DSC_0048The first videos for making the Paul Sellers’ walking canes, sticks and staffs are up and ongoing on woodworkingasterclasses.com. Back in the early 1990’s making these proved a financial lifesaver for me as a new-to-the-US craftsman with no reputation and trying to support a young family. I formulated a business plan that worked and decided to take a single product anyone could make and make a business from that single product. I did the same to making wooden spoons, bird houses and other small items that were low-cost production items people could afford and soon i was able to return to my first calling as a furniture maker. Yes I had to work three or four days a week making repetitive products, but my skills increased, I became faster and so I left the other days in the week for designing and making furniture.

DSC_0061After three years of making walking canes, sticks and hiking staffs the business was solidly established. I was soon making and selling about 7,000 of them throughout the year and the business continued t grow steadily. We had them in gift shops and State Parks, galleries and at craft shows. Gander Mountain ordered them in lots of a thousand and more at a time and so too gift catalogs. It was what it took to make a living back then.

DSC_0071Making the sticks for instructional purposes brought back many fond memories of how we develop our lives. Things often unfold through a vision we have to start something and we go through hard times to make things happen. I want to continue the along the avenue of Going on Your own by describing what I have found it takes to ‘become’ an entrepreneurial craftsman. Just how do we get a product to a selling stage and what kind of product will sell? I once had a business making and selling catapults (slingshots USA). It was a good business all told. Not saying that’s what anyone would do today, but it took some prototyping to bring the product to market. after that they sold by the baker’s dozen, literally. That’s another story.


  1. Reggie on 14 November 2013 at 1:14 am

    I am new to your blog and website. I enjoy learning about your experiences, and professional development. I greatly admire, like thousands of others, your skills and work. Thanks for spreading the word.

    • Paul Sellers on 14 November 2013 at 10:03 am

      Tank you Reggie and everyone else for encouraging the work we do. You are the ones that make it all so worth doing.

  2. Paul Sellers on 14 November 2013 at 10:06 am

    Very inspiring Joe. Are you still in the UK and whereabouts are you?

  3. Sandy on 1 December 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Pardon my ignorance but What is a Thug?

  4. Joe Bouza on 1 December 2013 at 8:03 pm


    ‘Trug’ is an Anglo Saxon word meaning: A wooden vessel or trough or boat. The English Trug is traditionally a wooden basket favored by gardeners due to it’s unique shape although a variety of shapes are presently made for other uses. They are usually made from willow and chestnut wood but some rather bad modern interpretations are made out of plywood.
    Hope that helps explain it.

    Joe B.

  5. Jeff Polaski on 29 July 2015 at 3:56 am

    Ah, slingshots. Memories of the good old days, and running away just as fast as I could.

  6. John on 7 February 2017 at 1:38 am

    Hi Paul , luv watching your demos with wood working tools. Watched making the three legged stool but could not find second lesson , shapeing legs and attaching seat, did you make a video of this procedure . I am an avid fan. Thanks once again

    • Paul Sellers on 7 February 2017 at 7:08 am

      There was a temporary glitch with sound sinc so it will be up soon.

      • John on 7 February 2017 at 12:49 pm

        Thanks for your response Paul, I’m waiting with eager anticipation.
        I served an apprenticeship in engineering not far from your early life in Stockport, I was amazed at how you used files to sharpen and care for your tools, I didn’t think that would work , thinking the material with heat treatment etc. would have rendered the file useless,and damage the file.
        Once again thank you
        John B

  7. John Lewis on 8 August 2018 at 12:56 pm

    It’s important to help your elderly relatives be comfortable wherever they are, whether that’s in your home or a retirement community. That is the great information for anyone who has wanted to take the proper use of walking aids. Thanks for posting!

  • Michael Geiger on Furniture For Your HomeThis post has got my hands itching. My wife and I have just began to push the canoe of a big venture into the waters. We've purchased our first house (awaiting home loan approval a…
  • Sylvain on It’s All in the Joinery- Grant, if the two sides of your assembly were adjacent cut from a same board, they will be showing the same compressibility property. - Paul, very interesting this drawing. Now m…
  • Sylvain on Furniture For Your Home- funny to see your reflection in two window glasses on the second picture. - many women complain that men leaves too much life-management mental-strain on them. That comes from th…
  • Paul Sellers on It’s All in the JoineryI am always struck by how many people go to such great lengths to flatten the flat face of their plane irons when the lever cap presses the blade along the whole of the fore-edge t…
  • William Nenna on It’s All in the JoineryHonestly, I find your concerns on sharpening a thicker blade moot if handled differently. Doing a grind at whatever bevel angle you are using on the primary bevel down to just shor…
  • Garrett Swalwell on It’s All in the JoineryMy first dovetail box has gaps. Currently working on a commissioned coin box for a work friend.
  • Jim on Furniture For Your HomeJust imagine Paul, that with all of the skills that you have taught us if we lived during the middle ages we could be building cross bows for the kings army!