I have sadly neglected everyone over the past few days and I apologize. The show has been going really well and I thank everyone here for the cookies and cards and the bottles of water and the rags I forgot to bring with me.


DSC_0007Needless to say I got the workbench build completed in time for the long drive down from New York to Baltimore and the whole bench and tools fit nicely into the Chevy Cruze I used to travel in. The bench was rock solid throughout the show and took me only 10 minutes to assemble so I was glad to have made the knock down version for my travels. This bench is a five footer and anyone building this size should be happy with the size as It is good and stable. It’s two feet deep and I made it 1” lower than the usual 38” high I like. You may recall that the bench is made from 20 2x4s I bought at 5pm on New Year’s eve. It actually took 17 2x4s at a cost $41.


DSC_0011I demonstrated for an hour and a half each demonstration starting every two hours at 10am. There was only a few minutes between demonstrations after answering questions but we had a lot of good fun. I try to anticipate the questions but they are so diverse it’s impossible so we take them and answer them. One thing I did was show that bevel-up planes will not out-perform bevel-down planes and actually will not come close to giving the performance of bevel-down planes for most work. I also countered advice people receive that the jack plane is a first-level starter plane – not good advice really, but if you find one at a good price you should buy either a #5 or a #5 1/2. DSC_0016I did get started on the tool chest build, but hope I can get the all of the corners dovetailed today. I also started on the mortise and tenoned frames with the raised panels for the back panel and the fall-front door. If I don’t see you in Baltimore today, perhaps you will be at the next show in New England later this week.


  1. KevinWilkinson on 6 January 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Will you be at the New England show in Springfield, MA, Saturday and Sunday? I’m trying to get the time off from work the night before so I can drive down from VT and back with my eyes open. Hope to see you there on Sunday.

  2. Glenn Hyatt on 6 January 2013 at 11:33 pm

    PAUL, I Thoroughly enjoyed your program today at the Baltimore wood show. Organizing my notes this evening and hope to try out some new techniques this week.

  3. Gavin on 7 January 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Paul, I am interested to hear more about why and what you think people should be using instead of a jack plane. I have only been following you for a short time and have not read everything you have written. I did notice you used a no.4 on your bench build. Is this your preference?

    • Paul Sellers on 8 January 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Yes. This plane matches the very high priced planes and is the workhorse of bench planes. I think it will be worth you looking at articles I have written on the blog about the #4 plane. No other plane comes close to this plane. A jack plane is a good other plane to follow, but the first plane for any beginning woodworker is the pre seventies #4. Just search in my blog for #4 plane and you will better understand how I feel. I do use Veritas planes a lot at the schools and I like them too, but the first plane to buy is a bevel-down, short soles #4. This is like a stallion Thoroughbred or an Arabian in the hands of woodworkers who are willing to master them.

  4. Scott Kidd on 7 January 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Mr. Sellers, it was good to see you at the Baltimore show on Sunday. I was the fella with the Stanley transitional plane at the end of the show. Thank you for coming to the States and sharing you knowledge. I hope to maybe either this year or next year take part in your classes up in New York, depending on when they are. Keep up the great work.

    • Paul Sellers on 8 January 2013 at 6:48 pm

      I remember you well, Scott and I enjoyed your good questions. One thing I have seen with transitional planes is people adding a lignum or greenheart sole to the sole. 1/8″ to 3/16″ works fine and is enough. These two woods are the hardest known and they also release an oil that waxes between wood and sole. If you can find some of these woods, you can close the the throat up a little at the same time too.
      I hope that you can make it to a Foundational Course. This will transform your woodworking life and really equip you.

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