. . . when we start work again, so I’m back in the saddle!

You have to imagine that this is Monday 4th January 2021 because I wrote it and was about to post it but my site got hijacked so they could tell you it was my birthday!

The new designs in furniture for the house starts in earnest this week and Joseph and I have put our heads together for weeks to determine the sequence of making. I just finished my Brazos Rocking Chair to test out the how-to book I wrote. The design is almost two decades old and checking the minutiae went very well. At first, I thought, not much to change here but then I decided to add to the whole and it increased by a dozen and a half pages. Also, by way of a change that happened accidentally and now I want, I did lower the front end of the arm to the front posts. This made the arm more comfortable and the greater upsweep towards the rear frame posts added the elegance I wanted.

Today I left the house just after five and rode for just over an hour when, skirting the river Thames for a couple of miles on a straighter stretch I let rip to gather speed. 25 mph is good enough for me. Just as I peaked, a muntjac scurried out from the bushes and my front wheel barely brushed his fur. No damage and a decent swerve saved the day.

Today I am 71 years old! My cycling at point freezing was a celebration start and I loved the freshness of the chilling wind in my face. Imagine getting to 71 years of age as a manual worker and having zero pains or even twinges in your body. I have felt fitter in the last few years than I did at 50 and even 40 years of age. I pulled my jeans on this morning and noticed a card tag beneath the belt. They are newish jeans and this is what the tag said: 33″ waste.

I recall 20 years ago being 44″ but at the start of this year I was still 38″. I have not dieted or gone hungry for a minute but I do exercise on a stricter regime. That means that throughout each day I do squats, skip and jump and so on. But where the real exercise comes in is in my work. My work is a total body workout. It’s my mental, emotional and physical stimuli. My work has been the very best of therapies and the reason is I decided never to ever work for money again. That does not mean I don’t need to pay bills and such, just that my work is so much loved that I cannot wait to get to it. I work for the love of it. Hmm hmm! Just imagine! Oh! The weight loss? I changed many habits! As of March 2020 and the beginning of UK COVID-19, I stopped eating my cafe breakfasts and lunches and started to cook all of my meals at work. Suddenly I knew exactly what I was eating and if you just saw the breakfast I just ate you would wonder how it was possible, to, one, eat so much, two, lose weight. I have never counted calories but I do count carbs because I am also a diabetic long term. I know calories will be more accurate as you can calculate intake with output but for me this works exceptionally well.

Looking back on 2020 might seems somewhat blurry but here at the workshop we’re as productive as ever and we never missed a beat. With 52 weeks of videos filmed last year, we’ve created many hours of content for everyone to both cut their teeth on and then produce masterclass levels of work too. This year promises to be even better we think. I won’t list all of the projects because it would take another page but we have much to do if we are to keep pressing the message that there is more to real woodworking than just machine work. I am champing at the bit to start this new year with new ways to see woodworking. Today, even as I speak, I am standing in the garage workshop with wood around me and on my bench. The wood will be my new design in rocking chairs within a few days. I hope that this adventure excites you as much as it does me!


  1. Kayvan on 6 January 2021 at 12:24 am

    A very happy birthday to you sir, great good wishes for the year to come, and an infinite measure of gratitude for the skills you share

  2. Joe Eberle on 6 January 2021 at 12:22 pm

    Happy New Year to all.
    When and will the Brazos rocking chair book be available?

  3. Matt on 6 January 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Just guessing, the 44 waist was when you lived in the US? I am a Brit living in the US myself and have been doing Keto for a few months and lost 15lbs and probably a couple of inches off the waistline. Keep up the good work.

  4. RS Hughes on 6 January 2021 at 12:29 pm

    Happy New year Paul and many Happy returns.

  5. Ron on 6 January 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Happy new year to you and the whole team . Looking forward to 2021 projects .

  6. nemo on 6 January 2021 at 6:03 pm

    About an hour ago I decided that 2021 will become ‘the year of the workbench’. It’s about time to make a proper Paul-Sellers-workbench, after years of making-do with a Workmate. And considering the amount of woodworking the house will require in the near future, a bench is hardly a luxury.

    • Sylvain on 8 January 2021 at 3:48 pm

      You will ask yourself: “why did I waited so long to make one”.

    • MarkR on 9 January 2021 at 7:32 am

      I agree… My first project of some tables was done on a Workmate, so my second project was a workbench…. After that, what à difference… As the stability helps with your accuracy, and the proper height helps your back from not being bent over….. Also making the bench is a great project in itself….

      Happy and Safe New Year to everyone

  7. Terry Hopper Northumbria. on 6 January 2021 at 6:35 pm

    A very Happy Birthday to you Paul, and also a very Happy New Year to you and the team. I’m so pleased you have such dedication to your work, your drive to bring hand tool woodworking to so meany people around the world is inspiring, and during these difficult times is helping to keep us all sane. Good luck to you and all your team and students.

  8. Philip Simpson on 11 January 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Happy birthday and a happy new year. May you have many more happy years on the tools.

  9. Bob Teskey on 11 January 2021 at 8:44 pm

    Happy birthday! Hope that you, your team and students have a very productive and successful 2021. I have certainly learned much from your You Tube channel, blog and My recently delivered copy of “Essential Woodworking Handtools”.

  10. Gary Berg on 11 January 2021 at 10:58 pm

    Happy birthday Paul last year I made my workbench and I love it thankyou for inspiring me to do these projects I am now putting my workshop in order and I am loving it take care .I really enjoy your book and DVDs

  11. Greg saunders on 13 January 2021 at 1:12 am

    Happy birthday
    Looking forward to the book

  12. Thomas Dierks on 15 January 2021 at 6:40 am

    Thank you sir, for the great and polite inspiration in woodworking and for the fantastic explanations in handling woodworking tools.

    I wish you and your family and the whole team a great and peacefull 2021.

  13. Hank Merkle on 18 January 2021 at 4:29 pm

    I probably just missed it, but why is it called the “Brazos Rocking Chair”?

    • Paul Sellers on 18 January 2021 at 5:45 pm

      I used to live, swim, canoe and fish on the river Brazos in Texas.

Leave a Comment

  • Roger Browning on Cherry Is a JourneyThanks Paul! Ironically, I retired from the Georgia Forestry Commission. Yes our plantation planted pines do supply forest industry, however it's the hardwoods that are the gold. T…
  • Paul Sellers on Cherry Is a JourneyThen might you consider going outside of Georgia, USA. Go online, find a supplier. If I can buy beautiful Americsan black cherry right here as imported wood in the UK then you can…
  • Paul Sellers on Working Wood 1&2 AvailabilityThat's so kind, Kevin. Replicating what I have had as a lifestyle for most of my work-life does not mean giving up a paying job that supported in a different era but encourages peo…
  • Kevin Drevik on Working Wood 1&2 AvailabilityI wanted to purchase this both for its content and to help you fund the site. I really appreciate the videos and other information you've been giving away for free here. Thank you…
  • Roger Browning on Cherry Is a JourneyHere in middle Georgia,USA wood species other than pine is scarce. 3 fold that when searching for seasoned anything other than pine. Then when you get your hands on a piece of wood…
  • Paul Sellers on Working Wood 1&2 AvailabilityHard to say. I can say that they are two totally different animals if that helps, Stuart. One is a foundation course for traditional hand tool woodworking, and detailing how to mak…
  • Stuart on Working Wood 1&2 AvailabilityAlthough it will be bettered later this year, I might be interested in purchasing this older book. However, I would like to know how much overlap, if any, there is with your other…