With the aim of delivering sound teaching to a broad range of people pursuing woodworking I write and present via as many avenues as I can. I am concerned that this may confuse my readers and viewers who may wonder who I am associated with.

That is why this page has been created; to make clear who I work for and why.

I am the founder and owner of New Legacy School of Woodworking. I also work for Rokesmith Ltd which trades as Woodworking Masterclasses. I write, teach and present for these two companies and this is how I earn a living.

I have many friends in woodworking and business. However, beyond these two, I have no obligations or interests either contractual or implied which would make me recommend or endorse any tool or service over another.

In the future I will be paid a small royalty on products that I have presented or written.

 

Page updated: 10 December 2014

54 comments

  1. John Montgomery says:

    i am totally in awe in what you do. You reminded of something I read about Picasso, apparently he could draw a perfect circle free hand. I got lot from one of your comments about using all your five senses when working with wood.

    • Michael Price says:

      I just watched my first dvd on MASTER Mortise and Tenons and was truly impressed, NO power tools and am inspired to give it a try a true artist and the video is very well done!
      Michael Price

  2. Fred Latimer says:

    What an incredible experience it is to watch your videos. I just got done watching you cut tenons, and was really impressed with your “poor man’s router”.
    I wish you could show how you prepared that.

  3. Rick Brown says:

    Hello Mr Sellers,
    Thank you for your youtube videos. You have been a great inspiration.for me.
    I have just finished watching the videos (for the second time) on how to build a workbench without first having one . I have resolved to try and build a 6 footer using ash. Is this a good choice of wood? Not counting your choice of spruce in the video, it seems all the benches I have seen use hard maple.

    Sincerely,
    Rick Brown
    Durham, NC

    • Any wood makes a bench. Ash is fine, nothing particularly special or really different. A spruce one or a pine one will last as long as any hardwood and thats my point in the video. I find they are more absorbing and I have used them for 50 years. I have also worked on “premium quality” hardwood ones and been fine with them too.

  4. James says:

    Mr. Sellers,
    I simply want to thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the artistry that is wood working with hand tools. I applaud you for educating others in working wood simply and traditionally. You are truely an inspiration!

  5. Todd M. Richardello says:

    Mr.Sellers, first of all, thank you for providing the incredible videos, they are truly an inspiration and to mimic James above, and so are you!!. Any idea when you will be back in the good ole USA for some teaching time? Good health to you

  6. Robert Haldeman says:

    Mr. Sellers. . I am in awe of what you can do with hands tools. I am also very frustrated with how some of my projects turn out at times. I have watched your video’s on You Tube and I would like purchase them along with your book. to help improve my skills. Is there a website or Mailing address??

    • I think it’s better to follow the blog and indeed go back through items you might be interested in. There the information is more current and there’s about a hundred times more info there too. The best videos are via woodworking masterclasses where for a modest monthly subscription you can access dozens of hours of past videos and keep up to date with new projects designed to teach the skills you need through ever advancing projects ranging from spoons to tool chests and tables to bookcases.

  7. rocjoky says:

    Dear Mr. Sellers, We are always in school whilst we are alive. Finding you on site was overwhelming for me. In just a few hours with you I climed high. Thanks, Tommy.

  8. Andre Silva says:

    Dear Mr Sellers. I’m 67 years old and have had the intention of doing some woodword the right way.
    But when I tought of buying table saws, routers and the such, these tools being too much expensive in Brazil, I have always postponed my wish.

    Now I found your videos in the Internet and that opened to me a new vision on how to do woodworking.

    I have access to a group that does some voluntary work teaching the less favored guys in the area and I just started helping them by sharping their chisels, using your method with sandpapers of various grits. And IT WORKS!!!

    Thanks very much for your patience and good teaching.
    André Silva

  9. Christopher Webster says:

    Mr. Sellers,

    As an amateur woodworker, I have found your lessons to be invaluable. When I started woodworking I found many resources in magazine and video form, and they all pointed me toward power tools. I became frustrated as these tools are both expensive and have a large footprint. My woodworking budget and ‘shop’ is limited; I began to despair that I couldn’t work with wood and considered just giving up.I spent several years in this sad state.

    I stumbled across your video and in them you showed me that I can pursue my hobby without taking out a second mortgage on my home. Thank you! Also, and I really want to make a point of saying this, I have found no other resource that showed me how to foursquare the wood. Everyone else simply said “we have our stock prepared…”

    After several frustrating projects where I didn’t square and flatten my wood, I began to wonder what was wrong with me or what was I doing wrong. Thank you, thank you, thank you for opening my eyes to this elemental concept, and showing me how to do it. I now have several hand planes and I love using them and learning to be more proficient with them.

    Indebted to you,

    Christopher Webster

  10. Billy Gordon says:

    Stumbled onto you while doing a google search about sharpenning wood chisels. Needless to say, I am hooked. Thank you sir!!

  11. James says:

    Mr Sellers your videos and written instructions are excellent. It had been my desire for many years, I’m 78, to true up(four square) a board and been unable to do it. After watching your video,several times, I decided to attack it again starting with a short length of twisted 2 x 6. Out came the 40-year-old Sears 14″ jack plane, checked the adjustments, made sure the iron was razor sharp, and went at it. Success!! So easy and what a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. I decided to try again, this time with a short length of 1 x 6, and again success. Now it was time for the acid test.

    My daughter needed a 12 x16 cutting board and I had some 5/4, rough sawn(and I mean ROUGH sawn) hard maple that was aching to become a cutting board. I got a Stanley scrub plane on Ebay for great price, sharpened the blade to get the nicks out and attached the twist in the maple. First using the scrub plane and then the jack plane I got two 7-1/2 x 16 pieces squared up. Now comes the problem.

    The only No. 4 plane I had was a Groz(should be renamed Gross) purchased several years ago before I knew better. They are rubbish; could not get it tuned and adjusted. As one reviewer wrote, they make good paperweights. Following your advice, I got a refurbished one on Ebay; Stanley No. 4, Type 16. It needed some work, e.g. flatten and polish the iron, square it up, sharpen it, square up and hone the chip breaker to get good contact with the iron. Not a problem. Reassemble, and test it on the edge of a pine board. Perfect!. Then go to smooth the maple: TEAROUT! I’ve checked everything, i.e. bevel on the iron is 24 degrees, chip breaker is 1mm from the end of the iron, iron is square, chip breaker is square and no light between it and the iron, iron is parallel to the sole. Aaagggghhh. Can you help me? I’m trying to ween myself off the machines and don’t want to have to resort to the Delta planer. Thanks.

    Best regards, and Merry Christmas. JT

  12. Tony says:

    Paul,

    I watched your video about sharpening a chisel. Would the chisel be sharp enough after the 2500 grit abrasive wet/dry paper? I’m asking because in the video you also used diamond plates.

    • Sharpness is all relative Tony, as I am sure you know. Because of our present day obsessive behaviour surrounding sharpness and the accessibility to abrasives we can indeed readily sharpen beyond the real need for most work so the answer is generally, yes, 2,500 cuts would cleanly and relatively effortlessly. It takes very little effort to buff out 2,500 to 15,000 or more and so that’s the reason we often go the extra mile.

  13. Tim Scott says:

    Mr. Sellers,
    Thanks for sharing your skills and love of woodworking. Passing on your skill and knowledge to the next generation of woodworkers is fantastic.
    All the best,
    Tim

  14. Abhishek says:

    Thank you for sharing your skills and taking the mystery out of woodworking. I have spent hours watching your videos on Woodworking Masterclass. Now I have a set of diamond plates, and old Stanley No. 4 from ebay, a sliding bevel, a combination square, and a set of Narex chisels. A small vise on an old Ikea bench acts as my woodworking table for now. I can’t wait to begin the process of making with my own hands.

    I do hope you host a class or two in the US in 2015. I would love to attend.

    -AM, Lakeland, FL

  15. Joe Newman says:

    Thanks to John F for braving the question about the pencil sharpener. (“There are no stupid questions . . . . “). My efforts with a knife and then a hand sharpener couldn’t come close to matching the length and sharpness that show so clearly in your Small Dovetail Box video (my third project under your guidance). So I have joined probably a hundred others to rush for a Swordfish Pointi. Swordfish must be wondering what’s the point of the sudden rush. And, yes, I’ll smile while I sharpen.

  16. Chris Mulvihill says:

    Hi Paul,

    I want to also chime in with my thanks for your efforts. Your knack of making woodworking relevant and accessible in a world of automation has touched a chord in me previously unsung. There is no episode which didn’t register an “aha” moment about a previous failure (or barrier which I hadn’t lept in planning).

    While I have access to power tools (which I sheepishly admit to using frequently), I revel in the feeling of accomplishment when after first attempting to sharpen chisels I was able to shoot directly through a test piece as if I had a steel laser; or when after sharpening my first hand plane iron, I four squared a small block of wood (I didn’t want to ruin a larger piece with my sophomoric efforts). Marvelous.

    You have touched lives and inspired me in such a way that my family feels the loss, though they only have to search the garage to regain me.

    Your patient student,

    Chris
    Albuquerque, NM

  17. D Harley says:

    Hello Mr. Sellers Thank you for your videos. You present them in a friendly, positive fashion. I am especially interested when you talk about the philosophy and history of woodworking and the various hand tools that you use. Your videos have enticed me to try things in woodworking that I never thought I would/could ever do. You have an incredible series of videos.

    Many thanks

    D Harley
    Edmonton, Alberta

  18. Travis says:

    Mr. Paul, I have to say I have been making decisions on DVD woodworking courses to order and pursue at my own pace around work. After watching your youtube videos and reading your blog, I am going to order the Master Series you have produced. I am have been hooked on woodworking for a few years now and very interested in learning how to do great hand tool woodwork without having to buy tons of the many specialty tools out there. I truly want to get better at marking, using hand planes, using chisels, and hand saws and maybe a couple other tools as needed, and to strive toward making great projects with only the needed basics. When I saw your course, I really felt like that was the direction to go. Thanks for sharing your passion for working wood.

  19. Herb says:

    The best tutorial I have ever seen, always wating for your next video. Your bench is on my list, but next I want to build the saw sharpening clamp. Would love to have the dimensions as it is hard to estimate the size from the video.

  20. ismael niang says:

    Best teacher ever…You got me loving woodworking even more. I dropped a few of my power tools lately and that’s all because of you.

    • Thank you, Success comes slowly to the patient. It’s been a 25 year work, but now it’s maturing. What others take for granted today was an uphill pull for some of us countering the industrialisation of a simple craft three decades ago, but it is so rewarding to see people soaring to new highs.

  21. Marcus Peake says:

    Hi Paul. Last year I moved house and decided to do a bit of DIY. Going to the local B&Q I decided that Shelving and basic things like that were overpriced. money being tight as it is I decided to Make a go of it myself, only relying on what I was tought many years ago at school.. needless to say I was standing in my utility room with some wood, saw, square and pencil thinking, Hmmm.
    I decided to look on Youtube, I watched many videos on shelving and it got me inspired again about woodworking. So I Went looking on youtube for teaching and ‘how to’ videos and came across yours.
    Needless to say I lapped up Every episode gaining hunger every time! Your a Master teacher.
    Over the Winter months I have aquired a few hand tools, a set of chisels, saw’s and even a stanley plane (still boxed). Now that the Sun is coming out I want to start doing more stuff for the house.
    I’m watching your videos for reference all the time, I just want you to know that you changed my life at 45. (my wife and four kids thank you too).

    One thing i’m having a problem with is sharpening my chisels, I used the stone that came with the set.(draper). I fear that I have damaged one because i cant seem to get it sharp again. (i left the others after that failure) I’m thinking its due to the stock stone provided with the set.
    I tried to follow your way but with one stone…
    Living in Aberystwyth There isnt a dealer for quality stones around the corner. I wonder if you would consider e-mailing or posting here where in the UK you bought your stones and the grades for easy reference? or even if you make and sell the three stone ‘woodenblock’ you use in the video..

    Thanks again for your Inspirational videos. If only I was young again to start a career as you have… anyway, Thanks!

    • Dave Littlewood says:

      Marcus,

      Check out Axminster Tools (I don’t work for them!)
      I have one of their two sided diamond plates (400/1000 grit) and one of their strops and I can almost shave with the plane iron!
      I use a Stanley honing guide as I can’t keep the plane iron at a constant angle but other than that I followed Paul’s video.

      You might need a more coarse grit to shape the plane bevel but once it’s at the correct angle and square to the iron then a 400/1000 combination plate should be enough.

      • Though I don’t doubt you are getting good results initially, our experience with these diamond pattern plate surfaces is the nickel plating separates from the steel plates after a short time so they cannot be recommended. Our testing policy is to use tools on a daily basis for six months before we pass judgement. This happened within a few weeks, perhaps within 5 hours of use.

  22. ende miller says:

    Hi Paul,
    As a metal worker I had always dreaded the thought of using wood for any project. In hindsight I was using cheap unsharpened tools with zero passion. I was probably scared of the wood as well.
    YouTube was stuck on your uploads for about 3 hours the first night. I couldn’t wait for the next hint and all of those aha moments where I thought, that makes so much sense.
    Preparing granddads plane on sandpaper and using it and feeling the wood then going for one of the chisels that he would have used as a young man. As a 43 year old who never met my grandfathers I have a link that I never thought possible.
    Thank you.

    2015
    My first mortice and tenon.
    Sharpening planes and chisels.
    Making a wooden workbench.
    Losing a car spot in the garage.
    Teaching my 8 year old.
    small tear in the eye.

    Thank you again

    Splitty Miller
    Windsor NSW Australia

  23. Joseph Sarver says:

    Mr. Sellers,
    Thank you for all the teaching. I have really enjoyed it and taken much away. The knife wall has really made my work faster and more accurate.
    If you are looking for a new project to teach, the tool cabinet in your shop would be great.
    Thanks again for sharing your skills,
    Joe sarver
    Sedalia Missouri, USA

    • I didn’t invent the knifewall but I did coin naming it “knifewall”. I wasn’t the first to create a knife wall to butt the saw and the chisel up against it by making the angled horizontal cut to more deeply define and refine it for cutting to but no one ever showed me this method so for me I did develop it and refine the striking knife which was simply a steel blade that marked the wood similarly to say a pencil line; on the surface and not cutting necessarily.
      Mostly I just made accuracy a reality for others who might never have had the experience I developed and even invented over the years by passing it on.

  24. Joe Newman says:

    I know this is heresy, but the knifewall also works very well to eliminate/reduce tearout on the table saw, band saw and even router cuts.

  25. Dave Littlewood says:

    Paul,
    Your videos and enthusiasm for working wood by hand has re-kindled my childhood love of making things
    As a Professional Engineer I have designed power generation equipment that has been installed throughout the world but seeing those super fine shavings coming from a plane that I have restored with a blade that I have sharpened by hand produces so much more satisfaction.

    What is disappointing is the price of new and second hand tools!
    My dad had a raft of old woodworking tools that fell into disrepair (I remember him using chisels as screw drivers! but then he was a brick layer, not a carpenter! 😉 ), now I’m looking for good shoulder plane and a good dovetail saw and I wish i’d realised the treasure in my dad’s shed!

  26. Art Boogaard says:

    Paul,

    As a retired dentist in Holland I picked up the idea of making a chestorgan. After a lifetime of singing in a choir and a brother who PlayStation the organ the sound of wood is so soft and gentile, Thatcher was the reason i picked up that idea. Als a dentist I had the idea that we work precise. Seeing you work with love for your craftmanship, I now know that I can continue to do so in woodworking.After a lot of trying and retrying. And all of that without powertools. Thank you for your inspiring video’s.

    Art Boogaard

  27. Lake Mellott says:

    Can you please show us how you make ALL of the “poor mans” tools? Maybe you already have? I have seen router, shoulder plane, beading tool. Are there more?

  28. Brad says:

    Hi Paul!

    I just want to start by saying thank you for all your videos, teachings and insight. I can’t get enough of your you tube videos. You really are a master.

    I just wanted to ask what sort of oil do you use in your ‘rag-in-a-can’ plane lubrication system? Is it something like 3-in1? Or will cooking oil work as effectively?

    Thanks in advance

    Brad

    • It’s just Three-in-1 light machine oil squirted in every three months or so. Any light machine oil will work though. I would avoid an natural oil because they go rancid or worse they can spontaneously combust. Boiled linseed oil especially.

  29. Garth Schafer says:

    Hi Paul,
    I found you via several mentions on the “English Woodworker” site and spent most of an evening enthralled with the videos and the simplicity you bring to woodworking tasks. It got me back into the shop after several months off from frustration. Thanks!

    I too use a combination of sandpaper and diamond stones for sharpening, but you have converted me ( in one test run!) to your cambered bevel technique. I now enjoy sharpening!

    To the question. I lap the back of a chisel/plane blade on 220 grit paper glued to a certified granite block and get good contact on the sides and cutting edge. I move to a diamond plate to continue lapping (220 or 320) and now I have contact on two spots on the side and no contact on the cutting edge, indicating that it has not been flattened. I have experienced this many times. Its like I am getting dubbing from the paper, yet I saw you lapping on loose sandpaper.
    Is this just a question about how flat is flat? If I stick with the sandpaper through the whole lapping process will it work out at the end? When I get to 2500 grit sandpaper and then test on a diamond plate I will find the blade flat?

    Thanks,
    Garth Schafer
    Vernon, BC
    Canada

    • It’s hard to say without accessing the granite. Is this dead flat and proven or just a piece of granite that looks close? If the latter, perhaps that’s where the problem is. Personally I find that a dead flat chisel is not essential for 98% of my work. The occasion I might want such a thing then doesn’t bother me, I can make it work.I suggest you follow through with the slight disparity and try the chisel to see if it works for you. I think we have a small group pf woodworkers who will spend much effort on dead flatness but not necessarily to work the wood.

  30. The granite is certified, but you have answered my question from your perspective. If it is flat enough to work, that’s what counts. I have been approaching this as a machinist instead of as a woodworker. Thanks again for once more simplifying things.

  31. Michael Wheeler says:

    James I went through the same process as you recently. I explained my problem to a carpenter friend & he suggested I back the cap iron / chip breaker off a bit more – say 2-3mm. That worked perfectly for me, might be worth a try for you. Regards, Michael.

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