Cabinetmaking

Architectural Millwork: An Intro for Students in Cabinetmaking Training

November 16, 2022

Do you love working with your hands and seeing a future for yourself in the construction industry? If so, it’s a great idea to scope out all of the career paths available to you before getting started. If it’s not on your radar yet, you should definitely consider architectural millwork. It’s a great option for those who have a creative streak and an appreciation for aesthetics. Learn what architectural millwork entails, what sort of environments you can expect to work in, and what duties and skills are required. This rewarding career allows you to take pride in your handmade creations, which will be components of buildings for years to come. Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to architectural millwork.

What Is Architectural Millwork? 

Architectural millwork (often called architectural woodwork) is simply the production of different components that will be used internally and externally on architectural structures. Your projects may be purely functional, decorative, or a bit of both, depending on the needs of your company’s clients. Common project types you may encounter include wall paneling, trim, doors, casework, staircases, and countertops. 

Unlike traditional millwork, wood is not the only material you can expect to work with on a regular basis, as plastic laminates could show up from time to time. That being said, there are different types of architectural millwork. Keep reading to see which one you’d prefer to pursue after cabinetmaking training

Architectural millwork is an excellent career path to take after cabinetmaking training.

Work Environment Options to Explore After Cabinetmaking Training

There are two primary types of architectural millwork that could have you working in vastly different environments. Commodity millwork takes place in a manufacturing setting where the goal is to mass-produce pieces. Projects in this setting are usually made from cheaper materials since clients, often development companies, are looking to build as many structures as they can at the lowest possible price. 

If you value workmanship over efficiency, seeking a position in a custom millwork company after completing your cabinetmaking diploma program is a great idea. In this environment, the goal will be to produce high-quality bespoke pieces for clients, and you’ll have the opportunity to perfect the artistry of your work. 

Commodity and custom are two of the work environments you can expect after cabinetmaking training.

Required Duties, Responsibilities and Skills for Architectural Millwork

Effective architectural millworkers must have manual dexterity, an understanding of materials, and an eye for detail to produce excellent quality woodwork pieces. In addition, they must have the ability to work in a team with excellent communication and collaboration skills. The Cabinetmaking Training Program will prepare you to take on a position in a variety of woodworking careers. The program emphasizes hands-on carpentry, making it the perfect introduction for students interested in a future career in architectural millwork. As the development industry continues to thrive and skilled handiwork is needed, those who choose architectural millwork have a great chance of enjoying a hands-on, lucrative career. 

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Cabinetmaking

How to Juggle Multiple Tasks in Your Career after Cabinetmaking Training

November 12, 2019

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As you may already know, there are many elements involved in the business of cabinetmaking. You might work in a commercial setting, for a custom furniture maker or within a construction firm. Whatever the work setting is, you must be able to manage the small tasks that help you reach your main goal of making well-crafted woodworks.

If you are self-employed it will become even more important to know how to juggle tasks. You may have to set aside time to communicate with clients about future jobs, update them on current work, and invoice for completed pieces.

In any case, the need to multi-task or manage multiple jobs means that your work is in demand and that is a good thing. On top of having a positive attitude, here are a few suggestions to help you along the way.

Make Checklists

If you have done cabinet making training  you will be familiar with reading blueprints, creating designs and making material lists for projects. Checklists play a similar role to these things whether you are doing one job or multiple jobs. They are a helpful way to break down a project and have been proven to reduce errors and increase productivity.

Checklists are a good way to keep you on the same page with co-workers and clients
Checklists are a good way to keep you on the same page with co-workers and clients

Checklists will also make sure that you provide consistent and reliable service to each client or for each job. This will put you in good standing to be recommended for more work. Also, writing a checklist will help you devise a plan by creating a work sequence or separating a job into several smaller tasks. This will keep you organized and encourage productivity by giving you a sense of accomplishment as you progress through each work day.

Know Your Limits

It is important to have a realistic idea of how much work you can do in a day, week or month. There will be an amount that you can do that will be optimal for productivity and work-life balance. Knowing your limits is also a matter of safety. You do not want to be stressed out or overtired when you are working with machinery and doing precision woodwork.

Understanding how much work you are able to accomplish in a given amount of time will also help you guarantee that your work is of the highest quality. After all, you will want to prioritize applying the skills you worked hard to develop in cabinetmaking school for each project you do.

Use The Skills from Cabinetmaking Training to Focus

If you are thinking of becoming a cabinetmaker it is likely you are creative and detail oriented. In order to maintain a high level of detailed work, it is necessary to be able to focus. Of course, your capacity to focus will be greater if you have already engaged with the other strategies mentioned above.

The more focus you have as a cabinetmaker, the better the finished product
The more focus you have as a cabinetmaker, the better the finished product

The last thing you want is to be thinking about the materials for one project while you measure and cut pieces for another project. This can lead to mistakes or lower quality work. Juggling multiple tasks means that you are able to focus on the current task because you have set up a realistic plan to get your work done. Paying attention to the work in front of you will also let you enjoy the craft and your own creativity.

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Cabinetmaking

3 Tips For Making Kitchen Cabinets After Cabinetmaking School

October 29, 2019

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Cabinetmaking is a traditional craft, but with training and experience you will discover there is a lot of opportunity for your creativity to flourish within it. Making kitchen cabinets is one of the many ways to blend technical skills, knowledge, and personality into your cabinetmaking work.

The kitchen is one of the most versatile rooms in the house. Of course, people cook, but they also socialize, host dinners, and spend quality time with their family and friends in the kitchen. For many it is the room in the house that will be the most worn and torn.

That’s why there is a lot to think through before you start making cabinets to fit into the life of a kitchen. Here are a few tips to get started.

1. Manage Your Time and Client Expectations

After cabinetmaking school you will have a lot of opportunities to work with clients in different situations. It is always important to manage your time so that your clients know what to expect and when, but even more so if your clients are waiting to get back into their kitchen.

Discuss your plan with the client and ask lots of questions. How do they use the space? What do their dream cabinets look like? Are they looking to increase the value of their home in order to sell it in the near future? Answering these questions will help you devise a solid plan and an accurate estimate for your client so they know what to expect in terms of budget and time.

2. Use Your Cabinetmaking Training to Choose the Right Materials

An important aspect of the cabinetmaking trade is knowing how to identify and choose the right materials. Kitchen cabinet doors are sometimes made from laminate, which is a less expensive option, but it is likely you will be deciding between medium dense fiberboard (MDF), wood and plywood cabinets.

Cabinetmakers know how to choose the right materials for any project
Cabinetmakers know how to choose the right materials for any project

While this decision may be made by the client, with your cabinetmaking training you should be ready to give advice on their options. For example, if a client wants a stained wood look, then MDF should be avoided. But if they want to paint the cabinets a certain colour, MDF is likely the best choice. If there are any large doors in your cabinet design, it may be worthwhile to consider plywood, which is lighter and costs less than woods like maple.

Another set of choices to talk to clients about will be hardware and whether or not the cabinets will include things like a ‘Lazy Suzan’ or pantry pullouts. In all cases, make sure the hardware is durable because these are the moving parts that help keep a kitchen functional.

3. Plan an Efficient Installation

Before ordering materials take detailed notes of where things like plumbing, electrical outlets, and appliances are. Planning is essential to an efficient installation and there are cabinet making courses that include how to read blueprints and building layouts taught by experienced professional instructors.

A detailed plan will ensure a smooth installation
A detailed plan will ensure a smooth installation

In addition to the cabinet materials and hardware, make a plan for gaps. Walls are not always straight and floors are not always level so cabinet filler pieces or shims will come in handy. When you are ready to install, start high with the wall cabinets then move to the floor cabinets. By using a bench march and those filler pieces to keep everything on the level, you will be done in no time.

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