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.
Set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines. May operate CNC equipment.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Examine finished workpieces for smoothness, shape, angle, depth-of-cut, or conformity to specifications and verify dimensions, visually and using hands, rules, calipers, templates, or gauges.
Determine product specifications and materials, work methods, and machine setup requirements, according to blueprints, oral or written instructions, drawings, or work orders.
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.
Feed stock through feed mechanisms or conveyors into planing, shaping, boring, mortising, or sanding machines to produce desired components.
Push or hold workpieces against, under, or through cutting, boring, or shaping mechanisms.
Examine raw woodstock for defects and to ensure conformity to size and other specification standards.
Set up, program, operate, or tend computerized or manual woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, or wood-nailing machines.
Inspect pulleys, drive belts, guards, or fences on machines to ensure that machines will operate safely.
Attach and adjust guides, stops, clamps, chucks, or feed mechanisms, using hand tools.
Change alignment and adjustment of sanding, cutting, or boring machine guides to prevent defects in finished products, using hand tools.
Install and adjust blades, cutterheads, boring-bits, or sanding-belts, using hand tools and rules.
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.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
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.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
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.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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