TCL Episode #39 - Tony Fogarty the Timber Tailor
Every episode of The Construction Life shows a different side of construction from a different perspective. Episode #39 is another valuable addition to the construction industry. Tony Fogarty, the perfectionist Timber Tailor talks about the woodworking and carpentry.
A musician turned carpenter moved to Canada eight years ago and had zero knowledge about construction. He went into trades to make money when he moved to Canada because his wife was Canadian. He started with his buddy and felt that woodworking is very artistic work he started learning the skill while working on the job sites and now his work speaks for him. 32 years old Tony can turn baseboards, casings, and doors into furniture and is naturally born with a talent to be a finished carpenter.
The start of his career in construction was rough due to a difficult boss. But eventually, he found his way and is now working with good contractors who value his skills. Tony aims to start a small company with 4-5 people and do small projects in the future, but right now he is a lone wolf and works on his own.
Learning from social media
Tony doesn’t hesitate to accept that he learns from Instagram. He follows several Instagram pages and also follows the tips shared by them. He tries to replicate the work he likes and also posts stories on Instagram frequently. He doesn’t believe in Facebook though, and also says that most of the work he gets is through positive word of mouth.
Jack of All Trades = Master of None
Tony believes in specializing in skill and polishing it till you master it. He is not fond of learning many trades and delivering something average. He ought to deliver perfect final results and thus believes in doing what you are good at. The episode discusses how it is important that all the trades work together.
Tony believes brand loyalty is for fools. You should go for products that work well for you. He uses a combination of several brands for different products. Tony says that all you need is a product that gives you results and has accuracy. Whenever you are planning to buy a tool/machinery, accuracy should be the first criterion.
Being Organized is Important
Tony says that he spends some time organizing his workspace and tools on the job site he is working on. It is good to know where is everything and you can get them whenever you need them. He is a very organized person, he organizes his tools in a box, and says that he enjoys his work more when everything is organized.
Poplar Vs MDF
Poplar, but it depends on what you are doing. For trim, poplar, for panels, MDF. Tony says it’s always perfectly straight, and even though it is not liked overall but the results for MDF are amazing, and working with MDF is so smooth.
Coping vs Miter
Tony prefers Coping. He says that coping definitely is the choice to go to for a finished carpenter.
He likes type-1 glue usually. And he uses hyper glue for miters, for super-strong bond.
What’s wrong with the industry?
Tony thinks it’s bizarre that contractors always claim others’ work as crappy work to make their image better in eyes of the clients. He claims that your work should speak for you instead of you bad-mouthing others to praise yourself. He also says that the millennials are not serious about their work.
Tony says that KN Crowder makes nice pocket door kits and he prefers using LSL framing instead of metal supplied studs. He says that when pocket doors are not done perfectly, you will definitely have a callback. A problem with the pocket doors for all trim trades.
90% of pocket doors once installed, you can't get them out. It might take a bunch more time, but you should make them removable.
Doors he Like
He says you cannot choose one, but he likes eight-foot solid doors.
Tony says that he likes Poplar, but he talked about MDX, and how it is used for windows because it is easy to work with and is extremely waterproof.
Preference in crown molding MDF, Poplar, or Maple?
Tony prefers MDF, even though a lot of guys now are doing the plaster.
Advice for Newcomers
Tony says that success depends on if you like the work or not. You should love the work you are doing. He likes the woodwork and trims work. He likes to see the finished product and see how you have made a perfect product from your hands. He has not gone to any college or had any apprentices, but he is a problem solver and has a passion for his work.
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