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A cabinet maker creates both freestanding fine wood furniture as well as custom built-in cabinets. Cabinet makers meet with clients and build furniture or cabinets to each client's satisfaction. Although different woods, materials and styles may be used for different jobs, custom cabinet makers usually do similar tasks on each job.
Measuring the client's interior space is important for kitchen cabinet makers as well as furniture builders as the proportion of the finished products must be accurate and appealing. Next, a cabinet maker will usually create drawings of what the finished piece will look like. Preparing a list of project materials and tools can save cabinet makers time as they are then better able to purchase needed supplies in one trip. A cabinet maker selects the appropriate wood and other items to create a quality finished project that is still on budget.
As cabinet makers work to install the finished cabinets, they use saws and power tools to cut, sand and shape the wood pieces. They work with wood glue, nails, screws, dowels and other fasteners to create finished furniture and cabinets. A cabinet maker attaches door pulls and cabinet hardware before hanging the cupboard doors onto the finished frames for the cabinets. Fitting the custom kitchen cabinets in with existing appliances is an important skill for cabinet makers.
Cabinet makers may start as an apprentice for a custom cabinet maker. Grade 12 or equivalent, plus some work experience and passed exams are often required for aspiring apprentices. Cabinet makers may work in residential or commercial settings and they may be part of a team of contractors or remodelers. A cabinet maker may also repair or refinish wood furniture and cabinets rather than build new pieces on each job.
Some cabinet makers specialize in certain industries such as in crafting wood interiors for planes for airline companies or working on hotel interiors. A cabinet maker may do both commercial and residential work. Cabinet makers may keep a portfolio of their finished work along with customer testimonials in order to market their services to keep getting jobs.