Mar 06, 2019 1:37 pm
Hi Everyone, I'll keep this as short as I can.
I'm 30 and seeking a carpentry apprenticeship. I'm aware of the difficulties in obtaining one at my age. Ideally I'd like to work for a company that does a wide range of work, plus cut on site carpentry. This is to fill out my skillset as much as possible during the four years.
After a few weeks of applying I am talking to a company that will give me a trial. This is the first offer of trial I have received. Company in question does all Pre Fab work for one of the big home builders. Slab to roof, in and out in ~2 weeks.
My concern is will I will have significant gaps in my experience and skills by doing only this type of work. I would greatly appreciate any advice or information as to whether this is true or not.
I sincerely do not wish to offend anyone doing pre fab construction. I am just trying to find out more about the differences and what that means to an apprentice looking to develop a strong skillset for employment after the apprenticeship finishes.
Re: Carpentry Apprentice - Pre Fab or Cut on Site?2
Mar 06, 2019 3:19 pm
I would have thought erecting prefabricated frames would be fairly limiting.
You would miss out on ,building frames from scratch, and finishing carpentry.
Having said that it does seem the way that the building industry is going in specialisation and a fair bit of de-skilling.
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Re: Carpentry Apprentice - Pre Fab or Cut on Site?3
Mar 06, 2019 6:44 pm
That's pretty much what I'm concerned about. At my age I can't be picky if I was offered an apprenticeship though, so it's a bit of a battle.
I talked to the builder next door and he seemed to think it would be OK. His opinion was it was more about getting the walls straight, plumb and level than anything else. He seemed to think it would be possible to learn the other skills doing weekend jobs, self learning, changing jobs mid apprenticeship or afterwards.
Of interest was he said you'll likely end up with gaps a few different ways and you'll need to expand and learn regardless. For example, if you do finishing carpentry you'll miss framing a house, if you do doors and windows you'll miss something else. It was suggested that once you're in that position you could learn what you needed.
Re: Carpentry Apprentice - Pre Fab or Cut on Site?4
Mar 06, 2019 9:53 pm
I don't know much about carpentry apprenticeships, but do know that with many work placement situations it is difficult to find something that would give you everything you need. Years ago when I did professional registration I had that issue, and so did my wife. Sometimes, particularly if it is not that easy to find something, you just have to take what you can get and then try and find ways of getting other experience. It is much easier once you have your foot in the door, and if you are lucky you may have an employer that will help you.
Re: Carpentry Apprentice - Pre Fab or Cut on Site?5
Mar 08, 2019 11:39 am
Framing and building a new house would be one of the simplest tasks associated with carpentry nowadays.
To be an all round tradesman,renovations,extensions,be it single or double storey is where you will gain your skillset.
There is far more complexibility in learning to prop existing loads,cutting thru ceilings to install staircases,transferring of loaded members,joining onto/into existing structures,making good etc.I once had a young fellow who had completed his carpentry apprenticeship framing and fixing out new homes,but who had never morticed a hinge into a door.Told me he had only ever used prehung doors and jambs.In the renovation game you learn to plaster,tile,waterproof,paint,you find yourself doing minor plumbing and electrical,doing bits of joinery,learn how to concrete,you learn how to do this by being on site and seeing it done,and the methods used.
Re: Carpentry Apprentice - Pre Fab or Cut on Site?6
Mar 08, 2019 8:01 pm
I think it’s like anything, take the opportunity when it arises, get experience as you go and once you have some time under your belt you will have more opportunities to learn other skills and pick and choose the direction to want. Good luck and congrats on the opportunity
Re: Carpentry Apprentice - Pre Fab or Cut on Site?7
Mar 09, 2019 9:03 am
You really wouldn't miss out on too much by working for a company that uses pre-built frames. Anyone can knock together a stud wall. Any frame would be put together with respect to other frames adjoining it so look at where things like double studs, nogging,etc are. Lintel sizes can be worked out as per tables. Most guys use trusses for roofs these days but knowing how to cut a roof on site is an art that not a lot of carpenters can do any more. As old chippy above says use your eyes and watch how other trades do things. I did my time in NZ working for big companies that only did commercial or industrial with a smattering of residential thrown in but I did a few jobs at weekends like decks, renos etc that filled in a few gaps. Any hardworking person that is prepared to learn will do OK just by using their eyes and ears. Good luck.
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