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Self-taught or Vocational Training

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Gareth Hamilton29/09/2013 22:15:38
5 forum posts
4 photos

I am at that stage in live that I am sure many of you have been before me and I am wondering if a career change into woodworking would be better via the self taught route or the vocational training route.

If anyone has any suggestions or thoughts on the matter I would really appreciate reading them.

I am 33, I have spent a majority of my adult life working in an office and occassionaly toyed with the idea of becoming a carpenter on and off for as long as I can remember. It is only recently that I have realised that being successful doesn't always mean making lots of money and being a father of two children, having time for family life is important to me.

I don't have the finances or time to take a year out to participate in an intense course and am finding it increasingly difficult to find courses in Northern Ireland that don't involve already being imployed in the construction industry.

Thanks in advance.

Joe O 330/09/2013 02:54:13
203 forum posts

Welcome to this forum.

Make and post a project of your making and invite oppinion/critisisim and take it from there.

I wish you every success.


Joe O 330/09/2013 14:58:13
203 forum posts

Check if your educational authority runs beginers evening classes.

If that doesn't work it would seem that you will have to go down the self taught route.

There are lots of good working magazines around and lots of informative You Tube tutorials. The members on this forum will help you with woodwork problems.

Sorry i can't be of more help. Hopefully someone more knowlegeable will log in.

Again, i hope things work out for you.

Big Al30/09/2013 17:06:35
1604 forum posts
73 photos

I had an apprenticeship in machine woodworking, the furniture making side of things I have taught myself, and I am still learning.

You can learn a lot from TV show's, like the new yankee workshop, great british workshop, etc.. Magazines and books will also help, and there are various you tube video's on woodworking. The only thing I would say is not to treat any of them as bible's, just because one woodworker use's machinery and power tool's to achieve their end result doe's not mean that you have to. And likewise there are many advocates' that lean more toward's hand tool's. You have to find which work's best for you and only practise will give you that.


Mailee30/09/2013 20:01:54
1048 forum posts
1235 photos

Hi Gareth, have you an idea what sort of wood work you would like to do? General joinery, carpentry or cabinet making. Have you any experience at all? Have you made anything in wood? As Joe states if you have built something it might be worth posting it to get some comments on your work and what you may need practice with. I should also explain a bit about myself. I am a self employed cabinet maker and am mainly self taught. My roots were in the motor industry and wood work was my hobby for over 20 years. I faced redundancy and decided to bite the bullet and try my hand at self employment, this was four years ago now and I am still in business with plenty of orders coming far. I had a little money from my redundancy to set up with but it didn't go far so it has been a bit of a shoe string job. I will not kid you that it is an easy thing to do as it is very hard work and I still have sleepless nights over it. Your family will need to be 100 % behind you and will have to understand that you will be working long hours at first. As a cabinet maker I am never going to be rich and for all of the hours I put in the pay is rubbish but it pays the bills and gives me and the family a little spending money. Sorry for the negative sounding post but there is an up side and that is the feeling of working for yourself and the knowledge that your future is in your own hands which will help you to make the best job you can and gain new customers. it is also a great feeling when a new customer states that he knows of you by word of mouth and doesnt need to see your previous work photos as you have been highly recommended! nothing can beat that feeling. I hope this is of some help to you, all the best, Alan.

Ivor the engine01/10/2013 08:07:07
270 forum posts
46 photos

Well said Mailee,


Majk Bish27/11/2013 12:05:49
2 forum posts

It could have been me that wrote this entry in the forum. I'm 44 and find myself in the same situation after working for many years in the world of schools.

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