Furniture and Cabinet Maker

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your program consists of eight Instruction Sets written to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams. Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The Furniture and Cabinet Maker program prepares students to work for a furniture or cabinet retail store, manufacturer, repair/refinishing shop, cabinet installer, or start a woodworking shop and specialize in custom furniture and cabinet making.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify, select, and know how to safely use hand and power tools in an organized workplace
  • Know how to measure accurately and how to use various layout tools, determine the appropriate dimensions and specifications from shop prints, and synthesize the tasks and skills required to create a wooden box
  • Understand the basics of joinery in order to produce strong joints of simple and advanced design
  • Know how to properly select and use fasteners for a project
  • Select and apply stains, paints, varnishes, lacquers, and polyurethanes to produce a successful finishing operation
  • Identify and appreciate the functionality, aesthetics, and planning needed in the design, construction, and installation of cabinets and countertops
  • Understand the intricacies of a thorough design process
  • Know how to properly glue panels
  • Understand how to build a Shaker-style table and apply the Shaker approach to designing and building furniture
  • Identify effective refacing techniques
  • Know how to acquire, repair, and restore a variety of furniture

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Safe use of hand and power tools used in the fine woodworking industry.

Instruction Set 2

Introduction to Fine Woodworking
How wood is processed; woodworking specialties, including cabinet and furniture making.

Your Workplace, Tools, and Materials
Setting up a workplace for the home worker; proper use and storage of tools and materials.

Instruction Set 3

Layout Techniques
Proper use of basic layout and marking tools; basic print reading skills.

Basic Joinery
Basic joinery identification and theory; step-by-step procedure for dovetailing, mortise and tenoning, and biscuiting.

Project 1: Layout of a Pattern

• Tape Measure
• Combination Square
• T-Bevel
• Wood

Instruction Set 4

Hardware Fasteners
Identification and description of fasteners; selecting fasteners best suited for a given application.

Box Making Basics
Joinery techniques required in the construction of fine boxes; applying joinery techniques to practical projects.

Advanced Joinery
Techniques such as hidden dovetailing and complex joinery; other advanced joints and their applications.

Project 2: Joinery Technique (Dovetail)

• Hammer
• Chisel Set
• Dovetail Saw
• C-Clamp
• Wood

Instruction Set 5

Selecting and Preparing a Finish
Choosing a finish; brushable, wipe-on, and sprayable finishes; preparing the wood for application; degreasing and dewaxing; sanding; scraping vs. sanding.

Applying Finishes and Topcoats
Coloring wood; common types of stains; applying stains; applying brushable, wipe-on, and sprayable finishes.

Project 3: Finishing

Textbook: The Woodfinishing Book

Assorted Sandpaper
Water-Based Stain
Stain Brush

Instruction Set 6

Cabinet Design
How cabinets are designed into a kitchen; designs based on materials and hardware; lamination.

Cabinet Construction
Case and drawer construction; faces and pulls; finishing.

Countertops, backsplashes, and cabinet installation.

Textbook: Making Kitchen Cabinets

DVD: Making Kitchen Cabinets

Supplement: Suggested Activity Journal

Suggested Activity: Building a Shop Caddy (optional)

Instruction Set 7

Furniture Design
How tables, chairs, and other functional furnishings are designed; do’s and don’ts of furniture design; styles of furniture.

Gluing Panels
Explanation and procedure for the proper manner of gluing panels for furniture.

Shaker Table Construction
The shaker style; step-by-step procedure for construction of a shaker table.

DVD: Build a Shaker Table

Suggested Activity: Building a Shaker Table (optional)

Instruction Set 8

Refinishing Furniture
Restoring and replacing finishes; repairing the finishes; stripping the finish; preparing the surface; French polish, wax polish, oil finishes; paint, varnish, and lacquer.

Refacing Cabinets
Measuring for doors and drawer fronts; ordering materials; preparing for refacing; veneering face frames; refacing with plastic laminate.

Care and Repair of Furniture
Refacing Cabinets

Suggested Activity: Refinishing Your Own Property (optional)

Supplement: Work Experience Option


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.