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What is a Joiner?

Joiner, this is a traditional term used for a contractor who cuts and fits joints in wood. Joinery is a specialist trade that is still found in may parts of the work, and although the term has been lost in some countries, joiners now fall under the wider terminology of carpentry.

Joiners often work with non-portable machinery, so most of the work they do will not be done on site, but in a workshop. Traditionally, joinery is the formation of joints that do not require nails or screws. Now day’s joiners will often use nails and screws in addition to glue, to add the extra strength to joints, During the process of a renovation, joiners are responsible for the manufacturing of all the timber elements of the renovation, and in addition they are also responsible for the installation and fitting of the joinery components. Joiners will also work in close conjunction with other contractors on a renovation project, such as plasterers and carpenters.



There is a very wide aspect of items a joiner can cover. Some of these items that a joiner may build can include tables, windows stairs, cabinets, chairs, bookcases, decorative boxes and exterior or interior doors. Most joiners are highly skilled and have mastered working with many different types of joints, which enables them to manufacture a vast array on wooden items. A master joiner will have the skills to forming complex joints that will fit snuggly together using intricate ‘teeth’, dovetails, grooves and channels. Joinery is all about precision. Even though there is no requirements or formal qualifications to become a joiner, most customers will want joiner to have a college qualification or some provable on-site references.  There are apprenticeships available in most countries, which will give a joiner the right experience to carry out any joinery work correctly. 

Joinery can be divided into 2 sections:

  • Bench joinery focuses on the setting out, preparation and manufacturing of the joinery components. 
  • Site Carpentry and Joinery focuses more on timber construction and installation.

Joinery is a skill that has exited for many years, even before the advent of carpenters, industrial design and specialist cabinetmakers. Joinery was originally responsible for the design and production of furniture. Once the Industrial revolution arrived, the mass production techniques began to eliminate the traditional craftsmen. This intern pushed joiners to become mainly the suppliers of furniture. Fortunately, due to the arts and craft movement in the middle of the 19th century, the joiners trade did not die out completely, and was reignited by people that were interested in traditional craftsmanship, and also the demand for individual hand crafted pieces of furniture.

Today, joiners use both traditional techniques with modern machinery to provide a high standard of joinery, and so are able to find work in all parts of the carpentry industry.


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