Joiner’s Toolbox – Episode 5

Joiners Toolbox 5

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This toolbox has a base and top trim that surround the box which helps to solidify the piece and protect the main box from knocks and bumps. Paul goes through the process of cutting the pieces to length then laying out and cutting the dovetailed corners. Accuracy is essential here to ensure they fit flush around the box with no gap.


  1. Matt Hess on 21 January 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks again Paul and team! I can never get enough dovetails 🙂 This may sound silly, but one of my favorite parts was when Paul took time out to sharpen his chisel. It was a good reminder for me, because I still tend to procrastinate my sharpening duties. I timed it and it took 50 seconds from the time he grabbed the plates till the time he was done stropping. That’s a good reminder to me that it takes very little time and makes a big difference.

  2. edsof75 on 21 January 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Paul, great series, where do you buy your wood. I can’t find any that’s not full of knots

    • SharpPencil on 21 January 2015 at 6:25 pm


    • James Savage on 21 January 2015 at 9:13 pm

      If you have any timber yards near you ask them if they stock ‘joinery grade’ wood.

    • geoffbutler1 on 22 January 2015 at 5:09 pm

      B and Q also do some “Clear Softwood”, it is not outside with the other wood but can usually be found near the trim inside. This is totally Knot free, but is a little soft, so be careful you don’t ding it.

    • Philip Adams on 27 January 2015 at 12:11 pm

      We get most of our pine, sapele and some oak from our local timber merchants (they are also building suppliers). You should be able to find one near you.

  3. STEVE MASSIE on 21 January 2015 at 5:53 pm

    This is coming along nicely, and again learning something new or at least I haven’y done it.

    Thanks Paul and crew for another great episode.


  4. kb9jlo on 21 January 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I get so excited when I receive an email that the next episode is out!

    Is this project too much for a newbie? I found a #40 scrub plane on ebay and want to try bringing the stock thickness down to size. I’ve learned so much the last few months.

    BTW, I think the Harbor Freight wooden handle planes are a good approximation of the “Aldi” chisels (for US folks). They’re a little rough but they clean up well and sharpen up nicely.

    • kb9jlo on 21 January 2015 at 5:54 pm

      Sorry – meant chisels not planes!

      • red58impala on 22 January 2015 at 4:01 am


        You might want to check out the HF 33 plane and camber the iron for scrub work. I had some cedar I needed to take down about 1/4-1/2″ along the edge. Instead of using a saw I used the 33 plane which has a fairly large mouth. A few passes later it was to width. The last I checked they were $10. Keep an eye out for a 20% or 25% off coupon and you can get one really cheap. If it doesn’t work for you, you are out about $8 plus tax.

        Funny you mentioned the Stanley 40 plane. I probably saw the same one on eBay recently as well. Don’t worry I won’t buy it or bid against you :-). Seeing the plane caused me to check out Mr. Sellers’ blog. If I remember correctly he recommends using a Stanley 4 with a different cambered iron, or use an old wooden plane. Since I have an extra blade for a 4, an old wooden plane, an old Bailey plane with a crack in the mouth I could use and the HF 33, I decided to save my money.

        I doubt Mr. Sellers would recommend a HF plane. They are not anywhere near the quality of an old Bailey, but some people really rave about them and for a dedicated scrub it might be worth your time.

    • Philip Adams on 27 January 2015 at 11:15 am

      Hello Dan,
      If you have worked your way a through a few other smaller projects, particularly a few other dovetailed boxes, then you should manage this ok. I would say that dimensioning timber to stock does take a bit of practice and aptitude with a plane. This toolbox also requires a high level of accuracy for some of the fitting of the trim and the trays. But it isn’t out of reach of someone who has been developing their skills through a couple of other projects.
      Hope that helps,

  5. bit101 on 21 January 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Like last week, lots of nice tricks I could have used when building my blanket chest last month. I might have a go at this just so I can do things right this time. And, I could always use a nice tool chest.

  6. Salko Safic on 21 January 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Sharpening for me takes longer than what I see anyone on the net take, Those damn secondary bevels always takes a while to get rid of, chisels not so much but I do spend 3 – 4 mins on them but it’s the planer blades that are the most time consuming for me. I hate this idea of having the primary bevel set at 25° and the secondary set at 35° that’s a whole lot of metal to remove just to restabllish the secondary bevel again. I have taken it to the grinder and believe me it still take a good while only because I don’t press hard nor leave the blade on it for long only to keep it cool so I don’t take the tempre out of it. I also don’t sharpen free hand I use the MKII honing guide from veritas, it doesn’t have a 33° angle on it if it did my life would be so much simpler.

    • adrian on 22 January 2015 at 1:59 am

      Salko the primary bevel is there to minimize the area to the secondary bevel. That way you are only honing at the secondary bevel for multiple sharpening’s. Eventually you may want to re-grind the primary 25 degree to again reduce the secondary bevel down to about 2 mm but it is best to save that small edge to only hone it back to final condition. I have found that I only have to go back to my primary bevel after 10 or 15 sharpenings. The most time I have ever spent at my water stones is only 3 to 5 minutes to reduce the primary bevel. Just concentrate on the getting a razor edge with the secondary bevel , Good luck

  7. david o'sullivan on 22 January 2015 at 12:09 am

    I enjoyed that,especially information about sawing. I noticed your saw has a high hang and was wondering did you coustom fit this to suit your needs. Thanks Regards David

  8. mike melendrez on 22 January 2015 at 5:52 am

    With the project videos comming once a week I wish a week was only 5 days long. Not complaining I am just hungry to learn. Thank you for this opertunity

  9. Derek Long on 22 January 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Very nice video this week! Great tips on getting that skirt exactly to size, that was fantastic.

  10. BillS on 27 January 2015 at 3:22 am

    Is this the last episode in he series?

    • Philip Adams on 27 January 2015 at 11:08 am

      There are still quite a few episodes to come. We have the base, lid, trays and fittings which are all covered.
      All the best,

  11. Sandy on 4 May 2015 at 8:33 pm

    This has turned out to be a great project and an even better tool box. I do have a question though. On the design the top trim is only on 3 edges of the top. Is this by design or is it just the way that the old box was made? I thought it looked odd when I first saw it. I know that you would have to make allowances for the swing radious of the hing/lid but are there any other known issues with adding that 4th piece of trim to the top of the lid and moving the hinge to the oute edge od the trim ? I just think it would look better…


    • jmahoney on 5 May 2015 at 7:30 am

      I added the 4th piece to mine and moved the hinges. Honestly i had no issues really, had to plane the upper edge of the actual box body some to allow the lid to come down all the way….but that’s no different than the original…

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