The first part of the cabinet I’m supposed to be building* is solid wood joined by good old-fashioned dovetails: seventeen per corner and four corners. In theory this means we get lots of practice cutting accurately.

We also get plenty of time sharpening and polishing chisels.


Finishing off one of the side pieces. Every join has to be connected several times, then taken apart again and the wood carefully chiselled out to make the fit better, without  taking so much off that there is a gap between the sections. Of course, if you don’t take enough off then there is a loud noise announcing that the wood has split again, and it is time to get the glue out.

Notice set square carefully placed in shot to give the impression I use it.


This is culmination of about four days cutting and chiseling, the moment where all the sides have to be glued and clamped together in the hope they fit straight. Each join is unique by this stage so they have to be fitted in the correct order, and we have to make sure the sides are square.

The glue makes the wood expand slightly as well, so the joins are tighter than before, and it begins to set within eight minutes of being applied so everything has to be glued and straight within that time.

*Eventually I should have one of these. In theory.