Cabinetmaking: From Design To Finish

Cabinetmaking: From Design To Finish

Construction Codes & Inspection Handbook

Construction Codes & Inspection Handbook

Carpentry in Commercial Construction

Covers forming, framing, exteriors, interior finish, and cabinet installation in commercial buildings: how to design and build concrete forms, select lumber dimensions, what grades and species to use for a design load, how to select and install materials based on their fire rating or sound-transmission characteristics, and plan and organize a job efficiently. Loaded with illustrations, tables, charts, and diagrams.

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Covers forming, framing, exteriors, interior finish, and cabinet installation in commercial buildings: how to design and build concrete forms, select lumber dimensions, what grades and species to use for a design load, how to select and install materials based on their fire rating or sound-transmission characteristics, and plan and organize a job efficiently. Loaded with illustrations, tables, charts, and diagrams.

More Information
Page Count272
AuthorByron W. Maguire
PublisherCraftsman Book Company
Dimensions5-1/2 x 8-1/2

Carpentry in Commercial Construction
by Bryon W. Maguire


Credits II

1: Overview of Commercial Carpentry, 1
Introduction to New Work Environment, 2
Safety Rules, 8
Review Questions, 9
2: Formwork, 10
Organizational Functions for Formwork, 11
Details and Descriptions of Formwork Activities, 13
Formwork Activities, 30
Summary, 39
Training in Formwork, 39
FW 1 Task Activity: Foundation Layout, 44
FW 2 Task Activity: Footing and Slab Forming, 45
FW 3 Task Activity: Curbing and Sidewalks, 46
FW 4 Task Activity: Wall Form, 47
FW 5 Task Activity: Girders and Headers, 49
FW 6 Task Activity: Columns, 50
Review Questions, 58
3: Framing, 59
Functions in Framing Construction, 60
Details and Descriptions of Framing Techniques, 62
The Soundproof Wall and Floor, 80
Metal Partitions, 85
Training and Framing, 88
FR 1 Task Activity: Sill, joist and Subfloor Installation, 90
FR 2 Task Activity: Plate Installation and Stud Layout 91
FR 3 Task Activity: Wall Erection, Sheathing and Inner/Outer Corner Preparation, 92
FR 4 Task Activity: Ceiling joist Installation and Ceiling Corner Preparation, 93
FR 5 Task Activity: Setting Metal Door jamb, 94
FR 6 Task Activity: Constructing Metal Partitions, 95
Review Questions, 96
4: Roofing Tasks and Techniques, 97
Organizational Functions in Roofing Construction, 98
Details and Description of Roof Construction Techniques, 100
Roof Sheathing and Coverings, 116
Training on Roofing, 122
RF I Task Activity: Preparing Rafters, 124
RF 2 Task Activity: Preparing a Monoplaner Truss, 126
RF 3 Task Activity: Roof Rafter Erection, 126
RF 4 Task Activity: Roof Monoplaner Truss Erection, 128
RF 5 Task Activity: Store Front Roof Overhang, 129
Review Questions, 130
5: Exteriors of Commercial Structures, 131
Organizational Functions in Exterior Construction, 133
Exterior Construction Techniques, 135
Training on Exteriors, 159
EX I Task Activity: Sheathing Walls, 162
EX 2 Task Activity: Siding for Single-Wall System, 163
EX 3 Task Activity: Siding for Double-Wall Systems, 164
EX 4 Task Activity: Cornice Enclosure Standard and Commercial, 165
EX 5 Task Activity: Setting Exterior Wooden Door Units, 167
EX 6 Task Activity: Window Unit Installation, 168
EX 7 Task Activity: Preparing Store Front for Glazing, 169
Review Questions, 170
6: Interior Tasks and Techniques, 172
Organizational Functions in Interior Construction, 173
The Interior Construction, 175
Training on Interiors, 202
INT 1 Task Activity: Plain
Gypsum Wallboard for Walls and     Ceilings, 205
INT 2 Task Activity: Pre-Finished Gypsum Wallboard for Walls, 206
INT 3 Task Activity: Paneling for Walls, 207
INT 4 Task Activity: Door Unit Installation, 208
INT 5 Task Activity: Window Completions, 209
INT 6 Task Activity: Trimming Operations, 210
Review Questions, 211
7: Cabinet Installation and Cabinetmaking, 213
Organizational Functions in Cabinet Work Phase, 214
Cabinet Installation, 216
Cabinet Construction Principles Affecting Installation, 226
Custom Cabinetmaking, 228
Cabinet Work Training Phase, 234
CAB I Task Activity: Installation Techniques, 236
CAB 2 Task Activity: Cabinetmaking Layout Principles, 237
CAB 3 Task Activity: Assembling Cabinets Built On-Site, 238
Review Questions, 239

Appendix A, 241

Appendix B, 247

References, 262

Index, 263

Carpentry in Commercial Construction
by Byron W. Maguire

Chapter One
Overview of Commercial Carpentry

Commercial carpentry: the skilled methods used by carpenters working on structures classified as commercial and non-industrial; that is, townhouses, single-level office buildings, and the like.

Coordinating: the act or acts in commercial construction of harmonizing the efforts of contractors, staff, sub- contractors, and workmen who erect structures.

Directing: in commercial construction, all the supervisory work by the contractor who heads the entire construction project.

Planning: the accumulation and organization of all the production factors related to the building of a commercial structure by various people with specialized skills.

Procuring: the planned hiring of men and purchasing of materials necessary for a commercial construction project.

Residential carpentry: the skilled methods used by carpenters working on structures classified as residential; that is, single, detached houses

Scaffolds: the elevated platforms or planking that are used by workmen when their work area is above or beyond normal human reach

Structure: in this text, a townhouse, one-level office, store, or a restaurant building made from specially selected materials

Time-Line plan: a management display chart on which the various phases of construction are plotted in relation to time and duration

Man is born curious and to live with adventure. His inquisitiveness leads him in search of both the unknown and the answers to his questions. A residential carpenter knows that there is commercial carpentry. He only has to look around to see it. But what does it hold that might provide challenge and lead him to success or failure, or awaken him to new learning?

The atmosphere is very different for the carpenter who works on commercial construction as compared to one who works on residential carpentry. A residential carpenter working on detached single houses often is involved in every phase of the construction from laying the footing boards, through shingling the roof, to completing the interior. Frequently be meets the new owners of the structure and has the opportunity to work with them. From this association he derives a genuine personal satisfaction for a job well done, even though he may be better at some phases of the work than others.

If, however, the carpenter is a member of a crew responsible for just one phase of residential construction, he becomes very adept at that one phase of work. This crew method is a mass production technique usually employed to build tracts of houses efficiently. The techniques of commercial carpentry are used. One crew does framing, another sheathing and door and window installations, another cornice and siding installations, and still another the roofing. Finally, a select crew completes the interior work. The carpenter in this latter type of work environment cannot easily obtain the same degree of satisfaction that comes from working on all phases of single-house construction. If he maintains or increases his level of skill, however, his peers and supervisors will quickly recognize that and will rely on his judgment and expertise. Usually be will then be promoted to a higher level of responsibility.

The work atmosphere in light commercial construction is somewhat like that of residential construction at which the owner is sometimes present and the architect frequently. The rapport that usually develops soon leads architect and carpenter to respect each other's skills and talents.

But the work atmosphere is also different. The carpenter on a commercial construction job may move from one crew to another as the building takes shape. He may build forms, then erect framing, and later do exterior and interior work. These tasks often require both the carpenter and his supervisor to broaden their skills. Let's begin to define the differences that the commercial carpenter will find in his new environment.


The scope of commercial construction for the carpenter varies considerably-from skyrise office buildings, through the shipbuilding and aircraft industries, to townhouses, one-level office buildings, and stores. The environment you will read about and study in this text and the principles you will apply are related particularly to the construction of townhouses, small office buildings, and stores.

From these designations you can see already that there are two distinct types of non-industrial commercial structures: office buildings and stores on the one hand, and townhouse residences on the other hand. Each has task requirements that differ significantly; however, there is also a significant overlap of carpentry tasks which apply to both types of structures. The study of townhouse construction provides a natural bridge of understanding from residential to light commercial construction.

Let's list simply but comprehensively the relationships and differences among the types of construction. See Table 1-1 to start with the overall picture:

Beginning with the next chapter each work activity in Table 1-1 is examined thoroughly and logically chapter by chapter. The magnitude of the differences of work in different environments is specially discussed. But, to understand the general implications of the data in Table 1-1 consider these factors briefly.

Concrete formwork is more extensive for townhouse construction than for detached houses because of design differences and because of the size of the units and the number of units being built. In addition, gardens, curbing, and sidewalks are usually formed for townhouse developments as well as trash locations and so forth. Often a swimming pool or two is built at the same time. But office buildings require the most extensive concrete formwork. In fact, proportionately there is more formwork than any other single activity done for office buildings.

In residential construction, framing work consumes the majority of time on the job (45%). It consists of making floors, walls, partitions, sheathing and doing the numerous tasks associated with this work. Townhouses usually require slightly more framing (50%), while office buildings usually have limited framing requirements (10%).

Building the roof of a structure usually requires considerable time and effort. As you can see in Table 1-1, residential roofs account for a greater percentage of time than do those on townhouses and office buildings. Even through more and more truss roofing is now used in residential construction, a greater proportion continues to be "stick built." The truss roof, however, is employed for most townhouse and office building construction.

Exterior carpentry activities are often difficult to predict completely because a variety of exterior materials, such as stone or brick, are not applied by carpenters. But certain man-made products do require the same work skills as lumber products and are sometimes used on townhouses and office building exteriors as well as on residential exteriors.

Interior work includes installing partitions, wall paneling, trim, doors and ceilings. Generally these activities are the same for both residential and townhouse construction. A larger percentage of the carpenter's activities may be spent in office construction, however, because of the extensive use of prefinished materials.

Finally, there is more cabinet work for the average single residence than for the townhouse and still more for office buildings be- cause requirements for custom cabinets are frequent. Almost all cabinetmaking in townhouses simply consists of installing pre-built kitchens and bathroom vanities.

We have noted the overall differences and similarities of residential and commercial work activities. it follows that there must also be a different approach to managing a commercial construction project. Whether you are a contractor, a subcontractor, a foreman, or a journeyman your responsibilities to or for management will be significantly different. Even if you are now only a trainee it is essential, nevertheless, that you know and understand some of the management problems so that you will be able to support your bass better. Table 1-2 presents some areas of management concern and their relative importance in each work environment by showing the distribution of responsibility.

Looking over Table 1-2 will help you appreciate that contractors often use the skills of specialists on commercial jobs. The management work frequently subdivided, includes materiel procurement, training, and, often, the scheduling.

Let's examine each activity briefly. Planning means developing a schedule of action so a job progresses in right order. Having men and material available at precisely the right moment is, of course, the ultimate objective of all job plans. This may be a complex task, especially if activities are interrelated or if other contractors are involved. A good plan accounts for the major operations and takes into account the possible circumstances that could alter them. A Time-Line plan like that in Figure 1-1 visualizes all phases of the work and the amount of time allowed for each at various stages in the schedule.

Coordinating is the harmonious arranging of activity-between contractor and foreman, between contractor and architect, between one contractor and other contractors, and between foreman and architect. Coordinating also involves liaison or lateral trust and reliance on a man to man basis and on a crew to crew basis. In addition, coordinating means ensuring that materials are supplied on time to the job, and inspecting each phase of the work. Coordination also ensures that all people on the job remain in contact and are mutually advised and informed of either availability or delays so that work proceeds oil schedule.

Training is a two-fold organizational activity. First, someone in management defines skills requirements and then translates them into skills on hand, skills needed, and skills to be trained for. Secondly, the same manager (or his designated develops a training plan that assures that the skills of the appropriate workmen are available when needed. As shown in Figure 1-2, a single form can record both the needed job skills and the qualifications and limitations of available personnel.

Procuring is the obtaining of materials and men needed for each work phase. it is particularly important for successful management. Since the various job deadlines are critical to construction schedules, a great deal hinges on good procurement methods. The materials, machinery, and supplies necessary for job completion must be ordered so that deliveries either precede or coincide with on-site usage. Work-men must be hired and/or trained according to job requirements, and, if specialized skills are needed, those responsible for procuring them must calculate sufficient lead time. This essential phase of procurement is usually interfaced with the training plan.

Directing in the commercial construction environment is also a two-fold activity. At the top management level the contractor directs the whole job, seeming sometimes much like an eight-armed octopus. Each organizational activity is also assigned a director. Sometimes, of course, the man in charge may wear more than one hat and function as director of several activities. Those who receive the closest direction are the crew members. They may not require individual direction on every task performance but they often are given new orders weekly, daily, and sometimes hourly.

From this somewhat lengthy introduction, you can begin to under- stand some of the differences between residential carpentry and commercial carpentry. But before you proceed with discussions of task and organizational activities, it is important to recognize that safety requirements are rules provided for your use and well-being.


Safety on the job is very important. National agencies like the Department of labor and the FHA concern themselves with the welfare of the worker on the job. Insurance companies are also concerned. Your own acceptance and implementation of safety practices will usually guarantee you a safe working environment.

Many factors must be included in any safety program. If they are carefully integrated in production plans several objectives can be accomplished in one operation. The following safety measures illustrate this point:

  1. Plan for adequate storage of new, used, or reclaimed materials by selecting an area that ensures a clean working site. For example, as forms are stripped from walls and footings, they must be cleaned and then stacked out of the way until needed again. Consider-if a man has already lifted the board, how much more trouble is it to walk 30 feet with it and stack it out of his way?

  2. Level and compact the ground during all excavation work. Grading and firming for a few minutes with the right machine can eliminate, even if only temporarily, any obstruction that might impede workmen. It will also provide a safe surface on which to build forms or erect scaffolds.

  3. Build scaffolds properly and brace them with first-quality materials. Many men will walk, work, and stack materials on scaffolds so the proper reinforcement of supports, walking planks, and back rests is essential to good scaffolding.

  4. Specify work clothes that promote personal safety: hard hats, steel-toed shoes with tie laces, shirts without trailing sleeves, etc. Remember, proper clothing contributes to job safety. Loose shoes and clothing are frequently the cause of on-site accidents; and the unfortunate thing is that most such accidents could have been avoided.

Safety of personnel cannot be overemphasized. Consider that a given work force is limited. If only the minimum of essential skills and experience are available for the job, the temporary loss of even one man through a serious accident may result in total loss of profit on the job and, even worse, in a personal loss to the workman and his family.

You will find out bow important safety precautions and general preparedness are for qualified workmen engaged in commercial carpentry as you study the techniques of commercial formwork in the next chapter.


  1. Define two aspects of commercial carpentry that differ from residential carpentry.
  2. It is customary to find crews of carpenters specializing in separate phases of commercial carpentry. True or False?
  3. What is a reason for the greater amount of concrete formwork done for office buildings?
  4. Name the five major elements of an organization.
  5. Explain the importance of coordination in a commercial construction job.
  6. Who does the procuring for the organization and what are some of his responsibilities?
  7. List four major areas of a job in which safety plays an important part.

Carpentry in Commercial Construction

by Bryon W. Maguire

Carpenters working on stores and offices need specialized skills and knowledge not required in residential construction. This manual explains how to handle carpentry that's unique to commercial projects.

Formwork for commercial jobs must be designed carefully because concrete surfaces are usually larger and the pressure of wet concrete much greater than on residences. Chapter 2 explains the principles of good form design and includes tables so you can provide enough wales, braces, ties and shores.

Framing on stores and small offices is usually designed to meet load criteria established by the engineer. That makes selection of the right lumber and fasteners very important. Chapter 3 outlines basic timber engineering principles and describes how to select the right lumber grade and species.

Chapter 4 explains how to handle roof framing on commercial buildings and emphasizes the work most common on commercial jobs: roof trusses, heavy sheathing and overhanging roof surfaces on storefronts.

Chapter 5 tells how to install the wood sheathing, siding, doors and windows commonly used on commercial buildings. Coverage tables are included to help you estimate quantities.

Every chapter begins with suggestions on how to plan and organize the work to improve production, and ends with a step-by-step guide to actually doing each task described. Over 160 tables, charts, drawings and pictures are included to help you understand everything that's explained.

About the Author:

Byron W. Maguire has 45 years' experience in and around the construction industry. He has done, taught and written about almost every phase of construction, including residential and commercial carpentry, masonry and management. He knows the problems you're likely to face in commercial carpentry, and how to avoid or minimize them through advance planning and careful work habits.