Carpentry career is one of the oldest professions. Carpentry dates back to the early days of man using crude tools. Ancient Greeks showed the skills in carpentry through the temples that they have built to show reverence for their gods and goddesses. While in Asia, ancient Japanese also showed their skill in carpentry through the buildings they have constructed. These buildings dates back to 7th century and some of these buildings are still standing up to this day.
We can trace the history of carpentry back to 8000 B.C. During this time, early people are using stone axes to construct their shelters. Several studies and researches showed that early Stone Age Europeans were building rectangular timber houses more than 100 feet long.
Egyptians were already using copper woodworking tools as early as 4000 B.C. These copper made tools evolved into bronze tools used in 2000 B.C. Egyptians were very proficient in drilling, dovetailing, mitering, and mortising wood.
The word carpenter was derived from the Latin word carpentarius. Carpentarius is the person who build the two- wheeled chariots called carpentum in Latin. Roman carpenters were already using adzes, saws, rasps, awls, gouges and planes.
In the Middle Ages, carpenters found work in large towns. They would travel along with their tools to other villages where a major construction project is ongoing. During this age, steel-edged hand tools were already part of the carpenter’s toolbox. Skills in carpentry is already much developed because of the construction of ornate designs for churches and castles.
Carpenter guilds started in the twelfth century. There were three kinds of members in the guild: masters, journeymen and apprentices. The master was a carpenter with much experience and knowledge that takes an apprentice and trains them. The apprentice trained and lived with the master. He is provided with food, clothing and shelter but works without any payment.
After five to nine years, an apprentice can become a journeyman. A journeyman can already work for wages. Eventually, he could become a master. Carpentry guilds were the forerunners of the modern labour unions and associations.
In 1724, Carpenter unions were established to help workers in such things as regulated number of hours. Work hours used to be eleven hours but through the union efforts it was lessened to the present standard of eight hours. Benefits and assistance were also offered to unemployed members.
During the Renaissance period and afterward, carpenters were already constructing splendid buildings in this period. Meanwhile medieval carpenters were already using tools that can be found in modern toolboxes. As a matter of fact, in 1873 the electric power drill was used for the first time. The hand drill was developed in used in 1917. Electric portable saws were being used in 1925.
There was a city literally hammered together in the 1700’s by carpenters. Much of the work was done by slaves that the builders own or hired, but the carpenters worked on the structures, smokehouses, dairies and other outbuildings. They also worked on the brick structures lay-outing. The colonial city that they built is the City of Williamsburg.
Colonial carpenters built the city of Williamsburg and it still stand today. This colonial city prides their historic attractions as testament to the skill of the colonial carpenters. There would be reenactments of colonial life in this city and the construction being done during the 1700s.
Nowadays a carpentry career is much easier with the aid of different electronic tools that make work easier and more efficient. But the heights reached by the current carpentry can never be accomplished without its rich history.