Carpenters, I need your help (I’m a student)
My name’s Corey and I am a student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), studying Industrial Design, which is essentially product design, with an emphasis on creative solutions, and comfortable and intuitive user interaction.
I read an interesting quote recently, speaking of carpenters and the higher than average rate of injury. I was wondering if any of you could share a little story or some insight to help me out. I also have a quick 9-question survey online if you would rather fill that out. Thank you very much for your time and any help you can give me!
Here’s the link to the survey:
42 yrs on the job, still with all my digits.
Broke a wrist on a house, falling over the side of a stairway I was working on the finish.
Shard of plastic laminate in the eye-urgent care removed it.
Body worn out from the yrs of work-but who's isn't after that much time.
My insurance rates are not bad-roofers I would think are a higher rate. In the union, we would get a slight increase in hourly rate when off the ground maybe 10ft.
I know a flooring carpenter-he don't get up and stand straight anymore-he's got to be 70-at least he looks at least that. Pretty hunched over-hell, he eats his lunch on the floor.
There's some really helpful information there Calvin, thank you.
Here's another one.
I was a student too. After 4 yrs (just short of the diploma) a friend asked me to help him build a headshop-I had a saw.
42 yrs later I'm giving out information that has absolutely nothing to do with my college education.
Don't make the same mistake or at least be able to live happily with your decision.
Best of luck.
and thank you for coming back. This has been done b/4 on this site and usually there's no followup response from the student.
15 years a carpenter
And 17 as an editor now. In the earlier 15 years, I had the typical gamut of injuries - Minor cuts, splinters, and bruises all the time. Two falls from ladders, no injuries. Sliced the back of my left hand open with a chisel once, took a bunch of stitches. Ran three fingers on my left hand through a tablesaw. No amputations, but required a skin graft and I'm missing bone. The fingers still work just fine, if you don't count that they hurt like hell in the cold. Chronic back pain, although that's diminished remarkably since I've been exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. In 15 years, I bet I didn't take more than a week off due to injury. The day after my tablesaw incident, I was back in my shop with my hand in a cast. That's not machismo, it's no work, no pay.
In retrospect, none of my injuries were inevitable, and avoidance was always within my control.
You brought my broken wrist episode back in the memory-
Probably a week till the hard cast and then right back at it. Finished the stairs and the rest of the trim on that house. Got to use it quite well as the positioner and pursuader, even mastered the switch on the mitre saw with the other hand. Felt quite pleased with myself.
When the phy. asst. cut the cast off (first intro to the Multimaster) he asked if I had done " anything "with that arm over the 6 wks in the cast? Well...............yeah, I sort of "worked" and used it "only moderately".
He was surprised that it wasn't the usual shriveled up thing he sees.
The therapy was a breeze.
At 48 years old
I decided that carrying 1/2 a bundle of shingles up the ladder at a time was wise. At 51 years old, after losing 30 lbs., I discovered that carrying a full bundle wasn't a big deal.
Liked your timeline, Junkhound. And it reminded me that one way we testesterone-oozing construction workers get into trouble is by pushing our limits to excess. There's an old joke about an old bull wanting to run up the hill to visit one heifer in the herd, and the old bull saying to go ahead, and that he'd walk up the hill and visit all the other heifers.
So soon old, so late smart.