Would you like to own something I made? I don’t make pieces to sell anymore but there is a rare opportunity to bid on some pieces I made a long time ago. The links to bid are near the end of this post. Here is the story.

My mother’s personal photo wallet.










Thank you, Heart of Texas Goodwill

My visit to Texas last winter was something of a cathartic visit. With over two decades of my family and work life in the Lone-Star State, I made many wonderful associations with people and entities at many different levels. The purpose of my visit was to shed myself of a long-term storage unit and so too the associated expenses. Over the course of the week, with my family helping, we managed to shed much baggage but then when it came to books, tools and tool boxes I felt a little torn. At first, I took some of our personal possessions to the benefit of the Goodwill store. Car load after car load and then hire van load after load too. There were several things you never part with; the children’s drawings, photographs, notebooks and albums. You know, those things that remind you if the periods you valued greatly at the time and might even have forgotten. Then something happened a couple of weeks ago. Goodwill, the people who we donated out treasures to, emailed me with the message that they had found a small, tiny really, photo wallet and described the black and white images as possibly of sentimental value. This was something we searched high and low for as we worked on the move. It held the photographs of my parents before, during and after their meeting one another. Pictures of my then younger grandparents in Belgium. My mother is Belgian, and they met at the close of WWII when my father was a paratrooper in the armed forces.

I have always loved the Goodwill work through their charity outlets, and our thinning down wasn’t so much to get rid of stuff but pass it on for the benefit of others. When I loaded up perfectly good woodworking hand tools, my tool box and other things, I struggled as I drove to the Goodwill store because the things behind me in boxes were all very much a valued part of my life.

My Dad

My Mum

They were how I supported my family, raised my kids and fed and clothed them. But when I arrived at the Goodwill store and the man came to greet and help me unload, all of a sudden it felt like it was just the right thing to do. I just loved the idea that many people would benefit from the donations we made.

Needless to say, Xylina Muniz of Goodwill went to great trouble to return these to my family by scanning and forwarding the images for me to make sure they were indeed mine. This was an oversight we might never have detected and she went the extra mile. Ultimately they went on to FedEx them to me to make sure they were back in safe hands, and my family and I will always be grateful for the effort they took to return what would have been a sad loss.

These are my personal tools, many from my youth as an apprentice. They come home with me.

Two items are listed currently on the shopgoodwill.com auction website. One is a small mesquite box I made and inlaid back in the late 80’s when I started a small woodworking business in Reagan Wells, Texas. I called the business Canyon Creations. The box is not in perfect condition as I used it for keeping small bits in the workshop in, but it is solidly made, and someone might want to own it and even restore the finish a little. Two coats of shellac clear should do it. Here is the link. The other is one of my famous joiner’s travelling tool boxes made from pine and painted black as a traditional piece. With my name painted in the top corner as my signature, I can indeed vouch for its authenticity too, even though in the listing they are careful not to claim either of the two items as mine. Here is the link to the second piece. I would be delighted if you would consider bidding on the pieces if you would like to own them. The money will go to a worthy cause.


  1. William Glatzel on 7 April 2017 at 3:14 am

    Have to agree with you as I have found the folks at goodwill are vey good in what they do. I think it is great that they provide a stopgap for many collectable items that may have been more than halfway to the landfill. I manage to stumble on a couple of wooden planes. One the Ohio Tool Co., a nice jack plane, that needs some corrective progress. The other an unmarked with I.M. stamped on it, a beautiful jointer, that was very sharp out of the box. Also a Stanley Bailey #4, engraved with your name on it, which I received that had enough work done to it to make it very usable. This plane has been a study for me in set up and sharpening and has taken my skill set up a few points. They will all be very much appreciated, cared for and used.
    Thanks Paul.

  2. Phill N LeBlanc on 7 April 2017 at 12:27 pm

    if someone will benefit from a PS plug, you couldn’t do better than Goodwill. I see your joiner’s box is up to $250 with the auction ending later tonight. I’m betting it will fetch $500 after your endorsement. “If you build it, they will come.”

    • Phill N LeBlanc on 8 April 2017 at 4:41 am

      $526 – Ka Ching! They are loving you down at Goodwill!

  3. Craig Chisholm on 7 April 2017 at 12:53 pm

    You can sure see you in the face of your Dad. Thanks for sharing your personal memories.

  4. Salko Safic on 7 April 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Charity is always a noble task but no charity is more noble than when you give something that is of real worth to you. I do hope that money earned will go towards those in dire need and may God’s blessings be bestowed upon you and your family.

  5. Javier Galvan on 7 April 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Paul, I wanted to pick up woodworking when I was in my late 20’s after watching Norm Abrams. To be honest, hand tools intrigued me more. But I couldn’t get the hang of them and I gave up, with my garage full of oak and birch that I never used. Fast forward 20+ years and I stumble upon your videos. You don’t know how much you have rekindled the spirit and I’ve picked up a Stanley #5 at a good price, plus diamond stones. I’m getting the hang of it now and getting better with each practice session. I’m from outside of Austin, in Round Rock. Too bad I never stumbled across Reagan Wells back then! I could have used your insight back then! I bet you can make a pretty mean salsa after so much time in the heart of Texas.

    • Paul Sellers on 7 April 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Well, I may be back in Texas later this year so who knows what can happen.

      • Javier Galvan on 9 April 2017 at 4:35 am

        Paul, if you’re giving a demo when/if you come to Texas, I will jump in my car immediately to see it. I can guarantee that.

        • John Knight on 9 April 2017 at 5:35 pm

          I will second that.

  6. Tom Angle on 8 April 2017 at 2:31 am

    Just out of curiosity, did your dad take part in Market Garden?

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