Cabinetmaker

Cabinetmakers build and repair wooden cabinets and high grade furniture using a variety of woodworking machines and hand tools. They receive wooden components from wood machinists and assemble the pieces, adding doors, drawers and locks.


Cabinetmakers build and repair wooden cabinets and high grade furniture using a variety of woodworking machines and hand tools. They receive wooden components from wood machinists and assemble the pieces, adding doors, drawers and locks. The work of cabinetmakers involves handwork and a traditional woodwork approach, although they may also work with electric and pneumatic tools. They work with wood as well as modern materials such as melamine. They usually work in workshops or on sites where cabinets have to be installed.  Computers may be used to design furniture, or programmed to operate machinery.


Cabinetmakers’ work is varied. They discuss projects with customers, draw up detailed specifications, study plans and blueprints of designs and then plan the order of operations. They need to estimate the amounts, types or costs of needed materials.  They then plan the methods or operations for shaping or assembling parts, based on blueprints, drawings, diagrams or oral or written instructions. They mark outlines of parts on paper or timber according to specifications and match materials for colour, grain or texture, giving attention to knots or other features of the wood. They set up and operate machines such as power saws, joiners and mortises to cut and shape wood. Timber is cut to the right size and shape and parts of joints trimmed to ensure a snug fit, using hand tools, such as planes, chisels or wood files.  Holes are drilled for the insertion of screws or dowels, by hand or using boring machines.

The various parts are then fitted, glued and clamped together to form complete units. The articles are sanded down and in some cases stained, then finished off by installing hinges, catches and drawer knobs.


Some cabinetmakers repair or alter wooden furniture, cabinetry, fixtures, panelling or other pieces, while others may specialise in working only with a particular type of wood, e.g. kiaat.


 


Employment


  • furniture manufacturers

  • cabinetmakers

  • kitchen manufacturers

  • building contractors

  • woodwork workshops

  • self-employment


There is a high demand for this craft.


Getting Started


  • try to obtain holiday or part-time work as a helper to a cabinetmaker

  • arrange to speak to a cabinetmaker and ask to observe him at work

  • get information about learnership programmes in your area


Programmes

Accra Polytechnic, Anistemi College and Training Centre, Coastal KZN TVET College, College of Cape Town , Eastcape Midlands TVET College, Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Lovedale Public TVET College, Mauritius Institute of Training and Development, Motheo TVET College, Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT), Rundu Vocational Training Centre, Tshwane North TVET College, Valombola Vocational Training Centre (VVTC), Vuselela TVET College, Windhoek Vocational Training Centre, Zambezi Vocational Training Centre


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