Master Cabinetmaker

In another thread (Building Kitchen Cabinets), one post referenced a particular author and web site. I viewed the sample the author provides of his book and in it, he states that he is a master cabinetmaker. I have no argument with that but am wondering what organization in the US has the right / authority to bestow the title of master cabinetmaker?
Would seem that to be called a master cabinetmaker, there must be some form of testing, certification or review by a recognized organization that confirms your work meets the degree of craftsmanship required to be considered a master. I can find numerous references to "master cabinetmakers" but nothing on how that title is achieved.
Bob S.
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ROTFLMAO It is Egotistically self applied and does not make him better than me.

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Why am I now thinking of Mr. and Mrs. Bates, and their son, the young Master?
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Ya know, the proof is in the pudding, as they say.
Erik

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The same program that puts out Master Baiters. Totally self inflicted.
-- Bill Pounds http://www.bill.pounds.net/woodshop

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Alternatively, a master cabinetmaker was just one who was the master of their own cabinet shop, employing journeymen and having apprentices. You needed to qualify in the eyes of your own master to finish your apprenticeship, but what you did after that was just up to the depths of your pocket. There wasn't (in many countries, at least) any formal distinction between journeyman and master, other than their employment.
In the UK today, you could join "The Guild of Master Craftsmen" who have an awful reputation as an organisation for cowboy plumbers, with no real oversight or quality standards. -- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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Andy,
Thought for certain that if anyone, the Brits would make a ceremony out of it and we'd be calling them "Sir Master Cabinetmaker"... But I think your answer is probably the derivative of how the title being used today. The owner (master) of the shop used the title to distinguish his ranking - versus being one of those poor apprentices and that over the years, the word master became associated with "quality craftsmanship" - whether it really is or not is a different story as you pointed out.
Thanks for the Far Side of the story.....
Bob S
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IIRC, John was at one time in charge of a big cabinet operation ... perhaps that was his job title.
Hell, if an insurance company can call you a "Professional Insurance Claims Expert", who's to say a cabinet company couldn't call their head man a master cabinet maker?
In John's case the proof is in the pudding. Build a kitchen cabinet box using his method and good materials and you have a stout, well made box that will last a couple of lifetimes. Want to change the doors and drawer fronts out a couple or three times in the next 10 to 20 years for a different look and style? Go ahead, they will be as solid as the day they were installed ... but don't try that with a lot of cabinets being put in homes today.
Not everyone needs that kind of craftsmanship, but those who appreciate the difference, and build them like that, don't mind John taking the title.
--
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Well, in most states, you don't have to have a college degree, formal training OR even be married to be a marriage counsler.

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Swingman,
You're reading something into my original post that wasn't there. I am not attacking the author nor questioning his capabilities, simply used the expression he stated and asked how it's achieved. Note I didn't use his name since I'm not trying to discredit him in any manner.
After doing some searching (and prior to posting my question) I noted that Frank Klaus, Thomas Nisbet, Edward Jorgensen, Kyle Kinser and others are referenced as master cabinetmakers but no reference as to how they achieved that status. Hence my question. Not a slam or a dig at the author but I used it since it was a recent post and thought it would be fresh in everyone's mind and thought it might be good to know how one gets to be a master cabinetmaker. My initial thought was perhaps they studied in England or France or somewhere they may have a recognized program that does bestow a legitimate title because the title is achieved through mastering techniques and being measured against specific criteria.
When someone states they're a professional of some sort or a master whatever, then I tend to ask for credentials and look for supporting evidence that they know what in the hell they're doing and can prove it in some fashion. It may be through some accreditation program, years of apprenticeship and self-study or even just day-to-day experience but can show end results that exceed expectations.
So no matter how good John is or isn't, wasn't the issue.
Bob S.

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Nope ... I was just remarking on what may well be someone's rationale for so titling themselves.
It never crossed _my_ mind that you were "attacking" anyone ... perhaps the feeling is coming from within? ;>)
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The same question was posed about 'Master Carpenter' Norm Abram. Who ordained Norm a master carpenter??? Or was it just Master Craftsman??? Not to take anything away from Norm........
Bob S. wrote:

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IIRC from several years ago, this was an appellation that Russ Morash applied to Norm in order to make NYW more saleable. According to the story I read, Norm did not really like the title.

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There was just an article in one of the woodworking magazines on the same topic. There is no recognized group in the US that "officially" bestows the title Master whatever woodworker.

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[...]

In Germany there is such an organisation, the "Handwerkskammer", which holds courses and takes the exams. To become a master cabinetmaker ("Schreinermeister") one has first to work several years as an apprentice, take courses, take an exam and to build a "masterpiece". Without the "Meisterbrief" (the formal diploma) you are not allowed to work on your own in that profeosion; this ruling is a relic of the medieval laws that were created to protect the members of the guilds. Nowadays it is still held up by claiming it protects the customers from bad work, especially in crafts like carpentry, plumbing or electrical installation, but it also applies to crafts where a danger from sloppy work is hard to imagine, like woodcarving or basket weaving.
By the way, the courses neded for the "Meisterbrief" include some economics, to make sure that one is able to have a sucessful workshop afterwards.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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Thank you - that was interesting to know that. I've also read some about Frank Klaus and it appears Hungary has a similar program.
Bob S.
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There is no legitimizing agency in the United States that confers the title of "Master Cabinetmaker." If you can afford to have business cards printed up with your name and "Master Cabinetmaker" linked to it, no one can force you not to do so, regardless of your skill level.
The term is often self applied to indicate mastery of one's craft but it has no basis in objective standards.
In days past it indicated the owner of the shop who employed apprentices and journeyman level craftsmen and who was the "Master" of his business in the way a ship's captain is "Master" of his ship. (please don't turn this into a thread about marine licensing.)
The term "Master Carpenter", as used to describe Norm on TOH, is a theatrical term meant to designate the lead carpenter in a theatrical production and has the same descriptive function as terms like, "Grip", "Key Grip", etc. In theatrical work he would be the "Master" of the other carpenters involved in the production.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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Easy. Call yourself one.

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