project #1

dovetailed box

Want to follow exactly what I'm doing?

Optional plans are available to those who don't want to draw their own design and instead replicate my processes and measurements exactly. For more info, read about the online school.

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In this quick video, I will brief you on the project ahead so that you know what to expect and can get the most from this course.

Matt Estlea

Project Overview

You will learn:

- What you need to begin this project

- How the course is structured

- What processes you will learn

- How to use the resources available

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These resources are available to help you prepare for the course and get through the course. All you need to do is sign up to the course via the button below.

Matt Estlea

Free Resources

You will get:

- Tool recommendations for this project

- A checklist of required tools

- Process checklist

- Regular updates on the course

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In this lesson, we will get everything cut to size and marked out ready for laying out the dovetails. There's a lot to learn from this seemingly simple task!

Matt Estlea

1. Dimensioning Material

You will learn:

- The importance of face sides and edges

- How to cut and shoot components

- How to number components

- How to avoid common assembly issues

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In this lesson, I show you how to accurately mark out the tails on a dovetail joint for superior accuracy. I also cover what can go wrong and the consequences as a result.

Matt Estlea

2. Marking Out Dovetails

You will learn:

- How to layout a dovetail joint

- Where to set the marking gauge

- Which dovetail ratio is best

- How to prevent potential problems

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In this lesson, you will learn how to cut the male part of the dovetail joint to a professional standard and how to avoid common mistakes beginners make.

Matt Estlea

3. Cutting The Tails

You will learn:

- The most important part of dovetailing

- How to saw a dovetail

- How to chisel the waste

- How to refine the joint

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In this lesson, you will learn how to accurate transfer the tails to the pin boards for maximum accuracy and control. Don't miss this important lesson!

Matt Estlea

4. Transferring Tails

You will learn:

- How to accurately transfer tails

- The use of a vee groove to align tails

- Using a pencil vs. knife

- Avoiding and fixing component shift

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In this lesson, I cover the step that will make or break your dovetails. Unlike the tails where you had some leeway, these components need to be spot on.

Matt Estlea

5. Cutting The Pins

You will learn:

- How to saw to a line

- How to chisel to a baseline

- The use of an undercut

- Testing the fit to diagnose problems

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If you're dovetails don't quite fit, in this lesson I will share a series of steps that will help you fit the dovetails accurately with maximum control.

Matt Estlea

6. Troubleshooting Problems

You will learn:

- How to benefit from grain direction

- Hidden faces and edges within dovetails

- How to remove waste on pin walls

- How to remove waste on pin bases

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Theres a lot more that goes into gluing up than first meets the eye. Planning, preparation and patience are all needed at this part of the project.

Matt Estlea

7. Gluing and Blocks

You will learn:

- How to prepare for a glue-up

- How to adjust clamps for squareness

- How to make gluing blocks

- Avoiding common mistakes when gluing

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In this lesson, we unearth all the hard work that has gone into the previous steps and see what the result is! It also gives an opportunity to fix any small gaps.

Matt Estlea

8. Flushing Off Joinery

You will learn:

- How to avoid breakout

- How to use breakout to your advantage

- How to flatten the sides of the box

- How to flatten the base of the box

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In this lesson, we begin construction of the lid. You will need to edge joint 3 panels together in order to do this and make a lid that looks good and is also stable.

Matt Estlea

9. Planing Edges Square

You will learn:

- How to orient timber for aesthetics

- How to orient timber for stability

- How to edge joint components

- How to produce a 'spring joint'

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In this lesson, I will show you how to glue the lid so that it is flush and flat. Care needs to be taken at this stage as it will save you a whole lot of effort later in the project!

Matt Estlea

10. Gluing The Lid

You will learn:

- How to clamp the components

- Using cauls in a glue-up

- Using risers in a glue-up

- How to account for clamp deflection

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In this lesson, I will show you how to attach the base of the box accurately. It's incredibly easy to blast a screw through the side of your box by doing this wrong!

Matt Estlea

11. Attaching Base

You will learn:

- How to cut the base to size

- How to align the base

- How to mark out the screw locations

- How to drill pilot and clearance holes

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In this lesson, I discover that my lid is incredible twisted and in need of some TLC. This is how I go about flattening and fitting it to the box.

Matt Estlea

12. Sizing and Flattening Lid

You will learn:

- How to diagnose twisting and cupping

- How to flatten a face

- How to thickness the lid

- How to fit the lid

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There are many ways to cut rebates whether its by machine or hand. In this lesson, I show you two methods of creating the rebates incredibly accurately

Matt Estlea

13. Cutting Rebates

You will learn:

- The various ways of creating rebates

- How to use a shoulder plane

- How to use a rebate plane

- How to refine the rebates

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While the method of removing the lid is up to you, whether thats shaping a finger pull or making a handle, this is how I went about creating my chosen method.

Matt Estlea

14. Shaping Finger Pull

You will learn:

- Different methods to shape the pull

- How to shape a consistent radius

- How to refine edges without rounding

- What grits to use

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The plinth will hide the plywood base of the box but needs to be rebated in order to be fit. In this video, I show you how to cut the long rebates accurately.

Matt Estlea

15. Making Plinth Profile

You will learn:

- Methods of cutting the rebate

- How to clamp the component

- Laying out marking lines

- How to cut the long rebate

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Once the plinth profile has been cut, you now have to accurately mitre it on the corners. In this lesson, I show you multiple ways of achieving a gap free fit.

Matt Estlea

16. Mitring and Fitting Plinth

You will learn:

- Methods of cutting the mitres

- How to layout a perfect 45 degree

- Making a 45 degree shooting board

- How to extend mitres cut too short

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In this lesson, I show you how to chamfer the corners of the plinth to complete the profile. Again, there are many ways to do this, all of which are detailed in this video.

Matt Estlea

17. Chamfering Plinth

You will learn:

- Different methods of chamfering

- How to clamp your work

- How to avoid breakout

- How to refine edges without rounding

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Sanding is a topic that isn't often taught, yet may be the difference between having a piece that looks crisp, and having a piece that resembles a wooden cloud.

Matt Estlea

18. Sanding

You will learn:

- When to use hard and soft blocks

- What grits to use

- How to retain crisp edges

- How to remove the arris

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In this final part of the project, I show you my personal process when it comes to applying finish to the box in order to achieve a clean, even result.

Matt Estlea

19. Finishing

You will learn:

- What finishes to use

- How to apply finish

- How to cut back layers

- How to avoid damage and fingerprints

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Now that the cabinet is completed, lets reflect back on all the different processes we carried out and the skills you have picked up along the way.

Matt Estlea

20. Summary

You will see:

- What skills you learnt

- What you can move onto next

- Other viewers projects

- The finished box.

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© 2019 by Matt Estlea.