Two Drawer Dovetail Box

I’m primarily a problem/solution motivated person. That’s also where most of my project ideas come from. If I don’t have a place to store my clothes then a dresser or chest of drawers sounds like a good project to make. If I don’t have a place for friends or family to sleep when visiting then a bunk bed sounds like a good project to make. This project was a rare departure for me. I had absolutely no need for this box. There was no problem and therefore no need for a box as a solution.

Instead, this project was more of a learning experiment for me. I designed the project more for the journey than the destination. I know that saying is cliché. It’s not meant to be though. I’m not trying to “be one with the wood” or “be one with hand tools.” What I mean by that is the project was more of a fundamental practice piece. I wanted to come up with something that would hone a few hand tool fundamentals and that’s exactly what this is. Proper layout with marking knives and marking gauges rather than pencil lines. Sawing perpendicular lines by eye as well as with an aid. Establishing a crisp shoulder line with chisels. Sizing parts very accurately on all faces with hand planes. These are all fundamental skills that any woodworker can benefit from. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a plywood and 2×4 table or a half lap blanket chest, there are always situations where a hand tool is the better tool for the task and sometimes might even be the faster and more efficient tool for the task.

What I ended up with was a project that instantly moved up to the top of my favorite projects list. Because I didn’t have a need for the box I originally planned on giving it away. That’s what I’ve done with the majority of the small projects that I’ve made. Giving is fun. Especially when it’s something you’ve made. But I have to admit a change of plans with this one as I think it looks pretty darn nice sitting on my wife’s bookcase ;)

Another experiment for me was to use the opportunity to make an instructional course to cover every aspect of the project. Over the past four and a half years through videos and these articles on this website I’ve been sharing what I can and have realized I’ve got a passion for teaching. And as time has passed a common request I have gotten is for me to make an in-depth instructional style series. Well I finally got around to doing just that. I made a 2 hour and 26 minute course covering every aspect of this build to include as much information as possible. I really enjoyed making this course but I’m not sure how many of these I’ll do. It all depends on the feedback I get from it.

For those who are interested in the instructional course for this build you can find more information by clicking here.

If you’re not interested in course content don’t worry. I’m not completely changing my approach to the content on this website. I’m going to continue to have fun and share everything in my woodworking journey.

Have a great day!

– Jay


  1. It’s a very beautiful box, Jay, and should be prominently displayed. The joinery is fantastic and the wood and grain lines are beautiful as well.

  2. Beautiful box! That was a cool video & very clever acting like it was loafing. Ha ha. I had to go back and see it again to make sure it was not my network. That is some kind of a piston fit where shutting one drawer opens the other one. Great job!

  3. Wow, an extremely well done project and an absolutely smoooooooth video. I will suggest this course to the young guys in my family to set the bar high for their work. The ole man does a lot of rough lumber projects but I want them to appreciate craftsmanship. One suggestion and maybe you cover it in your course: when do you sand, use a plane or scrape? I never know the difference. Maybe a future video. Congrats Jay on a growing education business. Rich

  4. Absolutely beautiful, Jay! I love the fact that your joints are so airtight. Nice selection of woods. Now I just need a jointer and a thickness planer…

    The video is definitely one of your best – great process documentary, well edited and an inspiration.

    All the best,

  5. Good cabinet making skills here. I have made several draw sets my self like this one. Aesthetically speaking for me is that I place the dovetails on the side and pins on the top and bottom. This was how I was trained to do this, to many years ago to think about it lol. I admire your tool skills in all your work and the commentary that goes with all you videos. Well done Jay.

  6. All i can say is wow. Looks like you put a lot of time into that, not only making the piece but setting up all the shots and doing the editing and stuff. Crazy. One would think you have your own professional AV crew and production staff.

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