Carpenter Innovators and the Tools That Built the Early World

A carpenter is defined as a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct objects and buildings with wood. The work a carpenter does is known as carpentry. They are also known for their extensive knowledge of the tools they use and are usually extremely skilled with these.

The very first carpenters are credited to be the inventors of wood working tools. Wood based homes gave birth to the carpenter’s profession. In its infancy carpenters used crude tools to build. Ancient Greeks showed off their skills in carpentry though structures they built to honor their gods and goddesses. In Asia, Ancient Japanese showed their skills through the buildings they constructed. Amazingly some of the buildings that they built in the 7th century are still standing to this day. This is a true testament to the skill and ingenuity of these individuals. Some of the world’s most famous carpenters are Jesus of Nazareth, Lu Ban and Hugh Herland.

The word carpenter is actually an English rendering of the Old French word carpentier. Carpentier derives from the Latin term carpentrius, which means “maker of a carriage”. Carpentry skill is gained through ones experiences and study over time. In the United States, there are no formal training requirements other than in trade unions. This leaves the trade open and rather easy to enter. In many other countries including Germany, Japan and Canada there are strict standards to become a carpenter.

Before metalworking man relied solely on wood and stone tools to complete carpentry jobs. These ancient carpenters used wooden pegs shaped with stone knives to hold objects together. An example that is used often to highlight these tools is the construction of Noah’s Ark. Carpenters used wooden mallets to force wood dowels into holes. To create these holes a primitive auger was used.

When metalworking became a prominent way to create tools, higher quality tools were made. Some of the most popular tools included the edged chisel and plane. The plane was simply a chisel mounted to a block of wood, about the size of the user’s hand. Also before the advent of metal, stone was mainly used to create axes. These metal axes were much sharper and more effective than before.

As carpentry progressed through time, carpenters came together in 1271 to form an organization centered on the profession. Over time a carpenters union was formed in 1881. This was the same union that became an apolitical voice in supporting legislation that would cut the workday down to eight hours from eleven.

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