Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

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Also known as:
CNC Wood Lathe Operator, Roof Truss Builder, Speed Belt Sander, Tenon Operator, Wood Boring Machine Operator, Wood Dowel Machine Operator, Wood Lathe Operator, Wood Planer

ABOUT WOODWORKING MACHINE SETTERS, OPERATORS, AND TENDERS, EXCEPT SAWIN CAREERS
Video transcript

If you enjoy working with your hands, you know how rewarding it can be to create something as beautiful as it is functional. And that's just what furniture finishers do. They are skilled workers who apply chemical coatings to enhance and highlight the beauty of wood furniture.

They use hand or power tools to painstakingly prepare the surface. Using brushes or spray guns, they stain, paint, or seal the surfaces. Several applications may be required, along with a final cleaning and polishing.

Finishers may work on mass-produced furniture in a factory - or on custom pieces or antiques in their own shop. In either environment, good ventilation is a must and you may need to wear protective gear. The chemicals are messy and some are hazardous.

Many vocational schools offer training in woodworking but often employers train finishers on the job. You'd most likely start out in the sanding and stripping area. Automation and imports are reducing the number of available jobs in furniture manufacturing. The trend towards metal, plastic and fiberglass in furniture means less finishing is required.

Skilled finishers with repair skills can often find work restoring furniture. Those who enter this occupation should have a knowledge of wood, an eye for detail and a love of furniture and antiques. Perfectionists are welcome.

SNAPSHOT
Set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines. May operate computer numerically controlled (CNC) equipment.
Leadership
MED
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Feed stock through feed mechanisms or conveyors into planing, shaping, boring, mortising, or sanding machines to produce desired components.

Trim wood parts according to specifications, using planes, chisels, or wood files or sanders.

Grease or oil woodworking machines.

Secure woodstock against a guide or in a holding device, place woodstock on a conveyor, or dump woodstock in a hopper to feed woodstock into machines.

Inspect pulleys, drive belts, guards, or fences on machines to ensure that machines will operate safely.

Install and adjust blades, cutterheads, boring-bits, or sanding-belts, using hand tools and rules.

Examine raw woodstock for defects and to ensure conformity to size and other specification standards.

Change alignment and adjustment of sanding, cutting, or boring machine guides to prevent defects in finished products, using hand tools.

Remove and replace worn parts, bits, belts, sandpaper, or shaping tools.

Adjust machine tables or cutting devices and set controls on machines to produce specified cuts or operations.

Start machines, adjust controls, and make trial cuts to ensure that machinery is operating properly.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
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.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
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.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
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.
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.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
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.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
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.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.