Chest of Drawers: Episode 13


This is an episode in a paid series. Want to watch it? You just need to sign up as a paid member and you can enjoy this video and many other videos we think you will love.

Drawers are the focus of this episode. Paul planes the sides to fit, before carefully laying out the half-lap dovetails. He cuts a small rebate to help align the dovetails. Then the dovetails can be cut before the marking is transferred for the tail recesses. The recesses are then cut within the lines so that they can be pared for a tight fit.


  1. joeleonetti on 3 May 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Excellent video. Thanks you for taking us through the half blind dovetails. If one were to already own a skewed blade rabbet plane with a nicker, would that offer any advantages in tcreating the step down in the side board 1/16″ over the router? Would you do anything differently if using the rebate plane with a nicker? Thank you very much.

  2. donnie22 on 4 May 2017 at 2:13 am

    Paul what brand of chisels are you using? I would like to find some with those type of handles.

    • sidorenko91 on 4 May 2017 at 7:15 am

      I think they are Ashley iles. I just got some Marples with similar handles and they have great balance.

    • fudoka on 4 May 2017 at 7:19 am

      Ashley Iles – if you look closely it’s possible to make out the brand name on the blade in some of the shots.

    • donnie22 on 4 May 2017 at 11:21 pm

      Thanks guys for your help

    • Anthony Greitzer on 8 May 2017 at 2:49 am

      I just bought an old Marples. It has the signature shamrock on it. It definitely makes a difference. Up until now, I’ve been using Sorby. Sorby is very good but a hair thicker on the sides, close to the cutting edge. Marples seem to be a little better suited for dovetails. Especially when cleaning the pin recesses out. It’s seems better balanced and a tad lighter as well. All my Sorby chisels will now be designated for mortising.

  3. fudoka on 4 May 2017 at 7:18 am

    It would be very useful to have Next/Previous links on the pages.
    I hadn’t noticed the lack until I wanted to browse through the series to check up on a comment I thought I remember reading and had to keep editing the URL which is a bit of a pain as the date changes as well as the episode number.

    • Philip Adams on 9 May 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Hello Alan, good idea, we will look into it. You can click on the ‘Chest of Drawers’ series just below the title to access a list of all of the episode.

      • joeleonetti on 10 May 2017 at 8:28 pm

        Hi Phil,
        Speaking of software related matters. Typically I watch these on my iPad. For many videos on the internet, there is often an option to change the viewing screen from the iPad to my Apple TV. If your software could easily add this option, I would appreciate it. That way I could watch it on my tv and share with others in the room, such as my dad, who enjoys watching the videos with me. I like the father son bonding it brings. Many thanks for the consideration.

        Again, if it’s difficult, please disregard.

        • Philip Adams on 12 May 2017 at 2:30 pm

          Hello Joseph,
          Would you mind sending this through the contact tab above? It means we can deal with it correctly and keep these comments to project related comments. Thanks.

  4. wdelliott on 4 May 2017 at 10:26 am

    As I was watching the accelerated playback, it occurred to me that there would be an interest in having a choice of watching you in real time for the rest of your work, or alternatively, the faster playback. I am thinking of a view option 1 or 2.

    Even if you are not talking, even if you are not turning the board for the audience, there would still be an interest in watching you work in real time.

    Could you consider offering the real time option? There is probably a cost factor I’m not considering, such as bandwidth, but if possible, your audience might have an interest.

    • Philip Adams on 9 May 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Hello William,
      The sped up sequences are recorded as time lapse, often over course of several hours. Unfortunately, it would not be feasible to store or process that amount of footage in real time. Time lapse is a way of being able to show some of the information that was previously not included.
      Many thanks,

  5. jakegevorgian on 4 May 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Coming up beautifully!

  6. dandan on 4 May 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Thank you Paul. I always look forward to Wednesdays. Of course I am learning so many things from you that will improve my woodworking, but I think watching your videos has helped me to become a more patient person in my everyday life, and maybe a little happier as well. Thanks for sharing your skills with the world, and for being a pretty effective life coach in the process. Your efforts are appreciated!

  7. mxbroome1 on 5 May 2017 at 1:05 am

    That was accelerated playback? I thought that was just Paul working at normal speed! 🙂

  8. MTaylor on 5 May 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Paul I have never seen you do it, but could you address the possibility of gang cutting dovetails when making several drawers. Pros and Cons.

  9. David Lundy on 5 May 2017 at 4:49 pm

    What’s the reason for cutting dovetails before making the 1/16″ step down? Looked as though there was some tear out. Yes I know the insides of the half-lap dovetails will be hidden when finished but I am a firm believer in your ideology of “it’ll never been seen but I’ll know” professionalism. Just wondering what I may be missing or is it a matter of preference.

    • hphimmelbauer on 6 May 2017 at 7:32 pm

      I guess it is the issue with the template. It could not be used flat on the board. So – I would cut it afterwards too. Though it is a bit challenging stepping down then.

    • Anthony Greitzer on 8 May 2017 at 3:03 am

      Good question. I don’t know either except he surface planed before marking and mentions how lay out after surface planning is better. Accurate layout of course leading to accurate lines to follow when sawing. Recessing before marking, especially with the possibility of some tear out, could make it difficult for the pencil mark to stay on line? I’ve done marking inside dadoes and the pencil will bump up and down over the wood, sort of like a mountain bike bumping over uneven trail. I work mainly in pine though. I’ve never worked in cherry. After creating a step down in cherry, is it smooth as if it was surface planed?

    • Philip Adams on 14 June 2017 at 9:38 am

      Hello David, you could indeed do either and it is down to personal preference.

  10. sodbuster on 31 January 2018 at 3:26 am

    Interesting seeing “the 140 trick” – making a rebate with a skew block plane – done with a router plane.

  11. michael kelton on 30 October 2021 at 6:48 pm

    that was one of the most teaching and hopefully learning experiences i have ever had in my life! the camera work was second to none. i am learning. THANK TOU SO VERY MUCH.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.