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What Is The Difference Between A Craftsperson And A Person That Can Build A Project
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As people that have read my articles you may be aware that my family members are craftspeople working in building construction. My Grandfather was a finish carpenter on houses and commercial building. My father was a construction supervisor and finish Carpenter, my uncle was a finish carpenter and cabinet maker. Today I would like to tell you what the difference is between a Craftsperson in the trades and someone that can do carpenter work, because that is what I have most of my experience with.

When I was in ninth grade the church we belonged to build a new building, our family donated the work to build the confessionals in the building. My father was routing out letters in a 3” thick by 12” wide oak casing that went on each side of the confessionals this had to be done 8 times on trim as there was 2 units with 4 casing each. We made a template and clamped it on the casing. It worked great on 7 of the casings, but on the last one the template slipped and the router went way off the letters we were to make.

My father did not even get upset, he smiled at me saying we will fix it anyone can do this work when there is no problems, it takes a craftsperson to fix mistakes like this and make it look right. He routed out the damaged area and chiseled out the corners then ripped a Dutchmen to fill the routed out area, glued it and clamped it, then went to work on another part of the project. It took him about a half an hour to fix the mistake.

The next day we took of the clamps on the damaged oak trim, sanded it then reset the template to cut in the letters. The repair on this day took about an hour. When he was done you could not tell there was a patch in the oak trim. He again reiterated that a craftsperson is someone that can make a mistake disappear or look like is supposed to be there.

This is something that I have remembered throughout construction career and have used this many times, but one time in particular I remember. I was laying out angles at doorways to apartments in this large 3 story apartment building the company I was working for was constructing. The angles had a measurement with an angle needed on the building construction drawings. The dimension and the angles did not work if I used the angle the measurement was short.

I contacted the Architect and he told me that the angle and the measurement were right so, I laid it out again with the same problem. What I did was make the dimension right and did not worry about the angle. I did all the entrances the same and when the Architect came on the job he told me that is just the way he wanted it to look. So there you go a craftsperson makes Architectural details that are not right look like they are supposed to be that way.

So in closing I would like to have everyone keep in mind the difference between a carpenter and a craftsperson is a craftsperson makes mistakes look like they are supposed to be there. In my many years in the trades I have found a craftsperson in all the trades in building construction along with many very good trades’ people.


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