Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters

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Also known as:
Cabinet Builder, Cabinetmaker, Marquetry Worker, Wood Furniture Assembler, Wood Working Assembler

ABOUT CABINETMAKER OR BENCH CARPENTER CAREERS
Video transcript

When buying cabinets and other furnishings for their homes or offices, customers often select fine wood furniture that is made by cabinet makers and bench carpenters.

Cabinet makers are precision woodworkers who design, cut, shape, and assemble wood components into a finished product. They work from blueprints and drawings, select lumber for proper grain, texture, and color, and use power and hand tools to fabricate and finish the pieces. Often, pieces are custom made to exact customer specifications.

Bench carpenters are woodworkers who may work on assembly lines and use hand and power tools to assemble precut and prefabricated wooden parts into finished products. Woodworkers must be able to work with their hands, read blueprints and drawings, have an eye for detail and possess a good working knowledge of mathematics. Many woodworkers being as helpers.

It takes at least two to three years to develop the necessary skills. A high school or trade school diploma or equivalent is desirable for entry to this field. If you have a creative flair and enjoy working with wood, creating beautiful furniture as a cabinet maker or bench carpenter can be very satisfying work.

SNAPSHOT
Cut, shape, and assemble wooden articles or set up and operate a variety of woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers to surface, cut, or shape lumber or to fabricate parts for wood products.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Repair or alter wooden furniture, cabinetry, fixtures, paneling, or other pieces.

Install hardware, such as hinges, handles, catches, or drawer pulls, using hand tools.

Verify dimensions or check the quality or fit of pieces to ensure adherence to specifications.

Attach parts or subassemblies together to form completed units, using glue, dowels, nails, screws, or clamps.

Trim, sand, or scrape surfaces or joints to prepare articles for finishing.

Set up or operate machines, including power saws, jointers, mortisers, tenoners, molders, or shapers, to cut, mold, or shape woodstock or wood substitutes.

Establish the specifications of articles to be constructed or repaired or plan the methods or operations for shaping or assembling parts, based on blueprints, drawings, diagrams, or oral or written instructions.

Bore holes for insertion of screws or dowels, by hand or using boring machines.

Measure and mark dimensions of parts on paper or lumber stock prior to cutting, following blueprints, to ensure a tight fit and quality product.

Cut timber to the right size and shape and trim parts of joints to ensure a snug fit, using hand tools, such as planes, chisels, or wood files.

Perform final touch-ups with sandpaper or steel wool.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
TOP SKILLS
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.