A fully dovetailed box in 8 minutes…

… and 20 seconds by hand tool methods and by eye:

Yesterday I made a simple dovetailed box in sapele mahogany and poplar. The actual dovetails themselves, cut and fully fitted and seated into the tail recesses, took me 8 minutes 20 seconds; 10 minutes including planing the outside faces flush and ready for glue up and sanding. We did a quick camcorder video to show you ow it works to work systematically to a pattern of this time once you are trained. This method works b=perfectly for workshop drawers, garden tool totes or beehives and such. I learned it as a boy when I was 15 from the men I served my apprenticeship with. If you want to watch it here:



  1. Mrnanowire on 27 November 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Fantastic demo! I also like the atmosphere in your shop.

    • Paul Sellers on 27 November 2011 at 9:49 pm

      It’s real, that’s all. Where are you? You should come on over if you are local.

  2. Robin on 28 November 2011 at 9:26 am

    good work, lovely to watch someone using hand skill with the ease and confidence that comes of thousands of repetitions.

  3. Paul Sellers on 30 November 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I can wait. You have an invitation!

  4. Paul Sellers on 30 November 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I took pics today and will show and tell tonight,later. You guys must remember I am a working craftsman making furniture for my living. I am not hanging out. I put in 8-10 hours a day in the shop making furniture and designing pieces as well as write for magazines and my books. My editor was after me this week because he needed January’s article in this week. Phew!
    I start a six day workshop with 9 students tomorrow but everyone will still be sending in their emails and I try to answer every one myself.