Saw My New Book On the Presses Today!

new mockupToday unfolded in a sphere I can’t say I am altogether used to. We travelled southeast to just the other side of London from Oxford, to see the cover of the book and the opening pages pass through the presses now that the prepress work is all completed. Watching dozens of people pass to and fro with pallet jacks tugging and shunting reams upon reams of paper back and forth and then seeing print go from grey to blue, magenta and yellow  and then a full colour cover as a dream coming true dot by tiny dot.DSC_0890

Of course I have worked and waited a long time for this day. Never did it really cross my mind that I would actually watch the presses begin to roll and the print run begin, but today I did. We chose to stitch the pages and make it a hard cover with cloth to give it the long life we hope for the book. No, the pages can’t fall out and the spline will match the strength of the sewn pages too. We chose silver embossing on a mid blue cloth . The dust jacket is, as you can see, full colour.DSC_0850

As the presses clamoured to full speed we went through the bindery, watched the split-second multi folds align the pages then where they would finally pass for assembly, page trimming before the hardcover is installed. It was both fascinating and exciting, but it was all the more than that too. DSC_0910Whereas the actual printing began today, the book began 50 or so years ago in my apprenticeship, when I held my first planes and saws and chisels and mallets. Seeing my drawings in print seemed icing on the cake but what really mattered the most to me was just what brought this book together. There are times as a designer and maker when the work is just too much for one person to make. That’s how it happens producing a book like this. DSC_0843Mostly it’s about composition; the arrangement and the orchestration that creates the final music. The component parts of different pieces I have made in the past all come together in the final assembling of a myriad of components and though in many ways you want the work to continue forever there is always a time when the final work must come to its final conclusion. DSC_0855When I was a boy I learned about building things and the final phase we call “bringing the building to rest.” This term comes from the building of stone cathedrals and churches where timbered scaffolding is built piece by piece beneath arched stonework until the keystones are placed in the vaulted regions. Once in place and locked, the timber work is gradually lowered to allow the transfer of weight to take place and the building is brought to ‘rest‘ on its true foundation of bedrock.  The people underpinning this book are too many to list, with many behind the scenes people to mention.DSC_0916

To date the book is 480 pages with over a thousand images and drawings from my life as a practising artisan. It’s about the essential hand tools I’ve relied on using throughout my 50 years as a furniture maker and joiner and those in the multiple thousands I have trained now all around the world. I’m grateful to have completed this work and hope that  it will bless new and practicing woodworkers wherever you are. In writing the book we also brought together a triple DVD set as an added option to show the techniques of using and sharpening the different tools in the pages.DSC_0918

 

The book will be available to order very soon. Enter your email address on this page so that we can let you know once it is available.

51 comments on “Saw My New Book On the Presses Today!

  1. I am so very looking forward to this. Woodworking Master Classes have raised my skill to a point I actually have folks asking about things I build, and to see if I can restore antique furniture.

  2. Full of anticipation. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for it to get to Australia after the release date. Might have to get a family member in the UK to buy and post 🙂

  3. I’m thinking you missed an opportunity to hold out a pen to the paper going by and autograph 100 copies in about as many seconds. 😉

    Congratulations. I plan to buy a copy right away and am happy to hear that it will be a quality book inside and out.

  4. Congratulations Paul.
    Not as nerve-racking maybe as the moments before your children’s arrival, but this book is also a thing of your own body and you should be duly proud of your achievement — Although I suspect the book took a fair bit longer in the making! 😉
    With fondness and regards,
    Steve.

  5. Paul; many congratulations on getting this project to print. If the book is only a tenth as good as the Masterclasses it will be amazing. I’ve already told my wife it will make an ideal Easter present.

  6. This must be a very proud moment in your life, a legacy and a part of you that you will leave behind for generations to come like the placing of a seed into the ground and from it a tree grows and all the animals benefit from the fruits of that tree. What a wonderful gift to humanity you have gifted. Congratulations Paul.

  7. Congratulations Paul great news about the DVD’s to accompany the book will they be bought direct from new legacy or online

  8. Really looking forward to this book. Woodworking Masterclasses & Working Wood 1&2 are the best there is. Sure this book will be just as great.

  9. Congrats, Paul. Your influence as a teacher of traditional woodworking will last forever with the publication of this book. I look forward to reading it when it comes out. I hope woodworking stores in North America such as Lee Valley will carry it.

    Simon

  10. Congratulations Paul to you and all your family, to think all that you are stems from the days when you were told …..”there is no point to a blunt pencil”
    I could not do what I do with a piece of wood without your teaching …..THANK YOU.

    JOHN …TWO VICES

  11. A great moment in time for you and your family to carry forward as a milestone achievement to be cherished by all..A moment marked by the creation of a new dimension to a legacy greater than the sum of its parts. A raising of a glass of a fine wine or spirit – the book has come into the world, ready to take on a life of its own!

    Such is the joy when a father’s book is published.,At least it was for us when my father published his first one. (dictionary)

    How large will the print run be for the 1st printing?

    • 10,000. Thanks, Carlos. This has been a tremendous week. I moved into a new workshop Tuesday and finally cleared out of the castle so it’s really a week of new beginnings for me.

  12. Congrats,has the price been stated before.
    I’m in Oxford for 2 nights,kinda hoping to spot you somewhere,I just want to shake your hand.

  13. From one who learns by reading and doing, I can’t wait much longer! Really congratulations on your second legacy. The first is your school and this which should live a hundred years.
    Thank you so much for your gifts to us all.
    Dave

  14. It is such a joy to be on this journey as you do it and for your thoughtful sharing of the process. I can only imaging how surreal it must be, less the assembly of pages of a book than the pages of your life’s work. I am waiting anxiously your new work Paul and wish you the best in your new home and shop.

  15. Congratulations Paul
    Looks like this will be a great year for you and your family, moving and new school, book … that’s the spirit of a young of sixty …
    All the best.
    Natxo

  16. Dear Paul,
    Nice to hear this good news. Any chance for me and maybe more of us to get a “Personally signed from Paul Sellers to ….” Book?
    Looking forward to the next upcoming bookbestseller(s) 🙂

  17. Dear Paul,

    As a fellow woodworker, I commend you on your achievements in bringing back hand skills into woodworking.

    The artisanship involved in bookbinding has also taken a beating………my father, while training to be a teacher, learnt bookbinding in the traditional ways and made some lovely woodworking projects too….I have examples of both.

    Your book, which I’m sure is a gem in the modern day, and will serve another generation just as James Krenov, Alan Peters, John Makepiece and George Nakashima, and many others served mine.

    Lovely as your book may be ……haven’t you given in to the pressures of production at a reasonable cost with your book making……..looks a bit computerised to me?

    Isn’t it the same thing in our craft?

    Some things aren’t worth making, but those you can make, that nobody else can, might be worth making.

    Best wishes

    Steve

    • Look at those lucky devils getting a first peak. It must be a great perk of the job. I would be fired the first day after being discovered piled up in the restroom reading a new release.

      • Hi Paul,

        I think it is wonderful how you said that- “I think we found the right balance in making it affordable for everyone.” You and your friends and family, (the printer and publisher included), have made it affordable. What I mean is, you have provided a quality product made by your own people. I hope all people will some day know a good standard of living. That said, charity begins at home. You have already provided the means for people around the world to better their own community via the internet. I believe what you are doing is deeply profound.

        Honestly, I don’t mean to sound melodramatic. Here in Wisconsin, USA, we are living a fading industrial dream. My city has the consistently worst economy in my state when once it was among the best. The different governmental bodies and companies have tried to doctor the economy to make it look acceptable for everyone, when in reality it is only for their benefit. Improvement can only be made by organic development from those who have the most at stake. I see the situation here as little different from where you are. God bless you for your willingness to accept lower income by using it locally.

        Thanks,

        Cory

  18. My husband just finished a book; released in late August- he never was able (not permitted) to see it being printed! You indeed were fortunate; thanks for the photos.

  19. It is quite interesting to see the combination of my career, and my hobby taking place in your blog Paul. You see I work for a large commercial printer in the states, largest in the world in fact. I started out in the entry level position and worked my way through 3 apprentice programs over 15 years, and earned the way to my current position as Pressman. I pride myself on being the most efficient running Pressman on the most efficient running press in the company. Sadly, printing is not the craft it once was, and as with many things in life anymore, it’s all about numbers and the bottom line. The advent of the printing press is solely responsible for the explosion of literacy 500 years ago. And is often referred to as one of a very few significant events in the history of mankind. There was a time when I took great pride in that. The rat race of corporate America has taken that pride from me, but I have found a new sense of pride in what I do with my hands and that is woodworking, started from my father who nurtured my curiosity as a boy, and watched me grow away from woodworking. Only to watch with pride as I return to the craft. Thank you for being a source of information that I could not otherwise glean because of busy schedules and family obligations.

  20. Every man must pursue their dreams and fight so that they come true. Well Paul I think you have realized the dream of a lifetime. I wish you all the best, you deserve it.

  21. Paul:

    From the Island of St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands a hearty congratulations. Have been watching your Youtube channel for quite awhile and following your blog as well. You craftsmanship and teaching mannerisms remind me of my younger days when I was just a “wee lad” of 19 in a cabinetry/finish shop learning from the master craftsmen the tools of the trade but the thousands of innuendos associated with those tools.

    Like those who passed what seem to me to be “infinite” knowledge on I don’t think it would be too far for me – and probably 95% of those who enjoy your work – to say that you have “probably forgotten more about the craft” then I know. 🙂

    Looking forward to the book and hopefully, get to the Legacy School with my wife who comes from a long line of joiners here in the Caribbean.

  22. Hi Paul. Congratulations on yet another job well done! The wife and I will be in the UK in early May, any chance of picking up a copy whilst we’re there (possibly with a signature attached)? Give me something to read on the flight back to Australia

  23. Paul,
    Such good news, Thank You for so generously sharing your life with us and to your family as well I am so looking forward to being able to read and enjoy, thanks for all the hard work for all of us.
    Michael

  24. Paul,
    Greetings from West Virginia. I am very excited about your book. Congrats. I already learned quite a bit from your videos and your blogs. Will there be an electronic copy like Kindle?
    Hasan

  25. I can picture us all queuing around the block at midnight for our ‘First Edition’.
    Any book-signing sessions planned?

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