Fitting a Cornice: Part 1

Fitting a Cornice 1

This is an episode in a free series. Want to watch it? It is free to do so, you just need to log into the site and you can enjoy this video and many other videos we think you will love.

Paul goes through a system for fitting a cornice to a cabinet so that it is removable. He builds up a frame on the cabinet and then shows how to measure, cut and fit the mitre on each corner. This shows how it will look when finished before gluing then screwing it in place.

You can see an additional video on how to make a suitable mitre box here.


  1. silenthill on 1 August 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Can’t wait to start building this for my small shop, the notch in the cornice didn’t make sense to me at first until the last moment when it was attached, beautiful detail. On a side note though, I must say that Dewalt cordless was making me mental, it was either torquing Pauls wrist, or the undersized bit was slipping.

  2. Josh on 1 August 2016 at 4:56 pm


    I can play the videos without issue on my iPad, iPhone, and AppleTV both on work and home networks. Streaming is provided by Vimeo, which should be rock solid. Perhaps use the “Contact us here” for technical support link found below to see if someone can help you rather that posting in the comments?


    • Michael Barnes on 1 August 2016 at 5:29 pm

      I’ve contacted them before and just got told it’s because I’m using an apple device and that Vimeo doesn’t like IOS or some such thing.

      • Richard Senior on 1 August 2016 at 5:35 pm

        They work OK for me on my iPad using Safari on iOS 9. Which browser and version of iOS are you using?

        • Michael Barnes on 1 August 2016 at 5:43 pm

          I use safar browser on the iPad and I use google chrome cast to stream to my TV using the TV cast app. I have the latest iOS on my IPad Air 2. This is the only website I have issues watching videos on so I can only assume it’s something on this site that doesn’t like my setup.

      • SharpPencil on 1 August 2016 at 8:59 pm

        Hi Michael…..yes can be very frustrating.

        I use my Apple iPad and loading of late can be slow ie once through sign on the white line moves to right about 3/4″ stops for a various amount of time then moves totally to right..can be slow. I am on latest iOS 9.

        Regards John

      • d c on 16 September 2017 at 12:08 am

        It’s probably your wifi. The wireless connection between the device and your internet router is slower and/or less reliable than your internet, so increasing your internet speed doesn’t help.

      • Philip Adams on 18 September 2017 at 3:59 pm

        Hello all,
        We do test on IOS (and other) devices from time to time as and when people have issues with them. There are so many possibilities that it can be hard to pinpoint the issue, as it works for most.

        I will delete this series of posts in a few day as it clutters up the video posts. Do feel free to discuss this in the forums, as members can often give useful advice that we have overlooked. If we can be of further help, please do get in touch with us using the contact us tab.
        Best, Phil

  3. António on 1 August 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you WWMC team, for this video!

  4. Thom Spillane on 1 August 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I’m sure I have said it before but it is simply a joy to watch and learn from your videos. This project is perfect timing for me I have been looking for a tool cabinet that I can build to have a plane and saw till and there is no better way than to say this is a Paul Sellers design

  5. badgerjoe on 2 August 2016 at 12:07 am

    What is the model number of your Dewalt drill/driver and are happy with it? My old PC scrapped out this weekend after 20 years.

  6. JIM CHALOUPKA on 2 August 2016 at 12:46 am

    What, not using Hide Glue! Tsk, tsk, tsk. Me thinks, Super Glue is for model airplanes, not Fine Furniture.
    Just joking Paul, kudos on the fine job!!!


  7. Leo Barton on 2 August 2016 at 2:10 am

    Screwing the side strips of the cornice frame across the grain of the top seems a good way to get a crack in the top. I’ve always used slotted holes for this kind of attachment to allow for the shrinkage and expansion of the top. Love your videos. Your facility with hand tools is extraordinary. It’s really encouraged me to try to up my game

    • Paul Sellers on 2 August 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Leo, I understand the concern but the theory often belies the reality. Fixing a distance absolutely with an opposing piece is almost never a real problem bot one we take into consideration with certain applications. Individually we know the wood we are working with and where the work will end up. In all my 50 years of woodworking I have personally never had anything of this nature happen. Wide surfaces like tabletops must be given an allowance and if we attach breadboard ends and such we must improvise to allow movement. But then in other circumstances screw holes and even the ability of screws to bend and flex negate fixed point anchorages to allow us to do things that though technically correct allow us much greater flexibility than text books would give. In this circumstance, where I have used wood dried to 10-12%, I am content that all is stable in this case and that no crack will occur. In the majority of cases cornices were glued and nailed in place for centuries with no problems. This approach is what I prefer to transmit to everyone. It’s more often worth the risk than not. An increase or decrease in moisture of say 6-8% would only increase or decrease the wood width by 1/32″ or so. There is no way a crack would occur as a result of these fixed points.
      I do value your input in this and there is nothing at all wrong with you bringing up the issue. I think that this will help others to think through the issues. I will always be concerned that good advice can become law and the law becomes an absolute. A bit like laying the plane on its side and not really understanding the origin of it.

      • Leo Barton on 7 August 2016 at 12:51 am

        Paul – Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I must agree with you that in this case the widths are such that there would be little chance of a crack. As you say, on wider pieces, and, maybe not as well dried wood or in pieces subject to wider fluctuations in moisture and temperature this can be a real problem. Certainly air dried wood moves a great deal more than kiln dried, and this needs to be considered. Incidentally, I was once rebuked by Tom Lie-Nielsen for questioning his laying planes down on their soles which made me reconsider this old saw of woodworking. Thanks again for your inspiring craftsmanship.

  8. Glenn on 2 August 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Paul
    Is the use of the CA glue just because of the speed in the closing time , could you use PVA if you were willing to wait the cook time for it?


  9. armedwithabanjo on 2 August 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I may have missed this in another video but why do you have a back frame that overhangs the sides of the cabinet? Is this an auxiliary back frame for the purpose of hanging? I thought the back frame would normally sit in a rebate to support the cabinet weight and to retain squareness.
    Thanks, Stephen.

  10. Thomas Angle on 2 August 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I can view if fine with my iPhone 6. It has the latest updates. What exactly is wrong with the video?

  11. Thomas Angle on 2 August 2016 at 10:05 pm

    I love the side comments Paul makes. Like when he said “a bit rugged there”.

  12. knightlylad on 2 August 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Thank you for the lesson.

  13. Mike Williams on 3 August 2016 at 8:59 pm

    I’d have chosen to keep the cornice as the dominant piece – i.e. making the cut-out in the back panel to accommodate it.
    With the cornice forming a crowning embellishment, I feel it needs to be one continuous unbroken line to the eye.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.