Hi, and thank you for visiting Built!, LLC. My name is Carl Robbins, and I'm the owner of BUILT!, LLC. Formerly Kids Learning Carpentry, BUILT! offers projects for your child to build while learning the joys of carpentry and woodworking as a whole.
Geared towards specific age groups each project consists of pre-cut wood, fasteners (nails), a list of required tools, a blueprint to follow, and a pre-made video for your child which will cover the following:
understanding the importance of safety
learning why there is always the right tool(s) for the job
a break-down of how to assemble the project
building/ design terms from the project
Some projects will be pre-cut wood, fasteners, and the instructional video. However, I will be posting some videos that will be more involved. With these videos I will walk your child through how to use the required tools, which to purchase if needed, what lumber to buy (1 x 3's or 1 x 4's that are easy to work with) and finally building the project itself.
Cedar (smells good) Planter Stand:
10" x 11" x 16"
Recommended age: 15 and up
If you're here and asking yourself questions such as "Would my kid enjoy learning carpentry?" or "Should my kid learn these skills?" let me assure you that your child will love learning the life-skill that is carpentry. Carpentry has numerous benefits for your child such as the development of:
a boost to self confidence
Also, carpentry, or simply put the skills to be handy, is truly a life-skill that kids and parents alike should have and will want to have. Think about it. Ever wanted to fix or repair something around the house? How do you repair drywall? What about building a fence, a hammock stand, or a playhouse in the backyard? What about adding some planter stands or raised garden beds outside? Want to redo the cabinets in your kitchen? Where do you even start? What tools do you need? Know how to use them? If you were never taught this skillset do you wish you had? Want to have your kids gain this knowledge?
Now what about carpentry as a profession? First off, carpentry, trade school, and/ or any job in the trades should never be seen as a lesser alternative to college. With construction booming right now demand is high for skilled labor! However, companies are having a hard time filling many of their positions due to the younger generation no longer being taught the trades in grade school which has resulted in a massive skills gap that affects all of us. As the saying goes, "Skilled labor isn't cheap and cheap labor isn't skilled." Would you prefer your next project to be done with poor craftsmanship? Neither would I.
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.
Another thing you'll find throughout the country are apprenticeship programs much like the one featured in the CBS Sunday Morning news story. One such program is NCTAP located here in the Raleigh-Durham area.
NCTAP stands for North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program, and is a four-year program with classes leading to an Associates Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology or Automotive Systems Technology at Wake Tech Community College OR a degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology at Vance Granville Community College. When completed, students are guaranteed a career with benefits at participating triangle employers such as Anderson Automotive Group, Buhler Aeroglide, Revlon, and Schunk just to name a few. In addition,... zero college debt as tuition is paid for.
"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
Such news stories can be found all over the country including right here in Raleigh, North Carolina. WRAL aired a similar story in December, 2016. It talks about the shortage and hardships many companies face finding skilled labor. To hear this story click on the WRAL news icon.
Now even though both of these stories are a few years old the skills gap continues to widen, the amount of skilled labor continues to dwindle, more trade programs are pulled from schools thereby resulting in more kids missing out on learning these true life-skills, and the number jobs available in the trades continues to grow.
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. The basics. How to read a tape measure; how to scribe a line, and cut on the waste side; measure twice, cut once and so on.
Give your kid the opportunity to learn a true life-skill, have fun, discover the possibilities of carpentry, and gain the confidence to say, "Yeah! I built that!"
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