Interview with Shaun Rowe

Saw Doctor

Shaun Rowe

Case Study

Name: Shaun Rowe
Position: Apprentice Saw Doctor
Company: Dormit
Qualifications: Saw Doctor Apprenticeship (Certificate III in Saw Doctoring)
Age: 21

What does your job involve?
Basically my job’s about making sure that saws are in the right condition to run smoothly and cut properly. This not only involves sharpening and setting the teeth, but working with the metal of the blade. Before I started this job I never thought metal had lumps in it! We have to take them out or the saw won’t cut accurately.Working at Dormit, sawmilling wood for pallet manufacturing, I look after band saws and circular saws.

What’s a typical working day for you?
There’s no typical day really. I have regular things to do, but on top of those there’s always something different - a new problem to solve or something to work out.

What’s the best thing about your job?
For me it’s working with my hands and solving problems. I’m a really hands-on person and I like working with mechanical things. I like the process too, sharpening a saw, fixing a problem and seeing the results –the saw running straight and cutting smoothly.
Another thing is that there are always jobs for saw doctors, in an in demand trade. It’s also something that you can do anywhere in Australia, or the world for that matter.

How did you get into the job and your apprenticeship?
I made it through VCE and pretty much went to Dormit for work experience. After a couple of months they offered me an apprenticeship and I grabbed the chance.

What does your apprenticeship involve?
Most of the learning actually happens on the job, it’s doing things yourself and watching how the experienced people do things too. I also do one week blocks at TAFE four to six times a year. 
It’s good to get together with the other guys at TAFE – yeah, there are no girls in the course at the moment, it would be good to have a few!
Most of what we do at TAFE is relevant to my job, the rest is interesting anyway. Who knows what knowledge may come in useful one day?

What sort of person do you think would be interested in your job?
Someone who likes working with mechanical things, likes doing things with their hands – and doesn’t mind getting a bit grubby, it’s not the cleanest of jobs! If anyone reading this is thinking of saw doctoring, I’d say go for it.
Please note: We spoke to Shaun about his career and what he does day to day. We hope you find this useful and interesting – but please remember, that all jobs are not exactly the same and other roles with the same title may be different in many respects. You should confirm all the details of a particular job with the organisation offering it.