A Shuttering Carpenter, also known as a formwork carpenter or a concrete carpenter, plays a crucial role in the construction industry, specifically in the context of concrete structures. Their primary responsibility is to construct the temporary framework, called formwork or shuttering, which is used to mould and support freshly poured concrete until it sets and gains sufficient strength.
The role of a shuttering carpenter involves several tasks and responsibilities, including:
Reading and interpreting construction plans: Shuttering carpenters must be able to understand architectural and engineering drawings, as well as specifications, to determine the dimensions, shape, and layout of the formwork required for a particular concrete structure
Constructing formwork: Using various materials such as timber, plywood, steel, or aluminium, the carpenter builds the formwork according to the specified dimensions and shape outlined in the plans. This involves cutting, shaping, and joining the materials to create moulds that will contain the poured concrete
Installing formwork: The shuttering carpenter sets up the formwork in its designated position, ensuring that it is securely anchored and properly aligned. This involves using a variety of tools and equipment, such as hammers, nails, screws, and braces, to assemble and fasten the formwork components
Applying release agents: To prevent the concrete from sticking to the formwork, shuttering carpenters often apply release agents or formwork oil to the surfaces in contact with the concrete. This helps facilitate the easy removal of the formwork once the concrete has hardened
Reinforcement placement: In certain cases, the shuttering carpenter may be responsible for placing and securing steel reinforcement bars (rebar) within the formwork before the concrete is poured. This is done to provide additional strength and structural integrity to the concrete structure
Collaborating with other trades: Shuttering carpenters work closely with other construction professionals, such as concrete workers, steel fixers, and site supervisors. They coordinate their efforts to ensure the timely and accurate installation, pouring, and removal of formwork
Formwork removal: Once the concrete has sufficiently cured and attained the required strength, the shuttering carpenter dismantles the formwork. This process involves carefully removing the formwork components without damaging the hardened concrete structure
Overall, the role of a shuttering carpenter requires a strong understanding of construction techniques, measurements, and materials. Their work is vital for creating the temporary moulds that shape the concrete, ensuring structural integrity and accuracy in construction projects.