Carpentry is one of the oldest skilled trades that is still used to this day. The word goes all the way back to Old French, charpentier, which means a carriage maker.

At Steve Allen, Inc. in Ocala, FL, carpentry is our specialty. We do everything from rough to finish carpentry, and have been in the business for 35 years. In this blog article, we’d like to share with you the history of carpentry as well as what it has become today.

The Early Stages of Carpentry

Oldest Carpentry

Wood is one of the oldest building materials known to man. This prevalence of wood and man’s need for shelter is a major reason why carpentry was one of the first real professions. Unfortunately, not much was documented about carpentry before written language. The earliest written examples are found in the text De Architectura from late first century B.C. Wood also has the misfortune of deteriorating over time, so physical examples from the past are rare. Some of the oldest surviving examples are the Nanchan Temple in China from the year 782 and Greensted Church in England with parts surviving from the 11th century. The evolution of carpentry was largely dependent upon the evolution of carpentry tools.

Big Developments in Carpentry

By the 16th century, sawmills were created which established the lumber industry. Once logs could be cut into lumber, housing carpentry was changed forever. In the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution brought steam engines and cut nails. Carpenters no longer had to rely on the slow, tedious process of handmade nails. With the Industrial Revolution, old fashioned timber framing began to lose its appeal and balloon framing gained popularity. So began the more modern methods of framing carpentry that led to what we use today.

What Carpentry is Today

Steve Allen Construction Carpentry

Today, carpentry consists of much more than just framing houses. Although this is a large part of the industry, carpenters can now also be responsible for cabinetmaking, furniture building and other finer trades. At Steve Allen Construction, we do rough, finish and shop carpentry, which includes everything from framing a house, to creating shutters and cupolas, all the way to installing the exterior finishes on a building. While today’s new technology may add precision and speed to carpentry tasks, the way that techniques are passed down has remained the same for hundreds of years. To this day, the carpentry trade is taught through apprenticeships or specialty courses that give on-the-job type training.

Looking for a carpentry subcontractor for your next job in Ocala or Central Florida? At Steve Allen Construction we have over 35 years of carpentry experience. Reach out to us on social or through our contact page with any questions you have. We’re excited to talk with you!

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