Happy Birthday Paul! (guest post)

Vector birthday card with balloons and birthday text.Happy 65th birthday to Paul!

Paul is 65 today. I would like to welcome you all to wish him a happy birthday in the comments.

Last year I did a guest post and let everyone know it was his birthday. This year I thought I would do the same but also take the opportunity to do a brief roundup of the year just past.

While 65 is a personal milestone, it is also interesting to reflect on the fact that Paul began his formal apprenticeship at age 15. This means that Paul’s woodworking experience now extends over 50 years. Paul has an unique level of experience and he is also among only a handful of people who were part of a centuries-long tradition of the apprenticeship system.

Sixty-five is the official age of retirement in the UK. You will all be pleased to know that he has no desire to retire any time soon. He is delighted by the interest in his craft and feels a sense of responsibility to help others learn woodworking.


2014 in review, and the future

This is just a small snapshot but it shows the growing interest and influence of Paul’s blog

This year there has been an unprecedented interest in Paul’s teaching. We recognise that numbers are not an end in themselves but this little graph shows a comparison of visits to Paul’s blog over the last four years.

This is the same across YouTube and Facebook. If you haven’t already checked those out go ahead and do it (YouTube and Facebook don’t just contain information already available on the blog).

The New Legacy School of Woodworking has had a great year and we expect that demand will exceed spaces this year. The Woodworking Masterclasses website now has over 7,800 members (most of those are subscribed to our free plan but a significant number are paying members). This coming year we have many ideas and projects to share through Woodworking Masterclasses.

Paul is always working on various manuscripts that we hope to publish in the future. However, I am pleased to say that we have solid plans to release Paul’s next book which will be published in the first half of this year. I will leave to Paul to reveal the details over the next few months.


We want to help others

I thought about raising some money for Paul’s birthday to give him a present from those of you who follow this blog. However, when I mentioned this to Paul he said he would prefer to ask you to help him help more young people get into woodworking.

This blog and YouTube have a small but significant following from 18 to 25 year olds. However, very few of those young people pay for classes or join our paid site on Woodworking Masterclasses.

Paul has been working to balance this in the classes by offering two free spaces on every class for the past year.

Last year this was aided by an anonymous donor who has helped to cover the expenses of offering the free classes. This same donor has covered the expenses of one free space in each of the nine-day classes that will be scheduled in 2015.


You can help Paul to help others

We would like to ask for help from the community to help raise the money to cover the expenses for the other free spaces we want to offer. This is around £2300 (around $3500) which helps us to cover the out-of-pocket expenses of giving away classes. This includes rent, materials, shop assistance and accommodation for those who need it. We are hoping to also start a programme to allow young people to join our Woodworking Masterclasses site. If we get more than this we will use the extra to kickstart that programme.

Please wish Paul a Happy Birthday in the comments below, regardless of whether you can help out with a donation or not.

Thank you all for your support.

– Joseph Sellers





Thanks to the following people and many more who wished to remain anonymous who donated money to our work in helping engage young woodworkers.

Justin S
dave crane
Juryaan Mulder
Ron Harrison
Hervé France
Chris Bunney
M. Moreno
Dean Reifenstahl
M Standish


  1. Happy Birthday Paul. Hope you have a great day and enjoy it in whatever way you like. Thanks for all that you do.

  2. Happy birthday Paul Sellers, Have a great day look forward to loads more videos from you

  3. Happy Birthday, Paul! You’ve been a great inspiration to me in starting my journey into woodworking over this last year. Your influence is truly expanding across the world. You can see it in so many online communities. I hope your day is excellent and wish you a happy new year!

  4. Happy Birthday Paul! Thanks Joseph for setting all of this up, good luck with the donations.

  5. Happy Birthday – and though 65 now, keep on working to keep your marbles in the right place!!

  6. Many happy returns Paul. I know it was a big day for me however your continued commitment to the craft is a birhday gift for us all. Thank you

  7. Happy birthday Paul! Thanks for a great 2014, including the incredible 9 day course in October!

  8. Happy Birthday Paul. You give so much, it doesn’t surprise me that you want your gift to be for others to be able to learn.


  9. Happy Birthday Paul. So glad that you aren’t throwing the towel in at 65 to wile away in a recliner chair with the TV on! I may not be in the 18 to 25 year range of young woodworkers, but as someone in their mid-30s your instruction is still a long-term investment in my eyes.

  10. Happy Birthday Paul.
    May God bless you and your crew, Family in the new year.
    Thanks for all you do.

  11. A very happy birthday to you Paul! Your web content and book have helped me to start up in woodworking and I hope gain a lifelong skill and hobby.

  12. Happy Birthday Paul! And thank you so much for caring enough and working enough to make a difference.

    John Purser

  13. Happy 65th, Paul. You finally caught up with me (at least until June). Does life begin at 65? It did for me, with your help! Best wishes from your friend and student, Steve.

  14. Happy Birthday! I hope your wishes become reality, thank you for so many things you give us trough videos and thougts. Saludos desde Argentina.

  15. Happy Birthday! I am new to you and your work-Thank you so much for all you have done and are continuing to do in this field!

  16. Happy Birthday, Paul, and thanks for all you do for the craft and for those of us as remote apprentices..

  17. Happy Birthday Paul and thank you very much for everything you do for us.
    Almost everything that I have learnt until now I have from you, I think you are helping a lot of people in the world. Without you I can’t imagine how could I learn so much true skills in woodworking.

  18. Happy 65th birthday, Paul. I hope you have a great and productive woodworking year!

  19. Happy 65th Birthday Paul, I hope you have very many more.
    Enjoy your day.

    Fred Sutton

  20. Happy Birthday! I really appreciate everything that you, Joseph and the rest of your team are doing. Thanks!

  21. Many happy returns, Paul. Since coming to your courses, my life has been immeasurably enriched. And I know the same thing applies to hundreds of others. Keep up the good work, Paul, Joseph, and the team.

  22. Happy birthday Paul, and thank you for the enjoyment you have given me reading your blogs and watching your projects on Masterclass. More power to you, and long may you carry on.

  23. Happy Birthday Paul. May you live for another 50 or more to keep the craft going.


  24. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day. I appreciate all your hard work and knowledge you have share with us. I look forward to many more years of learning.

  25. Many happy returns, Paul. They say age is just a number, and your energy, enthusiasm and work ethic are surely an example to many folks half your age. Thanks for all I’ve learnt from you so far and all that is still to come. Hope to see you again later this year if you run the rocking chair course…

  26. Happy 65th Birthday Paul and like has been mentioned hope you have a great Day. I am also Thankful for what you do and share and have been a great inspiration for me.

    I retired when I was 62 after 40 years and 60 – 70+ hours a week in the Corporate World and did nothing ( work wise ) for 1 1/2 years and couldn’t stand it. I started working part time in 2010 working 4 – 6 hours a day and love it.

    I am 66 now and have mentioned in a few of your Blogs I wish I would have discovered you a long time ago, I really enjoy learning from you and working with Hand Tools is the way to go.

    Again Happy Birthday and looking forward to 2015 with the Woodworking Master Classes, your Blog and watching your You Tube video’s. I am sorry to say I have not gotten into Face Book so I don’t follow you there.


  27. Happy Birthday and best wishes for many, many more healthy, happy, fulfilled years. may the gifts you give us all through your dedication, hard work and inspiration come back to you a thousand fold! I will spend my day in the shop in grateful tribute to the best teacher I can imagine. Looking forward to spending the next years with you too! . xoxo – cynthia

  28. Happy birthday Paul! Also, thank you for your wonderful materials online, I’ve learned a lot by watch your videos.

  29. Happy Birthdays Paul! You are a true gentleman to pay forward your skills to both old and young.


  30. Happy Birthday, Paul! I don’t know how keen you are for 65 more, but if I’m also still around I’ll definitely be signing up for a masterclass ;P

  31. Paul, a very Happy Birthday. Along with probably thousands of others, you have helped, informed, educated and shown me my way forward in my woodworking. Some one else said “you are a national treasure” or something like that. I whole heartedly believe you are. PLEASE keep up the treasure trail of instruction that you have embarked on, whether it be through ‘you tube’ or your ‘master classes’. You are leaving a true legacy for those who would wish to follow in your footsteps….. work wood, don’t machine it!
    My very best wishes,
    Chris Bailey

  32. Happy Birthday Paul. Retire?? As long as you are doing what you love there is no such thing as retirement. Thanks, Paul keep doing what you love.

  33. Happy Birthday Paul! Thanks for everything! We wish you and your family the best in 2015. I’ve finally scraped together some basic tools and my Boys and I are planning to get started on building a workbench, as per your videos, within a week or so. So far Luke (10) only seems to be interested in is making wooden swords but Ben (12) is chomping at the bit to start carving spoons. This is a gift you’ve given me! Thanks again!

  34. Happy birthday Paul! I hope you had a great day. Thank you for all that you do. Taking your 9 day foundation course was a real life changer for me and reading your logs and following the masterclasses has helped me on so many levels.

  35. Happy birthday Paul and thank you for inspiring me to improve my meagre woodworking skills as I approach my 71st year

  36. Happy birthday, Paul, and many more! You’ve been an inspiration for all of us with your knowledge, experience, patience, and gracious spirit. Thank you so much for sharing with us and helping to keep your craft alive.

  37. Joyeux Anniversaire Paul :), Happy birthday and best wish for the 2015.
    I’ll probably start the workbench building process this year, as a starting point in my hand made woodworking ;)))) Many thanks for sharing your experience and really well done, I love it.

  38. Happy Birthday Paul.

    You’re only two and a bit months behind me then, although I had a redundancy and early retirement a few years ago now. My state pension makes a big difference to my income, and let’s me indulge my woodworking fantasies a bit more these days. I’m so glad you intend to continue with your classes, and keep on making what you want to make. I’ll be following along with you for a while, I hope!

    Best wishes for many more birthdays ahead.


  39. Happy Birthday to you, Paul! All the best to you in this wonderful new year! Many blessings to you.

  40. Happy birthday Paul. Your blog and your videos have given me great pleasure. I think you are a wonderful teacher and a real inspiration.

  41. Happy Birthday and thank you for all that you do. You have made handwork accessible and inspire us daily.

  42. Happy Birthday Paul, all the best for you and God bless you!
    In the Last year your Blogs, Videos and your Book hand encouraged me to work with wood again.
    For this year I plan to build a new workbench according to your workbench design.
    Again all the best for you!

  43. Very happy birthday to you, Paul. Your Youtubes are an inspiration and are responsible for rekindling my interests in using hand tools for my woodworking. I consider you to be one of my heroes and hope I can take a class from you someday.

  44. Happy birthday Mr. Sellers! I just wanted to thank you for your blog, youtube channel and wwmc website. I’ve been a member there since day one and will continue to be one until you finally choose to retire, if you ever do retire.

    Even though I am in my mid 40’s, it is nice to see a positive older role model online. You are like the father many never had and the grandfather many wish they could have. My dad was a computer guru and good with handyman stuff, but he never taught me much. Seeing you helps fill a void for me and hopefully fills voids for many other men out there.

    Your wisdom, down to earth writings and videos really show a man many should aspire to emulate in their daily life. I know your writings have impacted me and your willingness to share your knowledge, and time, free of charge is very special and inspiring.

    If I was 20 years younger I would try to convince you, actually I would probably bed, to let me apprentice with you and your team. I’m too old now, physically broken down and have family responsibilities to ever consider a true apprenticeship. But one can dream.

    Again. Happy birthday!!!

    1. Juan, Anyone that follows woodworkingmasterclasses, my blog and the YouTube videos seriously and trying to make what I make there for about two years will be getting more than I did in five years apprenticing except the repetitious work that gave me the experience we all need. I try to think through every issue that might present itself and give alternative methods and techniques as options to try and to consider. That way everyone is thinking differently than say a machinist where there is often only one option dictated by the machine. I sure hope everyone can grow as they seem to be because in another year I will have worked myself out of a job.

  45. Happy Birthday Paul. I look forward to seeing you again at the Kansas City Woodworking show later this month.

  46. Happy Birthday Paul. We are the ones who have been given the gift of you sharing your knowledge. Thank you for all you do.

  47. Happy Birthday, friend. 50 years woodworking experience, and 25 teaching, if I’m not mistaken. May 2015 bring continued joys, gifts and blessings to your projects and life.

  48. Proverbs 20:29 –The glory of young men is their strength,
    but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

    Happy birthday Mr. Sellers! Just this year I found your blog and bought my first tools. Just this Christmas I gifted my wife a dovetailed box and picture frame made with joy and love because of the gift you have passed on. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and skill with us!

    I recently became a paying member at wwmc, and I’m so glad for the enormous wealth of instruction that you have there. May this year be your best yet!

  49. All the best, my friend! Thanks for everything you do. The life lessons and skills you have taught us will not only benefit not only us, but future generations of craftsmen and women.

  50. A very Happy Birthday Paul and may God give you the good health to continue your mission. And thanks to Joseph for the reminder….

  51. Happy Birthday Paul,…retirement would certainly be an anathema to an active life well lived. For those of us from the same generation as you who appreciate this fact, and have learned it through long years of creative effort, continuing to do what you do best and being a light for others is the correct path forward. Thanks for all you do.
    Wishing you the very best.

  52. Dear Paul, thank you for your time, generosity and enlightenment.
    I wish you all the best for your birthday.
    Kind regards

  53. Happy birthday Paul – if the UK is like Canada, you get 10% off most things now! Wishing you good health and a clear mind for many years to come.

  54. Until I found your blog this evening I had always wondered how you could have been working in wood for fifty years. Seeing you on YouTube I had figured you and I were about the same age (and I was right) and I just couldn’t figure out the 50 years. Well, now I know that you started very young!
    Happiest of birthdays to you. I truly appreciate your YouTube videos and have learned so much from them.

  55. Thank you Paul .
    Your teachings , woodworking and ethos , were the key to changing my life.
    There are no words to describe the respect and gratitude i feel towards you .
    Happy birthday ! May all your soul desires find you in life.

  56. All the best Paul, may you have 65 more!! No one else does what you do and we are all so lucky to have you here.


  57. Happy birthday, Paul. You’ve been an inspiration to me and my woodworking. Continued success to you.

  58. Happy Birthday Paul!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I am a new student and looking forward to the journey! I have gathered up some tools and started my bench project. See you in the Masters Classes!
    Thanks, Peter.

  59. A man once said to me ” it is impossible to hold a torch to illuminate the path for others without shedding some light on oneself” may the light for others continue to held high with strong arms.
    Happy birthday Paul, looking forward to the next 65 years.

    from Qld Australia

  60. Happy Birthday Paul! I can’t say enough thanks to you and your team for all the hard work you do. This experience in learning has truly been a dream come true.

  61. Happy Birthday! I echo the comments of the others. You and a small group of other hand tool users have opened a bunch of us to the opportunities of the hand tool woodworking trade and hobby. Hopefully, we can then pass this on to others in our personal sphere. We’ll never drive the big boxes or Ikea out of business but we can teach others that quality and workmanship are worth the money…and worth passing on to our children. Cheers!

  62. A very happy birthday for you Mr. Sellers and my best wishes for this new year!
    I’m trying to learn everything i can from the Youtube videos and the blog, but soon it might not be enough. So i have gathered some money so i can apply for my membership the next month (for the masterclasses) and to get some books.
    God knows why, but right now i only have about 3 months before the first autum rain, and the tool chest’s series will be my salvation. Hopefully, at the end of this month i’ll finish my workshop reconstruction. (with the bench and tools)
    Thank you for everything! I will not disappoint you, that is the only present i can give you.

  63. Happy Birthday Paul! I am so glad you are sharing your vast knowledge with so many of us who are eager and privileged to learn from your tremendous experience and skill. Looking forward to many more years of enjoying your passion for woodworking.

  64. Happy Birthday Paul!
    I can’t agree more with all the others here to thank you for all your lessons. A real treasure you blesses us with.

    Best Wishes, and may god bless you with good health and complete satisfaction!

  65. I’m a bit behind but here it goes…
    Happy LIFE!
    In my opinion this is a case for the best wishes for Your Life to come and a big celebration on YOUR personal milestone achievement the Big 65th.
    A word to your (not so litle) “children” and to Mrs Sellers …:
    Being around such a busy man it must hard….. I thank you for being patience to our School Master.

    Happy Birthday, and Thank you for sharing Your knowledge and passion!
    Long and healthy life surrounded by your loved ones!


  66. Happy Birthday Paul. Thank you again to you and your team for all the great teaching.

  67. Happy birthday Paul .what you and the crew are presenting to us has changed my way of life. will be ever so grateful

  68. All the best on your 65th. Never a truer use of the word Legacy have I seen in the world of today. I doubt you will be able to work yourself out of a job, as it is! There are a lot of parts to fifty years of experience, including the clarity of thought in seeing another occupation (policing) was not to be your given path even though I suspect the impact you could have made there would have been more than tangible. It is not just an ability to keep your edges keen as it were but your mind in relationship to the job at hand. In a small way I can appreciate the hurdles and decisions that relate to giving up something to pursue another more appropriate course. If any of the seeds of self doubt sow themselves dismiss them out of hand, as through your actions and the heartfelt response from nearly every reader of your blog have demonstrated the value of what yourself and the people behind you have given is great in value and thoroughly appreciated. Happy Birthday.

  69. Happy Birthday, Paul!

    You are an inspiration to so many of us fledgling woodworkers!

    I am glad to hear that you are not planning retirement yet – I am ejoying your teachings too much!

    All the best,

  70. Happy Birthday and thank you for not retiring! My woodworking would be no where near where it is today without your videos and inspirational blog posts!

  71. Happy birthday Mr. Sellers! I have been following your YouTube channel, and enjoy your videos immensely!

  72. Happy Birthday Paul! And thank you for NOT retiring. You are renewing my active interest in hand woodworking and I look forward to learning more from you.

  73. Happy Birthday Paul. Wishing you the best of health and another productive year. Many thanks for last years teachings.

  74. Happy birthday Paul,
    A big thank you for all that you have done for us woodworkers over the past years.

  75. Happy belated birthday Paul,
    So happy to hear that the team will be assisting the 18-25 yr generation. I was fortunate enough that 2 years ago at the age of 25 I was able to sign up for the WWMC. I have continued my subscription and although I have not been able to make every project my knowledge and skills continue to grow.
    All the best in 2015.

  76. Happy Birthday Paul. I hope there are many more to come. You have changed my life in that I sooooo enjoy woodworking again. After taking your classes and following you these years on Master Classes I have learned so much. I so look forward to my time at the bench that making it through my work week is so much more tolerable. Thanks for all you do and keep up the good work.
    Scott Smith from New Jersey

    1. Hi Scott, Yeah, beats the pants of real work any day. I tell people when they ask if I’m gonna retire that I retired when I was 15 and don’t know how I managed my time before I retired. Good to hear from you. That class was a blast, right?

      1. Definitely. Met some great people. Best money I ever spent on education. Now my goal is to come and see that castle someday.

  77. Happy Birthday Paul! It is a pleasure to join you each week in the Master Class to continue my education.

  78. A very Happy Birthday to you Paul Sellers

    I shall be looking forward to your next book because I certainly enjoyed the last one.

    ATB – and have a great New Year ….

  79. Belated Happy Birthday, Mr. Sellers!

    Thank you so much for all of your work. I got started with your YouTube videos and first book last year and am very impressed so far. It is great to see somebody as knowledgeable as you advocating a style of learning that makes woodworking approachable for total beginners like me.

    Thank you for introducing so many of us to something as enjoyable as working wood. I hope you know how much impact you have on so many people around the globe and how much that means to us.

  80. Felicidades y por muchos y muchos años podamos seguir disfrutando de tus enseñanzas Paul!!! El convertirme en miembro de pago de la web me dio la posibilidad de llegar a un mundo y unas enseñanzas reales que eran impensables para mi. 1000 Thanks

  81. From cold Scandinavia with warmest Happy Birthday wishes to you Mr. Sellers! Your work and efforts are invaluable for many of us. Thank you so much for that!

  82. Please allow me to add my “HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL”. What would George say, I’m sure he is looking down on you.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…..thank you for all you have taught me.

    John 2vices

  83. Happy Birthday Paul!!! The information you provide woodworkers worldwide is so valuable to us. As I try to build my skills I return to your website and YouTube regularly to find your advice on my questions – almost always I find the help I need. I am so grateful.
    Have a wonderful birthday and eat plenty of ice cream and cake – or appropriate substitutes on your side of the pond.

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