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Taking the twists out of life

You recall that I promised a video on making winding sticks when we hit 100,000 subscribers on YouTube which happened this morning so here are two of them. Thank you for nudging us over and being such a support to our Real Woodworking Campaign. You are the reason we do what we do.DSC_0111

This video is about making a pair of winding sticks, instruments that guide us as we plane sections of wood to a twist free conclusion on our component parts. It’s a hand tool support strategy we hand tool enthusiasts rely on during any given week to help guarantee what we make, doors, drawers and other frames are twist free too in the continuum of work.

I recall the first time I realised that life was just like wood in that wood comes with knots in it and so too life itself. Add into that awkward grain and shakes, fissures, cups, crooks and bows and you might wonder why we work it, but then remove the flaws and look deep into the sub fibres and you discover eddies and swirls, whorls, confluences, crotches, dormant buds and a million other divergences that just defy description to stun us all the more. When the parts are refined and you see what you made standing there you realise life is as much about character building as it is about working wood.

24 Comments

  1. BillS on 25 July 2015 at 11:48 am

    Hi Paul,

    Not sure if it was meant this way but there are two videos in this blog and they are both How to make winding sticks (part 1). They are the same video.



    • Joseph Sellers on 25 July 2015 at 12:06 pm

      Sorry about that Bill. It is fixed now.



      • BillS on 25 July 2015 at 12:42 pm

        No problem. I didn’t think it was supposed to be like that. Thanks for fixing it. Take care.



  2. Mike on 25 July 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Does this mean you’ll get more money for each view on Youtube? I’m disappointed, you were someone I respected. I listened to you when you had no audience. I once said you are never stingy when I comes to your knowledge and now it’s become a bargaining chip. Never thought you’ll go down this road. What’s next PS’s t-shirts, pens, leather bound books, etc? And all the talk about making a living as an artisan.



    • Kenneth Berregard on 25 July 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Well aren’t you a beacon of morality. What is your blog Mike so we can watch it for free advice instead? Maybe there isn’t one for pessimism though. Keep up the good work Paul…we all enjoy and appreciate it.



    • Paul Sellers on 25 July 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Sorry you feel that way. I like celebrating milestones like this.



  3. Tom Angle on 25 July 2015 at 3:09 pm

    If you really followed him, you would have seen the videos on the free section of Woodworking Master classes. Then you not of felt so ripped.



  4. Brian Stapely on 25 July 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I have never come across a talented person so generous with his life learnt skills. I watch every detail of how Paul handles the tools and materials and listen to the sound of how a plane properly honed cuts and similarly can gauge the energy behind a hammer blow on a chisel. these videos are a legacy to his craftsmanship. I feel privileged to have watched Paul at work
    money doesn’t into the experience at all.

    My heartfelt gratitude for enabling me and so many other like minded enthusiasts to share in your genius and generosity.

    What’s your legacy Mike! a few cynical comments on Facebook?



  5. Jeremy Scott Stoltzfus on 25 July 2015 at 4:03 pm

    You are incredibly out of line here dude. Mr. Sellers has been so totally generous with his time and knowledge. Don’t muzzle the ox. Rather than criticizing why don’t you simply enjoy the journey? Peace.



  6. Kenneth Berregard on 25 July 2015 at 4:29 pm

    See Paul?…we’re all behind you and wholly appreciate not only you’re talent for woodworking but also your inherent talent for making it all seem approachable. For what it’s worth, I’m working on my first mallet today thanks to your teachings. Sharpening has now become something that I know will result in razor sharpness, again, thanks to you. Mike up there is just a miserable soul who would just as soon watch reality TV than create something.



  7. BillS on 25 July 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Some people will never be happy. Usually comes from jealousy in my experiences. I wouldn’t care if you are making money from it. I know good quality video cameras are very expensive and it costs money and time to edit and produce the videos you put up for FREE on youtube. I’m a happy paying customer of your woodworking masterclasses and will continue to be until I feel what you put up isn’t of interest to me any longer. Keep up the fantastic work guys. There are thousands of happy viewers for every one hater so don’t let it bother you. Take care!

    BillS



  8. EJ Miner on 25 July 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Amen!



  9. Rob on 25 July 2015 at 11:06 pm

    You are a superb teacher Paul, and have really re-kindled my enthusiasm for woodwork. My workbench progresses a little bit further each weekend and I’m really enjoying it. My collection of hand tools is growing and I know have all that I need for the build. The Diisston Philada saw you advised me on is a good one and has cleaned up nicely. Thanks for all that you do!



  10. Anthony on 26 July 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for the YouTube videos and congrats on your accomplishment. The YouTube videos is how I first found your teachings. Without them, I would never had subscribed to the woodworking Master Classes and never experienced what happened to me this morning. I was working in my garage shop and a woman who was walking her dog saw me planning the sides and joints of my latest dovetail chest. She loved the joints along with the rounded lid from a previous project that she noticed and was wondering if I could make a bigger version for kitchen. Long story short, we exchanged numbers and if she calls I will have my first customer.



    • Paul Sellers on 26 July 2015 at 6:03 pm

      Woohoo! How exciting is that!



  11. salkosafic on 27 July 2015 at 8:44 am

    What the ??? where in the world did this come from, I’m truly sorry you feel this way but I don’y see Paul in the same light like you do and don’t think I’m affiliated with Paul in anyway but when someone is putting themselves out like he does and actually helps those in need by not charging them a single nickle, quid, cent , penny or dollar let me emphasis that not one bloody dime! hows that for international then give him credit where it’s bloody due. The nerve of you putting him down like that like he’s some kind of a sewer rat an opportunist, shame on you ten fold.



  12. salkosafic on 27 July 2015 at 8:47 am

    btw that message was directed to mike



  13. Brian on 27 July 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I hardly that it is anyone else’s business whether Paul Sellers is making money or not out of his YouTube Channel… the fact is that his woodworking videos are excellent and some of the most informative and inspiring out there.

    For what it’s worth, let me assure you that the 7.5m views which Paul has received for all of his 92 YouTube videos (yes, that’s 92) over the last 5 years represent peanuts as a monthly income. And cheap peanuts at that.

    Paul Sellers does, I imagine, make a reasonable living from the paid subscriptions to his Woodworking Masterclasses; and rightly so. They are superb. Are all the free videos he offers on that site and on YouTube just an advertising portal for these paid offerings? Personally, I don’t believe so: I believe that Paul’s passion for promoting traditional woodworking is just as strong a motivation, if not stronger. But really, whose business is this and what does it matter? There is no sniff of exploitation, cynicism or hypocrisy that I can see. Just a very competent professional producing an excellent product which thousands of people want to buy every month… and several hundreds of thousands more get for free. We’re all winners.

    A lot of modern hand-tool woodworkers have turned to the internet and/or classroom training to supplement their income. That neither detracts from their artisan status, nor from the argument which they (including Paul) often advance: that it is possible to make a living from woodworking without resorting to mass-produced machine work. Their teaching is an extra dimension to their craftsmanship. Like the very best in any field, the very best and most inspirational teachers among the woodworking community will make a better living than the mere mortals who just produce good craftsmanship. To my mind, that only adds to their artisan status, rather than detracting from it.



    • Brian on 27 July 2015 at 1:30 pm

      Sorry – several “tens of thousands”, not “hundreds”. Might have got a bit carried away there…



  14. Muhammad on 27 July 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks Paul,
    Awesome video, enjoyed every minute, really appreciate all the effort and time that you are putting to give us such nice videos, and sharing your experience with us.



  15. Garnett on 27 July 2015 at 8:48 pm

    “I recall the first time I realized that life was just like wood….”
    I’m not there yet, but hope to be someday. Right now, I just like the sound of my #4 Stanley gliding over a piece of oak.



  16. Ed Newman on 28 July 2015 at 4:15 am

    Mr. Sellers is a good man teaching anyone who want’s to learn. I’ll be rude and say SHUT THE HELL UP Mike, No one want’s to hear your negativity!!!!



  17. Michael of Melbourne Australia on 28 July 2015 at 8:15 am

    Paul, you have my respect and thanks for your passion about handtool woodworking. I’m in my 60s and because of your videos and instructions, have rekindled a love for woodwork that I inherited from my carpenter father with whom I ‘played’ woodworking in the shed when I was a boy. I missed 4 to 5 decades of woodworking but the love of woodworking with handtools remained. I’m not very good, making lots of mistakes but learning from you. I wish mum hadn’t thrown out dad’s tools when he died in the early 1990s! Thanks again and best wishes.



  18. Mark on 28 July 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Dear all.
    First let me say that I agree with all that admire Paul for what he does. I think he is a great teacher in that he de-mystifies matters. Any fool can make things sound complex. Any fool can make himself sound superior when in fact he isn’t. Paul does none of these things. He gives of his huge experience and experience is born of mistakes. In effect he is saving us all man years of work through his excellent advice. Regarding the negative comment above I feel that so often these types are attention seekers and best ignored. They feed on the responses. Starve them.



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