Joiner Duties

Updated March 23, 2017

Joiners are skilled craftsmen who work with wood in the construction of homes and furniture. Joiner's work, called joinery, is very similar to carpentry in that both used wood to construct items. The major difference between the professions is that joinery does not use nails or screws in the construction of items. This difference allows the joiner to create products that do not have their surface marred by nail holes and have a smoother look.

Reading Blueprints

An important part of being a joiner is reading the blueprints and designs of the products being made. Joiners must be able to see drawings and be able to follow the instructions to make the product sturdy and with the exact specifications. For a joiner the job is more difficult than a carpenter, as they must also cut precise joints and plan for any glue or wood pegging used to hold the product together.

Make Detailed Drawings and Cut Lists

Joiners must be able to break a complex piece of work, such as cabinetry, into its various component parts that will be cut. They must be able to draw out each piece and precisely measure the cut they need. This includes the fitted joint that snap into place without nails. They must also be able to show in drawings the proper assembly to ensure pieces are fitting in the right order. They create a cutting list, which shows the order in which they cut pieces and the type of wood to be used.

Machining Components

Joiners machine the pieces of wood that make up the product. This include simple cuts with a table saw for length to more complex cuts with jigsaws, mitre saws, sanding devices and various hand tools. These tools are used to create various slots, grooves and joints that will fit together and be glued. Machined parts must be precise to prevent gaps in the wood and weak spots in the structures.


Joiners are responsible for the assembly of the many pieces into the whole structure. This is a critical part of the job. Pieces must be assembled in the right order and parts must fit against each other right. The joiner may have to make corrections to imperfection in cuts. If gluing is required the joiner may apply a vice that will hold piece in place while the glue dries. The joiner must assure everything is level and strong as he builds.


The joiner is responsible for finishing the product once it is up. This can include a final sanding and the application of wood finish or painting, depending upon the need of the job.

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About the Author

Philip Rodney Moon has been writing since 2004. His work has appeared in Cracked, The Art of Manliness, "The Spartan Weekly" and Spartanedge. Moon has a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunication, information studies and media. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2009.