When it All Clicks into Place
Yossi Buta is a highly skilled and knowledgeable builder and metalworker with over 40 years of experience in the field. Starting out as a teacher at the school where he learned his trade, he established his own business and over time transitioned to running his own workshop full-time. He offers a diverse range of construction projects working with wood and metal, from pergolas and enclosures to windows and railings—boasting not only the technical skills, but a deep theoretical knowledge that enables him to craft structures of the highest quality.
How did you get started in this field?
I was a mechanics teacher for many years. I felt that with my skill level, I would be better off starting my own business—so that’s what I did. I opened a shop that deals with all types of metalwork—aluminum, window blinds, display cases, windows, and more. At first, I continued teaching part-time, but later, when my business became more established, I was able to leave teaching and devote all my time to the workshop. My knowledge in the field extends far beyond technical know-how; because I’m a teacher, I had to know the theory well to pass it on. That means I understand the material’s characteristics, the mechanics of structures, etc. I can also interpret and comprehend customers’ work plans in depth, sometimes even improving them if I see a problem.
Have there been changes in this field since you entered it nearly 40 years ago?
There are always changes because of updates to safety rules in schools and other public places, so my work changes accordingly. There haven’t been many changes in the raw materials, but the tools for working with them have greatly improved. This allows us to work more precisely and quickly, so customers can enjoy better products at lower prices.
How does one acquire this profession?
There are schools that teach it. I studied at Kiryat Noar in Jerusalem, at Torah U’melacha, which combines Torah study with career training. I studied from ’64 to ’69 and taught mechanics for a year before going into the army. I served for three years and then continued teaching for another ten years, until 1984.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with wood versus working with metal?
Building with wood is cheaper and much easier than dealing with metal, but it’s also less safe. One match can God forbid destroy an entire wooden house. Metal is good for light structures—galleries, stairs, and ramps. We use it in construction, contract work, large projects like that. Safety bars and railings are the easy part. More complex things like turbines and cranes require my extensive professional knowledge. The safety railings I make are of the highest quality because of the materials I use, the way I put them together and attach them to the building—even the way I paint them.
What do you love about your profession?
My priority is my satisfied customer, they return and send their friends to me. I take full responsibility for my work in every sense. My product is my reputation, and it’s very important to me to stand behind it. High-quality work is an art; I don’t settle for anything less than perfection, and it’s fulfilling to know I’ve achieved that.
Which parts of the job do you complete at the shop, and which parts need to take place at the customer’s home?
We do pretty much everything at the shop, so all that’s left to do in the client’s home is installation. Even when a product is made of several parts, I build everything at the shop, including the connective parts, and I put together a comprehensive work plan. At the client’s home, I have a minimal amount of work left; I just click everything into place. I plot out the specifications for every job to ensure that the work goes as smoothly as possible and in an orderly and pleasant fashion. My clients are often astounded by how quickly I’m in and out.
What are your favorite types of project?
The more complex, interesting, and challenging it is—the more I love it! It’s like solving a Sudoku puzzle. Beit Hakerem’s College of Engineering hires me for complex and fascinating projects; the last project was for six-meter-tall wind turbines. I also built the gates for the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, which was a joy and an honor.
Misgeriyat Yossef Buta is a workshop offering a diverse range of light construction projects in wood and metal, including safety bars and railings, electronic gates, galleries, display cases, pergolas, and more.