A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 1.—Workers in Wood

473.—Cabinet Makers

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roughly cuts out solid seats of chairs by hand with an adze, i.e. a kind of axe with blade set at right angles to handle.
back maker (chairs)
(i) makes chair backs entirely by band, with woodworking tools;
(ii) assembles, by hand, parts of chair backs which have been prepared by woodworking machinist (486) q.v.
bedstead maker (wood), bed maker, bed frame maker
makes bedsteads or cots of oak, mahogany, or other hardwoods by hand, using morticing and tenoning tools, saws, planes, chisels and other tools, also glue, sandpaper, etc.; work usually done either by a cabinet maker q.v. or joiner (474) q.v.
book-case maker, buffet maker
as for cabinet maker.
buhl cutter, buhl worker
cuts out, by hand, in gold, silver, brass, or other sheet metal, or in wood or other material, with a fine saw, and sometimes also carves, by hand, using fine tools, a design to be inlaid in tables, clockcases, etc., or in articles of ebony, ivory, tortoiseshell, etc., to give effect known as "buhl " work.
cabinet case fitter
cuts out wood fittings for cabinet cases and passes to cabinet case liner (688) q.v. to fit in case; cf. cabinet fitter.
cabinet case maker
a cabinet maker q.v. or a specialised worker, who makes polished hardwood cases for cutlery, for surgical instruments, etc., by hand, using saw, plane, chisel and other hand tools; saws out wooden parts of cabinet cases, and dovetails or mitres them together; if working in hardwood, also makes hole for shield or escutcheon, and for flush handle, with chisel and knife, fits in shield and handle, and makes surface smooth with sandpaper, etc.; sometimes also inlays canes; cases are then ready for french polisher (478) q.v. or, if soft wood, for coverer (688) q.v.; sometimes may receive some parts ready machined, see cabinet fitter.
cabinet fitter
a cabinet maker q.v. who specialises in fitting together, by hand, with woodworking tools, machined parts of cabinet and furniture carcases, beading, moulds, hinges, etc.; fixes hinges, locks, etc., by hand.
cabinet inlayer
see marquetry inlayer.
cabinet maker, cabinet worker
fits together and constructs all kinds of furniture, and other woodwork that is not fixed, using various hard or soft woods; sometimes makes finest class of woodwork, entirely by hand, from rough boards to finished article by sawing wood to required dimensions, planing, shaping, jointing, glueing and smoothing with sandpaper; but (if working in a furniture factory) is more usually engaged in fitting and joining together pieces of wood, which have been cut, planed, shaped, moulded, jointed, and sand-papered by machinery, by other workers; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. buffet maker, camera cabinet maker (camera cases), chest of drawers maker, coal box maker, desk maker, dining table maker, hat and umbrella stand maker, jewel stand maker, music stool maker, photographic cabinet maker (camera cases, slides, etc.), show case maker, sideboard maker, stool maker, towel horse maker, wardrobe maker, washstand maker, writing desk maker.
cabinet maker's fitter
see furniture fitter.
camera back maker (not metal) ; photographic back maker dark slide maker (not metal)
a photographic cabinet maker q.v. who specialises in making dark slides with accurately fitting moveable partitions, glass screens, etc., of hardwood.
case hand (pianos, organs, etc.), case worker
see fitter-up (pianoforte cases).
case maker
(i) (piano) saws wood to required sizes; planes and cleans it with glass paper and scraper; glues together pieces of wood thus prepared to make back frames, ends, tops, falls, lock-boards, panels, cheeks and rough bottoms; fits parts of case together, with glue and screws;
(ii) (pipe organ) does joinery work of case, or exterior of organ, and framing or supports; also makes swell boxes;
(iii) (reed organ) receives sawn and planed wood from wood working machinists (486) q.v. and constructs case, or exterior, therefrom.
case maker (brush, jewel, pipe, etc., cases)
general term for any worker engaged in process of making woodwork for brush, jewel, pipe, etc., cases, using circular saw, jig and band saws, sandpapering machines, and hand tools and also for those covering and lining cases; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. brush case maker, jewel and plate case maker, jewel case maker, pipe case maker.
case maker (clocks)
a cabinet maker q.v. who specialises in making clock or chronometer cases of polished hardwood.
chair cross framer
bores holes in legs of chair, with auger or brace and bits; inserts rails, i.e. braces, in holes, to strengthen chair, fastening them in with woodworking tools and glue.
chair frame maker, chair framer ; chair maker, framer, frame maker
assembles parts of chair frames, prepared by woodworking machinist (486) q.v., by hand, using glue, dowels, i.e. pegs, screws and woodworking tools; sometimes also sandpapers exposed parts of frame, ready for polisher (478) q.v.
chair maker
(i) see chair frame maker;
(ii) may also make un-upholstered chairs throughput, usually by assembling and fitting machine-made parts.
cheeker (pianos), cheeker and plinther
see plinther.
chronometer box maker, chronometer case maker
as for case maker (clocks).
cot maker (wood)
as for bedstead maker (wood).
couch maker ; sofa maker
a furniture maker q.v. who specialises in making woodwork of couches, sofas, etc.
curtain frame maker
makes, by hand, using woodworking tools, wooden frames on which to dry lace curtains (or curtain lace, in course of manufacture), after washing so as to prevent distortion of designs worked thereon.
dark slide maker
see camera back maker.
deal cabinet maker, deal hand ; donkey maker, whitewood maker
a cabinet maker q.v. working in deal, fir, and other soft woods.
display cabinet maker
see shop fitter's cabinet maker.
donkey maker
see deal cabinet maker.
drawers maker
a cabinet maker q.v. who makes and fits drawers for cabinets, wardrobes, chests of drawers, etc.
embellisher of wood
see marquetry inlayer.
fall maker (pianos)
a part maker q.v. who specialises in making falls (lids covering keys when piano is shut).
fancy cabinet maker
a cabinet maker q.v. who specialises in making workboxes, tea caddies, and other small cabinets; cuts with hand saw and fits wooden parte, and -joins them by glueing, dove-tailing, or other means; smooths and varnishes outer surface and sometimes also roughly polishes it; contracts wooden trays or compartments for insertion in box; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. work box maker.
fitter-up (chairs)
receives parts of chairs, couches, etc., which have been prepared by woodworking machinist (486) q.v.; assembles them by hand, using glue, dowels, i.e., pegs, screws and woodworking tools.
fitter-up (pianoforte, etc., cases) ; case hand, case worker, fronter, stopper-off
a specialised cabinet maker q.v. who receives case of piano, reed organ, or harmonium, as it leaves plinther and checker q.v. and completes assembling of case by fitting thereto, by hand, top and bottom doors, fall, hollow, lock front, and back and front tops, mailing necessary; adjustments in these parts (which are commonly made in stock or standard sizes) to make them fit; also affixes decorative mouldings to above-mentioned parts; often (especially in smaller establishments) combines this with work of plinther-and-cheeker q.v. and of cleaner-up (499) q.v.
fly finisher (pianos) ; part finisher (pianos)
fits together piano parts, e.g. moulding, embellishments, panels, reading desk for music, by cutting joints to fit, glueing, screwing up, etc.; puts in hinges and candle brackets; attaches backing, if required, and generally puts piano in condition ready for sale.
framer (chairs), frame maker
see chair frame maker.
framework hand, framework maker (billiard tables)
receives timber in rough shapes; saws, planes and chisels it to make framework, sides and supports for slate bed of billiard table; makes square legs for tables; is usually a specialised cabinet maker q.v. engaged on heavier work than small worker (billiard tables) q.v.
fronter (piano)
see fitter-up (pianoforte cases).
furniture fitter ; cabinet maker's fitter
fixes handles, locks, hinges, etc., to pieces of furniture, after they have been French polished.
furniture maker, antique; art furniture maker
a cabinet maker q.v. who specialises in making imitations of Sheraton, Chippendale, or other "period " furniture.
furniture maker, bentwood
puts wood in steam chamber for a specified time to make it soft and pliable; then puts it into a bending machine, securing it to desired position with screws and levers; cute wood to required lengths and assembles parts by hand, using bolts, screws, dowels, i-e. pegs, and woodworking tools.
furniture repairer
does all kinds of repairing work, e.g. joinery, upholstering, fitting, as well as cabinet maker's work proper, on worn or damaged furniture, grand case maker; a fitter-up (pianoforte cases) q.v. who specialises in assembling and fitting together cases of grand pianos; also does work of plinther-and-cheeker q.v. as well as that clone by fitter-up in case of upright pianos.
inlayer of wood, inlayer of fancy wood
see marquetry inlayer.
instrument case maker, surgical instrument case maker
(i) a cabinet case maker q.v., who makes instrument cases throughout, using hammers, chisels, saws, etc.; constructs shells of cases and internal woodwork, e.g. brackets, partitions, etc., screws brackets and partitions into position; prepares case with gouges and other tools to receive brass supports, plates, hinges and locks; screws metal fittings into position;
(ii) assembles and fits together parts of instrument cases supplied by other workers; attends dovetailing machine; fits in internal fittings and adds brass supports, plates, etc.
invalid chair maker
usually makes parts of invalid chairs but may receive parts prepared by woodworking machinist (486) q.v.; cuts joints bolts, dowels, and assembles parts, by hand, using woodworking tools, and, if necessary, glue; cf. invalid chair maker (475/476).
jewel case maker, jewel and plate case maker
designs, shapes, fits out and finishes wooden jewel cases throughout, using usual woodworking tools; does not line or cover cases; prepares inside supports and glues them into position; cute to shape, planes, sandpapers and glues together struts or strips of wood, glueing them into position in cases; contrives and shapes parts to display jewels, makes domed lid of box, using gouging and smoothing tools; work sometimes done by cabinet case maker q.v.
joiner (cabinet work)
joins together, by hand, sections or parts of furniture and other wooden articles, prepared by cabinet maker q.v.; work requires finer finish than that of ordinary joiner (474) q.v., and is done with special woodworking tools, by dove-tailing morticing, tenoning, dowelling, glueing, etc.
key block maker (pianos)
prepares, by glueing and veneering, wooden blocks inserted between keyboard and ends of piano at each end of keyboard; does not fix keyblocks in position on keyboard; usually done by part maker q.v.
looking glass frame maker ; mirror frame maker
a cabinet maker q.v. who specialises in making, throughout, mirror or looking glass frames.
lyre maker
a part maker q.v. who specialises in making lyre pedal attachments for grand pianos.
marquetry cutter
from prepared designs, cuts, with band saw or knife, a number of pieces of veneer, either separately or in several thicknesses laid on top of one another; also cute surrounds to receive inlays; glues design in its surround on paper or to plywood; places whole in hand-manipulated screw press, together with plates of heated zinc, to keep glue soft whilst pressure is being applied; removes work when set, and finally scrapes surface smooth, by hand, with steel scraper tool; work sometimes done by buhl cutter q.v.
marquetry engraver
receives pad of veneer, prepared by marquetry cutter q.v., and cuts and scratches surface of pad with delicate graving tools to produce ornamental effects, e.g. veining of leaves, etc.; cuts are then filled in with Black wax.
marquetry inlayer ; cabinet inlayer, embellisher of wood, inlayer of wood, inlayer of fancy wood
traces upon coloured woods, shells, sheet metal, etc., outlines of shapes to be inlaid; cuts out shapes, see marquetry cutter; inserts them with adhesives into sinkings made by marquetry engraver, q.v., and, when they are set, smooths them off by planing, sandpapering, etc.
mirror frame maker (not gilt)
see looking glass frame maker.
music stool maker
see piano stool maker.
oval frame maker (not gilt)
(i) a looking glass frame maker q.v., who receives sections of oval frames, which have been cut by fret sawyer (481) q.v., and moulded by moulding machinist (486) q.v.; drills holes in sections and inserts wooden dowels; assembles sections, by hand, using woodworking tools, and, if necessary, glue; finishes by smoothing assembled frames with sandpaper;
(ii) cuts, moulds, dowels and assembles parts of oval frames, entirely by 'hand, using woodworking tools.
overmantel fitter
constructs or fits together by hand, using woodworking tools, glue and nails, overmantels from previously prepared moulding, panelling, etc.; also fits plate glass mirrors where required.
parquetry cutter
marks out shapes of intricate design, using templates, on thin strips of various coloured woods; cute these with hand or machine saw; finishes off edges and surface of each piece with hand tools and sandpaper, ready for parquetry inlayer q.v.
parquetry engraver
as for marquetry engraver.
parquetry inlayer
glues together thin strips of variously coloured woods, previously cut to shape by parquetry cutter q.v., fixes them in a cowl, i.e. a hand-manipulated wooden press, used for holding work in rigid position and at same time distributing pressure evenly; sometimes also finishes work with hand plane, scraper and fine saw.
part finisher (pianos)
see fly finisher (pianos).
part maker (pianos)
prepares parts of piano case, as received from saw mill, for veneering, by flattening surfaces, and then scraping them with a toother, i.e. a small-toothed plane used for giving a rough surface to wood; then glues on veneer; sometimes also does work of veneer matcher q.v.; sometimes also makes falls (lids to cover keys) and doors, as well as flat parts.
photographic back maker
see camera back maker.
piano stool maker ; music stool maker
makes piano or music stools throughout. by hand, with various woodworking tools, or by fitting together parts prepared by woodworking machinist (486) q.v.; dove-tails legs into base; if making revolving-seat stools, also fits metal screw in revolving seat and socket in base; sometimes also upholsters stools.
pipe case maker
lays pipe on plank and traces outline with pencil, allowing for thickness of lining to be inserted; reverses pipe and traces outline on another part of plank, giving shape of other half of case; chisels and gouges out wood almost to depth of pipe; saws off these two lengths from plank, and saws, chisels, rasps, files, gouges and sandpapers to produce final shape; cuts away superfluous wood; screws or nails on hinges and clasps; for companion cases, hollows out cavities for two or more pipes.
plinther, plinther-and-cheeker ; checker (pianos), cheeker and plinther
fits ends, cheeks or sides, plinth or base, and toes or feet on to strung back of upright piano, by hand, with glue and screws, sometimes also screws castors on to bottom of piano; work sometimes done by fitter q.v.
screen maker (not wicker)
a cabinet maker q.v. who makes solid wood screens or wooden framework for screens and attaches cloth, leather, paper, or other covering thereto.
seat framer (chairs)
(i) assembles wooden parts of chair seats, which have been cut, planed, and shaped by machinery, by other workers;
(ii) (cane chairs) prepares frame for caning by boring holes round frame to receive cane.
seat maker (chairs)
(i) adjusts measuring gauge of circular saw or hand saw, and saws parts of chair seats thereon; bores dowel holes therein with hand auger or vertical drilling machine;
(ii) receives parts of portable frame or loose chair seats, prepared by woodworking machinist (486) q.v.; assembles them by hand, using dowels, glue and usual woodworking tools.
shop-fitter's cabinet maker ; display cabinet maker, show case maker
a cabinet maker or joiner q.v. who fits together or assembles, by hand, using woodworking tools, wooden parts of cabinets, showcases, counters, drawers and cupboards for shops, after parts have been prepared or partially prepared by woodworking machinist (486) q.v. or prepares parts by hand, using woodworking tools, and fits together, by hand.
show-wood frame maker (chairs), show-wood hand
a chair frame maker q.v. making chairs which show wooden frame work; cf. stuff-over frame maker.
small worker (billiard tables)
a cabinet maker q.v. engaged in making marking boards, cue stands and other small accessories for game of billiards; cf. framework hand.
sofa maker
see couch maker.
see fitter-up (pianoforte cases).
stuff-over frame maker (chairs), stuff-over hand
a chair frame maker q.v. who specialises in making frames for divans and for chairs whose framework is completely covered with upholstery; cf. show-wood frame maker.
swell box maker (organs)
a case maker q.v. who makes swell boxes of pipe organs.
table maker
a cabinet maker q.v. who specialises in assembling and fitting together parts of tables, or in making them throughout.
Tonbridge (or Tunbridge) ware maker
makes fancy articles, toys, boxes, work tables, etc., of beech, sycamore, holly, or other hardwoods, by hand throughout, and inlays with mosaic work; selects wood for mosaic work and cuts it down to small lengths by fine hand saw; cuts these with hand saw to thin veneers of specified dimensions; planes veneers with toothing plane; lays pieces of veneer of various kinds and colours, on bench, forms into pattern, glues and presses them together, and dries by natural exposure; cuts strips so made according to requirements and inlays them on boxes, etc.; polishes and varnishes article.
top maker (pianos)
as for part maker (pianos).
tripod maker
as for photographic cabinet maker.
whatnot maker
a cabinet maker q.v. who makes small ornamental stands or cabinets for display of trinkets.
whitewood maker
see deal cabinet maker.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.