Ever wonder what exactly you will study in carpentry school? Whether you join an apprenticeship program or earn an associate’s or certificate degree, a lot of the general classes you will take will be similar – with the ultimate goal of preparing you to be a successful and knowledgeable carpenter after graduation.
In a class of this type, you would discuss and be trained in the proper use of a variety of tools used in the industry. This includes hand tools, portable electric tools, and machine tools. You will also discuss the basics of skills you will need for residential construction, and you might specifically study how to erect and repair walls. You could also be trained in a number of construction specifics, such as rough and finished hardware, glues, and adhesives. It is likely that some training time will also be spent talking about how to follow building codes at the local, state, and federal level, and how to properly follow safety ordinances.
You will likely have a class in carpentry school that focuses entirely on different types of building materials, such as steel, concrete, and different woods. Class might be categorized by material type or by its main use – for interior or exterior purposes. You will likely practice using insulation, roofing materials, flashing, wall coverings for both the inside and outside of the house, and wood trims. You might also review different hardware typically used with such materials, such as screws, bolts, nails, different types of fasteners, joist hangers, gang nailing, clips, and other installation methods. You could have one class that covers all you need to know, or you could have multiple courses that cover the above topics as well as lumber, sheet materials, glass, laminates, and additional types of hardware. The instructor might also devote discussion to various grades and sizes of lumber, as well as their appropriate installation methods.
In order to be a successful carpenter, you need to know how to accurately make calculations and estimates on the job. Sometimes schools have a class that focuses on exactly that. Topics might include calculating volumes for concrete substances as well as excavations, how to make estimations rapidly, and how to do calculations related to overhead and profit. You might also study the proper procedures for creating and submitting bids for construction projects. You will also study how to estimate materials from blueprints and how to prepare booklets based on estimating and formulating bids. There may be additional topics, either in this class or a separate one, about how to make specific calculations related to woodworking. Such training often involves learning some basic concepts in geometry, trigonometry, and algebra.
Although you won’t have to understand blueprints as well as an architect, you should be able to infer necessary construction activities from an architect’s or engineer’s design. In a class like this you will study everything from drafting techniques to plan specifications and building layout measurements. You will also study how to make material take-offs and analyze general notes.