The Master Carpenter
•Interior & Exterior Trim Repair
•Cabinet Repair •Furniture Repair
The Elements of Craftsmanship
A craftsman must be a student of the craft.
In this time of specialization many
installers don’t know how to blend their
new work into the existing surroundings.
This is an acquired skill.
For instance: I’ve seen several stairs
which owners had “capped” with new
wood. But the installers left the sides of the
steps unfinished. They didn’t make the
transition from new to old which would
have given the stairs a pleasant finished
appearance. I came in later to fix the
problem, which would have been less
expensive if the first installer had seen the
“big picture” of what finished stairs
should look like.
Durability requires a good working
knowledge of the available materials as
well as the building codes which may
cover the installation.
The final finish on furniture may be:
linseed or tung oil, paint, shellac, lacquer,
oil-based varnish, water-based varnish, a
pre-catalized varnish, or others. When
refinishing it is important to know which
finish was originally used. Sometimes a
piece must be stripped before refinishing.
Furniture repair requires a knowledge of
wood. Sometimes woods are made to
simulate other woods. For instance, it is
fairly common to find pieces built of red
gum which are made to look like cherry, or
walnut. Part of repair is knowing which
wood is the right wood.
When doing cabinet repairs there are
many kinds of hinges and drawer glides
which may be used.
Sometimes broken cabinetry can be re-
glued, and the signs of repair can be
hidden. Other times it is necessary to
Wood is beautiful. When I started The
Master Carpenter, my first project used red
oak, and cherry. Since then I have added birch,
curly maple, quarter sawn white oak, walnut,
red gum, sassafras, poplar, ash, and other
American hardwoods. I have also worked with
European steamed Beech and African
United States hardwood forests are
sustainable and well managed. You can be
proud to use American hardwoods on your
A Refurbished Gateleg Table
A customer found an old gateleg table in
the rafters over his garage. It was a mess. It
had multiple coats of drippy paint and it was
coming apart at the joints.
The only solution was to take it apart
and strip it. He wanted to know if it could be
stained and varnished but a close inspection
revealed that it was made of pine. It wasn’t a
candidate for staining so we decided to give
it a nice new color.
I replaced some of the parts but kept the
main parts of the table. After spraying and
sanding a primer, I sprayed two coats of a
good water-based Alkyd paint. It is now
ready to be a gift for his daughter.
The Craftsmanship Difference