This course gives students a basic overview of general terms, tools, and techniques used in the field of carpentry.  Learn how to safely use a wide range of hand and power tools while building a small structure such as a shed or playhouse.  We'll go over house framing and layout while looking at the anatomy of a structure.  Whether you're planning on building a house or just want some basic skills, this course will help you gain the confidence you need.

Course start time: Sunday, 5pm
Course end time: Friday, 5pm


"The sequence was well thought out, and the amount of new material presented each day was perfect.  The instructor's patience and dedication to us was fantastic."


  • Competency Level: Beginner
  • Sterling College credits: 2 Continuing Education Units ($260 additional)
  • AIA credits: 35 HSW Learning Units

Course Objective

To provide hands-on experience using a variety of hand and power tools To build student's confidence to tackle projects at home

Suggested Reading

Larry Haun/Taunton Press. Homebuilding Basics

Albert Jackson, David Day/Wings Books. Tools and How to Use Them

any basic carpentry books to familiarize yourself with terminology

Materials to Bring

  • work clothes
  • work gloves
  • sturdy shoes
  • rain gear
  • personal safety items: eye and ear protection, dust mask
  • notebook
  • sunscreen/bug repellant
  • photos or project plans
  • tools you already own that you want to better familiarize yourself with
  • (*using tools in class will help you determine which tools you'll want to purchase for your home tool box)

Note: Each student will receive a call from the instructor prior to the class to discuss their level of experience and goals. The course will be paced according to the needs of the participants.

Course Outline

The course runs from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Evenings are available for discussion and use of the library.

Monday AM

  • Intro to hand and power tools
  • Measuring, marking and sawing
  • Use of clamps

Monday PM

  • Lecture: Understanding wood
  • Begin project
  • Visit to lumber yard (opt)

Tuesday AM

  • Fasteners, hammering and dismantling
  • Lecture: Anatomy of a house
  • Framing layout

Tuesday PM

  • Lecture: Building sequence
  • Math Rules!
  • Reading basic blueprints
  • Continue project

Wednesday AM

  • Intro to drills and accessories
  • Intro to reciprocating saw
  • Wall framing details

Wednesday PM

  • Jobsite tour
  • Continue project

Thursday AM

  • Laying out rafters
  • Roof framing details

Thursday PM

  • Intro to table saw and chop saw
  • Continue project

Friday AM/PM

  • Continue project




Start Date: June 19, 2016
Duration: 5 Days
Tuition: $875