Desktop Organiser: Episode 2

Desktop Organiser Episode 2 Keyframe

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Throughout this project, Paul emphasizes the methods of exactness to get the best results. Accuracy in planing leads to leveling the surfaces and especially those adjacent to one another. From surface planing to round overs and then gluing on the bottom board, there is no compromise. This is the first time Paul has taught how to establish a fielded surface to a panel or lid via video and there are several techniques he uses in this small organiser that he hasn’t used elsewhere in his video output. Watching the technique in video with a thorough explanation alongside will be very instructional. Enjoy!


  1. redwood on 17 January 2020 at 11:59 am

    Great job thanks for this one

  2. Greg Jones on 17 January 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Very nice Paul! I am, however, curious why you didn’t use the nicker spur to prevent the tear out when cutting across the grain?

    • Jerry Carell on 17 January 2020 at 3:17 pm

      I have the same question about the spur.
      Paul, I just love your videos; I have learned so much and quite enjoy your wry sense of humour.

    • allaninoz on 17 January 2020 at 6:25 pm

      I imagine that would leave a line across the long grain section, instead, if you are careful with your knife cuts this can be avoided.

      • Greg Jones on 18 January 2020 at 1:42 am

        Actually this situation is exactly why this plane has a nicker. Paul demonstrated the use of the nicker here on his fillister plane video from July 2019.

    • Ross Hollinger on 17 January 2020 at 9:00 pm

      Same question.

    • Berry Kercheval on 18 January 2020 at 3:54 am

      It looked to me like Paul’s #78 didn’t HAVE a nicker, like mine does. However, Patrick Leach’s Stanley planes website seems to indicate they always had them, so perhaps it’s hidden under the depth stop. In that case, I too am curious. Perhaps Paul doesn’t want to take the time to swivel the nicker out of the way when doing the long grain work. Perhaps Izzy can let us know.

    • Cameron Armitage on 18 January 2020 at 6:11 am

      The 78s when picked up second hand, often have the nicker missing. Perhaps he was catering to those without the nicker?

    • pqken on 18 January 2020 at 10:02 am

      Mine has a knicker, I wonder if you (Paul) could give us some instruction on how to set the knicker up…sharpen etc.

      Paul, you go through the basics even though you’ve done this many times in the past, that’s a good thing. I continually pick up new information when you do this. Thank you.

      • Greg Jones on 18 January 2020 at 3:33 pm

        If you look back here to July of 2019, Paul did a video on the fillister plane (Stanley 78, and yes Paul’s plane has a nicker) and about half the video was on using the nicker and how to set it up. He didn’t cover sharpening it, but he described the process in a blog post a few years back.

      • Thomas Maslar on 18 January 2020 at 5:11 pm

        1/32 of an inch depth max. Draw plane to you with first pass, to score work. You can lap the knicker on your stones.make sure it sits flush in its slot.

    • Izzy Berger on 20 January 2020 at 11:27 am

      Hi @JGJONES28,
      I passed your question on to Paul and he said:

      2 reasons
      1: the knifewall works so perfectly and gives the absolute crispest edge.
      2: I think I am less trusting of the spur nicker because unless you have it really pristinely set, it can still tear and then perhaps this is a third reason, I cannot sharpen the nicker to the same level of sharpness as the knife.

      Kind Regards,

      (You may also find this useful @JAYCEE, @ALLANINOZ, @ROSSH, @BERRYK, @CAMAC, @PQKEN, @TMASLAR)

  3. Muhammad Iftikhar Khan on 17 January 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks to coach. U the GRATE

  4. Paul Whoknows on 17 January 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you very much to Paul and the whole WWM team.

  5. Robert Flippin on 17 January 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks, Paul, another great project. One question, you applied glue along the entire perimeter of the bottom (both ends and rear), but the bottom is cross grain to the sides of the box, won’t the bottom expand/shrink causing either the joint to fail or the bottom to crack? Why not glue the rear of the bottom to the rear of the box, both bottom and rear of the box are long grain, and only glue the rear corner of both sides to the bottom then screw the front corners of the bottom to their corresponding sides, with elongated holes? This way any expansion/contraction will be accommodated. An alternative would be a sliding dovetail but that would be exposed at the back, and would require a slight design change, might look nice though. Thanks again to the entire team.

    • Izzy Berger on 20 January 2020 at 11:32 am

      Hi Robert,

      Paul says:
      This question comes up fairly consistently and it’s because it is taught that you should never glue long grain to crossgrain when in reality, it really depends on the distance and the final location for the location of the project. I have glued anything up to 6” wide with complete success and never had any separation or cracks. I think it’s fair to say anything wider than that should be allowed to float. Also, remember that many craftsmen did anchor their panels and no issue ever occurred over long spans of time. Which means that the wood has a certain amount of elasticity and this depends on the type of wood.

      Kind Regards,

      (@TWT this may also answer your question Tom)

  6. Bob Groh on 17 January 2020 at 5:29 pm

    Loving the project. Your video production crew is doing a great job of getting the shots, etc. Two thumbs up.

    • David Hainlin on 19 January 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Ditto that – such a bright spot on the internet. Thanks for all you and your team do.

  7. jrasnack on 17 January 2020 at 7:05 pm

    I understand that, at your level of expertise, you are not happy that the tear out occurred, but as a viewer with much less skill, I am. It is great to see something go wrong and then you calmly demonstrate how to fix it. It is a bit daunting to watch you rip through the making of this box at such a quick pace, when us mere mortals take so much longer. Seeing that things not always going as planned happens to even one as skilled as you, but that it can be dealt with, gives a bit of confidence to those of us working to develop those skills.

  8. joeuu on 17 January 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Hi Gang,

    I’m curious how the divider will be fixed? Initially I thought a groove around the inside would capture the divider, but that would need to be done before glue-up.

    Or I can wait another two weeks. (8>0)



  9. Jean-Robert Grenier on 17 January 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Hello Paul, it is great to see you working with Manuel tools. I personally prefer that way because we are closer to the wood and also feel it more and also we are able to ear his music. You are a real master. No doubt about it. Thank you very much.

  10. David B on 17 January 2020 at 10:30 pm

    Is that a plastic tote/knob on your plane?

    Making new tote handles has always been a fun project for restorations. It is a good hardwood project that uses only a small amount of wood but provides plenty of options to use multiple tools (optionally including band-saw & drill-press).

  11. Andy McKenzie on 18 January 2020 at 12:32 am

    Thanks! This is a neat project, and something I might have the energy to take on sometime soon.

  12. Benoît Van Noten on 18 January 2020 at 1:28 pm

    I don’t have a #78 and so no nicker neither.
    I have used my grooving plane with a 10 mm wide blade and with the fence in such a way that it produced a rebate.
    I was not very satisfied by the result (especially on the short sides [too heavy setting and working with pine?])
    I have refined it with my router plane (which I could use with the grain on the long sides).

  13. joeleonetti on 18 January 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks Paul. The technique to repair the lifted grain was quite helpful. I’ve had this problem before and didn’t know what to do to fix it. Your solution was very helpful. I know I will use it in the future. Also, by running the grooves (not sure if this is the proper term) and seeing your speed (or slowness in this case) and sensitivity when doing it is quite helpful. From my perspective, these two tips are invaluable.

  14. Sandy on 19 January 2020 at 2:16 pm

    I don’t care how many boxes you use for training Paul. There are always little techniques that make the finished product so nice. I for one appreciate every word and every moment of these videos.

  15. Steve Kahn on 19 January 2020 at 3:24 pm

    What vise are you using, Paul? I’m so impressed that there’s no racking, it seems, whatsoever. Thanks.

    • Izzy Berger on 20 January 2020 at 11:43 am

      Hi Steve,

      It’s a vintage Woden.

      The following information from our Workbench FAQs might help you too:

      The model we use is the Record 52 1/2E, but we would not recommend the Record Irwin alternative.

      Paul also recommends the Eclipse 9″ Quick Release vise as it is more readily available and seems to hold up well.

      Kind Regards,

      • Jerry Carell on 20 January 2020 at 2:30 pm

        I have the Eclipse 9″ vise (based on Paul’s recommendation) and I am very happy with it.

  16. Ian Lockwood on 19 January 2020 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Paul, I too am wondering why you did not use the nicker on the plane?

  17. Richard [email protected] on 20 January 2020 at 8:24 pm

    I really appreciate seeing your solution to the rebate plane. I have a home made rebate plane – i.e. no nicker – and this helps me see how to correct this problem when (not if, in my case) it arises.

  18. Russell Puryear on 21 January 2020 at 10:40 pm

    What hinges are being used? They govern the depth of the rabbet/height of the field.
    I love the part where you say “I’ve got all my pieces cot to length and squared.” Implying you thickness also. Thus insuring you’re weeks ahead of us!

    • Izzy Berger on 22 January 2020 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Russell,

      Paul just buys what he can from eBay and sets the field according to the hinges.

      Kind Regards,

  19. Coleton Visser on 22 January 2020 at 12:43 am

    I am hoping for the next video to be released soon! I am working on this project currently and I’m having to do some guesswork to figure out how to do the next steps as I am leaving for college on Thursday morning and need to have this done by tomorrow night!
    How are the half-blind dovetails done on this? Is there a video I could watch about this?

    • Benoît Van Noten on 22 January 2020 at 2:07 pm

      There is a video series on how to make a drawer: “drawer making” in 4 episodes.
      There is also the video series about the drawer in the workbench “workbench customisations bench drawer” in 5 episodes.
      Those will show how to fit the drawer front and how to make half-blind dovetails

      Although for this drawer,
      1. the back is dovetailed as a simple box; otherwise one would loose space at the back.
      2. the bottom is not in grooves but held with the help of thin ( ~10 X 13 mm) grooved batten glued on the inside (see plan). This maximise the drawer depth. On the pictures, the top of those batten seems to be quater rounded.

      • Benoît Van Noten on 22 January 2020 at 2:12 pm

        I shaped the drawer handle with a spoke-shave.

      • Coleton Visser on 23 January 2020 at 7:58 pm

        Thank you for your help.
        I was able to get the drawer done on time! Finished working on it at 4 am this morning… 😅 I got boiled linseed oil and two coats of shellac on it. The half-blind dovetails are actually easier to do for me! I guess it’s because you can be less precise on the end grain and back part of the pin section. Definitely small though using 1/2″ material!

        I opted to go for a nice 15mm brass ball knob for the drawer pull. This complements the brass hinges I bought.

        When it came to doing the drawer bottom I decided to cut grooves on the short side-walls of the drawer. I did this on the table saw easily. I enjoy a hybrid of traditional and power tool woodworking.
        I used 3/16″ thick birch plywood for the drawer bottom and the divider. It matched the colour of the red maple I was using (though it was “red” maple, the red maple we have here in Canada is more white really).

        Overall a great and slightly challenging project. It pushed me for more accuracy in my work.

  20. steven newman on 23 January 2020 at 12:34 am

    Currently waiting on a coat of stain to dry. Ash is nice, but a bit too light to see the grain well. I added a handle to the drawer, to give me something to pull the drawer open with.

    Was wondering about adding dividers inside, to make “compartments” for sorting items? Maybe 1/8″ thick Ash?

    Yes, I did use the spur on my Wards Master Quality #78 ( Stanley made) for the rebates….no issues.

    Was a fun build! Thanks.

    • Izzy Berger on 24 January 2020 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Steven,

      Paul says:
      Yeah, that’s a great idea, any wood will do.

      Kind Regards,

  21. johnstodden on 23 January 2020 at 8:57 pm

    For me, the best part of this video (at about 5:20) is where Paul pares down the end grain of the nibs with a VERY sharp chisel. Lovely sound! Real test of sharpening technique.

  22. Premyslaw Jodlowski on 5 February 2020 at 1:27 pm

    Dear Paul, thank you for great video. I am watching your movies with great pleasure. I have a question: in your movies you mentioned that we can use no4 planes. I bought irwin no 4 however despite well blade sharpening (shaves handhair) my plane do not shaves well. To be honest I find hand tools very attractive, hovewer an instant fight with hand plane moves my eyes to the jointer. Do you have any advices how to master handplanning or maintain hand plane to be as efficient as yours. Regards Przemek

    • YrHenSaer on 5 February 2020 at 4:12 pm

      There was a short piece about the Irwin No: 4 plane about a year ago – here’s a link:


      • Premyslaw Jodlowski on 5 February 2020 at 7:11 pm

        Thank you very much. After Reading this it seems that I need to find new plane. There is always question what to buy. In some video, Paul says that todays stanleys are not the same like they use to be. Any advices what to buy? Best

    • gerald Anania on 5 February 2020 at 4:13 pm

      provide details about issue(s). Ie does not plane at all, tears up wood, clogs up. A lot of issues can be caused by chip breaker- setting distance to end of blade, breaker contact with front of blade . While blade might be sharp the angle might not right. There is a fairly wide range but essentially anywhere between 25-35 degree bevel works fine. Also mouth opening might need adjustment. Paul has several videos dealing with setting up planes and the blades. heck them out on YouTube or free Tool Techniques on his website

      • Premyslaw Jodlowski on 5 February 2020 at 7:14 pm

        Thank you for your comment. It planes a bit, IT was clofging but I adjusted the mouth and it was better. With pine everything works fine but with white oak or cherry there is a lot of tear outs. After planning i have to send a lot of time with scraper

        • Kory Karr on 6 February 2020 at 4:15 am

          I would try the lightest shaving possible. Back the iron off till it doesn’t shave at all, then advance little by little until it does.

          Also check your grain direction. Paul has a few videos about reading grain direction, but simply try the opposite direction if you encounter tear out.

        • Colin Scowen on 6 February 2020 at 7:01 am

          Also try flattening the sole (if you did not do this already), and looking at the end of the cap iron.
          I was looking at my modern Stanley 4 1/2 yesterday, and noticed that the end of the cap was rounded over. I took some time to shape this a bit, and the plane does seem to perform better, less shavings stuck between cap and blade, but that may just be me being biased after having spent some time on it.
          Also, since you have the blade and cap, you could always make a wooden body plane (there is a WWMC video on this as well).

  23. Premyslaw Jodlowski on 6 February 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Thx. Already did that. I have Just ordered stanley bailey 4. Hope this will change everything. Best

  24. Russell Puryear on 12 February 2020 at 7:18 pm

    “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail” -unknown
    Lacking a router plane or rabbet (rebate) plane, I cut a deeper knife wall, opened the waste side and used my shoulder plane to raise the field. Start with the plane tilted so the corner is against the knife wall and move it to vertical as you cut the rabbet.

  25. Patrick Rippl on 10 March 2020 at 2:13 am

    Hello Izzy!

    I’ve got a bit of a strange off topic question: would you ask Paul what wood (or stain, if used) the tote and handle of the #4 plane he is using in this video is made of?

    Everytime he uses this plane my thoughts wander to this question, because I can’t make that out myself and that nags me.
    I’d much rather focus on the important parts of his lessons again instead of staring at his plane to make out clues in the grain 😉

    Thank you very much!


  26. Larry Geib on 10 March 2020 at 3:03 am

    Yew, if it is this plane you are referring to.

    • Patrick Rippl on 10 March 2020 at 11:16 am

      Thank you! Finally my mind can rest 😀
      You can tell I never had a piece of yew in my hands, so I could have stared the rest of my life without progress 😉

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