Cabinet Making

Some knowledge of mathematics, geometry and technical drawing are necessary skills when approaching the world of cabinet making. But most important is an interest in how a good piece of furniture is constructed, as well as enjoying and indeed, thriving on the challenge of achieving that result.

A quick note to thank you again for your brilliant effort in making the moveable top for my antique mahogany dining room table and all who have seen it agree, superb workmanship.

Dennis Hodgson, Wellington.


A sense of satisfaction and pride in presenting the work to the customer is also extremely valuable. It doesn’t matter what level you are in cabinetmaking or what kind of project it is, the sense of achievement and motivation towards the next challenge creates a real appreciation for this art.

Learning the tradtional joints of construction and how to apply them lends a piece of furniture the quality that will ensure its survival for many years, as good antique pieces have proven. Taking the time to use the traditional method and glues is ‘good practice’ that will give a piece a distinctly unique appearance and the depth of a intricate and detailed piece.

The process

Another part of cabinet making that I enjoy is the initial meeting with the customer. I discuss with them what they wish to have made or restored, and then use their input to make a scale drawing of the piece to be made. The interest they typically show throughout the construction period makes the end result a work of great relevance, care and collaboration. Presenting them with the final product is a highlight.

There is much to be said for the trade of cabinet making. It involves a lifetime of challenge, achievement and satisfaction. Knowing that it is a skill and trade that dates back hundreds of years and still uses the same words, technique, and level of care is special. Cabinet making respects the skills that have been handed down from generation to generation and it is important to keep them alive.