Spice Shelf: Episode 1

Spice Shelf Episode 1 Keyframe

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Joinery unseen is a unique characteristic of Paul’s latest design in a spice rack, and you will love it, we’re sure. Paul designed this project to stimulate your taste for accuracy and high-demand woodworking by hand methods. From start to finish in this episode, you will understand the significance of accuracy for self-tightening, self-locking joints. The first glimpse might seem daunting, but once you’ve done one you will relish making all the others.

Want to find out how to make a Shooting Board? Follow this link here: https://woodworkingmasterclasses.com/videos/shooting-board/




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  1. Claudiu on 17 June 2020 at 8:53 pm

    this is my first project that i think i can do it.

  2. Andrew LeRoy on 17 June 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks Paul for continuing your work during these times of uncertainty. It is appreciated and the enjoyment you bring is always looked forward to each week.
    Stay safe and healthy.

  3. joeleonetti on 18 June 2020 at 6:13 am

    Thanks Paul. Why are you having only one side of the housing dado be dovetailed and the other side just perpendicular? Is there any reason not to have both sides of the housing dado be dovetailed?

    • Izzy Berger on 18 June 2020 at 4:33 pm


      Paul says:
      When you suspend a shelf between two fixed points this way, you only need to do the sliding dovetail to one side because the opposite housing dado and dovetail bring everything parallel thus making the whole process easier.

      Kind Regards,

      • joeleonetti on 2 July 2020 at 5:55 am

        Thanks Paul, Izzy, for the follow up. I have a few follow up questions on sliding dovetails just to expand my understanding of them.

        1. If I were to make a bookcase with 1″ thick shelves, would you use a sliding dovetail that is beveled on both sides? Books are heavier than spices and I thought that might warrant the bevel on both sides.

        2. I noticed on this project that there was a 1/8″ width difference front to back for the sliding dovetail. On a standard bookshelf width, would you also taper it 1/8′ (assuming I have 1″ thick shelving”? At what point do you increase the front to back taper as a general guideline?

        • Izzy Berger on 3 July 2020 at 3:31 pm


          I passed your questions on to Paul and he said:
          No, I wouldn’t use a double sliding dovetail if both ends are indeed held with sliding dovetails. It’s much easier to make the single sided dovetail.
          You can actually put any amount of taper on there but the wider the shelf, the thicker the material in my view would be better with a steeper angle. And there is no guideline.

          Kind Regards,

          • joeleonetti on 9 July 2020 at 5:36 pm

            Thanks for the follow up.

  4. YrHenSaer on 18 June 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Shelves in housing are normally parallel, anchored at one point only to allow for expansion.

    Half-dovetailed housings are a ‘refinement’ on that process that adds a little extra strength to the union of the shelf and side. A single straight edge on the shelf and the side allows them to be aligned so that they are all at right-angles when assembled – not easily done with a sloping dovetail section on both sides.

    That’s my understanding…… all will, no doubt, become clear.

  5. Wood Club at HRHS on 20 June 2020 at 12:35 am

    Do you recommend glue?

  6. David Marienau on 22 June 2020 at 12:46 am

    Love the sliding dovetails. I was wondering when we would have a project with them. Thanks.

  7. Steven Jacobson on 22 June 2020 at 2:32 am

    Good evening all,

    I was hoping you could answer a question or two. What type of wood is Paul using on this project and who is the musician playing at the end, it’s rather soothing. Thank you for all you are doing.

    Stay safe, Steven

    • Tim DeMarais on 22 June 2020 at 7:13 pm

      At 05:45 he stated he thought it was Maranti.

    • Izzy Berger on 3 July 2020 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Steven,

      Paul says:
      We have no way of confirming this because the wood was waste wood. I believe it is a hardwood called Merranti.

      The music is Green Green Garden by Chris Haugen.

      Kind Regards,

  8. Mark68 on 23 September 2020 at 5:46 pm

    At 17m 36s Paul uses a block of wood with a 1 in 7 angle to make sure the dovetail is slanted accordingly. Trouble is, I’m not sure if my dovetail is 1 in 7 (I followed one of Paul’s videos when making it sometime in the past).

    Could I just use a protractor or my sliding bevel to measure my dovetail angle and transfer that to a piece of wood?

    That angled cut looks important so I’d like to get it right.

  9. Mark68 on 25 September 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Or…I could just use the dovetail I used on that block of wood 😀 I can’t believe I didn’t think of that!

  10. Benjamin Aro on 7 July 2021 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you Paul! Been wondering, what was the reason for using the 150 grit sandpaper after the scraper and the smoothing plane on the curved part?

  11. Valentina on 9 July 2021 at 5:34 pm

    I would like to make it larger and use it for tools in the shop. Is this scalable without problems? I think about a 80/100 cm large. Thanks.

  12. Brian Gustin on 23 July 2021 at 1:44 am

    Your videos are not captioned.. completely useless for those of us with hearing impairment.

  13. Larry Geib on 23 July 2021 at 2:51 am

    There is still lots of great content on Paul’s YouTube channel which is able to make use of YouTube’s CC feature.

  14. Roberto Fischer on 23 July 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Lack of captioning is not an excuse for offensive behavior, Brian. I understand this might be upsetting. Have you contacted them directly to ask about it if it’s as important to you as it seems?

  15. Craig on 23 July 2021 at 3:49 pm

    This has come up before and was determined to be beyond the scope of Masterclass given the limited staffing and large extra expense involved.

  16. Jonathan Ulate Lobo on 25 July 2021 at 6:04 am

    The project is great and Paul rocks but why is there not an option to stream this video to Chromecast, Roku, etc….it makes no sense. I had to mirror my screen to the tv which I hate doing it… Uffffff

  17. martin schulman on 7 August 2021 at 12:08 am

    Paul- As always you are a master. I am watching as you sneak in one technique upon the other, so subtly that I don’t know that it’s happening. Then all of a sudden i know something I never knew before and I can do something I never imagine I would. Bravo.

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