’s connected in with a, uh, dust extractor, so there’s no dust and no cleanup.

Oh, that’s really nice. Boy, that’s a handy machine. Grab some screws. Got pocket-screw holes ready to go on these guys. And I cut this down to 7 and 1/2 by 8, boss, so it doesn’t matter which side’s up at this point. You’re going to sand all this later, right?

Yeah, I would leave the smooth side down so you get a nice good connection. And when, because this is a soft wood, I’m not really worried about sanding it, so it’ll make it nice and easy.

Let’s slide this door out so we can build the template on the bench top instead of on this door. Makes sense.

All right, so we’ll take that, and we’ll basically surround it with the parts. I’d like to point out that this workbench is the Ron Palk design, a famous carpenter in America. He is – he’s taught me a lot over the years about working more efficiently. I’ve watched a lot of his videos. Real smart carpenter. He’s based in California, I think. I think he moved recently, recently moved to Florida. Okay, yeah, I believe so.

Okay, so all you did was line up your pocket screws with the other side, so that now you can get a nice, tight jig with four scraps of wood. Exactly, really smart.

So, and any glue necessary, or will you just screw this? I think glue is a good idea. It never hurts to have a little bit of glue in there. Let me just run and grab activator from the van if there’s activator in the van. I saw it on the door, there it is.

You know, when you see car do the “Dutchman” on Instagram, it looks like a really fancy carpentry move, but Zach makes it look easy. Let’s see, so, it’s really about having the tools set up, yeah. That’s – you know, that’s the fact. We had very little cleanup. You know, that’s the name of the game, right? That’s pretty awesome.

So, this is a CA glue, and basically, it’s – if you’re not familiar with it, just think of super glue. Exactly. This is acetone, which is going to act as an activator to allow it to, to, uh, so you sprayed that on one surface, the super glue in the other, and now it’s going to set like that, right? Exactly. So, we can just keep moving through the parts if, uh, if you want to apply the glue, I can do the activator on the corresponding part.

Okay, so I’m gluing this at – wow, check that out, that’s crazy. That really did activate quickly, didn’t it? Oh, you’re on the wrong edge. I’m on the wrong – we want to be on this edge. Oh, there, apprentice carpenters, it’s a tough – it’s a tough job. Oh, and I’d swipe that with my finger, but I’ll have my fingers stuck together the rest of the day, so how do I pull that off now?

Let’s go to the old, uh, garbage can, scrap bin, and we’ll scoop it off, right? Oh, sorry, boss, nothing we can’t fix, man. It’s alright. And then we can spray a little activator on that, just so it doesn’t stick to the next one, our template there. Yeah, and now we’ll slide that back in, put a little more on that because, uh, someone’s delaying productivity here. Yeah, sorry about that. That’s alright.

That’s really neat and then I didn’t know about the activator, so it’s super glue but then it’s like super fast super glue. Exactly it’s I think it takes it from maybe 30 seconds in the clamps to uh 10 or five seconds with different materials. Like if you use it on PVC, it’s one second. You can hear it like bubble and and it’s one second later you’re done.

Pretty much, wow, that’s crazy. We’ll do something there, do a little bit there, and then we will spray some of that. And if you can do me a favor and squeeze these two together, yep, I will put that in. We’ll hold that, and then a little, uh, carpenter’s trick I like to do is this thing’s going to want to stick to the table.

So if you rip it up this way, we’re probably going to break the joint. So what we want to do is spin it, oh, ’cause then it’ll pop the – it won’t hurt the grain, exactly, or it won’t hurt the grain, and it’ll, you know, be nice to lay a piece of plastic or something that it won’t stick to. But sometimes you just need to keep moving, yeah, makes sense.

And a little bit of glue in your workbench is not going to kill it. Unfortunately, this workbench gets sanded all the time. We’re looking – you know, it started out about this thick, 7 inches thick, now was down to a half-inch thick, yeah, exactly, hilarious.

Okay, so these pocket holes, what they do is when your screw goes in, it’s going to pull the joint together, right? And now we’ve got it – when we’re all done, we’ll have a nice, tight template, exactly. And the reason we wanted to glue before we screwed is because this is going in at an angle. If you line them up perfectly flush and you didn’t clamp them to the workbench, the part with the screw in it is going to want to sink below, and then our router is going to catch on it.

So we glued it flush, got as much as possible, and now when we drive this screw in, and we could have maybe clamped it, but it would have taken more time, it would have taken more time, and time is money. And that’s why you, as an experienced carpenter, think about the production time, uh, of the process, and it’s worth spending a dollar on glue to speed up your production, yeah.

I mean, another, another, uh, thing about this glue is they sell it in larger bottles, so you can save money, but it hardens so quickly on the tip that you usually end up throwing out the larger bottle. So that’s why I always buy these small bottles – it’s cheaper, but then at least it’s coming out when we want it to, and you’re not, um, making a total mess, yeah, that makes sense.

So we’ll continue through there, add two holes, because we’ve got two, we’ve got two holes, we may as well use them, right? Yep, it be super-scar now, not going anywhere, now because we’re going to run a router on it.

I think it makes sense, even though these are pretty flush, to go ahead and sand them. Okay, so we’ll push that out, so the Dutchman is now out, and now we’re just going to sand that with, what, a palm sander or what? Why don’t you grab, uh, one of the sanders over there, like the Rotex on the bottom, the 5-inch? Okay, so that’s your four, that’s your five right there, I’m guessing.

Yeah, that’ll work perfectly. You got 220 on there? Is that what you want? I think 220 will be fine. You know, all we’re trying to do is knock off the high spots – 220, 221, whatever it takes. Yeah, had to make that joke. None of the high schoolers know the jokes, but all the dads know the joke. What was that Michael Keaton movie that’s from?

That’s from, uh, it was the dad who was remodeling his own house, but didn’t know what he was doing, like “Money Pit”? No, no, it wasn’t “Money Pit”. No, it was Michael Keaton and his father-in-law, and they’re in the remodel, and he says, “What are you doing, son? You do you wiring this with some 220?” He’s like, “Yeah, 220, 221, whatever it takes.” I forget the name of the movie. Love it.

This sander, I’ll tell you, this is a great tool here. It’s got, uh, two settings – one where it’s a random orbital, and one where it’s rotating in a random orbital. And talk about productivity, it’s going to work a lot faster. Have you used this? No? All right, so why don’t you go ahead and do this joint on this setting?

Also, notice that your clamp went into your pulk table, so now it’s nice and it’s not going to move on me. And he also plugged in his power cord and his, uh, vacuum dust extractor, and will the dust extractor turn on by itself? It will automatically. I forgot my, you got to protect yourself, forgot my ears, boss. Thanks, boss, good call.

All right, don’t do this, guy. Okay, so that’s good, right? Now, when that turns off, flip the switch over, and you’ll feel the difference. It’s going to be a little bit harder to control, but a lot faster. Oh, really?

Yeah, interesting. This thing moves on you, pretty good. You got to put two hands on it. I’ll try it now. Oh, yeah, holy cow, big difference, right? All right, so that’s nicely sanded. That’ll be a smooth path for our router, yeah. That’s beautiful. Let’s, uh, pop it on the door. Okay, and the door’s heavy enough, you probably don’t need to clamp the door. We just need to clamp this to the door, exactly.

And are you familiar with the term “Mis plas”? No, I’m not. So French chefs, it’s a term for having a place for everything and everything in its place, and you clean up as you work. So we’re going to go ahead and put anything, uh, un Essaen for our task away, right now. If you watch some of Zach’s videos, you know that he is the most organized, efficient Carpenter

I’ve literally ever seen in my life. We have no time to get into it today, but check out his QR codes, his job site storage, his van storage. Many your videos are super fun to watch, man. It’s fun to spend the day with you. Awesome. I would say I’m a, uh, aspiring, most efficient Carpenter. That’s anybody who’s good at what they do knows that there’s more to learn. There’s always more to learn.

So you ready for next step? Okay, so this is a straight cutting bid, and we’ve got a bearing on there, so it’ll ride in the template. What’s the first step on this? So what we want to do is we want to set our depth. Now, if this was a tougher wood, we probably wouldn’t try and do it in one pass, but because this is a relatively, uh, thin wood, see, I’m just slightly below, and that’s where you want to be.

That’ll be our glue space. Actually, you know, I’m going to lift it up a bit, then we have some meat to, to, uh, sand off, meaning you’re going to have your plug just up a little bit proud of the surface, exactly. So we’re laying that template above the surface, and, uh, yeah, so now we’re like an eighth of an inch proud. Our finished result should be, which will be perfect. We’ll see that the bit is below the top of the plug, which is what we want. If it was, uh, too deep, it would be the opposite. It would give us too deep of a plug, exactly.

So now what we’ll actually do is take a little bit of masking tape. Okay, we’re going to stick the masking tape to our door where the template’s going. Why is that beneficial? Well, it’s actually that’s how we’re going to hold it to the door. Oh, okay. Alright, so we don’t have to do this.

We could clamp it, but it’s, seeing as we already had the, uh, CA glue out, it’s just a little easy tip. Oh, neat, I’ve never seen you do this before. So we’ll lay out some masking tape just outside the cut, and then if you run a nice, healthy bead on the inside of that masking tape, then we’re going to actually glue the template on instead of clamping it on, exactly. Fascinating.

I would have never thought to – you can go, you can go pretty strong, but you you don’t want it to get on the wood. You just want it on the masking tape. Who taught you this? Did you learn this from somebody? I think I learned this from John, and some of you may know him from JCH Cabinets. Oh, yeah, okay. He do, somebody follow on social media, exactly. Cool.

This sander, I’ll tell you, this is a great tool here. It’s got, uh, two settings – one where it’s a random orbital, and one where it’s rotating in a random orbital. And talk about productivity, it’s going to work a lot faster. Have you used this? No? All right, so why don’t you go ahead and do this joint on this setting?

Also, notice that your clamp went into your pulk table, so now it’s nice and it’s not going to move on me. And he also plugged in his power cord and his, uh, vacuum dust extractor, and will the dust extractor turn on by itself? It will automatically. I forgot my, you got to protect yourself, forgot my ears, boss. Thanks, boss, good call.

All right, don’t do this, guy. Okay, so that’s good, right? Now, when that turns off, flip the switch over, and you’ll feel the difference. It’s going to be a little bit harder to control, but a lot faster. Oh, really? Yeah, interesting. This thing moves on you, pretty good. You got to put two hands on it. I’ll try it now. Oh, yeah, holy cow, big difference, right?

All right, so that’s nicely sanded. That’ll be a smooth path for our router, yeah. That’s beautiful. Let’s, uh, pop it on the door. Okay, and the door’s heavy enough, you probably don’t need to clamp the door. We just need to clamp this to the door, exactly.

And are you familiar with the term “Mis plas”? No, I’m not. So French chefs, it’s a term for having a place for everything and everything in its place, and you clean up as you work. So we’re going to go ahead and put anything, uh, un Essaen for our task away, right now. If you watch some of Zach’s videos, you know that he is the most organized, efficient Carpenter I’ve literally ever seen in my life.

We have no time to get into it today, but check out his QR codes, his job site storage, his van storage. Many your videos are super fun to watch, man. It’s fun to spend the day with you. Awesome. I would say I’m a, uh, aspiring, most efficient Carpenter. That’s anybody who’s good at what they do knows that there’s more to learn. There’s always more to learn.

So you ready for next step? Okay, so this is a straight cutting bid, and we’ve got a bearing on there, so it’ll ride in the template. What’s the first step on this? So what we want to do is we want to set our depth. Now, if this was a tougher wood, we probably wouldn’t try and do it in one pass, but because this is a relatively, uh, thin wood, see, I’m just slightly below, and that’s where you want to be.

That’ll be our glue space. Actually, you know, I’m going to lift it up a bit, then we have some meat to, to, uh, sand off, meaning you’re going to have your plug just up a little bit proud of the surface, exactly. So we’re laying that template above the surface, and, uh, yeah, so now we’re like an eighth of an inch proud. Our finished result should be, which will be perfect. We’ll see that the bit is below the top of the plug, which is what we want. If it was, uh, too deep, it would be the opposite. It would give us too deep of a plug, exactly.

So now what we’ll actually do is take a little bit of masking tape. Okay, we’re going to stick the masking tape to our door where the template’s going. Why is that beneficial? Well, it’s actually that’s how we’re going to hold it to the door. Oh, okay. Alright, so we don’t have to do this. We could clamp it, but it’s, seeing as we already had the, uh, CA glue out, it’s just a little easy tip.

Oh, neat, I’ve never seen you do this before. So we’ll lay out some masking tape just outside the cut, and then if you run a nice, healthy bead on the inside of that masking tape, then we’re going to actually glue the template on instead of clamping it on, exactly. Fascinating. I would have never thought to – you can go, you can go pretty strong, but you you don’t want it to get on the wood. You just want it on the masking tape.

Who taught you this? Did you learn this from somebody? I think I learned this from John, and some of you may know him from JCH Cabinets. Oh, yeah, okay. He do, somebody follow on social media, exactly. Cool.

I think that’s where I saw it first. So now I’m just going to hit this with the activator, okay, so that when you put it down, it actually really sticks right away, exactly. Now, and you visually are lining it up, so when it goes down, it’s going right in the right spot, that’s it.

Now we’ll just apply a little pressure, and that should be job done, and that’s going to clamp it on, so you don’t need to physically clamp it, exactly. And that’s good in instances where you don’t – you’re maybe you’re on a finished surface, or you don’t have the ability to clamp, so a little, little tip in there.

All right, so my boss taught me, you got to clean up, so put that away, right? Put that away, man. You’re a fast learner, holy smoke. I mean, I’m trying to boss. All right, where’s the tape go, boss? The tape goes in that masking drawer. Okay, let me throw that in the masking drawer, and I’ll grab a vacuum, so we’re working clean over here.

You’ll notice in his, uh, closet over here, everything has a QR code. So when he’s empty, he just scans the QR code that links back to his supplier, which sends him a package in the mail with the quantity that you needs to refill the bin, right? That’s pretty awesome.

So when you used that sander, it was a corded one, which triggers the vacuum, but we can’t turn that vacuum on with a cordless tool. We’re going to use a cordless router. So in this case, we’re just going to use this, and I’ve just got a simple Bluetooth remote that I taped to it, okay? And we’ll connect that to the router.

And don’t forget my PPE this time, definitely put my glasses on, put my ears on, as we say in the biz. Let’s see where – all right, so now normally the helper’s job is to hold the – hose, so I’m going to assume the role of the helper, and you do the actual – well, you can actually slide it right on there. Oh, look at that, so that should – oops, that looks 3D printed. This is actually an adapter for the Fest tool, but this one goes right on. Oh, okay, cool.

So if you can just sort of support this, okay, I’ll do the routing. Got it. We’re going to drop straight into the hole first, okay. Missed anything – a couple spots there, yep, one more spot right there. Oh, now it’s around, but that’s going to have a rounded corner, right, even though our Dutchman is square corner.

How do we fix that? So we have two options – we can either round over the corner of this with some sandpaper, or we can square up the inside of that with a chisel. And which would be faster, ’cause that’s what my boss tells me is important, so whichever is faster is what – whatever tools closest to you.

Oh, there you go. Um, so, uh, even though we’re cleaning up as we go, we already had some sandpaper out, and this is a fir. Okay, so we could pretty much sand it pretty quickly, and because this is pretty rough wood, and we’re going to fill a whole door with putty, it doesn’t need to be perfect. If the difference between a 30-second of a gap, it’s not going to upet this door mahogany that’s getting stained, exactly.

Why don’t you see how hard it is to rip that off? I’ll get the sandpaper. So this is, uh, straight up, yep. Oh, not bad at all, totally doable. Check that out, that’s wild. And if you rip this off, it’s not coming off very well, but that’s okay, ’cause this was a one-time jig, right? Yep, we’re going to dispose that scrap plywood. So that’s a trash jig, but how cool is that? That works great. That’ll work. Throw that the trash can right there.

So now we can just start with, uh, even doing this just by hand until we’ve emulated that, that radius. And remember, you can make it slightly tapered by – if that’s the downside, oh, okay. You’re going to taper that backside, you can taper it down. No one’s going to be able to see if that’s not 100% perfect.

And you also want the glue to flow and have some place to let the – let the pressure off, even though there are some holes. And will you use wood glue for this, or more 2P10? We’ll use wood glue. Um, I like to think of 2P10 as a low stress product, so we won’t, we won’t use it for everything, and we’ll probably use an expanding polyurethane glue, just because there could be moisture in this door from, uh, the dipping process, and if that’s the case, the polyurethane glue is going to react a lot better in a positive way to the glue or to the, uh, moisture, exactly.

You’re actually supposed to get one side of the wood wet when you’re using polyurethane glue. Why? And will you actually put a sponge in there or add some moisture to that plug or to the, uh, side? Yeah, we probably will. Let me, uh, let me go grab that. Could you round that corner over a little bit more for me? Yes, sir. Oh, yeah, that’s looking good, people. That’s looking good. I think with just a little bit of, uh, persuasion, that’s going right in.

Alright, Matt, just like on the job site, things don’t go according to plan. My, uh, poly-an glue has ceased to be strong. So no problem, you can, uh, dab a little – that brush it on. I’m going to put a just a paper towel under this when it runs through, it won’t stick to the table. Do I put it on the plug or do I put it on the, uh, I should put on the mating surface, right? Not the plug itself.

It won’t really matter, ’cause you’re relying on the squeeze out, but I would just put it there, ’cause we got holes in there too, yeah, exactly. It’s not going to actually stick anywhere else, but but you like to actually crayon it in too. I mean, brush it in, yeah. The my old boss used to say the only way to waste it is to not use enough of it. Oh, that’s so – don’t be afraid to add a little bit more in there.

Okay, Zach, as we’re doing this, I’m curious, tell me, tell me about your roots in the carpentry business. When did you start? So my first job in construction was about 11 years old, helping what turned out to be an employer of 10 years, helping them build a a fence for, uh, my, uh, friends’ house. And, uh, I was really excited.

I had a brand new Firestorm 14.6 20-volt Black & Decker drill that, uh, I was really stoked about. And I remember trying to drive a 3-inch drywall screw, and just not having the strength to do it. And, uh, The Firestorm wasn’t putting out for you, no, it wasn’t. The Firestorm, it was, you know, physically not being able to push the Phillips head tip in hard enough to get it to, uh, to work.

But, uh, started with him, and then, uh, went to, uh, a Timber framing School, uh, for 3 weeks to see if I was into construction. I did that at 13. When you do that at 13? Timber framing School, yep. I, with a friend of mine, we, we lived up in Maine for 3 weeks and did that, rode our bicycles to the school from an Airbnb. I guess it was a B&B back then. You were homeschooled, right?

So you didn’t have to worry about taking time off of your, uh, public school program to do this too, exactly. I was – my parents sort of let me follow what was interesting, and construction was interesting. And then I pretty much, after I got back, got a job in construction, quasi full-time, um, which allowed me to, uh, you know, still do homeschooling in my curriculum as I had it, but also learn a lot about construction at a young age, 14-15, yeah, working full-time in construction, yeah, pretty much. Oh, man, that’s awesome.

As much construction as I could get, and mostly carpentry. Were you doing other things as well? Pretty much I started -was really excited I had a brand new Firestorm 14 6.20 volt black and Decker drill that uh I was really stoked about and I remember trying to drive a 3 in drywall screw and just not having the strength to do it and uh The Firestorm wasn’t putting out for you.

No it wasn’t The Firestorm it was you know physically not being able to push the Phillips head tip in hard enough to get it to uh to work but uh started with him and then uh went to uh a Timber framing School uh for 3 weeks to see if I was into construction I did that 13 when you do that 13 Timber framing School.

Yep I with a friend of mine we we lived up in Maine for 3 weeks and did that rode our bicycles to the school from an Airbnb I guess it was a B&B back then you were homeschooled right so you didn’t have to worry about taking time off of your uh public school program to do this too exactly I was my parents sort of let me follow.

What was interesting and construction was interesting and then I pretty much after I got back got a job in construction quasi full-time um which allowed me to uh you know still do homeschooling in my curriculum as I had it but also learn a lot about construction at a young age 14 15.

Yeah working full-time in construction yeah pretty much oh man that’s awesome as much construction as I could get and mostly carpentry were you doing other things as well.

Pretty much I started just I wasn’t allowed to be on the tools so I was just sweeping coming with my employer to Home Depot runs um mixing. I did a lot of mixing uh mud for the uh the tapers I worked with and uh I wasn’t allowed to do never allowed to touch the knives never allowed to do baseboard but eventually uh the uh fellows I worked with they they sort of taught me skills while my boss wasn’t looking.

That’s hilarious crazy and at that point in your life did you think like I want to do this for a living. I knew it yeah is that right yeah wow I had I had all the pressures of thinking that I should go to college and get a degree because I knew that was the path that my parents had taken and had work for them.

Your mom was a college professor at the time too right? Yeah she was very well educated so it was just sort of an expectation. So uh I didn’t really know how I would do it but I I knew I was going to be in the trades of some sort.

That’s amazing holy cow and then when did you start?

Did more Home Improvement how old were you I started um first I started a painting business. So I did painting and then gradually when you’re painting people ask you to do other things in your house. So I I did painting and I did a bunch of Ikea kitchens, you know assembling the kitchens installing them so like uh a kitchen facelift and then I had one of my first clients asked me to do a bathroom remodel.

So I did that I did the whole thing for them and made a lot of mistakes failed plumbing inspection like four times. I charged $6,000 for not a bathroom renovation but we added a new bathroom in a basement for $6,000. They got the vanity the shower pan from Costco and uh.

So eventually I had so many remodeling jobs I changed the business name from paint More For Less to debt more Home Improvements and uh it was sort of a couple different iterations of what I thought the business would be between them from snowplowing to geothermal but I eventually been doing more Home Improvements and doing that for a while.

That’s amazing. All right we don’t want this glue to dry we got to put this Dutchman in here. All right great.

Let me get a little mallet here. I think I rounded the edge as well enough it with a small amount of persuasion, that thing’s going to slide right in. Let’s put this on top and you can do the honors there. Bang that in. Okay so you put that on top just to kind of protect it.

How about that. Beautiful. Now it’s just a little proud meaning above the surface and so if we do some sanding once that dries that’ll probably probably be nice and flush. You’ll never see it again. I mean it already looks better than those two big holes so I think we’re I think we’re on the right track.

It does look better. That’s wild. How about we clean up and we get the sander out Zach? All right perfect. Okay, so these went over here tight Bond. Did I see you get it from over here? Yep, I’ll put this router away.

These were your glasses right? Yep. Okay all right, so the last step on this is a sand down and then I think we’re good to go on this uh on this patch right?

Yeah, so for this let’s start with a higher grit. If you want to grab that same sander, I’ll get a couple different grits. Okay, there are our hook and loop, they just slide right off.

Exactly, we’ll start with that 80-grit. Oh, and we’re trying to line the holes up, right? Yeah, as close as you can. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it’ll actually end up rotating off the holes either way.

Well, really now, if this was a hardwood, we would probably come with a PL first, but you’re going to have no problem bringing that down with 80-grit. Oh yeah, that’s going through it quick.

Wow, that goes through that fur really quickly, doesn’t it? Yeah, it’s looking really good. You can see that color completely changing of the door now that you’re sanding through it. Yeah, that’s crazy. How cool, man? It’s really fun to hear your story, and crazy that you’ve been doing this for over 20 years now. You’re 35, right?

Last story before we wrap this episode: I noticed there’s an old saw hanging out above your workbench. There’s got to be a story behind that saw, isn’t there? So, yeah, when I was always interested in tools, I was always sort of trying to fix things at my parents’ house, and there was a woodworker at the church we used to be a part of who made stools for all the kids who were growing up.

My mom asked him if he would show me how to do some woodworking when I was maybe nine. He had a little shop in his basement, his name was Mr. Schmidt, and we made a little serving tray and a couple of other little projects.

I remember the first time we did a glue-up and pushed something through a thickness planer, my mind was blown. I was obsessed with the tools. He’d never let me touch the table saw or the miter saw, but he let me use the band saw. It’s hard to cut your finger off on a band saw, exactly.

And before I, you know, sort of parted ways with him as I started getting into more construction, he gave me a bunch of hand drills, and he gave me this saw. And that’s one of the things I’ve held on to because it’s just this is what the trades are about: people passing on knowledge.

And he was predating any sort of social media, predating a lot of the way we communicate now, so he was the first person to help me out of many mentors. And I went from him to another guy, another person who taught me, and eventually learning stuff from your YouTube channel.

So, it’s taking a village to get to the point where I can do something as simple as this, but it reminds me where I started. That’s pretty awesome. Zach, for all the Mr. Schmidts out there in the world, here’s to you, my friends. Way to go. Really fun, dude.

How about we sit down, let’s clean up the shop, and let’s spend a little time talking about the opportunity for those people in the audience thinking about becoming a carpenter like you? Let’s do it. Talking trades, we’re talking carpentry.

I want to say a huge thanks to my friends at Sashco for sponsoring this talking trade series. First off, if you’re not familiar with them, Sashco makes a huge line of premium caulk and sealant that I use every day on my high-performance builds.

They’re a family-owned company that makes their products in Colorado, but they also have been a massive supporter of trade school education. Now, if you are a trade school teacher watching this video, I want to tell you about their class pack program, which was designed for you to use in your classroom to educate students about sealant technology and application.

Now, I’ve been through a version of this program, and it was really fun and educational. You can enhance your curriculum with their expert resources. Learn more at sashco.com/trades-DS-support.

Now, if you aren’t a teacher, you can still make a difference in this battle to bolster our trade base. Take the Sashco challenge – volunteer at a local trade school in your town, capture the moment, share it on social media and tag Sashco, and your reward will be a free case of Lexel as a token of their appreciation for supporting trade education. Thanks again, Sashco, for sponsoring these videos.

Talking Trades: Carpentry – Craft, Business and Community Impact

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