On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 11:09:06 -0700, Tim Douglass
Good question - historical or contemporary ?
In contemporary usage, they could be anything (we're lax here).
Typically they're what the US would describe as "trim carpenters".
Historically is more interesting. Chests used to be called "arks" and
were made by arkwrights - still an extant surname. Later developments
went from the hollowed out log, the six-board chest and the
clamp-fronted ark, all as attempts to deal with the shrinkage of
timber with moisture content.
A much later development (imported from Europe) was the
frame-and-panel chest; the typical M&T frame with the free floating
panel that we still use today. This great new innovation was the
secret of a new trade - the "joiners", where only they and not mere
arkwrights knew the mysteries of this new craft. Displaced from
furniture, the arkwrights became rough carpenters of farm equipment
and later for machinery frames.
The terms "cabinetry" and "cabinetmaker" really belong to the 18th
century, and the developments of veneering and finishing.