Spice Shelf

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This is the introduction for a free series. Want to watch the whole thing? It is free to do so, you just need to log into the site and you can enjoy this series and many other videos we think you will love.

The art of cutting sliding dovetails can be daunting, but not with the way Paul walks you through every one of the steps. The project is simple to look at, interesting to make and needs no special tools or equipment. You will thoroughly enjoy the challenge, and the boast as an heirloom piece becomes a reality.

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  1. steiner on 11 June 2020 at 2:09 pm

    Looks great! Can’t wait to make one!

  2. Mason Briggs on 11 June 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Looking forward to this! Going to be my first masterclass build. So excited!

  3. Olivier COURTAUX on 11 June 2020 at 8:46 pm

    Good evening,
    What species of wood you recommand for this project ?
    More generally when you present a project could you tell the species you recommand, I have (in France) some difficulties to find wood, most easiest I can find are pine, beech, oak, sometimes ash.

    Thanks and Best Regards

    • Juan-M on 11 June 2020 at 10:11 pm

      Hi Paul, what wood species did you use for this project?? It sort of resembles the reverse-grain of mahogany to me, although the color is lighter. It’s very nice.

    • Izzy Berger on 12 June 2020 at 2:57 pm


      Paul says:
      This spice shelf can be made from any wood, from Pine to Oak, Cherry or Walnut if you prefer a hardwood.

      Kind Regards,

  4. Jean Claude Peeters on 11 June 2020 at 8:46 pm

    Very nice spice shelf. Deceptively simple, as usual.

  5. NikonD80 on 11 June 2020 at 10:07 pm

    Really exciting project. I don’t need a spice rack but I do need something like this to store all my 1:72 scale model aircraft on. Can’t wait for this one to kick off.

  6. joeleonetti on 12 June 2020 at 12:32 am

    Thanks Paul.

    I have been wanting to build a spice rack for the kitchen. The sliding dovetails will be a nice new skill to learn. I’ve got some large book cases I am planning to start building in 2021. Since books are heaving I wanted to use sliding dovetails to help the shelves. This project will be a good warm up.

  7. Sandy on 12 June 2020 at 10:22 pm

    I do look forward to building this. I do have a question though. Why would you only put the rails on the two center shelves? Just a matter of choice?

    • Izzy Berger on 18 June 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Hi Sandy,

      Paul says:
      Yes, just a choice because sometimes if something is too big for the shelf, I don’t mind if it overhangs an inch or so and I wouldn’t like to not have something overhang just because of a rail.

      Kind Regards,

  8. Michal Kuchta on 12 June 2020 at 11:18 pm

    A fantastic project for my mother in law. I have a couple of cherry off its ideal for this. Looking forward to this project! Sliding dovetails are something of a scary thing for me.

    One thing I have noticed is that the cutting list doesn’t include the backing boards.

  9. five2fly on 13 June 2020 at 3:56 am

    I didn’t see the back slats on the cut list. I saw the L and W on the expanded view but not thickness. Did I miss it?

  10. ted clawton on 13 June 2020 at 4:59 am

    I know Paul has done sliding dovetails in at least a couple of projects (I’m thinking three) but I don’t recall seeing tapered sliding dovetails until now, this should be a real treat, thank you, looking forward to it!

  11. msieweke on 18 June 2020 at 6:46 pm

    The dimensions on page 3 of the drawing are a bit off. For example 26 1/4″ is not 344mm. And the size between top/bottom is not 9 3/8″.

  12. Joseph Sellers on 8 July 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Hi @msieweke,

    Thanks for pointing that out. I am not sure how that happened! The correct conversion for 26 1/4″ is 667mm and the measurement that is currently at 9 3/8″ should be 24 7/8” (632mm).

    We will get the drawing corrected shortly.



  13. Ben Fisher on 30 October 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Why is the back screwed rather than jointed?

    • Izzy Berger on 26 November 2020 at 1:34 pm

      Hi Ben,

      Paul says:
      It’s a simple solution to something that is never seen.

      Kind Regards,

  14. Julio Machado on 7 August 2021 at 1:12 am

    Parabéns, obrigado.

  15. Paulo Teo on 17 March 2022 at 8:54 am

    Kia ora team Seller,
    A design question, if I may?
    I feel confident there is nothing ‘random’ about this, or any of your beautiful projects. 🙂
    Looking at the “wedged tenons” on the sides of the shelves:

    Why having the top of the tenon flush with top of the shelf, and the angle all at the bottom of the tenon? Why not the other way around?

    I imagine the forces may be negligible once all seated and tied in together but, in principle I would extrapolate that the chosen design would “motivate” the shelf to want to slide backwards with weight and time (?) …while, a flush bottom of the tenon wouldn’t “want to slide” neither to front nor back of the shelf.

    …I bet I’m overthinking it 😝
    Though… I’ve learned there seems to be no end to little idiosyncrasies of value in this here forum, so I might as well venture to ask.

    Best regards,

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