Tool Chest: Episode 2


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In this episode Paul continues to cut the dovetail joint. He progresses to cutting the pins. He also shows how to cut an unusual variant on the traditional dovetail for the cross-rail.

The measurement for the top drawer opening at 23:40 should be 2 1/4″ / 57mm not 2″ / 51mm. We will get a correction not on the video as soon as possible. If your stock is cut to size, you can either use stock 1/4″ / 6mm wider for the bottom drawer or plane the extra width off the bottom rim of the box. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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  1. George Bridgeman on 24 July 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Loving the fact that the episodes are longer. Is it going to stay this way, or are we being treated this series?


  2. Ken on 24 July 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Great job guys, thanks for this one

  3. Eddy Flynn on 24 July 2013 at 3:38 pm

    great episode i love the attention to detail thanks

  4. Charles Cleland on 24 July 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Wonderful episode, I’ve been looking forward to seeing the housed dovetail joint for the frame since the first time I saw it in the intro. What looks like a very complicated joint when broken down into Paul’s easy bite sized pieces is revealed to be much more straightforward than I anticipated!

  5. David Gill on 24 July 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Great episode, Thanks for that, After reading Georges post I went back to see how long it was , the time just flies by

  6. elvishefer on 24 July 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I’d figured out everything about the housed dovetail joint except for the 1/16th line on the end grain… That’s the kind of $15 pain saver I’m here for. Thanks guys!

  7. Philip Adams on 24 July 2013 at 9:09 pm

    The project was going to last longer (in number of weeks) than we thought appropriate, so we decided to treat you with longer episodes. So it will vary depending on what suits the series. Hope that works for everyone.

    • kelly on 24 July 2013 at 11:58 pm

      Works for me. 🙂

    • Derek Plattsmier on 5 October 2019 at 3:57 am

      Hello Philip,
      I realize it’s been six years since this series & the above comment but personally I much prefer the more frequent long videos/large projects. I especially have enjoyed the ‘Jointer’s Toolbox’ series & the ‘Occasional Table’ series where Paul does his excellent forensic inspection of an old or antique piece & remakes it. It’d be awesome if you guys could do more videos like those.
      That being said, I am never disappointed with any of the videos or series you guys produce. Masterclasses is such an amazing resource & I’ve learned so much as my woodworking has improved. Many thanks to all involved. -Derek

      • Izzy Berger on 7 October 2019 at 9:47 am

        Hi Derek,

        Thank you for the feedback. I will be sure to pass this on!

        Kind Regards,

  8. smfield on 24 July 2013 at 11:51 pm

    I’m not certain if I understand why Paul uses a ‘kerf guide backing board’ when cutting the tails but not when cutting the pins? What is the rational?

    • Philip Adams on 25 July 2013 at 8:21 am

      He uses one for the tails to help keep them square, and you can then use the guide for the other three corners. You could use one when cutting the pins, but wouldn’t be able to re-use for the other corners. Don’t think it’s essential to use one at all, it’s just another technique to help, particularly while learning. Hope that helps.

      • smfield on 25 July 2013 at 12:44 pm

        Thanks Adam, your thoughts do clear things up a bit, but Paul did make it seem that it was essential per tail cut. But I do see that each pin is a individual negative of its tail-spacing.

  9. John Guengerich Jr on 25 July 2013 at 5:22 am

    I’m gonna have to watch this one a couple of times. Thanks Y’all!

  10. smfield on 25 July 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I think I got my answer involving the lack of use of the pine backerboard when cutting the pins. When going back over the instruction Paul states that the pins tend to be too tight with his exact methods and thus precludes the use of such a board. However, I do still see the possible need of the board to help maintain the squareness of the pin shoulders.

  11. rnieuwenhuijs on 2 March 2014 at 9:38 am

    Does anyone know why the cross rail is housed in a dado, instead of just making a dovetail to attach the rail? I was just wondering if there was a structural reason for this or a matter of style/personal choice.
    I recently applied this joint in a project and had fun making it, but just wondered what the added value was of the dado…

    • Greg Merritt on 2 March 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Robert, IMHO the addition of the dado adds better support for the cross rail as well as keeping it square to the case over time. The drawer that sides above this rail will more than likely be pretty heavy when loaded with tools. That drawer will also be pulled out to full extension quite often. The dado gives the rail that little extra support to sustain the weight and torsion that it will be subjected to. Plus its just a cool little exercise in joinery.

  12. qupia on 19 May 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Anyway there can ever be a short video or so on nothing but setting up dovetails? I noticed how on one board the straight line went on top the next it went on the side…or maybe there is somewhere I can go online?

    • Craig on 19 May 2014 at 8:26 pm

      The “Dovetail Box Project” in the video library is probably the best starting point.
      Hope this helps.

  13. beach512 on 20 January 2016 at 5:34 pm

    The housed dovetail joint is so cool. These videos are really gems. What at first seems almost impossible when you first see it becomes actually “do-able” after Paul breaks it down into understandable steps and with careful layout. I love these!

  14. jarkema on 5 January 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Paul spoke briefly about his apprenticeship. It would interesting to here more about what it was like to be an apprentice and what the daily life was like.

  15. dvollie on 5 January 2017 at 10:23 pm

    I love, love, love the way Paul teaches. He’s obviously taught enough to know what to point out so almost all questions anyone might have are answered.

  16. reubanks on 22 November 2017 at 6:44 am

    When measuring the position of the rail Paul says to measure down 2″ since the top drawer is 2″, but, the cutlist states the drawer is 2 and a quarter.

    • dotian on 16 October 2018 at 11:10 am

      I have the same query – did you ever find out an answer?

    • Philip Adams on 19 October 2018 at 10:42 am

      Go with the 2 1/4″ in the cut-list otherwise the sizes don’t quite add up. I will change it in the video asap. If it’s already too late and all your stock is cut to size, your bottom drawer front may be too narrow. and you may have to plane the extra width off the bottom rim of the box to make up for it. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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