As a wood machinist you prepare wood for the construction and manufacturing industry as well as DIY stores. You make products such as floorboards, banisters, skirting boards, doors, window frames, kitchen units, fencing and flat pack furniture. You may also make the individual parts of desks, tables and chairs.
You could be:
using sawing machines, mortice machines, moulding machines, routers (which cut complex shapes), planes and drills
using computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinery
calculating how much wood you need and selecting the right kind
using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacture (CAM) techniques
reading and understanding technical drawings
making jigs and templates for each task
cutting and shaping wood
treating wood with preservatives
cleaning and servicing machines and sharpening or replacing blades.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
The starting salary for wood machinists is around £16,000 to £18,000 a year. Experienced machinists earn between £23,000 and £35,000 a year.
You may work indoors or outdoors in a sawmill or timber yard.
Workshops and factories are generally well ventilated with extractors to minimise the dust, but conditions may be still dusty and noisy.
You would wear protective clothing, goggles, ear protectors and a dust mask with filters.
The work can be physical, involving bending and stretching.
You would need to lift heavy pieces of wood (although robotic equipment lifts the heaviest pieces).
Equipment may be hazardous including sharp blades and dangerous machines (which must have safety guards).
You would generally work 40 hours Monday to Friday, but overtime and weekend work may be required.
CITB is the Sector Skills Council which covers a wide range of sectors in the development and maintenance of the built environment. Its careers website (bconstructive.co.uk) provides a wide range of information on jobs in the construction industry.