Having been a carpenter since 1993, Andreas has done many jobs and been involved on various sites. He currently works as a caretaker, doing simple but essential work. From adjusting doors and repairing drawers to fixing roofing damage after storms, he keeps houses and other facilities in good condition.
It’s fair to say that you learn and experience a lot over a 23-year career. So, we caught up with Andreas to find out how he went from having no family history in carpentry to being employed by one of the largest construction companies in the world.
Bahco: How did you get started?
Andreas: It was just a coincidence. I have none of it in my family or anything. I just liked to work with my hands and took a chance.
What was the first thing you made?
It was from a pine tree in metal workshop at school. We took the bark and used it to make a boat. After school, it was building the foundations to hold concrete.
Do you have a favourite project of period of time?
I’ve been doing this for 23 years and have always been doing stuff for other people. 4-5 years back I got my own house and that’s my favourite project. It’s an old house from the 1850s, so there’s always something to do. It’s a constant project.
So, have you completely renovated the house then?
No, because we’ve got the family project as well. Our two kids get all the focus right now. They’re five months old and three years old, so we’re just planning. We’ve done the roof and repainted, small things while we plan the bigger projects.
We’re making a small house on the outside as well with leftover materials. I started this using some windows I’d collected from another job and had lots of planks left from roof scaffolding.
What is the hardest project you have worked on?
The house is a challenge because it involves all my family and the other bits that come with all houses. It can be tough for the person you live with as well, when you work from seven in the morning to seven at night, so, that’s kind of difficult.
I did one project on my own after school. I was all alone for half a year out on an island. I was working on an old saw house I built for my uncle and rebuilding it into a workshop. It put a real demand on my knowledge. It started as a shed, but ended as a fully functional workshop for cars and boats.
“I had no internet on my cell phone, so I had to figure things out and ask other people in the business how to do things.”
What about the largest project?
I’ve spent time on several big construction sites, but the latest one was a big school that was being renovated into a hotel. I was one of six carpenters employed by Skanska, and I worked on turning old bunkrooms into more hotel standard accommodation.
What is your favourite tool or piece of equipment?
The one I use most is the screwdriver, but the one I like to use and find the most flexible would be the Jig Saw. It’s a small handsaw that’s always easy to have with you. And of course the hammer. The hammer is a big one.
What motivates you to go to work every day?
It’s the variation. Of both the people and the jobs. No day is alike. Then, the impact and effect of the weather. It’s something you always have to have in mind.
Do you have any advice for the next generation of carpenters?
It’s not a technique for carpentry or the trade, but just to be open-minded and never feel like you have learned everything.
To be open to new things. When you can use your knowledge and use new things, the combination is fantastic.
"To hang in there with the early mornings—after 10 years it gets funny.”