Another New Project Begins

Here is the introduction to our latest series. I hope that you enjoy what we are doing.

DSC_0007After the workbench stool and the plane making series we are ready for something brand new and inspirational at  the very least. I enjoy all of the projects we film and this one piqued my interests every step of the way. I recently received an email from someone asking me for a guidance in choosing the projects for them to develop their skills by. Whereas it is true that learning how to cut dovetails doesn’t really translate mortise and tenon joinery or making housing dadoes, certain skills in tool use are transferable. DSC_0202

l think it is important we repeat projects several times to develop a more thorough understanding of the processes and techniques and indeed develop skills. Through this we become truly competent.  When i was an apprentice, one of my first major joinery tasks was to make a batten or ledged door. Actually, it wasn’t one. I was shown how to make one, and then I had to make 99 more. I was fifteen years old and it was there that I learned to drive nails, cut square by eye and wield a Disston panel saw. I used a #4 Stanley to fit the angled braces to the ledges or battens painted red-lead paint on all of the tongues and grooves as I assembled the boards. I can repeat every step blindfolded today and all of the measurements are still locked in my head.

DSC_0046The Shaker-inspired bookcase I have just finished is one I developed to skill-build yet again. Through mortise and tenons, stub tenons and housing dadoes create a fine line for handwork and we have included roundovers for added good measure. I have added a back frame for greater stability and will be talking you through alternative ways of installing panelling and such.

I really hope that you are enjoying the various courses we’ve offered thus far if you are a masterclasses member. Please continue to send us your inspiring support.


  1. Steve Massie on 29 January 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Paul I am defiantly looking forward to this project series as I am dire need of some nice book / knick knack shelves. You projects I have really enjoyed and looking forward to this journey.


    • Paul Sellers on 29 January 2014 at 9:57 pm

      I just posted a nearer-the-finished-bookcase on my facebook page so you can see it nearer to completion there.

  2. Brian Loran on 31 January 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Keep them coming! I am definitely enjoying all the projects on masterclasses! Can’t wait to get started on this bookcase. I am putting the final touches on my tool chest and plan to do the bookcase next.

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