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How Nathan Gilbert Became a Carpenter

Ask This Old House carpenter Nathan Gilbert takes us along his journey through the carpentry trade.

Carpenter Nathan Gilbert takes us through his journey from child to carpenter to cast member on the Ask This Old House team. Nathan explains who his biggest influences were, and how he first gained experience in the trade. As a proud military veteran, Nathan explains his call to duty, how he spent his time in the US Navy, and the doors that experience opened for him.

Nathan got his start in carpentry at a very young age. His father was (and still is) a general contractor, and Nathan enjoyed going to work with him as a child. During summer vacation from school, Nathan would accompany his father on his projects and developed a love for the trade.

Nathan’s father wasn’t his only influence. Both his father and grandfather were “SeaBees” in the US Navy, which means they were assigned to the branch’s Construction Battalion unit. Nathan followed in their footsteps, joining the US Navy in 2009. Through the Navy, Nathan learned more skills and was able to take his talents on deployments to countries all over the world. He believes his time in the Navy really helped shape him into the person he is today.

This Old House’s Generation Next program gave apprentices in respective trades the ability to work alongside some of the TOH cast. Nathan saw the program online, sent all his paperwork in, and was chosen to join the Generation Next team. He worked on a project in Newton, where he worked with general contractor Tom Silva and master carpenter Norm Abrams. It wasn’t Nathan’s first time on a job site, but it was his first time in front of the cameras.

After the Newton project wrapped, Nathan got a call from the producers of Ask This Old House wondering if he’d answer some house calls for the team. His first house call was reversing the swing of a front door, and Nathan handled it with ease. Since then, Nathan’s traveled all over the country to help homeowners solve carpentry-related issues at their homes.

What Nathan enjoys the most about being part of the Ask This Old House crew is sharing the knowledge he picked up over the years as a carpenter. He also enjoys helping homeowners feel empowered, giving them with the opportunity to use power tools for the first time.

Nathan believes that to be a good carpenter, it’s important to be able to adapt and overcome. Every situation has a solution, and it takes that adaptive mindset to find it. He’d love to pass that mindset onto his daughter, and he especially loves it when she stops by to see what her dad’s doing at work.