We are one of the premier woodworking schools in the U.S. Our Cabinet & Furniture Making (CF) program teaches fine craftsmanship through hands-on training. This two-year program attracts students who want to use their hand skills to create custom pieces that will last for generations to come.

As a custom furniture maker, you’ll design and build a variety of furnishings. You’ll gain a deep understanding of furniture making, including proficiency with hand tools, power equipment, and the processes used to create different types of furniture.

In this program, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use and maintain hand tools.
  • Work with power equipment effectively and safely.
  • Layout and cut various woodworking joints by hand and machine.
  • Use furniture ornamentation techniques such as turning, carving, moldings, and veneering. We focus on techniques used in traditional American and English furniture.
  • Layout and install furniture hardware.
  • Sand, stain, fill, finish and polish furniture pieces.
  • Service and maintain all of the power equipment you would use in a small woodworking shop.
  • Prepare full-size working drawings for each project.
  • Estimate costs and choose materials.

The CF shop includes a library, drafting facilities, and three bench rooms. You’ll work with machinery that you would typically find in both large and smaller-scale woodworking shops. You’ll also attend guest lectures and field trips to museums and shops of prominent local woodworkers.

In addition to the Full-Time program, we offer a number of woodworking courses through our Continuing Education Department. View all CE courses here.


During your first year, you’ll work on a series of exercises and projects. These include drafting assignments, benchwork, and basic machine operation. You’ll strengthen your hand skills by using planes, chisels, and turning.

Your first big project will be creating a tool chest based on a draft your instructor approves. You’ll then go on to build other pieces, including a table and a chair. Most of the time, you’ll create pieces using 18th and 19th-century furniture designs. These traditional models teach you the hand skills and woodworking techniques that are the foundation of our curriculum. However, we also want you to challenge yourself and learn new skills with each project you choose.

Faculty & Guest Instructors

Dan Faia CF ’94

Dan is both a graduate of the program and the Department Head. He teaches in both our Full-Time program and Continuing Education courses, in addition to running a custom furniture shop in New Hampshire. Before he joined our faculty, Dan worked with Phil Lowe CF ’74 and Ron Traposso CF ’69, both master craftsmen. In his free time, Dan enjoys writing and has published numerous articles in Fine Woodworking Magazine.

Steve Brown CF ’90

Steve is a graduate of our program and teaches in both the Full-Time program and Continuing Education classes. Steve worked with Phil Lowe CF ’74 at Makers of Fine Furniture in Beverly, MA, before joining us. His work has been shown in galleries and published in the Fine Woodworking Design Book. Many museum and private collections feature Steve’s restoration work. He lectures throughout the Boston area and has developed several programs for our CE courses.

Alexander Krutsky CF ’81

Alexander is a graduate of the program and a member of Fort Point Cabinetmakers. He teaches part-time and works on commission designing and building a wide range of projects, from furniture to custom interiors.

Lance Patterson CF ’79

Lance is a graduate of the program and a founding member of Boston’s Fort Point Cabinetmakers cooperative. He has designed and built custom furniture for over 30 years. He is also a large format photographer and a contributor to Fine Woodworking Magazine. Lance was recently named a 2016 Mentor in Design by Design New England Magazine.


In addition to the regular faculty, we often have established artisans and historians visit the School to lead workshops. Some of our recent guests include:

Gainful Employment

Cabinet and Furniture Making graduates work as employees or for themselves in custom furniture making, architectural millwork, and furniture repair and restoration. Some become teachers, and many are employers and mentors to the next generation of NBSS graduates.

Learn more about cabinet and furniture making careers here.

View the School's gainful employment report on Cabinet & Furniture Making here.

Hours & Tuition

  • Students are admitted in September and February.
  • The maximum enrollment is 41 students.
  • Classes meet 8:00 am - 3:00 pm, Monday - Friday, September through May.
  • The program length is two, nine-month academic years (72 weeks or 2340 class hours***).
  • Students who complete the program receive a Diploma of Cabinet & Furniture Making.

Tuition & Costs
  • September 2017-June 2018 tuition is $25,000 per year totaling $50,000**, with the option of making 18 monthly payments of $2,778.
  • The estimated cost of hand tools is $3,000.
  • The estimated cost of materials is $2,000.
  • The estimated cost of transportation, room, and board for optional trips is $300.

**North Bennet Street School reserves the right to increase tuition in the second and subsequent years of a course. If the school does increase tuition for a course in subsequent years, that increase will not exceed 7.5% of the previous year’s tuition. Should the school exercise its right to increase tuition, the school must give the student a minimum of ninety (90) days written notice prior to the effective date of the increase and a new enrollment agreement will be executed.

*** Class hours equals clock hours.


We accept qualified applicants throughout the year. Cabinet & Furniture Making programs start in the Fall and Spring, and the maximum enrollment is 41 students.

The program is extremely competitive and fills quickly, so you should apply as early as possible. Successful applicants usually have demonstrated hand skills and previous woodworking experience.


Contact Rob O'Dwyer, Director of Admissions, at 617-227-0155 x111 or admissions@nbss.edu.

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