Ask Me Anything Question Time Live!

Please note this event has passed, however you can still catch up on the video using the link below.

My next YouTube live will be a general Q&A at 14:00 (BST) on Thursday 16th July 2020. I hope you’ll join me and ask some questions! You can watch it here: 

I am looking forward to this so make sure you put it in your calendar, please! It’s an Ask-Me-Anything question time and I don’t want anyone to miss it!


  1. JulioT on 12 July 2020 at 8:39 pm

    I will try to be there, Paul. Last time I wanted to be and make you a pair of questions and at last my working schedule changed and I couldn’t. Thank you very much for the advice.

  2. Wolfram on 13 July 2020 at 6:17 am

    I think Thursday afernoon is a not-so-good timeslot. Most people I know are occupied with their working schedule at that time – even when in home office. A saturday or at least friday would be much better…

  3. Josie Hewitt on 13 July 2020 at 1:09 pm

    While I probably will not be able to see it live, I would like to pose a question. When you have adjoining mortises in a table leg, is there a trick to minimize tear out where the mortises meet? Looking forward to seeing the Q&A though!

  4. Al on 13 July 2020 at 1:45 pm

    I too will be unable to watch live as I will be working, but I am looking forward to the recording.

    I would like to post a question:
    While I know perfect accuracy is always the goal, as a general guide, what do you consider an acceptable tolerance level for stock preparation (flat, square, parallel)? Is within 10 thousandths good enough (0.010″)?

    Thank you,

    p.s.; You probably guessed by my question, but I am an engineer by training and we engineers put numbers to everything 🙂

    • Gary on 14 July 2020 at 7:34 am

      Acceptable tolerance within the trade is “Spot on” 😉 😁 Applying metalworking tolerance, such as ten thou, to woodwork (Unless e.g. inlay work which has to be exact) is certainly possible, but practicality relies on tooling and degree of skill. The goal is always precision and finesse, but ultimately enjoyment of the journey and the end results 🙂

  5. Bob Levey on 13 July 2020 at 3:17 pm

    You have an amazing attitude and spirit, it shows itself in your work and the great videos you have put out for all of us to freely view.
    I have purchased all of your Books’s and DVDS. You were my inspiration to start making things with wood. I was for over 50 yrs a fine furniture finisher and Decorative painter, woodgraining, marbling etc. working for the likes of The Springsteen’s, Bob Hope, President Reagan, Tom Cruise. Liz Taylor etc.
    I never thought I could make anything, use the tools. measure correctly or any of the processes to the trade. It all scared me to death. Then I found your videos on YouTube, you were so patient and thorough so I thought I’ll give it a try.
    It’s a slow process for me but I am making progress and I love wood and looking at the final product that I made and of course I put the final finish on the work that I produced.
    Thank you

    • Thomas Allen on 1 August 2020 at 4:22 am

      Paul I was wandering how u go about coming up with a price for furniture.

  6. Gordon Jelley on 13 July 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Sorry I can’t join you live but I will tune in later. My question was a general one about how to sharpen and set up and use a bull nose plane? I understand how to set up my Stanley but are there subtle differences on these smaller ones?



  7. Geoff on 13 July 2020 at 5:24 pm

    My question would be on double and twin tenons, why use them and where one would use them.
    Many thanks for encouraging me to take up woodwork.

  8. Bob Endsley on 13 July 2020 at 6:30 pm

    8am CDT?

  9. P Mc on 14 July 2020 at 12:27 am

    0800 EDT
    0900 CDT

  10. P Mc on 14 July 2020 at 12:34 am

    Bob Endsley, You are correct. 0800 CDT. 0900 EDT.

  11. Marc-André P. on 14 July 2020 at 12:55 am

    Hi Mr Sellers!

    I doubt you will be able to answer my question since there is so many, but it’s better to ask than not!

    When I Resaw a board (7 – 8 inch wide and 2 feet long) I need to resharpen my saw (ripcut) after and sometime half way of it. Is it normal? Is it cause by my saw being not enough or too much agressive? Maybe i’m asking too much of my tool?I realize that when I finish sharpening my saw they feel like grabby cat claws, but that feeling don’t stay for long. I know I should use a bandsaw for that type of work, but honestly i don’t want to invest in a tool that costly just for that task and I do enjoy the process!

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!

  12. John S. on 14 July 2020 at 3:05 am

    Hi Paul, I’m making window screens and need to make 16 pieces of 1/2” half round moulding (about 31” long each) because local lumber dealers can no longer get that 1/2 inch size. How would you go about making that with the Stanley number 4 plane and 11 point rip saw I have? Many thanks, you have changed the world by sharing your skills.

  13. Paul L on 14 July 2020 at 3:18 am

    I noticed you have a mechanical drill (“an eggbeater”) hanging behind your bench, but I only have seen you use a battery powered drill. I greatly enjoy my eggbeater and breast drills, in spite of their obvious disadvantages. What is your thinking about them. The use of mechanical drills seems to fit your rationale for western saws: they last forever, no environmental impact, etc. I ask because I’m curious about your thoughts and perhaps the comments of the world-wide Sellers inspired community. I wish to add I will be forever grateful for the joy you have brought to me through your teachings.

  14. Dr. Christian Rapp on 14 July 2020 at 6:49 am

    Given that my spoken English is not that good I would like to ask my question in written. I want to build a shaker style bench from ash tree with four separate legs (like the three legs stool project just one leg more…) secured with wedges. 2-3 people should be able to sit on (so maybe 125 cm wide bench) it so it should handle around 250 kilos. I have a couple of questions regarding layout of the legs:

    (1) What should be the diameter at the top be at least and what at the bottom to ensure proper stability? (2) Some shaker benches add dadoed cleats increasing the thickness where the legs go through (similar to handy stool project). What should be the thickness of the overall construction be? I assume a cleat is only needed when the bench top is rather thin. My ash is 35 mm. Would a thicker overall construction where legs are in the wood (say one inch benchtop plus an inch cleat so 2 inch in total) allow to decrease the diameter of the leg at the top while having same stability? (3) I found some drawings of Shaker benches with 2 inches holes. A 2 inch drill is 100 Euro. Any suggestions how to do that cheaper? The biggest drill I have is 32 mm. (4) Which angles would you recommend to set the legs?

    So a series of related questions in fact that ask more about proper dimensions, layout of legs to ensure proper stability.

  15. Pierre on 14 July 2020 at 11:52 am

    Hi Paul,
    Question on shoji panel: would it be possible to use very thin wood shavings in place of rice paper?
    So, a very wide (100mm or more) hand plane would be useful. Which specifications to build such a tool (width, bevel angle, bevel up/down, …)?
    Thanks in advance and all the best from Belgium 🙂

  16. Peter on 14 July 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Big fan. I’m going to commit to an Eze 8×3 diamond plate and can only afford the one, I’m looking at either the 150/600 or the 150/400. I know you have recommended the 250/600 for general use but I have acquired an old Dewalt planner thicknesser with very blunt blades and the 150 grit should remove enough metal before my arms wear out. Hopefully by the time I’ve sharpened these blades the stone will be more like a 250, my dilemma is do I match this with the 400 or 600. I already have a quality whetstone 3″ wide 1000/6000 for finishing therefore only require course to medium. What would you suggest?

  17. Drew Whitehead on 14 July 2020 at 5:43 pm

    I have a wooden plane that belonged to my grandfather which I would like to restore to full use. The wood is silky oak, a native Australian timber [Janka Hardness: 880 lbf (3,930 N)]. The plane has a large crack running through one end maybe 1/4″ wide. Should I just use wood glue to repair this or some other bonding agent?

  18. Alexander on 15 July 2020 at 9:26 am

    Hi Paul,
    I will not be able to watch live so I try to post a question here and hope it will be covered. Using your mortice guide method the accuracy of my mortice and tenon joints has improved a lot but I still struggle to get the mortice ends nice and squared. Have you got any suggestione
    Thanks a lot.

  19. Tom Burns on 15 July 2020 at 11:50 am

    Really enjoy your musings on life and your passion for working with wood. Looking forward to this event. Just need to stay awake until 2300 hours. As we don’t have the size of can you speak about for your oil can, can you just give me the height? From that I can work out the width of cloth required. What is the model for your marking knife? On one video I noted that your were using a red handled knife instead of the normal grey. Does this represent a change from the past?

  20. Scott Blakely on 15 July 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I have two questions/ requests for advice:

    1) I purchased a Stanley #78 rabbet plane as you demonstrate in one of your videos.
    I was fortunate to get one with little use, and all fences, etc. I have it sharpened up and have been making many “test’ rabbets – but I am struggling with keeping the bottom of the rabbet parallel with the top of the board despite using the fences. It is especially problematic at entry and exit. Is this just a matter of practice and muscle memory – or are there some practical tips than can help?

    2) I will be building a few doors to replace some on a late 1700s house and barn that we recently purchased. I am going to be using the tongue and groove method for some of the ledge doors. The diagrams I have show that the usual method is to chamfer the outer edges of the tongue and grove boards such that each joint would have a “v” shape where the boards are joined. Is this an aesthetic addition, or is it really (as I think) to allow the joined boards easier to join and be flat because there is a bit of “give” rather that long 90% shoulders on the tongue and grove boards? How deep should the chamfer be? I don’t want it to weaken the edge of the grooves board over much. I am thinking the chamfer should be no closer than 1/8” to the edge of the groove, but perhaps this is too much?



  21. James on 15 July 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Hi, I’m James form Macclesfield.
    What is the most ideal moisture level for rough sawn or finished timber for that matter prior to working it for the U.K.s ever changing climate, interior ie furniture and trim work, and exterior traditional casement window or door which is half exterior and half interior?

    Storing wood tip……If you get a rough sawn board from the timber yard, and it’s going say in an interior project but you can’t store it in a house to acclimate, would you try and get your workshop climate nearest to that of the same environment, and when it reaches the right moisture level work with it?

    Many thanks, this will help greatly as I find storing wood is the most least talked about, kind regards, James.

  22. Alastair Friend on 16 July 2020 at 1:48 pm

    I am having difficulty in getting that last mm accuracy on joints to fit tight. I mark with pencil first and then score a line inside. Is this the right approach?

  23. Carl Griffin on 16 July 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Hello Paul, I have to make some long thin spindles for a plate rack. I’m worried that they will chatter/vibrate too much on a lathe…is there another way to do it? Thanks from Carl in France

  24. Christian Rapp on 16 July 2020 at 3:14 pm

    It would be very kind if you could answer these questions Paul. People did not know they were not addressed in the session today.
    Thanks Christian

    • Paul Sellers on 16 July 2020 at 6:18 pm

      I doubt that I have ever left a question unanswered here over the years, Christian, though I may miss one here and there for different reasons. I sometimes need a little extra time to eat and sleep before I get to them.

      • Christian Rapp on 16 July 2020 at 7:14 pm

        Thank you so much Paul! You brought the fun back, I used to have in my life when repairing old Vespa scooters from 16-20, to a scientists. And his small kids 2,4,6 are also attracted by the workshop 🙂

  25. David Grindel on 23 July 2020 at 2:57 pm

    A question about the dovetail saw you used on the hissy snake. I have
    a Stanley Fine Tooth Back saw with a kerf of 1mm. Do you think that might be a concern for “pinched” fingers ?
    Thanks much for you excellent videos.

  26. William Spier on 25 September 2020 at 4:14 am

    Hi Paul – thank you so much for being so magnanimous and helping everyone with their questions. I have heard it said, when building a workbench, use the wood you have. I cam into a large amount of Pecan wood, and so I just want to make sure (before I find out the hard way, after the fact) there’s nothing peculiar about Pecan wood that would make it unsuitable to build a workbench. Thank you again.

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