I was in the construction trade, carpentry, for 40 years, before I “retired” and started building furniture full time. While in the trades, I worked for almost 60 different companies (some of them many different times) in over 200 locations. Most of the time, I would be on the job for the “finish” work, installing millwork or doors and hardware. Every company has slightly different tools in the gang box, a slightly different method of working, and vastly different expectations of what the work should look like when you leave. The quality of work and the quantity of work were the 2 contradictory things that constantly were a sticking point.
In your life, there are people who stand out, people who made a difference in how you saw things. These are 4 people who stand out in my working life, people who helped me immensely with that aforementioned contradictory sticking point. By the way, these are all wonderful people and I know that, typically, these guys all think that this is no big thing! I’m saying that, in my life, it was a very big deal.
Gary Guilmette: The little Vermont Frenchman who, with humor and example, taught me to care ONLY about the integrity of the work!
Charlie Duffer: The outside foreman for National Door who brought me inside based on my work ethic. A believer of the integrity of the work, Charlie taught me how to install doors and hardware on a fast production basis. Please, work smarter not harder!
Norman Godfrey: This guy hired me based on our work together and on his jobs (the Henri Bendel store in Chestnut Hill in particular), quality of work was primary. He pushed me to new heights. pickled oak panels for 3 floors while carrying a 1/8” reveal cut through the whole job.
Bob Drover: This man is the best mechanic I have ever known. He taught me how to make a living installing millwork to 1/64” while keeping production in line with what any other carpenter could do at a much lower level. I carry his techniques now in making furniture and am incredibly grateful that this man took me under his wing.