Shaker Stool – Episode 1

Shaker Stool 1

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Once Paul has covered some of the key aspects of this project, he lays out and cuts the tapered dovetail recess. He pays particular attention to the width and taper, making sure to cut the dovetail angle accurately.

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  1. mcael on 8 July 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Nice video Paul, looking forward to having a go at this one though I’m waiting for the chair to come along.

  2. knightlylad on 8 July 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you for the excellent lesson.

  3. Sandy on 9 July 2015 at 1:06 am

    To the wood store! ?

  4. adrian on 9 July 2015 at 1:18 am

    Great new lesson on sliding dovetail , excellent close up views of the important details.
    Thank you Paul and camera crew.

  5. rotaryw on 9 July 2015 at 1:23 am

    The money best spent in my life…

  6. kenh on 9 July 2015 at 4:00 am

    Great lesson. I have always wondered how to make a sliding dovetail with precision. Once again, hand tools win.

  7. jimmyb on 9 July 2015 at 4:01 am

    Here I was just today researching how to do a sliding dovetail and along comes this video! Very interesting and it does not seem as intimidating now. Having said that, I have learned through the many projects of yours I have done, that you make the difficult look easy. I cant wait to tackle this one. My grandson has spent the summer with us and yesterday he made a dovetail box with the sliding top with no help from grandpa. He called it his “final exam” for the summer. A determined 9 year old, he didn’t even want advice but I at least got him to listen. He did well and we’re very proud of him. Thank you Paul for all your videos and the time you invest in all of us, and through us… all of our grandchildren.

  8. Anonymous on 9 July 2015 at 5:24 am

    Sure love my Wednesdays. Just when I was asking myself how anyone could hand make a sliding dovetail. My wife’s dresser will be so much better now.

  9. wideout16 on 9 July 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Another excellent video. Your examples of hand work are so very valuable to those of us who have not had formal training. Once again, I’m impressed at the accuracy which you demonstrate with your methods of work. I happen to have some cherry and will now start to prepare this wood to follow along.

  10. STEVE MASSIE on 9 July 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Looking forward to making my proto type first out of Pine. I have never made a sliding Dove Tail before so Pine or Poplar first than the good Cherry.

    Thanks for another great little project !


  11. sherbin18 on 9 July 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Great lesson.

    I’ve seen videos of making a tapered sliding dt before and decided it wasn’t for me. Now that I have seen the methodical means by which you make it, I going to try a small one tonight and then go full size after.

  12. npreschel on 10 July 2015 at 1:15 am

    Paul or Joseph:

    I have been waiting for a long time for a project that shows how to make a sliding dovetail by hand. Nonetheless, I am puzzled by that jig used to guide the chisel, which I have also seen in japanese joinery videos. I can see that it woud be very easy to cut it at a perfect angle, leaving a perfect flat surface, by using a table saw. How would you suggest that we make a precise angled surface like that with handtools?

  13. davedev on 10 July 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Superb, Paul. Zen and the art of woodworking – man and tool in perfect harmony!

  14. werewolf2o on 14 July 2015 at 9:34 am

    Hi Paul where did you manage to source 11″ width cherry at a reasonable price?
    if you glued up to make boards is it a straight glue bond or do you reinforce with biscuits or dowels?

    I have some pine to make my prototype so looking forward to this project
    many thanks

  15. steff on 15 July 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Hello Paul,
    this is a great project and for me it’s coming just in time. So to say.

    I’m actually investigating in traditional furnitures to sit on. During my holiday trip through England I’ve visited many interesting places (Chatsworth House for example) and every time I had a detailed look at the furniture.
    Simple stools, chairs and benches grabbed my attention and now I’m planning to build a somehow traditional but contemporary chair.
    That said, the chair I’ve got in mind should dovetailed battens. But from what I could find out so far these battens always have got a dovetail on both sides.
    Which special reason do you have to make one straight and one angled side?
    I hope my question is clear and I would appreciate it very much if you could give me your explanation about it.

    Thanks in advance.


    • davedev on 16 July 2015 at 9:28 pm

      See episode 2. The answer is there Stefan!

      • steff on 20 July 2015 at 2:32 pm

        Hi David,
        thanks for you answer.
        I’ve seen it now. But I still got two questions.
        1) Is the advantage that it will be easier to dismount or to fit the dovetail part into the (dovetailed) dado?
        2) When will I use a both side sliding dovetail instead of a single one?


        • Paul Sellers on 4 September 2015 at 1:54 pm

          Basically, on this project and most others, the two-sided dovetail is unnecessary and actually works much better when combined with the undercarriage we keeps everything aligned and square.

          • David R. on 21 October 2016 at 2:48 pm

            I plan to make a simple shelf with a sliding dovetail join. Wouldn’t it be better to use a two-sided dovetail in this particular case? Otherwise, with a single-sided one, only the fixation to the wall would constraint the two stud boards from caving in. On the other hand it might be enough even for transport, if the join is glued.

  16. Steve Follis on 14 August 2015 at 5:49 pm

    I love this stool!

    I decided to make two benches using this plan, I have stretched it out to 52″. As I was paring the dovetail on the underside of the seats, my first three joints went great without any issue. However, on my 4th dovetail, the guide block slipped without me realizing it before it was too late. Now I am going to have to adjust the dovetail on that leg for the joint to work.

    I decided to put a strip of pressure sensitive sanding paper on the bottom of the guide block to help keep it from slipping in the future. That will come in handy when I use it for the legs.

  17. bit101 on 21 August 2016 at 3:18 am

    Great lesson. I did some sliding dovetails a while back and worked out methods somewhat similar to this. But, as usual, there are so many details explained here that I wish I had back then. I look forward to diving in on this project.

  18. David R. on 21 October 2016 at 2:59 pm

    From what I understand, Paul mentions it’s important for the guide piece to be parallel, but isn’t always the narrower face registered against the piece of wood, both for the recess and the tailpiece? I’d just like to make sure I understand the reasoning.

  19. Tad on 22 November 2020 at 6:33 am

    Be careful when you are using the tapered stick to mark the dato. I had watched this video three times to make sure I was doing it right and the issue I ran into wasn’t made clear in this video. If the 1:7 slope goes outside the width of the leg board (like it did on mine), it will go into the joint way too far, coming out the other side a bit. I only had a 12″ piece of wood handy to make the taper and I did make this mistake. I cut a small filler piece to fill the gap, but now this “filer is showing up on the end of my joint.
    I wish this would have been made more clear, but then again I might be the only sap that didn’t figure this out.

  20. Stephen Tyrrell on 29 December 2020 at 4:57 am

    The vise Paul is using must very large. My 230mm vise does not open anywhere near enough to hold a 280mm board. I came up with my own methods using clamps etc, but I wonder where you get a vise with such a wide jaw.

  21. Patrick O'Sullivan on 29 December 2020 at 2:54 pm

    I have my eye on this one from axminster for when I have room to build a larger bench, looks like it can open to the capacity you’re looking for:

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