The weeks pass with surprising speed and I build every day. Truth is, there are but a few days when I didn’t make and that’s been throughout my 55 years full-time woodworking and furniture making. Maybe 30 days off sick in the whole time too.

I take only short breaks, breathers really, and rarely eat between meals or even snack. An apple or tangerine, a banana, is food on the go. I drink mostly tea, some coffee, and then water. I listen to music sometimes, occasionally, during the day, but just for a short spell here and there, not more than ten minutes. Music interrupts the senses, distracts them, detaches me. I need the constancy of interplay through what I sense to inform me in my processing. I depend on more than the five. I need all the others too. These gut senses stop me. They make me think. They tell me more than I see. They defy logic. They feed true information I need to work with to my brain. That’s the other side — the right side in the sense of being the correct side. I nourish these thoughts. I nourished them as soon as I left school behind to allow my senses the freedoms that had been stymied by school classrooms, dull and dulling teachers and low-grade subject matter. I needed the senses to build up my then malnourished being. I need that unspoken of, unseen, unknown solidity of gut feeling to strengthen me in my craft. I began to build muscle and sinew to the finest degree; muscle that remembered, recalled, refreshed my ways of working. This came to me by just the working I do so that the neurons surrounding my senses as transmitters served and serve me at a supercharged level.

I think men of the past, those who worked the way I do, always relied on such information, as did women artisans in other crafts I suppose. I have come to know one or two women woodworkers in more recent years but none with long-term exposure to the craft. I’m talking about the days before devices of plastic, glass and metal invaded the earlier world of more peaceful working. An engineer in a shop I know has music on all day. Rock of some kind.

The machines spin and spit off the waste into barrels and the computer mercilessly directs its minion slaves 24/7 — as does the music! Such soulless work comes from a brain programmed to work off a rotary cut. It’s fine work that defies the need of the human hand to do anything beyond its ability to tap keys and load metal into hoppers.

In my world of low machine presence and high demand handwork, I am saved from tedium. I am never bored and never use the word for anything except airport lounges, passenger flying, and from time to time driving along American highways from Texas to Nevada. Oh, and machining wood for days on end. I’ve done that too.

I just swept my shop for the sixth time this week. Bored? Boring? Nope! In my sweeping, I think and plan the work that will start as soon as the shavings are bagged. This week I hand planed enough surfaces to fill two 55 gallon drums. That’s almost 15 cubic feet, a little under half a cubic meter. It may not seem much but it is. I will often do three and four times that amount in a week. Why not use a belt sander? I might! There, that shocked some of you. Almost all of my power sanding, if I do any, comes after hand planing surfaces I can use a random orbit sander for a small fraction of the time I might had I not had skilled ability with hand planes. I often look at furniture and see feathering of adjacent surfaces to get a good joint line level but they are often never level. The hand plane delivers this in a matter of a few strokes. From this -paned surface you can go straight to 250 grit.

You must develop the ability to respond to the core senses we are all in danger of losing the use of. No one ever mentions that, yet if you are to become truly skillful, it will not be through the use of machines but the use of your body, your mind and your soul sensing information through your hands. Your dependency on sense and sensing can only increase through working with your hands, listening, responding, and working according to your senses beyond the big five that are really quite small compared to the other 20 plus. It is not the de-sensing machines and devices that help. This sensing I speak of here can only come from using what’s hidden and protected deep, deep inside the very core of your being. It’s a continuous process second by second minute by minute day on day. I don’t care that people have always told me you can’t make money that way or this way. They’re wrong and I don’t work for money anyway! Soulless money-making has no currency in my world of making but I can still sell what I make to those in need of my work. You, we, all have core senses, many of which are undefined but they are there for us to own, it’s just a question of listening or indeed releasing your body to depend on them. You alone must decide what you want for your life as an artisan. Skill is always high, high demand. There is no escaping this.

My friends, woodworking is an art. The chisel cuts create art that falls to the workshop floor after standing proudly tall from the cutting edge and I sweep it away to start my fire. The textures from every tool and every piece of wood are always very different — a million differences every day. The kind of woodworking I do demands total engagement yet it is never a hard taskmaster. The process for me is equal to the outcome in a finished piece. That being so, I design the process and the way I work my wood to match the lifestyle I live through. This is all part of the process. No one part can be separated from the other because this is not a factorial process but my way of life. Many woodworkers I have known and still know set up a mini-factory in their garage and call it woodworking! Mm, mm, mm! Dull, uninteresting, possibly even boring perhaps!

44 Comments

  1. Ellen on 22 November 2020 at 6:06 pm

    This is beautiful and correct. Thank you.

    • Gary Carr on 24 November 2020 at 2:15 pm

      Well said, Mr. Sellers, well said.

  2. Artur Darmofal on 22 November 2020 at 7:04 pm

    I miss woodworking so much. Having issue with my wrist and elbow for couple months. Going to my workshop everyday, smelling wood, touching it, painting some tools, waiting for recovery day to come. Reading a lot but not the same as sawing or chiseling. Waiting, waiting…

  3. Aaron on 23 November 2020 at 4:53 am

    I understand what you are saying about ALL your senses. Mine aren’t that fine tuned for woodworking by hand, yet. However, I have trapped since I was about ten (I”m 48 now) and can drive by a creek and know if it would be worth setting traps, and almost exactly where. This at 60 MPH on the highway. Do something that takes real personal skill, not just education, and you can just feel the what, where, and how of things without any thought.

  4. Jeff Stuart on 23 November 2020 at 6:12 am

    Some of those who didn’t run away from dull and dulling teachers and low-grade subject matter produced the medium you use to speak to us now, including a sizeable number of engineers.

    Please don’t toss us into the same bin as people who cut dovetails with power routers.

    • Paul Sellers on 23 November 2020 at 7:38 am

      Sorry if you’re offended by this. Your term “run away” didn’t happen, of course, and that was not said by me. I actually stayed the course and gave everything my best shot. Your choosing and using this term does express the very kind of thing I am talking about though. Two choice words, run away, can quickly become a manipulative tool and this indeed happened to me, and other people who were slow to learn, all the time in school by teachers. This can be carefully crafted humiliation, as I am sure you know. When the 6’2″ history teacher raised his cane for the fifth time to crash it down on my outstretched hands telling me I “ran away” from my studying my homework it wasn’t the cane that hurt me but the phrased lie. I’d stayed awake most of the night fearfully trying to remember the stupid, stupid dates he was uselessly trying to get me to remember. There was more passive mocking and passive aggression that happened with three or four of my teachers each week, BTW. No matter, I was the stronger and more resilient for it. The constraints and power teachers then had to induce fear and intimidation eroded any concept of a nurturing environment of warmth and learning. It’s true of course, there were good teachers and times have indeed changed. We no longer have these draconian measures because of better governance and better practices, perhaps even thanks to the social media you reference that can help expose people in power.
      Many of my friends make wonderful and caring teachers in the most adverse of conditions. I would have loved to have both my daughter and my daughter-in-law who currently work as teachers as my teachers in school.

      • Chris Manning on 23 November 2020 at 1:48 pm

        Paul, your reply – like the rest of this blog – is beautifully-put. You’ve articulated something that bothers many of us – sometimes for life – and that is the variable quality of the old-school education methods and their practitioners.

        Teachers in the 1950’s could be nothing short of brutal, but as you have said, the real hurt is the lie. They never recognised any talents you had, and beat you for your shortcomings. The whole boiling would be behind bars today.

        I made it through as you did – albeit not as successfully, but at least my mistakes have been all mine! Sadly, there were those who weren’t quite so resilient, but I do thank God for today’s teachers – including a certain Mr Sellers who is still teaching this 75 year-old things he never knew!

      • nemo on 23 November 2020 at 5:23 pm

        “The constraints and power teachers then had to induce fear and intimidation eroded any concept of a nurturing environment of warmth and learning. ”

        Fortunately your videos and blog exude the opposite atmosphere.

        Hearing the personal stories of close family members educated in Australia in the ’50s in a Catholic primary school run by nuns was hair-raising.

      • Clarence Perry on 24 November 2020 at 3:08 am

        Your mention of a History teacher reminds me of one I had that was memorable. You don’t have to use a cane to intimidate students.

        A standard staple date in American History is when the ship full of Pilgrims, the Mayflower, landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.

        It gets drilled into every student early on that it occurred in 1620. Then I ran into a teacher who gave a multiple choice test. The available answers were, April 20, 1620, May 10, 1620, May 20, 1620, and May 30, 1620.

        Only a handful of students guessed right.

        That was a good lesson in getting the right answer or failing. It also made that old man memorable, even though I couldn’t guess his name today.

      • Ross Morrow on 24 November 2020 at 11:23 pm

        Hello Paul,
        I’d the same problem with above half of my teachers,

        Subject: Pythagoras ….dy! Theory

        1. Explained twice
        2. Questions given out
        3. Questions handed in…..now starts the pain!
        4. Made to sit at rear of classroom awaiting…..
        5. Asked why I got so much wrong: Answer: Messing about 2 on each hand
        6. Explained again at 4 times the volume: still got it wrong, more caning
        7. Detention and caned
        This regime went on for 5 years involving 2 male teachers, and despite their canings, the worst was been humiliated in front of the class for been stupid by a female teacher.
        I actually wanted to be a teacher of music to Primary School children back some 40 years, but because I kept getting the letter, “U” besides my Maths that blocked my path into the Northern Ireland Polytechnic at Jordanstown as it was known then.
        I’ve taught music privately for 40 years, and I’ve NEVER, NEVER called a pupil stupid, nor shouted at them, one actually went off and has become a Concert Pianist over in America.
        I’ve always found it better to think down to the pupils level to find out what’s wrong, and I’ve learnt a brave lot from virtually ALL my pupils through their ability of being encouraged to ask…..why?

        Apologies for long ramble

  5. Thomas Locatell on 23 November 2020 at 1:05 pm

    I especially enjoy Paul’s philosophical meanderings. Perhaps one word can express the many and varied woodworking experiences that readers of his blog undoubtedly share: wonder.

  6. Todd on 23 November 2020 at 1:16 pm

    I am not a professional woodworker. In fact, I’d say, I’m barely adequate. By trade, I am a Police Officer. On my weekends, I wander in and out of my garage shop planing here, chiseling there and gluing everything. (including my fingers) I long for a simpler time. I wish I’d taken woodshop in High School. I wish I hadn’t devoted myself to amassing power tools over the last 30 years. Now, I enjoy the simplicity and peace of things with sharp edges and no cord. What I especially enjoy is the musings of those that have lived a life devoted to a craft and still so obviously love it. Truly the meaning of carpe diem.

    • Paul Sellers on 23 November 2020 at 2:09 pm

      Tod, I served in the Greater Manchester police force for nine years but thankfully had my craft to sustain me when I arrived home after being in riot control or on all-nighters searching for the lost and the violent. Even in those ‘darker’ days I always worked 8 hours in my workshop making and selling my pieces.

    • David on 23 November 2020 at 3:19 pm

      Todd, I can relate. I build this shop , have some knowledge. Have more fun building my shop. Then I collect all this wood and now have no room to walk. I have both hand and power tools. I have built my shop and Paul’s workbench and a chisel box and few other things over the last 4 years. The wood thing is out of control. I can hardly walk in there. Not a fun place anymore.
      I drive oversize loads for umpteen hours a week and mentally exhausted at days end. All that and I can take a sharp plane and a scrap of 2×4 and have at it and it makes me smile.
      I believe if you pick a project and don’t get overwhelmed by what is possible and enjoy what is at hand, it will surprise you how fast you improve just by doing. Doesn’t matter what you build. It will make you smile at the end.
      Stay safe

  7. Kent HANSEN on 23 November 2020 at 3:06 pm

    I’m often struck when reading your words, Paul, how often you capture my own thoughts and feelings on the various topics upon which you expound. I’m left with the thought that there are commonalities between us all that draw us to create for form and/or function from wood. I really enjoy your work, Paul, whether in word or video format. Thank you for doing what you do for us all!

  8. Martin on 23 November 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Im sorry but did you say that people who work out of their garage “Dull, uninteresting, possibly even boring perhaps!”. As we try very hard to make nice pieces wherever our space is.

    • Paul Sellers on 23 November 2020 at 4:35 pm

      No. I work out of a garage at my house and I am never dull, boring or uninteresting. I did say this though: Many woodworkers I have known and still know set up a mini-factory in their garage and call it woodworking! Mm, mm, mm! Dull, uninteresting, possibly even boring perhaps! Mini-factory meaning a production-line assembly-style setup passing boards from machine to machine to machine until half a dozen machines have done all of the work. Mostly unskilled work, I mean, really! Just my perspective on machine-only systems for manufacturing processes that’s all. I think it’s clear, Martin. You changed what I said to mean I am saying all people “who work out of their garage [are] dull, uninteresting, possibly boring perhaps!” which is not what I said or insinuated at all. Sorry if you got it wrong!

      • Martin on 23 November 2020 at 5:22 pm

        Reading your article again i can see what you meant. Im sorry i misinterpreted it. Making individual pieces nomatter your skill level is good. Chopping 300mm boards up to sell all day long not so good.

  9. Paul Boegel on 23 November 2020 at 5:41 pm

    Once again you have described something I have felt since I was a child. I have power tools but derive no real satisfaction from them. Taking a hand plane, setting it up, sharpening and actually learning to use it is a Zen thing all by itself.
    There is so much going on in our brains that we sometimes do not realize Paul. I have found over the years that when I come to a problem that has me stymied, I set it aside. The subconscious brain chews on these things and eventually that little light will come on and I have a solution. It may take a couple of days or even weeks but I will eventually come to a solution. I have a radio in the shop but never use it as I find it distracts my thinking as well. Using hand tools you must be focused on the job for the best results. Just learning to use my hand tools correctly is a reward in itself. I am alone in my circle of friends and connections in this sadly. I am always on a learning curve and I like that. I have been told all thru school that I have a very high IQ but I never really found that to be useful as a lot of my teachers were much as you described and I am given to understand that the school system in the UK can be harsh. We survived them Paul and are happily doing our own things. I believe that a lot of these teachers never had much of a happy life. There is a peacefulness that comes at times working with hand tools. No dust, noise, harmful things, just doing.

  10. Steve P on 23 November 2020 at 6:25 pm

    The chisel doesn’t always make art fall to the floor. Sometimes it stays on the wood. When I was in Germany at the Christmas markets one year I bought some ornaments where they chiseled wood but left the “curls” attached to the wood in different thicknesses and lengths to appear as a Christmas tree from the side. A really clever use of a chisel, and you could tell their chisels were sharp.

  11. tayler whitehead on 23 November 2020 at 6:45 pm

    oh the old school days. not something i would remember with any fondness. i remember being caned, strapped and belittled in front of my peers too well. the education system taught me i was stupid and incapable of learning. oddly enough, as an adult, and doing something i enjoyed, rather than repetitive rote learning, i discovered i wasn’t as stupid as they say. in fact have a very high iq and had a very fruitful career. it allowed me to take time off to train as a furniture maker for a few years and then either work part time from home, or full time as the fancy and economics allowed. thankfully i am now retired and the need to earn a living as such is behind me. now i can enjoy going into the shop and taking my time to produce a piece for the house, a piece that gives me satisfaction every time i walk past it and recall the joy of turning it from raw lumber into a functional decorative art work.

  12. Bill on 23 November 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Boredom is something only for teenagers. When there is nothing else to do then it is time for thinking, planning, imagining and also time to catch up on reading or studying. Having said that it is probably sensible not to wait and to set time aside for those positive activities.

  13. Steven A Smith on 23 November 2020 at 6:57 pm

    I’ve been a member of Paul’s now for several years. When I was growing up in the 70’s here in the United States, hand tools ( especially hand planes) were required but the teachers really didn’t know how to use them or when. So power tools prevailed. My first taste of woodworking was when I was 5 years old and my father helped me build a sail boat. We used both hand tools and power tools. This was back in the mid sixties. I still; today use the jointer, planer, and table saw to make wood square and flat. I paid way too much money for them not to use them. I do use the hand planes from time to time to achieve the same task. Without the power of the internet and finding Paul, I would still not know how to use these wonderful hand tools. It is so much more fun. I do almost all joinery by hand and got rid of my dovetail jig a long time ago. i take great pride in everything I have built and know they will stand the test of time. I just want to thank Paul for everything he has taught me. I will be retiring within the next few years and plan on spending a lot more time in the shop. Paul thanks for everything!!

  14. Paul on 23 November 2020 at 7:31 pm

    For me music is an integral part of my working pattern. When I really want to focus I listen to Bach something like his piano partitas and sonatas, there is something about this music that brings my mind into a place where I can really focus.

    • Tom Quinn on 24 November 2020 at 8:41 am

      I agree – music can be a distraction, or an aid to focus the mind. It depends on my mood and mindset at the time. Bach is phenomenal before or while doing something mathematical. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard helps with repetitive tasks. M83 helps me when writing.
      Other times, silence is the best aid. Something I struggle to find with two little children!

  15. Tom on 23 November 2020 at 8:06 pm

    I do find complete empathy with the comments in “Yesterday.” As much as I love good music of any era, I have developed a deep love of silence. Living in the middle of nowhere I am frequently able to hear the deafening sound of silence and find it therapeutic. In days gone by, before radio and tv, men would work only in the noises they created with their work. I recently had a young builder come to estimate plastering a whole house I was working in, I knew he always had a “site” radio that blasted out drivel all day long and said that I didn’t want to listen to that, he said he couldn’t work without it. I wondered what he would’ve said if I suggested we have his music on in the morning and mine in the afternoon, much of which is classical? he didn’t get the job anyhow. So many people are scared silence and insist on “background” noise. The modern careless world is so insensitive and imposing. “Silence is golden.” Its nice when others appreciate it as well.

  16. David on 23 November 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Beautiful Paul.

    Thank you.

  17. Philip Saladino on 24 November 2020 at 12:02 am

    I’m doing it. Milled wood for work bench with power tools. But cut mortises and tenons by hand for the first time one leg almost done with your virtual help much to be appreciated.

  18. Michael on 24 November 2020 at 12:24 am

    Spoken from the heart and received within my heart. Thanks Paul

  19. Terrence OBrien on 24 November 2020 at 3:47 am

    I’m reminded of hiking in the mountains vs driving a car on an expressway. When I hike, I am doing it all myself. It’s my muscles and skill guiding my journey. I enjoy the trip. I’m doing it for the activity rather than for the destination.
    Then I get in my car and have a completely different experience. I’m using the machine to reach a destination.
    I’m happy with both.

  20. Dr AL on 24 November 2020 at 6:00 am

    Paul, I find your style of work, thought, and energy refreshing. I am one who enjoyed school, got my DMD at age 24, retired at age 40 after a serious injury. I taught my skills to others for a few years while I began involving myself in two passions, organic small scale farming and woodworking. I make pieces of art from wood on the farm and our forested area primarily. Fallen trees and prunings of large limbs. I mill the wood myself. I dry the wood often for many years while I muse over what I will create when they are ready. Not a lot of power tools needed, although I do use a lathe at times to turn off centre bowls, but I get more satisfaction from carving a bowl with only chisels and then fine sanding. I get to follow the grain and shape of the wood that is truly the art of nature. Your work Paul, inspires me to continue to improve. BTW, I never sell a piece. I make each piece for a specific person I have met along the way that impressed me on some level.

  21. Jan Genauer on 24 November 2020 at 8:29 am

    Thank you Paul for all your thoughts and for taking the time to express it in detail.
    In times of Twitter this has become a rare good.
    Wishing you all the best.
    Jan

  22. Stefan on 24 November 2020 at 10:56 am

    This post blew me away. I am speechless. You are so damn right in every single word you said. Thank you so so much for sharing this wisdom!!

    Stefan

  23. Colin Fee on 24 November 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Paul, what do you with shavings that collect after sweeping up?

  24. Michael Kratky on 24 November 2020 at 1:46 pm

    A philosopher and woodworker too, they blend so well, you sir are a pleasure to know.

    • Anneke Cox on 24 November 2020 at 2:17 pm

      I second that! Almost a zen like philosophy to his art! and an inspiration to us all. (even if sweeping up the shavings).

  25. Phil Rushton on 24 November 2020 at 5:58 pm

    How true your words are. I use power tools and hand tools but I have a little maxim I employ. “If speed is your need use power. If calm is your charm use none.” I try to do dusty jobs outside the workshop where possible to keep my workspace cleaner

  26. Stephen Wardley on 24 November 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you Paul for your philosophical thoughts they certainly strike a chord with me. Schooling methods hadn’t changed much by the 60s when I was going through the system and you have really clarified in my mind why it was that I didn’t do so well at school. I felt more like a rabbit in headlights with uninspiring education methods and the threat of punishment, I’ve gone through life thinking it was my fault but now I see the light as it were. Strangely enough I never hankered after a university education, the higher you fly the further to fall and company re-structuring creates fallers. I think I turned out to be a decent person with good values etc, all without a degree.

  27. Vidar Fagerjord Harboe on 25 November 2020 at 1:48 pm

    If a pupil does not understand, the teacher has not explained it correctly for that person. Of course, some things might never be understood no matter how many different explanations there is.
    Thankfully, today we know better (although that knowledge might not always be used…). The cane has vanished from the school, but schools seems to still be mass producing to some extent. One size fits all.
    If I do not understand what you are trying to teach me, who’s at fault? In my opinion: most of the time, the teacher.

    Funny to think that in high school I could not wrap my head around the concept of derivative. What could I POSSIBLY use it for? The teacher could not give me a good, real-life example.
    A couple of years later, I found myself in an auditorium at the local university. Math was the subject, and here comes the dreaded derivative. What could I possibly use that for? Not that I did not _want_ to learn it, but I could not understand _why_. The teacher then presented me with a case where one would build an oil pipe from a oil rig at sea to a refinery on land. Where should the pipeline go ashore? He then gave two equations for the cost, put them equal to eachother and rearranged them on one side and put zero on the right hand side of the equal sign. Then he took the derivative of said equation and found where the graph – depicting the cost – had the lowest point. Which then gave the solution on the problem “where to go ashore”.

    You could hear the *click* as the derivative cogs snapped in place in my head!

    At high school I nearly flunked. Got the lowest possible grade. In the university – where I studied far more advanced math than in high school – I got a B.

    I owe that feat in no small part to my teacher. He managed to make the connection between theory and real life application.

    Had I been born a lot earlier, I suspect my high school experience would involve a great deal of beatings. I demanded that my teacher could answer my question “what can I use this for?”. I did not ask to be difficult. I need a practical applicaton to be the hook on which I hang the knowledge.

    I will never forget how to calculate the ideal spot to go ashore when building a pipeline partially at sea and then on land.

    Thank goodness there are teachers that have the ability to adapt to the needs of their students. I would be lost without them.

  28. Mike King on 25 November 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Your thoughts on music in the shop struck a chord (sorry!) with me. I am just a beginning woodworker but have spent 55 years in darkrooms, both my home darkroom and various commercial darkrooms. Music is a distraction to my way of working (and TV, I tried that too after reading about another guy that had a TV with a red filter in the darkroom).

  29. Tim on 26 November 2020 at 7:37 am

    I think there’s a time and place for using power tools. Many people who do not work in wood professionally may have only a couple of hours a day – or even in a week – to build their skills. There’s great pleasure in taking those last few transparent shavings off most any component of a project, but spending the only hour you have in hogging lumps of 2″x2″ or 3″x3″ oak or elm to size by hand while there’s a planer and thicknesser gather dust in the corner doesn’t seem to make the best use of that time to me. You can use the machine to get the timber close to the dimension you want, and still get the pleasure of hearing your hand plane sing as it brings your wood to the final size.
    Music – I don’t usually, though it may have its place if a job needs more brawn than brain. Paul’s videos have shown me how to cut dovetails with more accuracy than I was ever able to achieve before watching them, but cutting joints by hand has, for me, to be done in silence.

  30. Alan on 29 November 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Dear Paul. I’m a recent convert to woodworking. The COVID lockdown has left me wanting something tangible from life, not just endless video conferences. I’ve been following your blogs and videos and worked through a couple of your beginner projects. It’s helped that my neighbours have been stripping out a 15 century house and dumping all the wood in a skip – which I have been gathering at intervals. Lots of oak timbers and frames, as well as elm floor boards. I’ve been making bookshelves and the like with this. And now I’ve caught the bug I’ve started on your work bench. But now I find that I can’t seem to get the knack of planing the softer woods – also all bought from the nearby Abingdon recycler. I’ve sharpened and regrouped, reset and sharpened again, but the planes seem to dig into the wood randomly, stick and tear the surface. I don’t understand! I could make the elm and oak as smooth as glass with these same tools, but the softwood feels much harder to plane, takes far more effort and isn’t smooth at the end either. The blades feel sharp, to my beginners eye, but something is badly wrong. Any ideas? I’ve been through all the videos to see if I’m doing anything obviously wrong – the frog is set flush, the bevel is down, the sole is flat. I’m at a loss! You must get questions like this all the time, but if you or any others can spot what I’m obviously missing and set on the right path I’d be very grateful. Alan

  31. Alan on 29 November 2020 at 7:27 pm

    I live nearby, in Denchworth. It’s about 5 miles from Abingdon. I’ve lived around here for the last 20 years. Sadly only just discovered your work and proximity during lockdown. I’m hoping you will do classes again when we come out of this.

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