All you need to know about Carpenters


general builders

Carpenters & Joiners…Cabinet Makers?

What’s the difference? Well the following horribly outdated, ludicrous description will sort of set the scene for you, if you like.

Cabinet Makers are the Godlike mythical stuff of nursery rhymes……..right up there with tinkers and tailors and “The Claw” in Toy Story!

are blokes who still proudly associate themselves with this ancient and worshipful society but it’s probably easier to go looking for hen’s teeth…(Hens don’t have teeth by the way, they would get in the way when they were clucking).

To call yourself a
Joiner, you really need to be a time served craftsman and be old and have short back and sides and polished brown shoes and wear a shirt and tie and braces and a jumper and jacket and a brown apron and wear glasses and have a pencil behind your ear and be called Arnold and never ever allow anyone to call you an expletiving chippie!

(“Braces” reminds me of the time I went out with a very attractive but quirky dressing, American lady. She phoned me and said she would be wearing
suspenders on our next date and did I have any objection. I don’t need to tell you what my answer was do I, I’m a builder for goodness sake, so it was with baited breath that I awaited her arrival at the restaurant…..That was the evening I discovered to my deep deep chagrin, that it’s not only the way Americans “say tomato” that differs from our vocabulary, dammit)!

Where was I? Oh yes. Joiners still have chisels with wooden handles they “turned” themselves when they were 15, (same chisel but a lot , lot shorter)! They sharpen their blades with an oil stone, and file and set their own saws, and have wooden folding rules, (not rulers, that’s what children and North Koreans have). They knock off at 1’0clock and walk home for their dinner, then read the paper in the kitchen for half an hour smoking a woodbine, while their wife mangles the washing, out in the back yard.

(What’s that noise? It’s not that Hovis music is it?)

Joiners can make you a proper staircase out of selected mahogany with mortice and tenon, glued and screwed joints. They know the difference between a jack plane and a smoothing plane. They can dovetail drawers
themselves without using a ridiculous machine. They inspire confidence, they take their time and do a good job…… every time!

Carpenters are men who COULD build you a traditional roof, or build a nice oak conservatory. But we’ve sort of transcended all that nonsense haven’t we? You don’t have a clue whether your roof is trussed or trashed, do you? And what the heck do you want a wooden greenhouse for, when a VPU..UCPV..nice plastic one, is half the price and doesn’t need varnishing every 4 years?

So what does that leave you with? Hopefully one of the above or….

Chippies….Lads on building sites who have one general purpose handsaw and a cordless jigsaw, (not to be confused with one of those multi piece pictures of the Golden Hind that your auntie likes doing…those are called “mind numbingly boring ways to spend Sunday afternoon… puzzles”). They have never seen a jack plane, or a crosscut saw and think that sharp chisels can only be bought new.

They “first fix” the frames and then come back and hang the doors. They drill out for and fit the tubular latches. They fit skirtings and then have to fill the joints. They knock up a meter cupboard out of MDF. They
assemble staircases. Got the gist?

Now I’m not denigrating the ability of the last set of lads, they do exactly what is required of them. We all inhabit a different world now. The same world that says consultants are no longer called Sir James Fortescue-Smyth and you would trust them with your life. But are in fact called Jason and they tell you what tiling goes best with your new kitchen work surface.

You choose your man…and don’t expect to get more than you pay for.

For your must-see guide to Tradesmen's Rates please click on the map…


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