Carpentry Coach

June 19, 2019 Leave a comment

I learned my trade framing houses starting in 1978 and I was licensed as a contractor in 1993. Along with carpentry I have learned drywall, tile, laminate, concrete, and roofing. I am now 65 years old and due to some surgeries I will not be doing the hard work anymore. My plan is to teach you the skills to complete your project.

If you are tired of watching YouTube videos and if you really would like to learn how to do this yourself, then I can teach you my skills and let you complete the project yourself. If you are pretty skilled but have run into an obstacle and need advise, I can help. Probably with a couple hours of consultation and hands on teaching you can finish the stage of the project then call me back when ready for the next stage.

I am located in the Chattanooga Tennessee and will serve this area.

Experience is everything!


003   crown molding (3)




Categories: Uncategorized

Skim coat and paint

February 29, 2016 Leave a comment

What do you do with walls that are really messed up? Skim coat!

Skim coat means covering a surface with a thin coat of drywall mud then sanding, priming, and painting. Here are illustrations.

#1 wall with visible damage from dining room chairs. There is more damage not visible to camera. Rather than patching each dent, nick, or scratch the skim coat is the best solution.




Sorry I don’t have photos of apply the mud. The method is to use thin mud, apply enough to completely cover an area, then use your trowel like a squidgy to remove. Apply even pressure so that you can feel the hard wall surface and just a little bit remain on the wall.

Sanding is the next important skill and lighting is key to this. Too much light does not allow you to see the imperfections. Indirect light makes flaws visible. Sponge sanders are great because they don’t gouge the surface the way a hard sander sometimes does.


In this dinning room we added chair rail and painted

The door also got new moldings and paint





Aspen log headboard

November 7, 2014 Leave a comment

I began working with natural log aspen at a camp facility in Wyoming and have found it to be a very rewarding creative medium. This headboard is installed on a bed in a condo in Park City Utah.

Complete and installed

Complete and installed


log D





log E




These logs were gathered on private property. They aged and weathered about two years before being ready for use as you see them now.

Complete step by step process is detailed on the page titled “Aspen log work”


Office walls- sound resistant

April 5, 2014 Leave a comment

This project is for a family counselor and privacy is required between the partitioned rooms we are building; a waiting room and counseling room.

Dan (1aEmpty space to be partitioned. Waiting area will be on the left.

Dan (1cFloor is covered with plastic and walls are screwed into concrete floor.

Dan (1bStaggered studs are used. This design is so that sound does not travel through the studs to the other side of the wall.

Dan (1dClose up of staggered studs.

Dan (1eOnly half of the studs will be used for this side of the wall.

The moldings were custom made in my shop to match the existing moldings in the building.

The finished family counseling space.

Dan (1l

Dan (19)From the waiting area looking in.

Tile project

April 5, 2014 Leave a comment

This bath remodel project shows removal of rotten drywall down to the studs and installation of backer board.

Tile (1)

Notice care to cover the tub during work.

Tile (3)Backer board is nailed with galvanized roofing nails and all seams are taped

Tile (4)Tile detail before grout

Tile (10)Tile detail after grout.

Tile (9)When using large tiles extra care is required for a very level surface. Plastic shims may be used to align corners perfectly.

Tile (6)These corner trim pieces are very effective to create a threshold transition. They are designed as wall trim but are durable on the floor when well supported with setting compound.


Paint restoration

December 27, 2012 1 comment

This is a great old house near the University of Utah. The paint was in real poor condition on the porches and window trim. Each area was dealt with using the same basic process but in varying degrees depending on the extent of damage. The process is a bit like exploratory surgery. I could see on the surface that there were problems but I had to start scraping, planing and sanding to see what was underneath. I chose a planer as the tool to dig down deep because a belt sander would take a lot longer and would make even more dust. The planer was noisy but it produces a more coarse debris than a sander. Next I used the belt sander. Then there was a lot of puttying and priming. These pictures will show basics of the process. Sorry I don’t have more photos of the finish product. It turned out great

nay-pnt-1 The cracks visible on the surface penetrate all the way to the wood

Nyra (13)





We also worked on windows as shown below


mix 002



The owner is very happy to have her classic home being restored


December 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Dear friends; Hope Builders closed on December 1, 2011. I will still be accepting work under the category of building maintenance service; DBA Old Pro Handyman

The economic crises and collapse of the housing market has pushed me into new directions. I am now in school at Salt Lake Community College and working part time.

BTW most customers opted out of getting building permits and so my license was futile.

Categories: Uncategorized

Custom log work

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

I love working with wood! This is an example of work that makes my job a delight because I enjoy the artistic aspect.

condo window bunk

log detail

These logs are gathered off the forest floor from private property. They must be selected like fruit; at the stage when the bark is almost completely dried itself off and yet there is still color in the wood. If left on the ground a few more months the wood will turn gray and if collected earlier the bark cannot be easily removed.










The logs are sealed with clear sealer for a couple reasons: because the logs are dirty they will be quite a mess if not sealed and because natural wood is porous it absorbs dirt and oil from hands. Sealing it makes it easy to clean.

















This project is in the Prospector Square Lodge and Conference Center in Park City, Utah, USA and is available for nightly/weekly rental;

Finish carpentry

October 13, 2010 2 comments

After getting a substantial background in framing I learned finish carpentry. Finish carpentry usually refers to all the wood work that is visible at the end of the job. Finish or trim carpentry includes: installing doors, door casing, door hardware, window sills, window casing, crown molding, baseboards, closet shelves. It may also include cabinets, book shelves, wains-coat, chair rail and other moldings.

Typically finish work is divided into two degrees of finish; stain grade and paint grade. Stain grade is a higher degree of finish because there is little or no putty used to cover errors and what you see after the carpenter is done is what you will see forever. Paint grade is a lesser degree of finish because paint will cover putty and so putty can be used to cover the carpenter’s imperfect work. BTW if you are a perfectionist you should stay out of the carpenter trade! Nothing in the building trade is actually “perfect” we just strive for the appearance of perfection.

paint grade crown










Fireplace mantle

This mantle created using a build up technique rather than installing a factory built mantle. We use stock moldings lain upon each other.

Finished attic






Sample of custom shelving and stain grade moldings.


October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

This classic Sugarhouse bungalow desperately needed some help! Sugarhouse is an area in Salt Lake City where the average age of homes is 1900 to 1940 and average size about 900 sq. ft. They typically have a dysfunctional design element with one small bath, one or two small bedrooms and often going through a bedroom to get to the rear of the house. In this project we opened the wall between kitchen and living room, enlarged the main bath eliminating a small hallway, vaulted the ceilings in kitchen and master bedroom adding skylights. We added a small bath where there once was an odd walk in closet. Leveled the kitchen floor, new cabinets and floor tile. The project also included a complete new roof and redesigned front porch creating better access to the driveway. If you are struggling with what to do with your dysfunctional bungalow let us step in and design your project.


living room towards kitchen