wood workers

What Does a Wood Worker Do?

wood workers

Wood workers use hand tools and power equipment to assemble wooden products, such as boxes, crates, pallets, and storage bins. They also fabricate containers from a variety of materials, study specifications, and measure, mark, and cut boards using patterns and templates.

Other forest workers harvest products from the woodlands, including tree cones and barks, decorative greens, moss, and other wild plants. Some also tap trees for sap to make syrup or chemicals.

Job Duties

Wood workers create things like furniture, cabinetry and musical instruments using a variety of tools. They may work alone or as part of a team.

They are primarily tinkerers and artisans. Their job duties include understanding detailed architectural drawings, schematics, shop drawings and blueprints.

Establish the specifications for articles to be constructed or repaired; plan the methods and operations for shaping and assembling parts; and install hardware, including hinges, handles, catches, and drawer pulls. Measure and mark dimensions on paper or lumber stock prior to cutting, following blueprints, to ensure a tight fit and quality product.

Woodworkers use a variety of tools, including hand saws, chisels, mallets, planes, drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, and planers. They also use adhesives and fasteners to connect pieces together and finish surfaces of woodwork pieces.

Education and Training Requirements

Wood workers must have a high school diploma or equivalent and have the right level of training and experience. This can include on-the-job training or a vocational program that can last from one to four years.

The primary qualifications for this job are physical strength and hand dexterity, as well as the ability to use hand and power tools. A high level of attention to detail is also important, as woodworkers are responsible for making sure their work is accurate and meets client specifications.

In addition to these skills, wood workers are expected to be able to design and produce high-quality wooden products that meet industry standards. This can involve working with automated machinery or using computerized systems to produce finished products.

Working Conditions

The working conditions for wood workers can vary depending on the type of products they make. They often work in manufacturing facilities where they use specialized pieces of machinery to cut, shape and smooth wooden parts.

Machines they operate include saws, belt sanders, drum sanders, matchers and planers. These machines are especially dangerous if they are not used properly or without proper safeguards.

Injuries to workers in wood processing are often serious and can lead to amputations, blindness and other injuries. These injuries can be prevented by following safety guidelines for woodworking operations, as outlined by OSHA.

Employment Opportunities

Woodworkers are employed in a variety of industries that produce a wide range of products made from wood materials, such as cabinets and furniture. Some are employed in specialized fields such as construction management, where they work with architects and engineers to integrate their work into the design of construction projects.

Job duties include reading blueprints and schematics, preparing machines for manufacturing and ensuring that the products they make meet industry-specific safety requirements. They also use a wide array of woodworking equipment, including saws, drills and lathes.

Those who want to advance in their careers may consider getting certified, which demonstrates advanced knowledge and professionalism in their craft. The Architectural Woodwork Institute and the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America offer national certificate programs that can help a wood worker to show employers they have the skills and expertise necessary for a career in this field.