Chest of Drawers: Episode 2


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We’re ready to work on the panels. Paul shows ways to fill any knots and surface defects, using super glue, epoxy and wax filler. Then it can be planed, which can be tricky with adverse grain, or scraped before cutting the boards to size. Paul ensures it is square and accurately sized in preparation for the joinery.


  1. Mic van Reijen on 15 February 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Hey, I see a little tool project in there – soon as I have a good length of stable wood I’d like to make a decent long straight edge (instead of every time rummaging through what I have hoping something has a straight edge)!


  2. jettkeyser on 15 February 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Cabinet scraper was really impressive…I need to review its use and sharpening…

  3. johnstodden on 15 February 2017 at 4:16 pm

    When you put the metal straightedge across the top panel to mark the end, I notice that there is quite a gap between the middle of the straightedge and the panel. Has the panel “cupped” or is the straightedge bowed?

    John B

    • Philip Adams on 21 February 2017 at 12:42 pm

      @johnstodden & @hilfers3,
      Thank you for the questions, think the following will be very useful for people to think through:

      In Paul’s day to day work, he would aim to plane/scrape the boards and then cut the housings/joinery in one go to have them assembled and clamped or glued to help prevent movement. However, due to the nature of filming a project, this is not always possible.

      Paul therefore expected some movement, as see in this video. That is often the case with people who can only fit in a few hours of woodworking here and there. In those cases, the key is to make sure that the movement present can be pushed/clamped out with a appropriate amount (approx 10-15lb) of pressure, as the glue can easily hold significantly more than that.

      Best, Phil

      • ehisey on 25 February 2017 at 11:25 pm

        The extra explanation of how much give Paul “accepts” was very useful. I had wondered what the weight range was for “hand closure” of gaps. Also thanks for stepping to cover the video comments/questions when Paul can’t. I know he is staying busy.

        Most important bit I learned in this video is my scraper was not sharp enough. Just resharpened it from scratch, and now I am getting the same kind of shavings. 🙂

  4. Sven-Olof Jansson on 15 February 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Dear Mr P. Sellers and Production team
    Thank you for an excellent – albeit, on your behalf, physically strenuous – lecture on issue management in woodworking. Not a zealot purist, I can happily dispense with the ‘evidence providing’ time-lapses to save some laborious displays in favour of more on how to salvage Oops situations; ideally in the presentation style of the videos of a few years ago. /soj

  5. kjellhar on 15 February 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Hi “Team”,
    I’m a bit with Sven-Olof here. While the time lapse is fun to watch now and again, it doesn’t really add that much value. After all, it’s too fast for any learning, and it takes up valuable play time that could be spend better.

    I haven’t once suspected you of bringing your piece into the secret underground machine shop when the lights are off (I doubt if any has that), so you don’t really have to prove that you work everything by hand.

    Al that said, I think your videos are the best instruction videos on the internet, regardless of subject. The extra hand-held camera to the left and back improved things even further.

    Best regards,

  6. noho on 15 February 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Actually I quite like the time lapse. they are usually very short and kinda fun.

    Anyway, as usual, a great video. Looking forward to next week video !

  7. David B on 15 February 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Likewise on the time lapse. I like to see as much of the total construction as possible for a couple of reasons. Plus, it’s a nice interlude to get to listen to little clips of that pleasant acoustic jingle.

  8. joolzt2 on 15 February 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Hi, I also like the time lapse sections and I also like the Ooops parts too, if there are any in the filming sequences. We could have best of both worlds, if at the end of the project any Ooops fixes could be done as a separate video and maybe as an interlude if it’s a long project. That way we can all enjoy the time lapse and get to understand the process of any fixes that need doing.

    • kjellhar on 22 February 2017 at 5:38 pm

      I like the oops parts too. Most of the joinery is covered multiple times when you go through the entire library of projects. One of the major learning aspects now is how to deal with the unexpected.

  9. Matt McGrane on 15 February 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Never seen a #80 scraper work like that before. Major shavings! I’ve probably been sharpening mine poorly.

  10. bongo817 on 15 February 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Ive heard that superglue degrades after a few years. Is this true?

    • Larry Geib on 16 February 2017 at 1:23 am

      I love superglues. I use them all the time for quick cosmetic repairs, and my favorite use was for the repair of deep skin cuts while rock climbing instead of heavy bandaging.

      But the glue has limitations, among them being low strength in shear compared to other adhesives and degradation with wetness and moisture. It
      Can’t be even considered in high moisture situations.

      • mcdouglas on 16 February 2017 at 4:57 am

        The incision on my total knee replacement was held together with superglue, no stitiches.

      • uumikew on 16 February 2017 at 5:37 am

        Is that Larry Geib from Carderock? I went past there the other day and caught up with Gregory a little. I miss being able to stop and talk to Geoff too. Lots of good ones have gone lately, Howard Doyle, Cal Swoager, and Geoff to name a few. Interesting the people you run into on the net. -mike whitman-

        • Larry Geib on 25 February 2017 at 6:16 pm

          Hi Mike,
          Good to hear from you.
          Yeah, it’s me. I’ve been in Portland for the last 25 years so I only get to CR about every 10 years if I happen to be visiting family and have time. Each time, though, both Geoff and John were there. It will be sad the next time, though. Say hi to Gregory for me the next time you are there.

  11. Wayne on 15 February 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Watching Paul rip that piece to length about 1 mm from the line is pretty humbling! My own skills have a ways to go!

  12. gdailey2 on 16 February 2017 at 12:57 am

    The first three planks have alternate grain direction for planing, making planing difficult.
    Grain direction has never been mentioned as a consideration in glue-ups as far as I can remember.

    I have tried marking the planing direction on the planks before glue-up, and trying to arrange that all plane in the same direction. It seems to work in that it makes finishing easier.

    Since this won’t be a new idea, presumably there is a good reason why Paul chose not to do it.

    Was the grain matching for appearance given priority over convenience of finishing?
    Would this always take precedence?


    • ehisey on 16 February 2017 at 2:59 am

      Paul does touch on this in the first video. His stance pretty much seems to be “pick the best looking pattern, and you can work around wild grain issues”.

  13. mcdouglas on 16 February 2017 at 4:49 am

    Your speeding thru repetitive operations (called fast forward, not time lapse) allows the substantive items to be covered, thus to not waste time. If a project takes 24 dovetails I only need to see one or two before I get the idea.

  14. joeleonetti on 16 February 2017 at 4:58 am

    Skewing the cabinet scraper to make it a bit easier to get it shave was a great tidbit I hadn’t thought of. Thank you.

  15. muhammadkm on 16 February 2017 at 10:57 am

    Dear Paul and Team, thank you!
    I have learned more from you in very short period compared to all my wood teachers together here in Sweden. God bless you, i love you.

    After i bought your book and watched some of your videos i made a special dovetail box as a proposal gift together with the ring. Here is a private video of it, it was my first dovetail job:

    Please keep up the good work.
    For the cameraman and editor i think you are doing great job.
    Because i don’t think it’s only about filming and editing.
    The fast forward is more about having the wisdom to prioritize, choose and eliminate for us the repetitions and information that is already covered, or not so necessary.
    If there was something of interest im sure they would have saved it and let us know.

    Woodworking like all handwork and art i believe is also about learning to be independent and develop not only various skills but also an independent problem-solving-mind and personal touch.
    I don’t think Paul and Team want to train us to be totally dependent on his ways/methods/thinking/feelings in every minute situation. I think there ultimate goal is to make us independent confident artisans.

    Also the videos will be too long otherwise.
    I think they are perfectly balanced now.

    (Just a small note to the cameraman, sometimes you are little bit late with the focus on a certain detail Paul is pointing out, and we miss the close up by some seconds. Maybe laud communication between you and Paul will be good and helping?
    Or sometimes asking him related questions, and let him answer and have some chat for some few minutes when he finish a section of a job, like a good interviewer does, so it will not only be a monolog all the time.
    And i think Paul will probably find it more stimulating and giving to be challenged little bit.
    Anyway thank you for your patience and steadfastness, you are doing great job).

    • ehisey on 25 February 2017 at 11:29 pm

      Congratulations on a lovely box and Fiancee.

      What did you use for wood, it has a rich color and grain? The gold infilling of the was a nice touch as where the brass(?) plates.

      • muhammadkm on 26 March 2017 at 2:35 am

        Dear Ehisey,

        Thank you
        The wood i used was walnut and the filling for the engraving was real gold, from an old 10 carat gold ring.

    • Philip Adams on 27 March 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Dear Muhammad,
      Sorry for the delayed response. We’re glad that you have enjoyed the videos and great work on the box. Many congratulations.

      Thank you for the suggestions. We will take them into consideration, as we are always trying to improve our videos and instruction.
      All the best,
      Phil & the team

  16. peteralex on 16 February 2017 at 11:20 am

    As always with Paul, very clear, and very inspiring!

  17. Mooncabbage on 16 February 2017 at 11:29 am

    It’s amazing the detail you can see watching this in 1080p, especially when the camera is in good focus.

  18. Josh on 17 February 2017 at 1:54 am

    Thanks to everyone on the team for another great lesson. I produce media for a living and the quality of the videos here is simply outstanding. Much like the woodworking, the video production is an art that takes planning, care, and lots of practice. You all are doing just fantastic! Please keep up the good work, and thank you! I’m learning so much.

    • muhammadkm on 17 February 2017 at 9:40 am

      Well said, i think the same.

    • bytesplice on 18 February 2017 at 8:31 pm

      I too have noticed a great improvement in the quality of the videos (and audio, which I’ve always struggled with) since Ellie has joined Phil behind the camera!

  19. hilfers3 on 17 February 2017 at 3:56 am

    As noted by someone above, it appears that the board is cupped across its width. I assume Paul left it that way because the joinery will keep it flat, but would be good to confirm that. More generally, I’ve found some of the most useful information in these videos is the discussion of where precision is important and where it’s not (including whether a surface is flat or square). Would appreciate hearing more of that.


  20. Eddy Flynn on 17 February 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Fantastic video i really appreciate the ff, it enables much more content to be shown without repetitive actions, what does the epoxy look like with finish on.

    • Philip Adams on 21 February 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Hi @edfly,
      It takes stain and finish well, so there shouldn’t be an issue with it taking, but you may need to add colour to the epoxy if it will be visible.
      Best, Phil

  21. knightlylad on 17 February 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you for the lesson.

  22. abtuser on 19 February 2017 at 7:38 am

    I like the time lapse, and I suspect that if there are real oop’s to be covered, Paul will either slow the video down, or cover them in a separate video.

  23. fudoka on 20 February 2017 at 6:23 pm

    I see you are using solid wood panels for the sides of the chest of drawers rather than frame and panels.
    I’d be interested in hearing why the choice of solid panels, is it for strength, warping or for the look?
    In fact, I’m sure that many of use would be interested in the reasoning why you would chose one construction technique over another.

    • Philip Adams on 21 February 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Hello Alan (@fudoka),
      It was a matter of choice and appearance to use solid wood rather than frames with floating panels in. Using solid boards in this way is a commonly used form of construction. Using frames and panels is not necessarily superior or inferior, and you can do either. You do have to, as Paul has done, take expansion and contraction into consideration to avoid cracking.
      Best, Phil

  24. mbrxjepp on 21 February 2017 at 11:45 pm

    As with many other people, I’ve been watching Paul’s videos for quite a few years. I remember the excitement of finding such a valuable resource. I wasn’t sure why I didn’t like the time lapse at first, as I could see exactly why it was being used. I now realise it’s because I’m just nostalgic for those earlier videos and the excitement of new knowledge. I will miss Paul saying “I’ll do the other ones and then we’ll get back together”, but things move on.

    If there’s a risk with the time lapse though, it’s that some of the micro adjustments that Paul makes when doing routine tasks will be lost. I’ve learnt lots from watching all the things he does unconsciously, or doesn’t feel the need to comment on. It helps me visualise myself doing the same thing, and I transfer this readily to my own work. The time lapse needs to be restricted to repeated tasks that have already been shown in real time.

    There are also some continuity jumps creeping in that I really don’t like. We might miss a clamp being undone, or a moment of indecision as Paul reaches for the right tool. This really spoils my sense of the flow of the work and the production starts to distance me. It feels a little impersonal, whereas I really felt like I was there in the workshop with the earlier real time videos.

    I agree that the camera needs to focus in more quickly when Paul is showing us a small detail. This has always been an issue from the earliest videos. That said, I’d probably miss the delay if it got too slick 🙂

    Good to see Paul working some ‘imperfect’ timber. Very informative.

    • Philip Adams on 23 February 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Hello Ewan (@mbrxjepp),
      Thank you for your honest comments.

      We have been trying to refine and improve our filming and editing process. We have been working on how to film larger projects that include all the necessary details, without unnecessary repetition, while still showing succession of work. We want to avoid excessively long series and episodes that are unsuitable for the majority of people. This is definitely still a work in progress, and will definitely take your comments into consideration. Hopefully you will see improvements evident in the next few projects.
      All the best, Phil & the Woodworking Masterclasses team

  25. micha on 24 February 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Just out of curiosity: how would they have dealt with those knots and defects in times before super glue and epoxy?

  26. Terry Southgate on 4 April 2019 at 3:59 am

    I try not to make any trite comments, on any of the opinions on these masterful videos that you show us. I’m just thankful for the levels of skills and experience available from all of the individuals that make all this possible.
    Thanks to everyone, including all that make such sense in their comments.
    What a great Site!

    Terry Southgate.

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