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Hi, and thank you for visiting Built!, LLC.  My name is Carl Robbins, and I'm the owner.  Formerly Kids Learning Carpentry, BUILT! offers small group classes and camps for kids ages 8 and up to learn about the overall joy of carpentry, the KING of all life skills, while building a small project.  With my classes kids don't just learn about the terminology and tool know-how associated with carpentry, but they also learn about the value of being handy while gaining a sense of confidence knowing they can do for themselves.

I work extremely well with homeschool associations.  Parents, please reach out.

So... why carpentry?

If you're here and asking yourself questions such as "Would my kid enjoy learning about carpentry?" let me assure you that your child will absolutely love learning the life-skill that is carpentry and benefit from doing so in more ways than one!  So what does carpentry have to offer your child?  How about the development of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, carpentry, woodworking, or simply put the skills to use your hands and be handy, is truly a life-skill that quite frankly most people simply do not have yet wish they did. Think about it.  Do you have a project in mind, but don't even know where to start?  Would you like to redo the cabinets in your kitchen?  Install chair rail? Install hardwood floors?  How about building a nice little shoe rack by the front door?  Got any ideas for the outside?  What about some raised garden beds?  A picket fence in the front yard?  How about a playset for your kids in the backyard and a picnic table for the whole family?  Great ideas right?  Thinking about more?  Of course you are.  Do you know what tools you need, and, if so, how to use them safely?  If you were never taught this skill set when you were younger are you sitting here right now wishing you had?  As the saying goes, if I knew then what I know now...

Now what about carpentry as a profession?  First off, carpentry, trade school, and ANY job in the trades should never be seen as a lesser alternative to college.  Unfortunately, however, that's exactly how the trades have been portrayed for decades now.  They've long been ridiculed, put down, and set aside for those who couldn't afford college as some sort of career handout.  Fast forward to today, and the doors to "shop" classes continue to close for good in public school systems throughout the country.  The days of kids tinkering, fixing, and making things with their hands seem to now be a thing of the past like grandpa's stories about what he did when he was a kid.  Today, technology is literally in the hands of every little kid, tween, and teen with the vast majority completely unaware of what the trades even are.  Today, kids are quick to download the newest app on their phone or tablet with ease, but have no idea how to properly swing a hammer, how to turn a screwdriver, how to use a drill, how to use a handsaw, know when to use a pair of pliers versus a wrench, or know about the awesomeness of the mighty speed square.

 

As the older carpenters, plumbers, and electricians are retiring and the younger generations not filling in their shoes we now have what's called the skills gap.  What is it?  Ask yourself this... have you ever had a hard time finding someone to fix or build something?  Well, that's the skills gap and it's actually a big problem that's only going to get worse.  You can say what you want about technology, and perhaps even get excited about yet another tech company opening a new location in your town.  Great... but is this new facility going to build itself? Is the buildings HVAC going to magically appear one day?  Of course not.  We NEED the trades.  People are ALWAYS going to need things designed, built, repaired, demolished, and rebuilt again.  Apps on your phone come and go, but hammers and saws are here to stay.  As the skills gap continues to grow so too will your frustration with not being able to find a skilled worker.  

 

Sorry to sound so gloomy, but this is simply where we are today.  If there's one article to "hammer it home" for me it's this one from CBS's Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley.  Reported by journalist Mark Strassman this news story is titled "Help Wanted" and aired in October, 2017. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"America's economy has a growing labor crisis.  A shortage of skilled construction workers.  These men and women put a roof over your head.  Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and masons.  They're getting harder and harder to find."  

 

-reporter Mark Strassman

Two young girls doing woodwork in a work
  • hand/eye coordination

  • perseverance

  • a boost to self confidence

  • responsibility

  • safety

  • mathematical thinking

  • critical thinking

  • creativity

  • self-reliance

So...why Built!?

 

Before you move forward with anything, you need to develop a solid foundation first. This is exactly what any skilled tradesman/ tradeswoman did when they were younger.

 

This is what I offer here at Built!, LLC.  A starting point.  In my classes, my students don't just show up and build.... that comes later.  First comes a crash course of learning about the basics (those all important building blocks) which we repeat at the start of each class. 

 

These basics include:

  • learning the parts of an inch

  • how to read a tape measure

  • how to use a square

  • understanding the importance of "squareness"

  • knowing what a saws kerf is and why it is so important to get it in the right place with each and every cut you'll make

  • how to use basic hand and power tools

  • how to read a blueprint

  • AND MORE!!

 

Give your kid the opportunity to learn THE life-skill of all life skills, discover not just the overall joy of carpentry but also it's immense importance, and gain the confidence to say, "YEAH!!  I built that!"​

©2018 by Carl and Cassie Robbins | BUILT!, LLC. | Proudly created with Wix.com