1. Edge, the two pencils on the bench to find the parallel surface of the two mating edges are Dixon Ticonderoga but the first pencil (actually a lead holder) is what Gary identified correctly. So, you’re both correct.

  1. Looks like one of the clamps have been sawed down if not all of them. I like this idea because I have one clamp that I could saw down because it doesn’t work correctly. If I try to slide the movable part of the clamp down the clamp towards the end of it, it only goes so far. I’ll saw the damaged end off.

  2. Once again a short film from Paul contains some wonderful tips. The use of two pencils to ensure that you have an level join is so simple and ideal. The carriage that he made that fits your plane and ensures a constant thickness is superb! It could be made from off-cuts that we have lying about, and I for one have no end of small pieces of wood which I save and can be made into a laminated board. I will be making the tray, but I’ll be making a carriage first. Keep those tips coming Paul, they’re invariably what I love the most.

  3. I say to myself “Do I really want to make a tray? – probably not, but i guess I’ll watch the video”. Whoa! – more super useful stuff about techniques – I am so happy the internet exists and that you are prepared to share your knowledge Paul – the occasional ‘whoops’ as something doesn’t quite go to plan, or you drop a tool gives us wanna-be craftsmen comfort and hope. I know you enjoy sharing your knowledge – well we enjoy receiving it – thank you.

  4. Paul,

    I just began my retired life as a full-time RVer, traveling the U.S. In the back end of my 5th Wheel Camper sits my workbench. I’ve taken my hobby and my passion with me. I intend to make pieces like this, boxes, keepsakes, cedar chests, etc., and sell along the way to pay for my fuel. This is going to be a great selling project. When I finish my current project, a sliding lid, dovetail jewelry box, I’ll start on this tray. By the way, my other passion is fishing…and the water calls.

    Thanks, Paul. You are my master and mentor.


  5. Thank you Paul, for all those tricks, and for your simplicity. I will make this tray, even if it is at least to practice thoses simples technics. You make me feel that I will learn something, and make something beautifull. Thank again!

  6. A TRAVESTY INDEED!!…As I proceeded to shape the side pieces and did not realize my error until I was on the last edge shaping! UGH! All that demensioning from rough, too. And, admittingly, I snickered when Paul said to mark the pieces to avoid just what I did! Serves me right and lesson learned! Still counting…deep breaths.
    On the other hand, I did find that not chopping out the lap joints right away before shaping did help in supporting the plane during shaping. Just should have marked the pieces accordingly.

  7. This may be a dumb question as I’ve been watching Mr. Sellers videos for some time and do not know why I have not asked this before. What is on the inside face of his clamps to act as the cull. Is it leather? A piece of very soft wood? Soft wood with leather glued to it? Is it just glued to the inside faces of the clamps? He has had them on clamps for almost all videos after the early days of posting but I have never seen him address it durning a glue up.


  8. Great small project. I’m working on one for a Christmas present. Should have just enough time for the finish to dry before wrapping it. One question I do have tho. Did Paul glue the fence pieces together after completing them? Not sure if it’s necessary given that they’ll be screwed to the bottom.

  9. What I noticed is that you 1) thicknessed your pieces to a consistent dimension without a planer/thicknesser, 2) cut your lap joints without a table saw, mitre gauge and stacked dado blade, 3) cambered your top edges without a bandsaw, scroll saw or jigsaw, 4) rounded over the top edges without a router, router table and bearing round-over bit, 5) used your finger as a gauge fence to mark the edge round-over tangent to the face, and 6) you didn’t need any noisy dust collector taking up space and requiring 4-inch diameter hose pipes overhead or on the floor under your feet, no dust mask and no ear defenders. It would have saved me a fortune had I started watching you ten years ago.

  10. My No. 5-1/2 plane has a cutting iron that is 2-3/8″ wide. If I make a carriage to plane pieces to a consistent thickness, it must be dedicated to that plane and used for work pieces that are only 2-3/8″ wide so that the piece is confined laterally within the rails of the carriage. In actuality, I would probably make the carriage bed (the inside distance between the rails) 1/16″ wider than the plane blade to avoid nicking the rails and then joint edge the over-wide pieces to final width. Furthermore, the thickness of the pieces can only be made to the height between the work bench surface and the top sliding surface of the rails where the plane rests. You could make that any thickness you want, but it is dedicated to that thickness. All of this says to me that you need to build a new carriage for every different width/thickness combination. One other thing; the final thickness of the work piece is determined by how far the plane iron is protruding from the plane sole. If that is different from piece to piece, they won’t be the same thickness. Yes, I’m an engineer, can’t help myself.

    1. IMHO
      – As long as there is enough bearing surface, slightly nicking the rails is of no consequence. This nicking is something which also happens on a shooting board;
      – if one build this thing for the maximum thickness, one can put shims under pieces of lower desired thickness;
      – one should plane all the pieces for a particular project near to the desired thickness and then use this system for final thicknessing
      of all the pieces (with a fresh sharpened iron) without changing the (fine) setting.

      Remember this is wood and the pieces will react to change in humidity.

    2. As another engineer, and an inveterate jig/fixture builder, I can categorically say that’s not true. Build the sides higher, then shim underneath the work piece to raise it to the desired height. Put one of the side rails at an angle so that, in combination with a wedge, you can restrain various widths of work piece. You then plane with the front and rear of the plane resting on each rail, so that the plane, and therefore the blade cut at an angle (similar to skewing a plane because of difficult grain). This wedge restraint also allows you to work long pieces, as you don’t close off the end (a super sharp plane helps here).
      I built one of these a couple of years ago, mainly just to prove the theory, and it works well enough.

    1. Thanks, Colin. I looked at your photos and appreciate the different approach you took than Paul Sellers did. On Paul’s model, his plane rests on the two rails, which are separated by a distance to allow the outside edges of the plane sole to slide on them without the blade engaging them. The side walls of the jig confine the plane laterally, so the blade never touches the rails. On your model, the plane laps both rails and rides across them at a skewed angle. How do you prevent the plane from taking shavings off the top surface of the rails and still get the accurate thickness you want on your work pieces? I have a DeWalt thicknesser, but I don’t like the machining marks and snipe that it leaves. Also, I am making multiple copies of this project as gifts using up hardwood offcuts that have been lying around for years and they’re too short to safely put through the thicknesser anyway.

      1. Go slowly, make sure your plane is sharp, and you should be fine. It doesn’t matter if you nick one corner of one of the runners now and then, as long as you don’t regularly take full shavings off one of them. If you build it that way, you can have one wedge between the blade and the runner to give you some clearance too.

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