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See J. Capostosto, Basic Carpentry (2d ed. 1980); W. P. Spence, General Carpentry (1983); W. H. Wagner, Modern Carpentry (rev. ed. 1987).
work connected with the construction and installation of wood structural elements and parts, as distinguished from cabinet work, which requires a greater degree of care in working with the wood. Carpentry includes work to install wood foundations (including pile foundations), walls, partitions, and floors, as well as such elements of the frames and sheathing of buildings as posts and beams, decking, and subfloors. Carpentry also includes the assembly of trusses and sheathing for wood roofs and the construction of the wood elements of engineering structures, such as bridges, dams, trestles, mine timbers, and power transmission line towers, as well as of temporary structures, such as the scaffolding, erecting frames, and casing that are used. The assembling of ready-cut houses refers to carpentry.
In modern construction work the wood is precut and the basic structural elements and parts for large construction jobs are prefabricated by machine at wood-products plants. These plants are equipped with high-production equipment for sawing, drying, planing, drilling, mortising, and other operations. On small-scale jobs, wood is worked with power tools or by hand, using saws, axes, planes, and chisels. Parts are joined by three basic methods in carpentry: by the use of notches, pins, and waterproof glues. These methods are used to splice, scarf, joint, and join wood elements at various angles and to make other types of connections.
Carpentry involves work with wood, primarily from coniferous species, in the form of logs, squared timbers, boards, planks, plywood, fiberboard, and particle board. To avoid warpage and rot, carpentry parts must be made from wood that is relatively free of such flaws as knots and crossgrainedness and has a moisture content of not more than 15 percent.