Just Some Random Thoughts

Making your first tools

A few years ago, almost two decades ago now, I offered a course in the USA where we made ten hand tools over a six-day period. We made a low-angle, bevel-up plane in hardwood, then a lovely layout knife with ebony scales, brass-riveted through an O1 steel blade duly hardened and tempered. We made sets of marking gauges too; here we used a single stock with interchangeable stems. Of course my dovetail template was in the mix, a hard maple mallet and so it went. These courses were always full each time I offered them; sixteen students fashioning what they would eventually be using day to day in their woodworking. It was fun.

Looking back now, it’s hard to imagine that I was personally teaching face to face people I had usually never met before who flew in from different parts of the USA and then too other continents. But what’s harder still is to imagine that I actually stopped counting the ones I trained when I reached 6,500. Today we reach and teach hundreds of thousands of people every month. Now I don’t deny that face to face is absolutely the best way, it’s also true that the majority of people who wanted to learn that way would never be able to do so. Geographically, financially, time wise they could not do such a thing. That all changed when we started teaching and training online. The curriculum I taught one on one was also the curriculum I began teaching through woodworkingmasterclasses.com and more recently our commonwoodworking.com too. Everything I ever taught is available online. There is also my blog and of course YouTube.

Each man was different

Whereas some men on my courses just hammered at it, wanting to be first, forging well ahead of the others, others were meticulously detailed, taking time to expedite every cut as though doing surgery. Needless to say some forfeited quality and made humongous mistakes in their enthusiasm, but it was the slower ones that seemed to me to get the most from their course I think, and they usually caught up by making fewer errors and more exact cuts. As I said, it was a fun course and everyone loved it. That course made me aware of a certain lack during that era. Remember YouTube had yet to be born; it was an era that prefaced so-called social media, but it was also a catalyst era in the start of the new millennia when more and more people were exhausted by the impact the computer age was having on their lives. They were starting their futures in an era that involved less and less in the actual making of things; anything. College courses and training was being all the more dumbed down because the computers were taking on more of the operative involvement. Humans were employed to monitor rather than make and even the art of on the shop floor programming was being usurped by the early stages prefacing our present age of artificial intelligence. Hand work as I knew it seemed to have dropped off the edge of the world as the internet became all the more intriguing. Gaming came with the very first computers back in the early 80s when they were still trying to work out how to involve them in the daily lives of people and make money from it. It was indeed a new age. Imagine!

The growing need

My teaching woodworking courses began by teaching one day-a-week classes on my non-furniture making Saturdays. My six-day course back then meant six Saturdays in a row, but they gathered rapid momentum and I knew we would need to go full time, full weeks week on week to satisfy the demand. Today that’s all changed. I started to wrote curriculum for hand tool woodworking because what was available was somewhat outdated. I’m still teaching and writing of course, you can see that, but somehow what I do now has gained much greater momentum. Whereas someone recently accused me of neglecting my writing about hand tool woodworking and then making pieces for woodworking masterclasses, that’s never been true at all. The filming enables me to plan the inclusion of all woodworkers into my daily world of making while I actually get to continue making my designs. Actually, there are still not enough hours in a day so I will be looking for an assistant with similar experience to my own in the near future, to help me gain more ground.

The successes leads to more success

The workbench made from plywood has been a great success but in the background the Q&A on the coping saw prefaces more Q&As on the other essential hand tools we use to help woodworkers to understand the nuances surrounding the day to day tools we rely on. I’m hoping I can improve the way I handle this because it needs to be as inclusive as possible so that we can all grow together. You see the success for me is the conservation of skills. By that I can see how my craft will be less of a society or museum type entity but lived out craftsmanship in the lives of men, women and children everywhere and on every continent. This will be my measure for the success we make. In fact, I know I have gained increasing levels of success by the simple fact that I no longer get invitations to be at woodworking shows where the predominant effort surrounds the promotion of machine sales.

The machine salesmen started complaining that I was telling customers that you didn’t really need this machine or that router. Magazine articles too tried to encourage me to use a router and jig here and there in my articles but I just couldn’t oblige them. Whereas I was never turned down, I did stop doing such things when I recognised that I was just new wallpaper to give credibility to such entities that had little to do with skilled work and craft.

41 thoughts on “Just Some Random Thoughts”

  1. Paul-
    Any chance we can see the hand tools showing up in either commonwoodworking or woodworking masterclasses? We already have a block plane, rebate, dovetail and mallet, Only ones I guess that are missing are the various marking gauges and the layout knife.

  2. Paul,
    Can’t thank you enough for your thoughtful teaching about life and how working with your hands fits in. Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned involve telling myself to slow down, be exact and check yourself.

    I was thinking about why being physically present would be better? For me, I can learn most of the tricks, the basics of structure and design and such from the video, perhaps better than in person thanks to playback, zoom and most of all, the awesome video work! and well planed and thought out lesson plan (thanks Paul).

    What I can’t learn is harmony. For that you can be told about, but basically have to be patient, thoughtful and vigilant, and practice (over and over).

    So, when you find your new apprentice, I’m hopeful you will consider filming their training so you can reach out to us with what to do to encourage harmony and accuracy.

  3. Paul
    My son and I have stopped going to the woodworking shows, I miss the time with my son more than you could know. They have gone to “machine methods” on demonstrations, one was how to cut tenons on the tablesaw, it was so badly done we walked out in the middle of it.
    Even the power tool companies are pulling out, it’s really that bad it’s just not worth the expense for them.
    Veritas was there, I asked them to show me how to use their plow plane but the salesman couldn’t make it work.
    Now we do have a symposium in Massachusetts but it costs $700, you have to find a place to stay, it’s three days and then you have meals etc.
    How do you justify the time and money to attend one of these shows? Your better off going on your own, spending the money on buying materials with plenty left over. Your methods and classes are the best value. You can only watch so many people do the work, sooner or later you have to plunge in and do it yourself in order to learn.

    1. Lie Nielsen puts on shows across the USA. Often they will have one or two woodworking businesses or clubs at these events. The coolest part is that there are usually two hand tool woodworking instructors there demonstrating how to use the tools as guided by questions from those that attend. The event is free and I have learned a great deal. Obviously LieNielsen would like you to buy some of the tools but I have found there to be no pressure to do so. It might be worth finding one of these events near you and gong with your sons. I’ve gone to four of them over the years.

    2. Tom,
      If you are in Massachusetts you might have a look at the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers. They have a number of groups based on your individual interests and levels and host many workshops throughout the year. Have a look at https://www.gnhw.org/welcome.

      I’ve attended a few LN open houses and would expect any questions to be answered to your satisfaction if related to their products. I haven’t spoken with anyone representing Veritas but would be surprised as well to have one of their people be out of the loop on their tools. I would hope the salesman was store help missing the mark.

      The MA symposium is a major event for who I consider woodworkers already deep into the hobby. If you are really into it and have the time it may be worth it. I live nearby and have passed on the opportunity for the reasons you mention.

      Another option from MA might be Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. Bob does a good job of getting a variety of classes and you will get fairly personal instruction there. https://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes.html

      Back in the day, you could consider the merits of a Delta or Powermatic product and purchase a lifetime machine. Now it’s all generic Asian “machines” painted a different color to establish a brand. They look the same but who knows what’s under the hood. Customer support? Good luck.

      The population of people who want to work with their hands and appreciate good tools and materials is relatively small. It’s any wonder that big manufacturers pull out of events. For the small ones it’s a lot of travel and expense to get their products in people’s hands.



      It would be great to have a video on making a replacement plane tote and knob. Its not difficult to cut and shape them, but I have an awful time drilling the long hole on the tote. I think with so many old plane just needing new wooden parts that your instruction on this would be beneficial to many.

      1. There’s a trick to it that I developed that gives perfect results to where the angle is exact and everything aligns. The knob is nothing more than basic turning but getting the tote/handle right without my trick is hard. I have it on our schedule to film exactly that.

        1. That would be great if you have the time, Paul. I am trying to resurrect 2 planes I purchased from flea markets and it is the handles that are causing me the greatest difficulty.

  4. As you mentioned in your post your writing about hand tools etc. This might be an opportune moment to ask, what’s become of your latest book to be published? I added my name to the list of those interested in being notified of its publishing (perhaps a year or two ago?) but have heard nothing since. I am aware that to quote you above, “there are not enough hours in the day” and I wouldn’t like to sound greedy or ungrateful because all of your other teaching activities are avidly followed and for that I am very grateful . Just wondered that’s all. If the proposed new book is as good as your last one, Essential Woodworking Hand Tools ( my copy is well thumbed now) then certainly I would want a copy of your new book and I guess thousands of others around the world would too.

    1. Thanks so much for mentioning Paul’s book. I’ve watched Paul’s videos (it seems comfortable using his first name as like for a friend) for a few years now but was unaware of the book. Reading the reviews on Amazon made it a “no-brainer” to purchase.

      All the best to Paul.

      1. Just received my copy of Essential Woodworking Hand Tools and have read it cover-to-cover.

        Even after reading and watching all of Paul’s other sources (WWMC, YouTube, blogs etc.) I still found some really useful information in there. Plus the presentation and photography is superb.

        Highly recommended!

      2. Thanks for including me in your circle of friends. I always hoped that what we do is not from the professorial/student/minion relationship but the ever inclusivity woodworking should always be. I remember when I was an apprentice how at first you are firmly placed outside the group of craftsmen until you had proven you had respect for them and treated them accordingly. When a new apprentice was over confident or rude he stayed outside until he learned how to react to a master craftsman. It was very good to be included and very miserable if your parents had not raised you to respect others.

  5. “The machine salesmen started complaining that I was telling customers that you didn’t really need this machine or that router.”

    Very few people have a *need* for a [insert thing]. But many people have a desire for that thing. Too many confuse desires (‘wants’) with actual needs. This confusion (along with ‘keeping up with the Joneses’) is what drives consumerism. When you take a step back and consider what you really need to complete a task then you find a lot can be done with a few very basic tools when skilfully handled.

    In economics, the economic output function is Q=f(C, L), stating output (Q) is a function of both capital (C) and labour (L). Entire theories are built upon this, but the basics are that (skilled) labour can be substituted for capital goods (machines) and vice-versa. By substituting capital or labour, one can achieve maximum profit. It’s good to remember that for commercial woodworking, machines are there to compensate for the need for skilled labour, replacing it with no labour at all or only unskilled labour, and to increase output and lower total costs. Things that mostly don’t apply to leisure-woodworking.

    Why would one use machines in leisure-woodworking? To increase output? Or to compensate for lack of skills (i.e., being unskilled labour)? If the first, then that’s fine. But if the second, I think that the more natural thing would be to try to develop your skills first.

    Or more plastically: just because a farmer mows his large grassfields with a tractor doesn’t mean that a tractor is the best solution for my small lawn. The push-mower gets the job done just as well, is cheaper, costs less to run, is easier to maintain and takes up less space in the shed.

    (The tractor salesman, of course, would vehemently disagree. Never ask the barber whether you need a haircut…)

    1. > Why would one use machines in leisure-woodworking?

      For precision and accuracy not attainable by hand. Given that most of leisure woodworkers spend just a few hours a week, their skill development will take decades. Also, often wood doesn’t lend itself to hand tools very well, examples being Douglas fir, yellow pine, larch or tropical species. It doesn’t mean one has to build a processing plant in a garage, but small, well tuned and precise machines do have place in leisure work.

      1. luaPaul Sellers

        Utterly disagree with this, Hugo, sorry! It does not take decades to develop true skill, speed and accuracy, just patience, determination and honest expectation. I hear too often from machinists that they don’t have time for hand work and that’s fine when you’re on production. Go use whatever machines you love to use. I have no problem with that, but don’t tell everyone it takes decades to do what can be done in a matter of a few hours or weeks. Remember that that was what we were looking for in the beginning, skilled workmanship. We wanted to develop it not substitute for it. Now, in your comment there are as always many false assumptions and that is that everyone can afford machines, has the space for machines, wants the machines has access to buying machines and then of course, as has been stated by you, you need the machines for accuracy and speed because you cannot get this by hand or it takes decades.This is so undermining to the work we do. If only you would watch the videos we go to so much trouble to make. They prove that you can indeed create precise and accurate work that matches any machinist endeavour. What we want is skilled work not a substitute for it.
        And then to say: “Also, often wood doesn’t lend itself to hand tools very well, examples being Douglas fir, yellow pine, larch or tropical species. It doesn’t mean one has to build a processing plant in a garage, but small, well tuned and precise machines do have place in leisure work.” Woah! Where did this come from at all,Hugo?
        I have worked all my life with these woods that you say hand tools don’t work well with and so did like three zillion woodworkers around the globe too. China, Japan and Korea, the whole of Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. The finest woodworking in the history of the world came before the machine age. It was ALL HAND WORK!<

        1. Yet you use a bandsaw for some tasks, there’s a pillar drill in your studio and on a number of occasions you have admitted owning a number of other machines, both stationary and handheld. This isn’t to say they are an integral part of your methods of work, but then again – your situation isn’t exactly typical too.

          The skills acquisition timeline was estimated like this. You have written that an apprentice graduates with a set of minimally required skills in about 2 years. Let’s assume they practice 5 days a week for 4 hours, no sick days or vacations, which gives 2080 hrs total. It’s fair to say it’s probably a low estimate. Let’s then assume that an average leisure woodworker practices 4hrs a week (again, *on average*, not factoring other work in here, like tool acquisition, restoration, workshop maintenance, etc), no seek days or vacations, let’s also assume video lessons are as good as being under your constant supervision and that 6x spacing between repetitions doesn’t matter. That would give 520 weeks or 10 years just to get even in terms of time spent practicing. Of course these numbers are rough and there will be exceptions, so I’d appreciate your opinion if you consider that on average they are an order of magnitude off.

          1. Hello Paul, Hello Hugo:

            Not taking a side, just my two cents worth. In my last year of work prior to my retirement, I was asked to and accepted an opportunity to restore the windows and doors of a historical fire lookout in the park that I worked at. These doors and windows, indeed, the entire structure was built with local materials and is located in the backcountry of this National Park. My charge was to salvage and preserve as much of the original wood as possible; repair what I could, and to replace the remainder.
            Several co-workers milled local wood into large blanks and stored them to dry slowly. Most of that was tamarack (Lodge Pole pine) and some White Fir and Douglas Fir.
            The tools I used for this project were mostly mine. We had no band saw, so a Skil saw and router was used- as the only power tools. All the rest was hand work. Since the historical routings were no where near anything we had as a bit, I used the closest bit and used gouges, knives, chisels, sand paper, hand routers and couple of handmade tools to come as close as possible to the original. Note, that prior to this- I had never cut a single mortise or tenon. I had never made a raised panel- by any means. My use of a handsaw up till then would induce tears (of anguish or mirth) and dead square was a dream.
            Enter Paul’s you tube video’s, a couple of well known wood working magazines and a sizable search of other you tube and blog entries on ye olde computer- and……
            And it took time. Perseverance, the help of a fantastic friend who oversaw the historical restoration (one who also worked 8 years as a historical re constructionist), and the faith of several coworkers- as well as the added relief in several layers of bosses who gave me my own shop and the time to accomplish the task.
            The reading, the blogs and the video’s were inmmense help and gave me a direction- a way, to sort out how to accomplish a given task. The value of these items cannot be overstated. Still, it took my picking up my tools and making what was required.
            When the doors and windows were airlifted in, the two carpenters who placed those items back into the lookout let me know that everything fitted- with the exception of 1 window which need an eighth planed off.
            I am still very thrilled at that final work of my career. But truth be told, as a woodworker, I am a rank amateur. But, by reading and watching and taking up my tools and trying, I learned a great deal. Were they perfect? No. Nor were they imperfect. But those doors and windows stood since 1932. And I hope they stand another 3/4 century.
            I’m not trying to blow my own bugle here, far from it. What I wished to illustrate here is that by various means one can learn hand methods and utilize them well without decades of prior work- in this case woodwork. I have no dog in the fight of power versus hand tools. I have used both. I do however, choose handtools over power as much as possible. Even the revered Mr. Krenov used a combination of power and hand tools to make his wonderful creations. But that choice of use is mine and I will not demean those that prefer power tools. It is choice.
            I felt my experience in taking this task on is illustrative of the fact that one can learn to use handtools without a great amount of tutoring and can produce results, even in a short period of time, that are acceptable.
            Thank you for your time, gentlemen. I wish you both well.

          2. If you want a machine, go buy one. Don’t expect it to be a substitute for attaining skills through experience.

            It’s a bit like GPS. You will be able to reach your destination on the first try but you won’t have any sense of direction.

          3. Mike Belovsky

            Hugo your math sucks. 5 days a week for a year times 4 hours a day equals 1040 hours not 2080. This would be a good argument for a time to use a machine. I know it can be difficult to count that high for a machine oriented woodworker, not all of those woodworkers have all of their digits left to work with. Just saying….

        2. Oh, you have edited your reply while I was typing mine. I’ll respond to the edited version too in a bit,

        3. Alright, before we dive deep, let me remind everyone involved that nowhere I advocated for all-machine methods of work, but just stated the obvious: a machine exceeds any human’s capacity in regards of power, predictability and precision. This is what Paul admitted a few times in the past, so it doesn’t seem there’s disagreement here. We also agree that a machine shouldn’t be a substitute for skills. This being said I’d like to address a few points.

          > as always many false assumptions and that is that everyone can afford machines

          Definitely there are financially constrained people, however you said it yourself that about half of your students are software engineers. This is one of the best paid occupations nowadays, therefore it’s not too big of an assumption. Also, buying machines isn’t too different from buying hand tools: go to the very same website you buy your hand tools. I bought my 16″ bandsaw for 50$ there (because it was “old”), that’s about 20$ cheaper than 2 S&J handsaws you have recommended and in general on par with other hand tools.

          > has access to buying machines

          I would argue that purchasing tools online, be it ebay or a boutique store such as LeeValley\Lie Nielsen, is a bar way higher, esp. given influence your posts have on ebay prices. Totally agree on every other point: it’s a personal choice.

          > then of course, as has been stated by you, you need the machines for accuracy and speed because you cannot get this by hand

          That’s not what I said. It was rather “sometimes there’s work better delegated to a machine”. Not all of us have a privilege to spend even an hour a day in a workshop, most people I know have a day job and can afford about half a day a week not every week. When a time is so constrained it is natural to make every minute in a shop count, so yes, rather than doing grunt work I’ll choose to mill\rough dimension stock on a machine saving time for practicing joinery.

          >If only you would watch the videos we go to so much trouble to make.

          Not only I watched almost every series on Woodworking Masterclasses, I also own pretty much everything you have ever published, including that Artisan Media book + DVD set and all your magazine articles I could find.
          I dare to say I’m somewhat familiar with what you teach.

          > I have worked all my life with these woods that you say hand tools don’t work well with

          True for old-growth, tight and clear vertical grain, not so much for the juvenile farm grown variety. Former is about 12$ per bf in my location, puts it in the top price range of domestic species, latter is what every big box store here packs it’s aisles with, green and grew faster than bamboo. It comes from the first hand experience working with DF and SYP, but its properties is fairly well documented elsewhere too, e.g. see “Davis – Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir: effect of growth rate and density”

          1. 1) You did and do suggest that all can have a several machines to work with and tried to normalise this for the whole world, evidently speaking from a more privileged background.
            2) You do assume that half the world is like those in the USA and though a arger percentage of my audience will be software engineers, that does not mean the rest of the world. Again, a USA dollar saw will be 50 USA dollars in say Argentina. I know this to be true because of what people tell me.
            3) I have not advocated the need for machine accuracy the way you state it. If a paragraph exists it os not so you can use it to say I am an advocate of machines and that everyone should buy them. You leave out the fact that my machines, which I am scrapping, have been in storage for several years and have been unused, which I have also told my audience. I don’t use them because I like working as much as possible with my hand tools.
            4)what you said was to do with not being able to work these woods with hand tools and nothing to do with old or new growth woods. As I said, for centuries craftsmen did work woods with hand tools only and modern day versions of the same wood would indeed be a breeze.

            This is the final post.

    2. Have followed the discussion with interest.

      SteveD, I very much like your GPS-analogy. I noticed the same when I started cycling with a GPS – that I somehow had less sense of location and direction and was relying too much on the GPS. Went back to riding without GPS and relying again on the direction of the sun, wind and my own homing instincts. Combined with an old-fashioned paper map I still get to my destination. And when in doubt, I ask for directions. Riding becomes much more relaxed this way, for me. And when I take a wrong turn, I correct for it. No problem. I’ve accepted getting occasionally ‘lost’ as a fact of life. It’s not the end of the world and occasionally you end up in interesting places.

      I have a friend who removed his cycling computer/speedometer because he was constantly watching his speed and adjusting his riding for it – when it said 24.7 km/h, he needed to make it 25.0 or more. I thought it was a bit silly (I use my cycling computer just as I use the speedometer in the car; I occasionally glance at it but don’t monitor it constantly), I never had that issue, but for him it completely ruined his enjoyment. He removed the cycling computer and cycling became enjoyable again. Good for him. Ignorance can be bliss. Or rather: too much data.

      I’ve stopped using the GPS in the car for other reasons – I found it too distracting for me when driving (both the screen and the audio guidance), to the point of being dangerous. Also found the commanding voice quite an annoyance – especially when I knew ‘she’ was wrong, because I was intimately familiar with the particular area. Combined with the fact that I enjoy silence (no radio playing music or inane chatter either) the solution was easy – out with the GPS.

      One thing I notice when watching other people’s videos of machine-woodworking is how quickly and easily you start thinking you need a particular tool for the task. I’ve caught myself multiple times thinking like that, until I consciously forced myself to consider how you could perform the task with handtools. Unlike most, I didn’t start from a machine-woodworking background but from the mr. Sellers’ videos. Yet I spot how easy it is for me to fall into the trap of thinking you need machines after watching only a few machine-woodworking videos.

  6. I would nominate giving Hannah a try to be your assistant! She made a great tool chest along with a workbench that we’ve seen, and I’m sure a lot more.

    I think it would be great to learn from one of your students / apprenticess

  7. Given the allcolades for Hannah, one could think that she would be a great fit for the Assistant position.

    1. Lots of assumptions here. Not sure altogether why. I’m afraid you misunderstand the skill level and ability I am looking for. There is a lot of pressure to do what I do in the time I have to do it and I need someone qualified to a similar level to me. In a few years perhaps something like that could happen but currently Hannah is apprenticing. And then too you assume that Hannah or anyone else for that matter actually wants that kind of job and that kind of pressure or even that kind of a job which is not the case at all. As with all of my apprentices, I am training Hannah to become a furniture maker in her own right, not simply to work for me.

  8. I do love and appreciate the online classes and such. I personally get a lot more from being there. There are things that you see/hear/smell in person that you cannot get in a video. Please do not stop teaching in person classes. I took a 2 day course a few years ago. The only thing that stopped me from taking a longer one was the cost of the stay.

  9. I usually enjoy making tools more than anything. Spoke shave, radius plane, mallet, knife sharpening jig, cam clamps, etc. I made them all. Loved the hardening and tempering. Of course I like the other projects too, but sometimes it’s just not something I need. I always make the tools. I used the radius plane to make a seat for a shaving horse I made. I made a rounder plane to make rungs for a ladder I built and I used the spoke shave. I still regret that for some reason, the wooden bodied adjustable plane with the Bailey frog never got made. So much more fun to use a tool you made. In the US the prices of tools on eBay are crazy. I’d rather make a tool.

  10. Paul,
    I definitely liked the format of the coping with coping saws video and question submission. Answered a lot of questions/struggles I had. BUT I also really liked the quiz questions blog you did recently. So hopefully you get to do more of those every once ina while as well. Because seeing you do stuff and copying you is one thing, but understanding WHY you do things a certain way is tremendously valuable. A lot of things that are second nature to you aren’t so with some of us, so its a great way to further understand our connection to the wood and the process.

  11. And where will someone with similar experiences to your own come from? Not many people have your background these days.

      1. Paul,
        I think I am a prime example, as I’m sure are countless others who are following the path you are leading as a teacher, of someone who did not own a single fine woodworking hand tools before I started MY apprenticeship, for lack of better words, with you.

        I have a table saw, chop saw, skill saws……the one thing I don’t have/own is a band saw.

        Until seeing from you how the kerf of the band saw produces such less waste I didn’t considering buying/owning one. Along with the many other reasons why it is a nice resawing, resizing machine.

        HOWEVER, at this time I cannot afford one. And furthermore I invested in a rip saw and cross cut saw just for this prupose because I don’t have one, yet.

        Let’s just say it has been a bit of a learning curve. The first time I tried to make a long rip cut, let’s say 12″ it was WAY off….lol

        I was discouraged, but through some and patience I thing I am developing a more accurate truer cut, the same holds true for the cross cut when I first tried it, but I found it much easier for me, and didn’t take as long to perfect it.

        There are definitely people out there who have lived your life of woodworking trained in the same way. Went through an apprenticeship as a youth, etc. The hard part is going to be finding someone who is interested in so unselfishly and willingly sharing what they know and have learned/developed like you are with the rest of the world through social media, the internet. You are a rare find my friend, and you have changed my life and others like me who have discovered what you have to offer.

        The ONLY reason I will be getting a band saw is for time constraints. I know I can do the same by hand cutting and it is what I am doing now and have been. But to resize in a fraction of the time, and then being able to focus more time on the detail work or actual project at hand once of have the rough piece will be priceless.

        As you stated before there aren’t enough hours in the day!!

        Thankyou, lifelong follower here!!


  12. So I guess it goes without saying that I am perfectly happy and content using the hand tools I do have to get the job done…..in the meantime…..

    And I think it gives one a greater appreciation and arguably sharpens ones skillset while doing the work without the use of something like a band saw.

  13. How much more satisfaction does one get ripping a 24 inch (610 mm) oak board within 1/16 in(1.5 mm) of the line with a hand saw as opposed to pushing it through a table saw?

    How much more satisfaction do you get from jointing two 5 ft.(1524 mm) boards with a #5 Stanley plane for edge-gluing as opposed to pushing them through a table saw with a Freud Glue-Line blade?

    How much more satisfaction is there in getting a board 4-square with a hand plane as opposed to jointer and a surface planer?

    FYI Planes and hand saws purchased on Ebay. Methods and techniques learned entirely from Paul’s videos. My $.02 USD.

  14. John P Herndon

    Took one of the workbench classes over 15 years ago at Elm Mote. Took home a workbench that I have used daily since then. Thanks Paul!!!!!!

  15. Paul
    I’d like very much to see a “bevel up, low angle, hard wood handplane”, that you mentined in the begining.
    I’m asking any body who has one to show me.

  16. Hi Paul from sunny South Africa. I have only just been seeing your YouTube videos. I can’t get enough. You have inspired me into getting my garage / workshop sorted out. Tools that I have had for some 40 years now all over the place. Not good to work in. Started by making a new workbench based on your plywood workbench. Can’t afford the complete thing but using a old bench that I am redoing with ply. Thanks for showing us how working with hand tools does not need to be overly complicated. So much more I would like to say/ ask but that enough for now.

  17. Paul, thank you for showing me through YouTube that hand tools are not intimidating. Most of my “Corded Tools” have been sitting idle for years since I’ve learned about your channel. My miter saw, table saw, 1/2” drill, jigsaw, routers and airtools(occasionally in use for fencing but not cars or aircraft) have been sitting idle for years. My two best stores are Rocklers, Amazon and Harbor Freight in which I purchase my “Cordless(non electric)” tools. I go an hour early 4 days a week to practice on building practical tools and caddies for work and home. Two box saws(plus other saws), two planes, a 4” cordless cowery router, chisels, speed squares and other measuring tools help me and bring me back to great memories of one semester of woodshop class. Woodworking classs sponsored by Rockler are very informative but I have not the space or financial means to purchase the high end tools. What I now have are YouTube channels showing me how to use hand tools and time. I’m not in a rush or doing woodworking for financial means what I am doing this for is my wellbeing and family. Thank you for being there and I truly hope that “Woodworking Shows” invite you back to their events. We have media devices, cars and toys that go obsolete seconds after exhchanging our hard earned cash for the latest items. With hand tools I can go back in time and relate to a “Ships Carpenter or any Skilled Craftsmen and Craftswomen that build items for their livelihoods.” The last thing I need is a tool that’s parts become a rare find a week after purchasing it. You and your team are needed today more than ever.

    1. Could not of said it better. I am in the same boat as you. Since I have found Pauls YouTube post my power tools have been very angry with me….

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