Wood Machinist Careers

How to become Wood Machinist

What does a Wood Machinist do?

Wood machinists work primarily in the processing and manufacturing divisions of the UK wood supply chain.

They cut and prepare timber for use in furniture manufacture, DIY stores and the construction industry. Working from detailed technical drawings and templates, they select the type of wood required, estimate the amount needed, and cut and prepare it to the correct size, shape and finish.

Manufactured products include floorboards, staircases, door and window frames, kitchen units and cabinets, fencing, pallets and packaging.

A variety of wood-cutting and shaping tools are used, such as sawing machines, planers, mortice machines, moulding machines and routers. Increasingly, machinery in factories and mills is computer controlled and machinists are often trained to use computer-aided design techniques and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) methods as part of their work.

Wood machinists are also responsible for cleaning workshop tools and machinery, and making sure they are regularly serviced.

What's the working environment like working as a Wood Machinist?

Wood machinists normally work 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Overtime may be available and shift work is common.

Machinists work indoors in well-ventilated sawmills or workshops. The work can be physically demanding and protective clothing and equipment is used to minimise the effects of noise and dust.

What does it take to become a Wood Machinist?

To be a wood machinist you should:

  • have good practical skills and some mechanical knowledge
  • have a good understanding of the characteristics of different types of timber
  • be able to follow instructions and production schedules
  • be able to concentrate for long periods and pay attention to detail
  • be safety conscious
  • be able to work effectively on your own and in a team
  • have good numeracy skills for calculations and measurements.

Wood Machinist Career Opportunities

Jobs are available in many areas of the country including timber yards, saw mills, construction and furniture companies. It may be possible to move into related areas such as bench joinery or shopfitting. With experience, promotion to supervisory and management levels may also be an option.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Wood Machinist that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Bircham Newton
King's Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Tel: 0870 417 8777

The Furniture, Furnishings and Interiors National Training Organisation (FFINTO)
67 Wollaton Road
NG29 2NG
Tel: 0115 922 1200

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