Goodbye 2013 – Welcome 2014

Tonight we close yet another woodworking year. Hard work, long days and tough, tough decisions. I like these three things the most I think, so with this positive note to close on we open a new door into 2014. We have all invested our lives to work with wood as much as we could throughout this year. In my view this solid investment to the diamond of wellbeing increases worthiness beyond measure. Statistics do of course have a place in helping measure some more basic calculable achievements we have to our account. Yesterday we topped 1.7 million page views to my blog this year. Add in the work of our online broadcast through woodworkingmasterclasses.com and then our unpluggedshop.com we achieved well over 3 million views in the last 12 months.

To date we’ve produced and posted around 100 videos via woodworkingmasterclasses and YouTube. More of them posted for free access than paid for.

When I look back to July of 2011 when I wrote my first blog we had 60 page views throughout the whole month. With no increase we should hit 3.5 million views by this time next year. And we do this with no advertising on my blog.

Beyond all of this I personally travelled too many thousands of miles to count, but I did clock up 70,000 flying miles and drove what seemed to be that many too. The year kicked off with the Woodworking Shows shows in January. Over the three months of the tour I demoed to 30,000 woodworkers; hour upon hour of good and real woodworking fun.

Without touring the woodworking circuit this coming year we can pursue our training work through the online broadcast and New Legacy School of Woodworking. Combining these two spheres of education has no doubt proven to be our best strategy of all. In the class room we set foundational skills and then follow through online for guaranteed advancement. It’s working. What we didn’t realise is that students who work online before classes in our NL workshops find advancement works from this direction too.

The greatest success according to your emails and forums has of course been the woodworking masterclasses  training videos. There is not doubt that you are all progressing as we intended and this coming year we have so much more to offer surrounding techniques and the use of hand tools. rse and we feel this is now our most positive approach to passing on our skills and knowledge.

DSC_0103I’m sorry and I so regret not being able to answer all of your emails as in previous ears. We have four people helping with this and that still doesn’t mean we can answer every one. We do however answer every question we can or try to find the answer if possible. I must add here that I do read every email that comes in though and they do so encourage me in my work. Please keep them coming.

In closing I want to of course thank you for everything. You give my work its purpose and somewhere to deposit my skills. Please remember, the best way to preserve a seed is not in a glass jar in a dark cellar but to plant it. That’s what we are doing in the lives of hundreds of thousands of woodworkers around the world. Please continue to support our work as you have this past year.

13 Comments

  1. Bob Wilkinson on 31 December 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Paul
    Happy New Year to you and your sons and all your staff for a happy and healthy new year! All the best in 2014.
    I look forward to learning new ways to hone my ever building skills.
    Hope to see you in Somerset, New Jersey for the upcoming Woodworking Show.
    Thanks
    bob “mygrandadsaw” wilkinson

  2. Ricardo on 31 December 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Paul,
    2013 was a wonderful woodworking year for me too. I have discovered your site and blog, and was able to attend one of your excellent courses. I’ve been making good progress here, thanks to your demystifying of cloudy issues and positive advices on several important woodworking matters.
    Thank you very much for your work and also for your team, please keep it going strong!
    I’m finishing a pair of saw horses and shall post a picture afterwards. My workbench was equipped with a good old Record vise, the best I could get my hands on. So it’s a very fine year, full of progresses in every way.
    Wish you all a great 2014, in excellent health and tone.
    Ricardo

  3. Simon on 31 December 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Happy New Year!

    Your influence in woodworking and to countless woodworkers, including me, is much appreciated. I could think of no other comparable figure who really inspires people to try, other than Norm Abram. Please keep up the good work.

    Simon
    P.S. Any plans to offer your masterclasses videos on DVDs? Many of us can’t follow the online format logistically and would like to have the option of learning via the DVD format.

  4. davidos on 31 December 2013 at 11:08 pm

    thank you Paul and team for a wonderful year .i wish you the best of health and wellbeing for 2014

  5. David R on 31 December 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Happy New Year and thank you, Paul and your team for what you do. We appreciate it.

  6. Chris on 1 January 2014 at 12:21 am

    Happy new year to everyone at the castle.

  7. Kevin Wilkinson on 1 January 2014 at 12:39 am

    Happy New Year!

  8. Juan Moreno on 1 January 2014 at 10:09 am

    Hi Mr. Sellers,

    I also want to take this moment to thank you for your generosity of knowledge. I think woodworking is something that I’ve always wanted to learn, but I was basically conditioned to think that power tools == woodworking. I had only a vague idea of what woodworking via hand tools meant, but I still believed that this world existed and that it would be something I would naturally gravitate toward. There is zero doubt that if I hadn’t discovered your teaching work here that I would still be thinking about working wood instead of doing. I’m still VERY green to all this, and I make a lot of mistakes and I get frustrated. But it’s worth it, and it’s one of those things that I cannot allow myself to quit, regardless of how limited I am in funds or in space in which to work (my two biggest obstacles!). So yes, thank you for what you and your team accomplish here, and you can count on me being on board for 2014 🙂

    P.S.: I just finished my absolutely very first woodworking project: a hand mirror (a.k.a. a vanity mirror) that I gave to my sister. I’m not sure what made me want to make one. But it was fun and I think it came out nice, and making one involves several of the basic shaping methods you teach. It occurred to me as well that I could probably make the round recess for the glass by way of a “circular knife wall”, and it worked like a charm. I would not have attempted that if it weren’t for you.

    • Paul Sellers on 1 January 2014 at 11:13 am

      Thank you for this. Please let us see what you did if you feel too. And that goes for others too. I love seeing what people are doing and especially seeing how what the team does behind the lenses to get the films out there.

      • Juan Moreno on 1 January 2014 at 10:04 pm

        I’ll post it in the Projects section of the woodworkingmasterclasses forums!

      • Norbert on 2 January 2014 at 10:11 am

        Dear Paul,
        I spent a short course in 2012 at the Castle making a dovetailed box. Until then I did not dare to attempt dovetails, since then I made a few. It was a huge inspiration and confidence building time.
        Unfortunately I live quite far ( in Hungary) so its not easy to make it there in person, but I keep following your videos and they really teach and are outstanding. I have DVDs from other woodworkers but they do not come even close to your videos.
        So thanks again and all the best for the New Year!
        Norbert

        • Paul Sellers on 2 January 2014 at 3:15 pm

          I never realised that we could actually reach so many people we might never have met around the world until the online broadcast. I am so very glad this investment of time and effort is really working for us. Thanks for your encouraging email. And all the best for the new year!

  9. Kevin Wilkinson on 1 January 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Congratulations and best wishes for your, and ours, continued success. I think you have really struck a chord in a lot of people with your simple and direct approach to woodworking.

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