In this design I considered a variety of issues for woodworkers of all levels to consider. Some considerations surround the joinery while others consider the use of tools. In any product design using solid wood, and this project uses only solid wood, the designer must consider such things as shrinkage, swelling of wood fibres, things like these. To answer my questions requires a broad base of basic understanding of hand tools and their applications, joints and their functionality. No need to kick this can down the road so let’s see where we end up!

My answers are hidden until you want to see them. Get your pencil and paper and see how well you do.


  1. Greg on 18 February 2019 at 5:08 pm

    This was somewhat difficult as I wasn’t sure, based on the introductory paragraph, what piece of furniture or project the quiz was referring to. The questions are specific about a particular project, which isn’t identified. Is it the two drawer organizer? If so, I have no idea how it’s built yet (can’t wait for the video!). Otherwise, I did guess fairly well on some of them. I like this Quiz other than the confusion. Would like to see more of this!

    • Jim Chaloupka on 18 February 2019 at 5:34 pm

      Evidently you did not read the last paragraph of the previous Blog entry.

      “So, why Value Added Quiz. Tomorrow I am going to ask you questions about my decisions in the design and making of this project. To see if you can answer the key issues I built into the design. We’ll see how you fair!”


  2. Steve on 18 February 2019 at 5:24 pm

    Love it.

  3. jay gill on 18 February 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Great format, I learned a lot!
    Could you add a video showing how to draw the project. It would be great to have the perspective view. It would also be nice to learn how to properly draw the detailed drawings with the measurements.

    • Henry van den Top on 18 February 2019 at 6:53 pm

      I agree, that would be helpful. Normally I would rely on a program like Sketchup or something like that, but I like to have the option to not touch a computer if I don’t have to.

    • Gianluca on 19 February 2019 at 9:11 am

      I agree! It could be very educational for many of your followers, including me.

  4. Bill Hall on 18 February 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I did realize from the previous email that this was in relation to the tool organizer but agree, another picture in this email to reference would have been helpful.

    I don’t see where a schematic has been released yet which also would have been helpful, for example with question 3.

    Other than those observations, this was awesome and provided a lot of additional insight. I know it’s more work but something like this would be really nice to be able access with any of your future video series.

    I say that realizing some things would get repeated maybe from previous projects but would still be helpful….especially in terms of doing things certain ways the relation to expansion.

    I remember on the crib you had a stopped dado but the recess was angled for some reason vs the 90 degrees as I had seen with the past projects.

    Anyway….really appreciated this and found it helpful for some of the questions I already had, short of seeing the video series.

  5. Randy Ewart on 18 February 2019 at 6:54 pm

    Not to quibble, but in question # 1 is it “carcass” or “carcase?” I’ve always found the second spelling an oddity when referring to a “carcase saw.”

    • Paul Sellers on 18 February 2019 at 7:41 pm

      Predictive text. Sorry, I guess there is more use of carcass than carcase Corrected now.

    • Selva on 19 February 2019 at 5:15 pm

      Both spellings are used with same (multiple) meanings, but carcass appears to be more common these days, isn’t it?

  6. Randy Ewart on 18 February 2019 at 7:07 pm

    I really like the quiz, or question/answer format. It helps to more fully understand design details and what goes into the decision making process. I would certainly be open to this format going forward, as it is another angle or facet of the teaching/learning experience — and its reinforces what already is being shown to us. Keep up the great work, Paul.

  7. Johan Basson on 18 February 2019 at 8:11 pm

    That really was some good clean fun. I especially enjoyed the open-ended nature of the questions – the ‘why’ often being more interesting than the ‘what’ or ‘how’. Thanks for thinking outside of the box and running with such an original idea for a blog entry. I’m quite tempted to invest the time in making such a chest.

  8. Tom on 18 February 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I liked the questions very much because you need to understand how to account for wood movement. I have to agree that a sketch would have made it clearer. For instance I still don’t understand where the drawers run on screwed in supports are there slots in the drawer runners so it will be allowed to move? Are the runners made out of a harder wood for more wear from a different wood that might expand and contract differently?
    I still have no idea what you are talking about on question 9. I’ll have to wait until I see how it’s put together. If the grain was running up and down on the drawers wouldn’t it be very weak? I would also think they would move or warp a lot.

    • Glenn Dube on 19 February 2019 at 3:12 pm

      The runners are installed with the grain running perpendicular to the grain on the sides. When the sides expand the runners won’t as much and if the joint was glues then something would crack.

      Question 9 would be clearer with a drawing or picture but in essence, the housing dado doesn’t go all the way to the edge of the wood so you would never see if it opened up from expansion

  9. Jim Thornton` on 19 February 2019 at 5:11 am

    Great quiz, but I’m not going to put too much time into it until I can see more of the project. That said……I think this is a great start to helping us followers start thinking more about the design process.

  10. Anthony on 19 February 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Confused about #3.

  11. Jason on 19 February 2019 at 4:59 pm

    The answer for question 7 doesn’t fully answer the question. Why not a housing dado? My only thought is that it might be overkill. But I’m not the expert. 😉


    • Selva on 19 February 2019 at 5:13 pm

      The answer explains why its not glued and that refers to the housing dado which will require glue.

      • Jason on 19 February 2019 at 5:36 pm

        Combination of dado and screws is what I was thinking… But I get your point. Thanks Selva.

        • Ed on 19 February 2019 at 6:10 pm

          Jason, I believe you were right originally. There’s nothing wrong with a housing, if done properly. Properly would mean not gluing the entire length. Instead, you would just glue the first couple of inches at one end. The other end could be secured with a screw in an oversized or slotted hole. Or, the other end could tenon into a mortise in a rail going side to side across the back with the tenon left unglued. See, for example, Paul’s cherry chest, if I recall correctly. There are even more options for ways to do this with a housing. Paul’s point, I believe, was that this all would be more than is necessary for this small piece, so he simply screws the drawer runners to the sides.

          • Jason on 19 February 2019 at 8:34 pm

            That’s exactly what I was thinking… If you store something heavy in the drawer, the housing dado would give it more mechanical strength.

  12. Stijn Bossuyt on 19 February 2019 at 8:28 pm

    I still don’t understand the answer to question 7 about fixing the guide supports only with screws. Wouldn’t you fix the sides in place with the screws, effectively preventing wood movement in this cross grain situation? You would have to use at least 2 screws, trapping the wood between 2 fixed points. Why would this not be an issue?

    • Paul Sellers on 19 February 2019 at 9:05 pm

      It’s a good question. If you sat an exam the examiner might well say the same thing. In reality however, the screw hole bored through the support guide allows for movement because there is flex both by the slightly oversized hole and the fact that wood also absorbs pressure at the fixed screw points, albeit bruising, and the screw themselves will also bend too. In my practical experience I would say the wood would have no problem expanding or contracting 3-4mm without any issue of cracking. You see the wood is not as you say trapped between two points as such. There is natural ability to actually flex and it works fine. In other words the “2 fixed points” are not as “fixed” as people say or think.

      • Jeff Rogers on 20 February 2019 at 2:43 am

        What are the alternatives for no screws at all anywhere in the organizer and if there are alternatives, would they negatively affect the overall design?

        • Paul Sellers on 20 February 2019 at 9:55 pm

          There are several but none with the same advantages screw provide. You don’t need to use screws anywhere if you don’t want to. I am not sure what the advantage of that would be as screws are indeed one of the most amazing technical advancements of modern engineering.

  13. Ben Bunting on 20 February 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Good format.

  14. Thayne Curtis on 26 February 2019 at 1:20 am

    Great! Loved that I had to think about those questions. I get so caught up in the working of wood that I forget the design and structure elements. Us amateur woodworkers keep on learning. Every day! Thanks Paul

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