Women and Carpentry Class: Two Parts Instruction + One Part Inspiration

June 12, 2017

(Photo from South End Joinery's facebook page


I had such an amazing weekend at South End Joinery's Women and Carpentry class. I worked with two different instructors and six other women to frame, attach, and insulate the floor of what will be a mobile tiny house on a trailer, and learned a tremendous amount in the process. I tried a ton of different power tools, and everyone in the class had the opportunity to try and get comfortable with each tool in the context of our build. Here's the list of power tools we covered:


  • Chop saw (also known as a miter saw)

  • Circular saw

  • Table saw

  • Sawzall

  • Pneumatic nail gun

  • Impact driver

  • Drill

In addition the the power tools, we used a wide range of hand tools, and learned a ton about professional measuring practices used in carpentry and safety best practices using each tool. In addition to all this, we learned a lot of framing and layout terminology, how to check and "square" a frame you've built, and so many more topics I couldn't possibly list them here. Our first day our instructor was Hannah Bush, the manager of South End Joinery. Hannah has a background in education and works with the YouthBuild program as well, so her teaching was engaging, detailed, and created an atmosphere that really made everyone feel comfortable diving in and trying all the tools and tasks. The next day our instructor was Amy Judd, who is an independent contractor and has been working in carpentry for 20 years. Amy was affable, excited, and experienced.


Listening to Amy's story of how she left her office manager job for carpentry twenty years ago was incredibly inspiring to me. As I have thought about what I want to do for work as my son starts school in the coming years, the trades have been very appealing to me. I told Amy my long term goal was to be sort of a handy-woman/ DIY Home Improvement Coach.  She assured me that not only could I do very well at that, but that I could start calling myself that tomorrow if I wanted to with the skills I would have after this workshop. Amy also took a great deal of time to work through everyone's questions about projects they had in mind for the future; what kind of materials would be best for different applications, how to tackle some more challenging home-owner projects, Amy was happy to walk us through it all. I am sure everyone left feeling like they got the information they wanted out of the class. 

(Photo from South End Joinery's facebook page

I would recommend classes at South End Joinery to anyone who is interested in gaining new skills, whether for a future career, or to be able to do more DIY improvements themselves at home. Check out their calendar and sign up today! 

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Hey, I'm Jillian, and I'm creating an extraordinary life on an ordinary budget. 

I'm just an actual person, trying to make sh*t work. I'm doing pretty okay at it.  About Me.

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Hey Jillian features articles on self-care and mental health, budget beauty, parenting, recipes and meal planning, DIY home improvement projects, and product reviews relevant to people who are interested in those things. xoxo Jillian
Jillian Kirby | Burlington, Vermont | Email me at hi@heyJilliankirby.com