myCarpentry Articles

myCarpentry articles are my personal experiences working in the construction industry. I hope you find the information as useful, as I found enjoyment reminiscing about old times. These carpentry stories are in the order in which they occurred, but there are a few gaps between the first and the last. Stay tuned!

If you care about the work you do, quality will naturally follow...

First Carpentry Job - This is the story of my first carpentry job - building single-family homes in Central Texas in the early 1980s. Many things have changed since the 1980s - new technologies, better tools, the internet, but carpentry is still basically the same.

Self Employed Carpenter - This is an account of my work and life experiences, while building apartments, as a self employed carpenter, in Central Texas, in the early 1980s.

Estimating Construction Costs - Estimating construction costs can be the most difficult phase of a carpentry project. But if you apply your knowledge of construction techniques with some on-the-job experience, you can begin to confidently estimate your own projects.

Building Decks - This article is about my experiences building decks in central Texas in the mid-80s. Many Texans in the oil and construction businesses struggled to survive after the Texas oil bust in 1986.

Measure of Value - When I interview someone for any position, I look for signs that they are knowledgeable and experienced, but what I look for most is that they care about the kind of work they do.

Is This Carpentry? - Occasionally, as a carpentry subcontractor, you might have to work with materials other than wood. My experience involved replacing a bridge over a small creek with corrugated galvanized pipe, during one of the coldest Decembers I had ever experienced.

China Coast - As relatively small construction projects go, restaurants can be quite challenging because of the framing required for plumbing, electrical, stoves, ovens, walk-in coolers, etc. This restaurant was certainly no exception!

myCarpentry Articles - About Me

I am Matt Bray - carpenter, builder, programmer, engineer and primary contributor to In the construction industry, I have worked as a framer, trim carpenter, millwright, heavy equipment operator, supervisor, building designer, and contractor. I have performed just about every task on a construction site. My experience includes smacking my thumb with a hammer and stepping on nails.

I have studied wood structural design and wrote software to simplify wood beam and joist length calculations. I have been in business as a general contractor and building designer, and I have built and designed many commercial and residential projects. As a professional member of the American Wood Council, I stay current on new construction techniques and the latest international building codes.

As a homeowner, I have found that myCarpentry experience has been quite valuable when doing maintenance, remodeling and woodworking projects at my home. Through my years of experience, I hope to provide you with the knowledge and confidence you will need to design and build your next project.

A man is alive when he is wholehearted, true to himself, true to his own inner forces, and able to act freely according to the nature of the situations he is in. ~The Timeless Way of Building, by Christopher Alexander

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