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With All The Technology Available Today Should Trade Schools Teach The Traditional Way Of Construction
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I have been marveling at all the technology that is at the disposal of contractors in the building construction industry, but do you think that trade schools and vocational schools should spend a portion of classroom time showing the traditional ways that construction work was done in the past without power tools and GPS devices?

I have this question that I have been asking myself recently after seeing all the major storms we are having in this country and the devastation in Japan recently. How will people be able to start to repair their homes if there was no electric power available or other modern convenience’s available? A power circular saw, drill or screw gun without power is worthless. When a catastrophe hits how can you start rebuilding?

When I first became interested in building construction I was about maybe 5 years old, my family on my fathers’ side are all tradesmen, so I learned at a very early age to respect all types of equipment that are sharp as you would a gun. Ever since I can remember I used hammers and hand saws. My Grandfather would give me scrapes wood to cut with his hand saws and show me how to use them. Now you have to remember that my Grandfather worked most of life in the trades using hand tools, so the saw he gave me was very sharp it cut hard wood like it was balsa wood. If I used any of the chisels that my Father or Uncle had they were so sharp you could shave with them. By the way my Grandfather showed me how to sharpen the hand tools also, but I could never get them as sharp as he used to.

I was always asking my Father if he would teach me how to use the power portable saws and the table saw, he always told me to learn how to use the hand tools first, properly then we will show you how to use the power tools. It was not until I was about 10 years old that he started to let me use power tools under his watchful eye, but most of my time using tools was still using hand tools such as 2 foot long planes and jack planes for fitting doors. Bit and brace to cut in locks my Uncle showed me how use.

When I finally got to use power equipment to hang doors, I was working with my grandfather who was probably in his early 70s. I was excited I had an electric plane, power drills and all bits I needed to install doors, while my grandfather had all his hand tools to hang doors with. Guess what he could hang a door faster with the hand tools than I could with the power tools. I was old enough to be his grandson and he could hang more doors than I could with hand tools.

So in closing I think a craftsperson that is in the trades should have training on using hand tools, because sometimes they need to be used if you do not have the power tools available for the work that needs to be done or in a major catastrophe you will be able to help people before power is restored to an area.


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