Tool Drawer Organiser: Episode 3

Tool Drawer Organiser EP3 Keyframe

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In this episode Paul completes the carcass of the Tool Drawer. Firstly, Paul demonstrates how to cut the divider mortise and tenon and then continues with creating grooves for the back panel. Once this is in place and the box fitting nicely together, Paul works through cutting to length as well as fitting the runner pieces. After this is completed, Paul thinks about the look and design of the box itself and shapes the bottom panel to make the box look less clunky. After all this is finished, Paul moves onto gluing and finishing the carcass.


  1. Sharon Casa on 13 March 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Wow! Great job Mr. Sellers and Woodworking Masterclasses team! I especially want to comment on the last minute of the episode. The clean up and glue up segment was a feast for the eyes and ears. It was visual poetry with perfectly paired music; it was perfect.

    • Izzy Berger on 15 March 2019 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Sharon,

      Thank you for the kind feedback, I have passed this on to the team.

      Kind Regards,

  2. Ian Hemphill on 14 March 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Really enjoying this series, Paul. Another outstanding teaching piece – a useful product at the end, but more importantly, it’s easy to apply all the techniques to the various other projects in my queue. I really appreciate the confidence that you’ve been able to give me as I practice and learn. I’ve been able to progress from complete newbie with no hand tool experience to being able to design and build my own pieces. Can’t thank you enough.

  3. Ed on 15 March 2019 at 1:14 am

    It is tempting to put the drawer divider in a shallow housing, say 1/8″, in addition to the M&T to guarantee that it can never cup. If it cups, it will disturb the drawer fit.

  4. joeleonetti on 15 March 2019 at 3:23 pm


    This is certainly an enjoyable build. Thank you.

    I know for the drawer runners you talked about the screws rather than glue to accommodate the sides expanding and contracting.

    During the glue up, did you put glue for the entire length of the sides into their housing dados? It looked like you did.

    Is there a certain length of a side at which point you wouldn’t glue the whole length in a housing dado to allow for some movement?

    Many thanks for all of your help.

    • Andrew Sinclair on 18 March 2019 at 9:23 pm

      I believe the answer here is that the glue joints in the housing dadoes are not a problem (i.e. where the sides join to the top and bottom). Irrespective of how long that joint is, because the grain is aligned, and partly too becausetheyre from matching timber, they will shrink or expand in proportion with each other.

      One can think of silly artificial extremes where this might not be the case, e.g. taking it from a cold dry desert night into a sauna and putting it on a plastic sheet: the sides and top might expand faster than the bottom then 🙂

      The back panel is a different matter. I believe Paul referred to it as a floating panel, and I think that means it should not be glued at all: it’s merely a pressure fit in its housing.

      Maybe one of the production team could confirm that latter point?

    • Izzy Berger on 21 March 2019 at 11:36 am


      Paul says:

      That’s a good question. You must remember the reason we did not glue the drawer runners is because the grain on the runner is 90° to the axis of the top and bottom and side pieces therefore there would be a conflict when shrinkage and expansion takes place in these pieces. You can glue sections as long as you like as long as the grain is in the same direction as in this particular box as they will all expand and contract at the same rate.

      Kind Regards,

  5. Peter Demary on 5 April 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Paul,
    In the latter part of the video, when rounding over the edge of the bottom panel… you have the grain oriented vertically but are planing across it- how do you avoid blowout on the ends? Even when I skew the plane it keeps happening unless I start at the other side and work toward the middle. It appears as though you’ve found a way to plane the whole edge continuously. Any advice? Maybe I just need more practice! : )

    • Adam on 7 April 2019 at 8:39 am

      Hi Pete

      You hold the plane at a 45 degree angle to the direction you’re planing.

      You can see how Paul has the rear end of the plane below the cut line, and the front of the plane is above.

      Regards Adam

    • Izzy Berger on 8 April 2019 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Pete,

      Paul says:
      The best advice I can give you is to practise on scrap wood and slew the plane according to what’s happening at the throat of the mouth of the plane. You will feel when you get the optimum cut, it’s indescribable.

      Kind Regards,

    • Ed on 8 April 2019 at 6:42 pm

      I do the cross grain edges first, then the long grain. That way, if there is some break out, it is generally removed when the long grain bevel is planed. If it looks like there is still going to be a problem, you can put a chamfer on the end of the cross grain edge with a chisel or plane in two seconds. It just needs to be at the end of the bevel, maybe the last third? I had to do this with some figured maple recently. Usually, though, you can just do the cross grain first, then the long, and everything will come out fine. I skew the plane for a different reason. It shortens the effective length of the sole. This helps if any cup has developed since the board was flattened and lets me correct the edge of the bevel more. It can get out of hand, though.

  6. jim.wanner on 1 May 2019 at 11:39 am

    Love your work. I also love your comments aside (not pertaining to the task at hand). Some times, they are on purpose, and sometimes inadvertent, but they all contain wisdom, and a little humor. My favorite is “There is no point to a blunt pencil”, and another one is around 14 minutes into this video. “They will be the same, all things being equal”. Please keep them coming!

    • Izzy Berger on 1 May 2019 at 2:26 pm

      Hi James,

      Thank you for your kind words, I will pass them on to Paul. We also enjoy these, they keep the team amused during filming!

      Kind Regards,

  7. Rick Sellers on 7 November 2019 at 6:04 am

    Would a through tenon be functionally the same for the drawer divider? I was thinking that might look nice when I go to build this one.

    Thoughts, anyone?

    Thank you,

    • Izzy Berger on 11 November 2019 at 3:10 pm

      Hi Rick,

      Pauls says:
      Yes, that’s fine. Go for it.

      Kind Regards,

  8. Joe on 9 November 2020 at 6:56 am

    Lovely music at the end of this video.

  9. lawrence felice on 15 January 2021 at 5:19 am

    Also love the music at the end of the video. Is it commercially available.


  10. sodbuster on 23 January 2021 at 3:25 pm

    It would be lovely to get a bit more detail on the oversize holes for the screws in the drawer runners, and how that accommodates wood movement of the sides.

    I have some temptation to put the runner in a shallow dado, with a small dryfit mortise & tenon into the back of the divider, and a single screw near the back of the runner. Thoughts?

    • Izzy Berger on 4 February 2021 at 4:20 pm


      Paul says:
      1) Not much to it. Any hole size bigger than the diameter of the screw will accommodate any movement over such a short span.
      2) No need so no thoughts!


  11. peter schussheim on 12 May 2022 at 9:14 pm

    Dear Mr Sellers and team:

    I believe a found an error in the cutting list provided: the part “Drawer Support” is listed as 2 pieces in quantity but it is under “Drawer x2” leading me to believe 4 total drawer supports are needed.

    Thank you,


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