Course Overview

A Bespoke Furniture Maker produces and assembles bespoke pieces of furniture to meet individual customers’ requirements. This can cover pieces such as tables, chairs, cabinets, office furniture, kitchens and bedrooms. Bespoke Furniture Makers work with and need to understand a variety of materials – including wood, metals, glass, plastics, fabric, finishes and other relevant materials.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a range of colleagues including designers, production/manufacturing managers, quality technicians, production leaders and product developers. They will need to work closely with designers and installation teams. Bespoke Furniture Makers will work alone or within small teams with other makers and will be responsible for liaising with colleagues and suppliers and in some roles with customers. They tend to work in small craft workshops but can also work in larger factories. They usually report to a senior colleague such as the managing director.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for interpreting and challenging designs and offering solutions, selecting appropriate materials, making the components and assembling pieces of furniture using machinery and hand production techniques. Bespoke Furniture Makers also produce prototypes to bring designs to life, they will produce complex jigs and templates. They attend design meetings to contribute to designs regarding feasibility and costs.

Bespoke Furniture Makers will also need to coach and mentor apprentices, trainees and other colleagues.

Typical job titles include:
• Bespoke Furniture Maker
• Furniture Maker
• Cabinet Maker
• Bespoke Furniture Manufacturer

The Content

Bespoke Furniture Makers will develop the following skills, knowledge and behaviours:

• Work safely at all times
• Operate equipment to PUWER regulations
• Health & safety risk assessments
• Create furniture making specifications, cutting lists and other relevant information
• Identify any problems and issues that may occur
• Challenge furniture making designs and offer solutions to any problems identified
• Identify materials
• Select appropriate materials to meet specifications
• Manage furniture production
• Cut, sand, bore, drill, create joints, mould, saw and plane wood and components
• Calibrate measuring equipment
• Create complex jigs and templates to meet specifications
• Set up appropriate tooling
• Set up, operate and maintain machinery, tools and equipment
• Fit, fix and assemble components
• Use cramps to assemble components
• Attach fixtures and fittings
• Create joints
• Test and check furniture and components against specifications
• Rectify and remedy any faults
• Identify trends in furniture making faults
• Prepare surfaces for furniture finishes
• Repair any defects identified
• Apply appropriate finishes
• Apply effective communication techniques at all levels
• Identify training needs of self and others
• Maintain own continued professional development (CPD)
• Give appropriate feedback and support to others
• Seek constructive feedback on own skills and techniques against current standards
• Evaluate own skills and expertise

• Health, safety and environmental management
• Furniture making drawings, specifications, scales, technical terms related to furniture making
• Visualisation of final designs
• Limitations and uses of furniture making industry materials
• How to reduce waste
• Furniture manufacturing/production methods
• Drawings, specifications, scales and technical terms
• Construction methods for furniture produced
• Quality standards and control methods
• Current legislation
• Safe Systems of Work methods and procedures
• How to create complex jigs and templates
• Machine tooling used
• How to operate furniture making machinery, tools and equipment used
• Fixtures and fittings used in furniture making
• Assembly methods
• Joints used in furniture making
• Adhesives used in furniture making
• Quality standards
• Faults and problems that could occur and problem-solving techniques
• Furniture finishing preparation methods
• Different furniture finishes, their limitations and uses
• Effective communication skills and techniques
• Coaching, mentoring and feedback techniques

• Safety-first attitude
• Flexible in changing environment and demands
• Maintain focus and concentration
• Positive can-do attitude
• Methodical approach
• Decisive
• Thorough and accurate
• Shows integrity and good time management
• Works safely at all times
• Fair, consistent and reliable
• Friendly and approachable
• Willing to help/support others
• Actively participates in discussions
• Ambitious and self-motivated

Functional Skills in English and Maths
Where a Bespoke Furniture Maker has not already achieved Level 2 English and Maths, they must do so before taking the End Point Assessment.

The Assessment

Learners will need to undertake an End Point Assessment which consists of the following 3 elements:
• Multiple choice test
• Observation with questions
• Professional discussion

Course Duration

24 Months


The bespoke furniture maker role may be a gateway to further career opportunities, such as senior support roles or to further study.

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