Seed Tray

Seed Tray Cropped

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Making seed trays is a simple enough project, but Paul wants to introduce you to two methods that he uses for his own, and you can choose which you might prefer or make two or more using these methods. They take a matter of minutes to make and are great to make with children too. Paul has included methods that guarantee a successful outcome and then to longevity that puts disposable plastic where it rightly belongs, and that is away from us woodworkers.

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  1. Benoît Van Noten on 12 May 2020 at 6:52 pm

    great trick with the nail as a drilling bit.

    Very nice and useful project with recycled lumber that could be done with the help of young kids.
    I would take the arises off to avoid splinters.

    What to do with young kids (5-7) with limited attention?

  2. david o'sullivan on 14 May 2020 at 10:28 am

    I took the bark off my finger 😂 love it , I wonder what was the worst woodworking accident Paul has had in 50 + years 🤔

  3. Mic van Reijen on 14 May 2020 at 2:52 pm

    I built a wooden box with nails a while ago and what i did is drill only the first part and whack the point of the nail with a hammer to flatten the point a bit. A trick I saw somewhere. Seems to work, box is still solid.

  4. Gary Mercer on 14 May 2020 at 4:11 pm

    I was reminded (with fondness) of the same nail drilling technique that my wood shop teacher showed me in 7th grade for attaching fragile molding without splitting about 55 years ago. There was never enough time in class to learn what he had to offer, but like “George” was to Paul… his advice stuck and I thank him. My teacher called the technique “Spreading the fibers”. Never forgot.

  5. dpawson on 14 May 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Is that pallet wood Paul?
    Dimensions please?

    • Izzy Berger on 21 May 2020 at 4:04 pm


      Paul says:
      Yes it was. ¾” x 4”. They are 16” long by 12” deep.

      Kind Regards,

  6. Vivian Parker on 14 May 2020 at 5:20 pm

    So much to learn, thank you! Always something new to learn from Paul, and once learned it will not be forgotten!

  7. Marty on 14 May 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Oh what dark days these are to see Paul Sellers using a fancy schmancy battery powered drill. I’m gonna chalk it up to the same curse I have, age and the innate need to do things a little easier.

    • Roberto Fischer on 14 May 2020 at 7:46 pm

      Huh he’s done that in videos since forever ago. I was actually surprised to see him use an egg beater type drill in a very old video, because almost all others feature the battery powered drivers.

  8. Chris Terrell on 14 May 2020 at 8:35 pm

    thank you Paul, I’m making a couple of planters from offcuts and you’ve given me some good tips there, especially the nail trick… 🙂

  9. Dave Gardner on 14 May 2020 at 8:47 pm

    A coat of bitumen paint on the inside and they will last years.

    • Eric Lundholm on 16 May 2020 at 3:42 am

      you need the water to leave the trays or the plants will die, bitumen would seal them they will last for years with out paint as long as the soil is removed.

  10. Chris Logan on 14 May 2020 at 9:07 pm

    Could you please explain why the sharpened nail works? It removes very little material from the hole when compared to using a drill, so why is the propensity to split so much reduced?

    • allaninoz on 16 May 2020 at 1:05 am

      The squared edges of the pyramid are sharp, they ream the hole out instead of drilling the hole out.

    • Izzy Berger on 21 May 2020 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Paul says:
      I think what’s happening is the wood is being parted off by the reaming action of the pyramid point which makes it friable and compressible into the walls of the hole.

      Kind Regards,

  11. Noel Rodrigue on 14 May 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Loved it. I ‘just happen’ to have pallet wood sitting on the basement floor that’s looking for something to do with itself … and we got the seeds going in egg crates. Next year will be different. Thanks Paul

  12. Steve McGonigle on 14 May 2020 at 10:21 pm

    As an alternative to all the precision cabinet making, sometimes it’s fun to knock something together using nails. That’s where I started with my grandfather on his farm. The wood was always recycled from something else and the nails were usually a bit rusty and were kept in a jar in the byre.

    Next week on Woodworking Masterclass, Paul builds a cold frame using his new chop saw and nail gun, utilising some MDF and a sheet of chipboard previously used to board up a shop window.

  13. jeffdustin on 15 May 2020 at 4:50 am

    First, I love garden projects. Plug for a Slovenian AZ Beehive or a Horizontal George de Layens Beehive!

    Another project that I would be fascinated to see is how to make a Wooden Vise as good as a Record steel vise. How would you make the screws for example?

    I’m lucky I found a retired woodworker getting rid of a vintage Record vise and it grips like iron. Most people in the US might not be so lucky and it would be nice to have a wooden version you could make yourself.

  14. David Marienau on 15 May 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Looks like a great ,fun project. Thanks

  15. Stephen Bamford on 15 May 2020 at 5:22 pm

    A wonderful explanation for the splitting of wood on the ends of these boxes.

    When I was keeping bees, (or should I say they were keeping me?) I often found that when buying and assembling the frames on which the foundation wax was placed for them to draw out comb for brood and for honey, the frames would often split when nailing the frames together. This looks to be a great way to solve that problem applying the concept you taught using the filed and sharpened nail.

    Thanks for sharing.

  16. James Baum on 28 May 2020 at 5:59 pm

    I was hoping to see how to make the grid inside the boxes as seen in the preview pic of this project?

    • Izzy Berger on 12 June 2020 at 2:39 pm

      Hi James,

      This is something Paul put together to separate his seed, I passed on your query and he is going to put together a short video on how to do this. I will be sure to let you know when and where it’s published when this is decided.

      Kind Regards,

  17. Keith Wyles on 29 May 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Really need 3 cordless drills for this technique, or even 4 if you also countersink, although I do have a bit that will drill these in one go.

  18. Keith Wyles on 29 May 2020 at 2:11 pm

    Used a lot of these when I was a teenager, the timber used on the base and sides was much thinner than Paul used. They lasted a long time. Indeed they were still in existence were I put them into storage at my mothers, but suffering woodworm after 50 years.

  19. Paul Oram on 1 July 2020 at 8:18 am

    The drillling with a nail tip is brilliant. I wont ever forget that!

  20. Jonathan Baeckel on 11 September 2020 at 7:43 pm

    I would like to see the seed separators as well. I’m guessing they’re slots cut to fit together as grids (one slot “up”, and the mating slot “down”), but I’m just a novice that’s not really bright enough to think of any other ways to do it.

  21. Paul Johnson on 28 January 2022 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you Paul for sharing your video. It’s certainly inspired me to get out into the garage and make a few of these, especially only using minimal tools to do the project.

    Thank you again, loved the nail tip.

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