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The word joiner is a quite generic term. When it comes to the construction field, it means a whole new thing. This article provides information on what joiners are, what is their role in architecture and what does it take to become one.

Who are Joiners?

They are skilled artisans who work on ornamentals by joining pieces of wood. The product can be a window or a door frame or wooden furniture. They are basically wood craftsmen who make exterior and interior designs by combining the relevant pieces of wood. That is where the name of this profession comes from. They work in separate workshops which hold their required tools and machinery needed to do their work. Apart from crafting household items, they can also forge their work in the shipyard too.

Tools they use

There are several basic hand tools used for woodworking. These tools also follow carpenting which is a more basic form of joinery.

Combination Square:

A valuable tool used for penciling or knifing through a line at various angles. The more accurate it is, the more exact the expected woodwork design of the furniture will be.

Marking gauge: 

Gauges are excellent at cutting a line parallel to the edge of the board. This is absolutely necessary for making woodcraft out of butt joints.

Marking knife: 

They are better than pencils to layout cutting marks along the board. This is because more than a pencil, a marking like made by a knife at any joinery location is precise and easy to follow up and cut through the markings with a saw or chisel.

Bevel gauge:

Bevel gauges have pivoting blades that can be locked into any angle. Due to this reason, they are useful in transferring angles from sheet planes to workpieces and also for setting up tablesaw angles. They are commonly used for dovetail joints.

Dovetail saw: 

There are two kinds of dovetail saws. One is the western backsaw and the other is a japanese pull saw. The japanese one is better as it is inexpensive and at the same time very sharp than expected.

Coping saw: 

These saws are used to clear away the waste between the dovetail pins and tails. This saves a lot of time as compared to a chisel were clearing out the waste is a separate process.


They come in many fractions of inches and are used to chip away extra wastes in the woodwork. Normally they come as ½ inches, ¼ inches, ¾ inches and ⅜ inches chisels.

Shoulder plane: 

This is a special plane as its blade extends up to the full width of the sole. This becomes handy to plane through a corner and also for cleaning up purposes.

Block plane: 

In chamfering edges, levelling joints and smoothing end grain, the block plane does its job perfectly. They are available in standard and low angle models depending upon their use for end grain or face and edge grain.

Card scraper: 

They are cheap and easy to sharpen. Their functionality is also to grain out parts which are tricky to be grained out with other tools. Smoothing plane: As the name suggests, it is required to clear out the dust and remove unwanted marks from the surface of the woodcraft. It provides a well smooth finish for the craft. This is recommendable after a person gains some skill as it is tricky to use.

What does it take to become a joiner?

There are two ways to accomplish this. One way is to gain some experience. If you have no on-site experience in a construction work, it is better to get in touch with a joiner as a labourer and gain some experience in the beginning. This is more recommendable as clients always look for experience in any skilled artisan.

The other way is to do a full time college degree in the corresponding field. This would impart some basic knowledge on the profession. The qualifications are available at different levels too based on the skills gained through the years.

The courses include: 

Level 1 Award in Basic Construction Skills 

Level 1 Award in Wood Operations 

Level 2 (NVQ) Certificate / Diploma in Wood Occupations 

Level 2 Diploma in Construction Crafts (carpentry and joinery) 

Level 2 Diploma in Site Carpentry.

After these basic levels come the training and development phase. These courses include, 

Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in Wood Occupations 

Level 3  Diploma Site Carpentry 

Level 3 Diploma in Set Carpentry and Joinery 

Level 4 (NVQ) Diploma in Senior Crafts (Construction)

What type of joiners exist?

There are a lot of different techniques in the field in order to make various joints. But the profession is carried out as a single role. There are no subdivisions. One scenario can be many of them working together on different techniques. These techniques are Butt, Overlap, Birdie, dowel, Mitre, finger, dovetail, dado, groove, mortise and tenon, Cross lap and splice joints. Many joiners can team up to perform each of these separate tasks.

 When are the joiners needed?

They are necessary in completing the woodwork in a household. Hence they are required in the following scenarios.


To re-polish an olden wooden craft requires a professional. Many households have artifacts that need to be re-smoothened or re-polished.

Alterations and extensions

They are called to do some structural alterations to the wooden furnitures. This is also a common case when the client would upgrade the household belongings to the next level. This could be extensions, reductions or new features.


The most important case is when it is required to do wooden frames for doors and windows. Speaking on the beauty and design level, wooden framing plays a big part in the house upgrade.

Why are the joiners needed?

The similar case like any other professional field is when the people do not have enough time and skills to do the work. The second one being usual reason for a professional to be hired. Artistic work like these require extreme patience and skill in marking and carving out the wood using all those tools specified. These days none have the patience, time or skill to do all these hand work. They have licenses based on each of the technique they perform. They attain a proper license to work when they qualify for it through certifications as following

CPC 31911 / CPC 31912 Certificate III in Joinery or 

CPC32011 Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery or 

CPC 31811 / CPC31812 Certificate III in Shopfitting or 

MSF31113 Certificate III in Cabinet Making. 

The license is awarded after one of these is completed.

Where can they be found for hire?

Homify is the company which provide professionals in the construction and architectural field. Or the other option is to enquire about them at the city’s office. They hold records of all artisans and can provide you with their contact and experience details as required.

Evaluation of the furniture

It is important to evaluate the furnitures and artifacts around for noting down the required changes or alterations to be done on them. For a work to turn out good, care has to be taken on both sides, by the client and the constructors to layout and agree on the terms and specifications before the work gets started. For this sole reason, every client must take patience in evaluating every part of the household to get a clear and accurate specification. Then the constructors or contractors can find and gather a team of joiners to begin the work.

Interviewing the joiners

The next step in hiring is interviewing them. The mandate aspect of an interview for skillful professions like these is experience. Without experience, the work will definitely not turn out good as expected.

Discussing the requirements

The primary job in working with the professionals, is by discussing the requirements after the evaluation is done. This is done after the hiring is complete and they are good to go to work.

Laying out the budget and deadline

Once the requirements are discussed, it is then time to know what are the materials required for the work, the tentative period of finishing it and the cost incurred, which includes the cost for the workers too. This part differs between the experience level of the professional you hire. Highly experienced ones give shorter deadlines to finish and cost more for labour. While the less experienced ones do the opposite. The client can fire or keep the professional for work based on the budget and deadline suggested by them. Most cases end up in bargaining for either of the two.

Client follow-up

This is a lengthy part as this process continues from the start of the work till it finishes. The clients needs to follow-up with the work of the craftsmen and evaluate their work if they are using the resources in a smart manner and also if they are progressing with their work as they meet the deadlines. This follow-up can happen once in two days or one a day, depending upon the client.


Once all the follow-up and the work is done provided the client feels satisfied with the job, then the client pay the workers the discussed money and close the hiring contract.

Working hours and conditions

Working hours are normally 39 to 45 hours of work. Some of them might even work overtime and in the evenings too. Weekend shifts are more popular as that is the time when the clients are free from work to co-operate with the professionals to discuss the requirements and specifications.


The income varies between 23000 USD and 30000 USD per year for beginners. With experience this can be increased to 31000 USD to 35000 USD per year. Self employed workers charge their own rate and this is in the hourly basis.

What other professionals can i find?

The other professionals who are closely related to this are a carpenter and interior architects.


Carpenters perform more general tasks on furniture and artifacts. They use almost the same tools but also have their field oriented tools too. They perform cutting, sawing, shaping and butting with wooden and plastic frames. The difference between carpentry and joinery is functionality. Carpentry is more leaned towards a particular end function of an item while the latter leans towards design and architecture.

Interior architects

The define the interior work space for other professionals. As a joiner, working with them can give an accurate idea for measurements needed to be taken to plan and install woodcrafts in the interiors. This can be for doors, windows or cupboards.


Thus we now get an idea of what a joiner is and other information on them. Being as useful as this, they come in handy in today’s designs and handwork in the business market and in the domestic market.