Andreas has been working as a carpenter since he graduated in 2008, starting as an apprentice where he helped build a house before moving on to multi-storey projects that have him working on everything from ventilation and sheet metal work to forming concrete.
When you live life with a hammer in your hand, it’s tricky to take time out. Luckily, Andreas could spare five minutes to talk us through how his grandad inspired him to his life now where he’s working on projects at such a large scale that it’s hard to keep up!
Bahco: How did you get started?
Andreas: My grandad was a carpenter and I used to love being at home and doing carpentry work with him. It was when we were making things that I fell in love with how you can build and create something using just your hands.
Knowing this was what I wanted to do, I started as an apprentice in a small construction company with only three employees. At this stage I learned everything about building a house, including ventilation, sheet metal work and even how to install a central vacuum. Not every apprentice in carpentry has the privilege to learn this at the start of their professional career which is a shame because it gave me such a good understanding of building projects that a lot of carpenters today just don’t have.
What was your first project?
The first ever thing I helped to build was a house. It’s really satisfying to be part of a house build from beginning to end because you develop a relationship with the customer, which makes everyone on the project truly deliver the best work they can.
Tell us about the most challenging project you’ve worked on
I’m actually still working on this project which is a 5-storey car park in Hyllie, Malmo that will have space for about 350 cars. It’s hard work forming concrete but I’m learning a lot working on this project and it is still enjoyable despite the challenge!
What has been your favourite project to work on?
It was back in 2013 when I was part of the team that were building Pilbäckskolan with Byggnadsfirman Otto Magnusson, who I still work for. It was such a different project for us as carpenters but we all got on really well and the company was pleased with the result.
What’s your favourite piece of equipment to work with?
Definitely a hammer, is there anything else for a carpenter? Although there’s nails less and less, you still use your hammer all the time to adjust things and secure them in the right position.
Are you proud of what you do?
Yes I’m incredibly proud to be a carpenter, a lot of people aren’t familiar with the industry so think it’s a lot easier than it actually is.
What advice would you give to the next generation of carpenters?
Try to have as much variety as you can and get an apprenticeship that teaches you a lot of different skills. A lot of apprentices today can end up on a big project for a number of years which only teaches them a few skills specific to that build. An apprenticeship should give you a chance to learn and develop your skills, it is not for doing work that more skilled people don’t want to do.
Finally, what is your biggest motivator?
It’s the best feeling when you see something happen that makes the customers genuinely happy. When the end result is really good, it just makes you love what you do more.