What I'm Seeing Now

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My Shop Teacher Would Give Me A C Minus For This Work

My eighth grade shop teacher was lenient with things we weren't expected to do well.  It was junior high school!  But on things we should do well (like my business cards I posted about another time) he was less forgiving.

Ostensibly, a "professional" finish carpenter did the work in this photo.  This is new construction!

And I have a problem with it. 

I would expect it to be done well.

It isn't.  In my opinion.  It could have been done better.

Hard to see, none of the corners are mitered.  But that is a lesser consideration.  A real carpenter would have done that.  But it is less visible, at least in this photo.

What's my problem?

With the horizontal shelf just under the top column.

It is just a square cut out of a sheet of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).  Now, I am not a fan of using MDF outdoors to begin with.  Certainly that is another issue.

But look at the shelf.  The corners are very sharp.  There is no style.  There is no creativity. It is dull.

Isn't creativity what finish carpenters do?

He could have routed off the edges to create a decorative look.  And there are many to choose from!  Not only would that look better, it would be less dangerous.  Those edges and corners are sharp!

A small thing?  To be sure!  But in my opinion, finish carpentry is a series of small things done well.  Wood that joins without gaps, true edges, touching miters, straight lines, decoration, repeating patterns, hiding nails - things like that!  Why not do something that people look at and appreciate!

To top it off, the paint was very thin.  A single coat, no primer.  It stunk too!

Mr. Brautigam would have given this carpenter a C minus.  The effort was there.  The rest was not.  Mr. B?  If you are still out there -- you influenced me a lot!

My recommendation:  on new construction, or remodels, look for the small things.  They make a world of difference!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 39 commentsJay Markanich • August 12 2010 07:09AM
My Shop Teacher Would Give Me A C Minus For This Work
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