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Details for Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters


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.


  • 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.
  • Attach parts and subassemblies together to form completed units, using glue, dowels, nails, screws, and/or clamps.
  • Bore holes for insertion of screws or dowels, by hand or using boring machines.
  • Dip, brush, or spray assembled articles with protective or decorative finishes such as stain, varnish, paint, or lacquer.
  • Establish the specifications of articles to be constructed or repaired, and plan the methods and operations for shaping and assembling parts, based on blueprints, drawings, diagrams, or oral or written instructions.
  • Install hardware such as hinges, handles, catches, and drawer pulls, using hand tools.
  • Match materials for color, grain, and texture, giving attention to knots and other features of the wood.
  • Measure and mark dimensions of parts on paper or lumber stock prior to cutting, following blueprints, to ensure a tight fit and quality product.
  • Perform final touch-ups with sandpaper and steel wool.
  • Produce and assemble components of articles such as store fixtures, office equipment, cabinets, and high-grade furniture.
  • Reinforce joints with nails or other fasteners to prepare articles for finishing.
  • Repair or alter wooden furniture, cabinetry, fixtures, paneling, and other pieces.
  • Set up and operate machines, including power saws, jointers, mortisers, tenoners, molders, and shapers, to cut, mold, and shape woodstock and wood substitutes.
  • Trim, sand, and scrape surfaces and joints to prepare articles for finishing.
  • Verify dimensions, and check the quality and fit of pieces in order to ensure adherence to specifications.
  • Apply masonite, formica, and vinyl surfacing materials.
  • Design furniture, using computer-aided drawing programs.
  • Discuss projects with customers, and draw up detailed specifications.
  • Estimate the amounts, types, and costs of needed materials.
  • Program computers to operate machinery.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Related Careers

  • Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers
  • Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters
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