CareerShip Home
About CareerShip
Contact Us
Mapping Your Future
Visit the Featured Career Match My Career Interests
Review Careers by Clusters Career Search

Details for Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing


Set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines.


  • Start machines and move levers to engage hydraulic lifts that press woodstocks into desired forms, and disengage lifts after appropriate drying times.
  • Adjust machine tables or cutting devices and set controls on machines to produce specified cuts or operations.
  • Attach and adjust guides, stops, clamps, chucks, and feed mechanisms, using hand tools.
  • Change alignment and adjustment of sanding, cutting, or boring machine guides in order to prevent defects in finished products, using hand tools.
  • Determine product specifications and materials, work methods, and machine setup requirements, according to blueprints, oral or written instructions, drawings, or work orders.
  • Examine finished workpieces for smoothness, shape, angle, depth-of-cut, and conformity to specifications, and verify dimensions, visually and using hands, rules, calipers, templates, or gauges.
  • Examine raw woodstock for defects, and to ensure conformity to size and other specification standards.
  • Feed stock through feed mechanisms or conveyors into planing, shaping, boring, mortising, or sanding machines to produce desired components.
  • Inspect and mark completed workpieces and stack them on pallets, in boxes, or on conveyors so that they can be moved to the next workstation.
  • Install and adjust blades, cutterheads, boring-bits, or sanding-belts, using hand tools and rules.
  • Monitor operation of machines, and make adjustments to correct problems and ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Push or hold workpieces against, under, or through cutting, boring or shaping mechanisms.
  • 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.
  • Select knives, saws, blades, cutter heads, cams, bits, or belts, according to workpiece, machine functions, and product specifications.
  • Set up, program, operate, or tend computerized or manual woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood-nailing machines.
  • Start machines, adjust controls, and make trial cuts to ensure that machinery is operating properly.
  • Trim wood parts according to specifications, using planes, chisels, and wood files or sanders.
  • Unclamp workpieces and remove them from machines.
  • Clean and maintain products, machines, and work areas.
  • Control hoists to remove parts or products from work stations.
  • Inspect pulleys, drive belts, guards, and fences on machines to ensure that machines will operate safely.
  • Operate gluing machines to glue pieces of wood together, or to press and affix wood veneer to wood surfaces.
  • Place water-soaked woodstock into forms under hydraulic lifts to shape it for use in making such items as musical instruments.
  • Remove and replace worn parts, bits, belts, sandpaper, and shaping tools.
  • Set up, program, and control computer-aided design (CAD) or computer numerical control (CNC) machines.
  • Sharpen knives, bits, and other cutting and shaping tools.


  • 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.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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.


  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Related Careers

  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic
  • Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic
  • Prepress Technicians and Workers
  • Printing Machine Operators
  • Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood
Wages for this career
America's Career InfoNet