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Defining A Cabinet Maker

A cabinet maker is a highly skilled woodworker who specialises in creating custom cabinetry. Cabinet makers use various woods and finishes to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind, functional and stylish pieces. Whether you need new kitchen, bathroom, or office cabinets, a cabinet maker can create the perfect solution for your space.

How Does One Become A Cabinet Maker?

Cabinet making is a skilled trade that involves designing, creating, and installing custom-made cabinets and other woodwork in homes and businesses. Cabinet makers use various tools and techniques to create everything from simple shelves to complex pieces of furniture. If you want to become a cabinet maker, there are a few things you'll need to do.

Undertake an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships in cabinet making typically last between three and four years. During this time, you'll learn on-the-job under the supervision of an experienced cabinet maker and complete a Certificate III in Cabinet Making at TAFE.

Complete a pre-apprenticeship

If you lack prior knowledge or experience in woodworking or carpentry, you may be able to complete a pre-apprenticeship in cabinet making. These programs usually take around six months to complete and will give you the basic skills and knowledge you need to start an apprenticeship.

Get a job

Once you've completed your apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship, you'll be qualified to start working as a cabinet maker. You can search for jobs on job websites like Seek or Indeed or contact local furniture stores or kitchen companies to see if they have any positions available.

Consider further study

If you want to further your position and become a master cabinet maker, you may wish to consider undertaking further study. You could complete a diploma or advanced diploma in woodworking or furniture making, or even a degree in product design. This will give you the skills and knowledge you need to create truly unique and bespoke pieces of furniture.

Start your own business

Once you've gained experience as a cabinet maker, you may wish to start your own business. This will allow you to be your own boss and create pieces of furniture precisely to client specifications. If you're thinking of starting your business, you'll need to be prepared for the challenges that come with running a small business, such as marketing, bookkeeping, and managing staff.

Skills Of A Good Cabinet Maker


Cabinet makers must be able to adapt to the changing needs of their customers. They may be asked to design and create an entirely new piece of furniture, or they may need to alter an existing piece to better suit the customer's needs. In either case, cabinet makers must be able to work with the customer to determine what is needed and then create a plan to make it happen.


Cabinet makers use their creativity to design and build custom pieces of wood furniture. Often, they can take an idea the customer has and turn it into a reality. This requires a high level of creative thinking and problem-solving skills.


Cabinet making is a very detail-oriented process. To create a high-quality piece of furniture, cabinet makers must pay close attention to the design and construction of each component. This attention to detail ensures that the final product is structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing.

Physical strength

Cabinet making often requires a great deal of physical strength. Cabinet makers should be able to lift and manoeuvre heavy pieces of wood and use power tools to cut and shape the wood. As such, it is essential for cabinet makers to be in good physical condition.

Technical skills

Cabinet makers must have a strong understanding of woodworking techniques and principles. They must know how to properly use all of their shop's tools and select the correct type of wood for each project. Furthermore, cabinet makers must be able to read and understand blueprints or other technical drawings.

Time management

Cabinet making is a time-consuming process, and cabinet makers must be able to manage their time effectively to meet deadlines. This often requires advanced planning and organisation skills.

What Tools Do Cabinet Makers Use?

Chisels and gouges

Chisels and gouges are two essential tools for cabinet making. Chisels create clean, straight cuts in wood, while gouges are used for carving and shaping. Cabinet makers often use these tools to create intricate designs and details on their pieces.

Rasps and files

Rasps and files are two more tools cabinet makers use to create detailed designs. Rasps remove small amounts of wood while files smoothen and shape the wood. Cabinet makers often use these tools to create intricate and complex designs on their pieces.


Clamps are another essential tool for cabinet making. They hold pieces of wood together while the cabinet maker works on them. Clamps come in various sizes and shapes, so cabinet makers need to choose the right ones for their projects.


A sander is another tool that cabinet makers use to create a smooth finish on their pieces. Sanders come in various sizes and shapes, so cabinet makers need to choose the right ones for their project.

Stains and finishes

Stains and finishes are essential tools for cabinet making. Stains are used to colour the wood, while finishes protect the wood from damage. Cabinet makers often use both of these tools to create a beautiful and lasting finish on their pieces.

Cabinet making jigs

Cabinet-making jigs are another essential tool for cabinet making. They help the cabinet maker create precise cuts and designs on their pieces. Cabinet-making jigs come in various sizes and shapes, so cabinet makers need to choose the right ones to use in making a client's request come to life.

A set of saws

Cabinet makers use a variety of saws to make their creations. The most common type of saw used is the handsaw, which is a hand tool with a blade that you can sharpen to create precise cuts. Cabinet makers also use power saws for larger projects, which come in various sizes and shapes to suit different needs. Some of the most common power saws used by cabinet makers include table, miter, and radial arm saws.

Cabinet making software

Cabinet-making software is another essential tool for cabinet making. It creates precise cuts and designs on wood pieces. Cabinet-making software comes in various sizes and shapes, so cabinet makers need to choose the right ones for their projects.

Responsibilities Of A Cabinet Maker

Designing and creating cabinets

A cabinetmaker must be able to take a customer's ideas and turn them into a workable design. This includes being able to understand the customer's needs and wants, as well as having a solid grasp of the principles of design.

Installing cabinets

After the cabinets are built, they need installation. This involves ensuring that the cabinets are level and properly aligned and securely attaching them to the wall.

Finishing cabinets

The last step in the creation of new cabinets is to finish the cabinets. This can involve spray painting, staining, French polishing, or applying a clear coat. Cabinet makers must pay close attention to detail to create a beautiful and lasting finish.

Repairing cabinets

Cabinets sometimes need to be repaired due to wear and tear. A cabinetmaker must be able to troubleshoot problems and make repairs as needed.

Working with clients

A cabinetmaker must be able to communicate with clients to understand their needs and wants effectively. They must also be able to provide information about the various options available and help clients make informed decisions.

Selling cabinets

In addition to designing and creating cabinets, many cabinet makers sell their products. This involves promoting the cabinets to potential customers and negotiating sales contracts.

Considerations When Choosing A Cabinet Maker

As a client, when choosing a cabinet maker, you will need to consider several factors to ensure you make the best decision for your needs. Here are some of the critical things to keep in mind:

The style

What kind of cabinets are you looking for? Traditional? Modern? Rustic? There are many different styles, so it's essential to narrow down your options before you start shopping.

The material

What type of wood do you want your cabinets to be made from? Various options are available, from oak and maple to cherry and mahogany. You'll need to decide which is right for you based on your budget and personal preferences.

The finish

What kind of finish do you want on your cabinets? There are many different choices, from stained glass to painted finishes. You'll need to decide which one will best match the rest of your kitchen décor.

The price

Cabinets can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Setting a budget before you start shopping is essential so you don't overspend.


This is probably the most crucial factor when choosing a cabinet maker. Make sure you select someone who is experienced and has a good reputation. Ask for referrals from friends or family members who have had cabinets made in the past.

Hire A Cabinet Maker Today

Considering all these factors, you're sure to find the perfect cabinet maker for your needs. Having acquired jobs and skills over the years, qualified cabinet makers can comfortably handle any job at their disposal. Should you require new cabinetry or simply want to repair existing cabinets, give a professional cabinet maker a call.