Wood Machinist

Wood machinists produce furniture components for the making of furniture.

In large furniture factories, about sixteen different machines are used, ranging from the simplest band-saw to the most complex computer controlled spindle moulder. Wood machinists have to set up, adjust, operate and maintain them all.

Unprepared wood is sawn to the required shape and size. It is then transported to the planing machine. If the joining of wood framing or panels of wood is necessary, dowel pins are inserted. Details, according to design specifications, are then marked off on the wood. The next machine is then set and adjusted to obtain the required form. The wood is held firmly in place with set apparatus.

Some of these tasks require special skills, whilst others are completed automatically by the machine.


  • furniture manufacturers

  • cabinet-makers

  • kitchen manufacturers

  • building contractors

  • self-employment, with enough experience, initiative and capital, can open own small woodworking factory

Getting Started

  • try to obtain holiday or part-time work in a wood working shop

  • arrange to speak to wood machinists and ask to observe them at work

  • contact the Department of Labour about learnership possibilities in your area


Coastal KZN TVET College, College of Cape Town , Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Lovedale Public TVET College, Motheo TVET College, Tshwane North TVET College, Vuselela TVET College

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