The Future of Working Wood 1&2

Note
We have sold out of Working Wood 1 & 2. Thanks for your support! For up to date information on the revised edition please check this page.

Closing this week is a momentous one for us – one worthy of great celebration at least. For a little while, we’ve been working to regain full control of my first published woodworking book, Working Wood 1&2. Last week my mind traced its path through three decades to develop the curriculum I knew new woodworkers needed to get started in woodworking. This resulted from my long-term teaching woodworkers to work with hand tools. Little did I know then that thousands, no, hundreds of thousands, would follow this way of working wood. It’s a foundation course that came from my teaching multiple thousands in classes I have taught one on one for decades. I took students through every step and stage of the course detailed in this book. Every student I taught was successful and it was through this that I proved the value and efficacy of the book.

Over the past few months, I thought that this week would never come. My reward is made all the greater by this one fact: After many months of negotiations, I was able to settle some outstanding matters regarding the control of my first book, Working Wood 1&2: The Artisan Course with Paul Sellers. After a protracted passage to regain certainty of full control, my book is now rightly mine. This will be just about the first and only time I have said much at all about this book, even though I put my best into it. I haven’t really promoted the book since it was published though it represents my best effort in providing new woodworkers with a curriculum from which they could launch their woodworking future from.

What I’ve learned through my journey into publishing is that it is vitally important to retain full control of your work no matter what. It is only with hindsight that I know this but I have been fortunate to be able to retrace my steps on this and end up exactly where I need to be with it. Problems arose in trying to partner with others in publishing this first book and I have not felt entirely at ease with the arrangements since this book was published. Now, that has all changed and I have complete control and complete freedom and I can make any changes I need for the revised edition. I now have full control and ownership of all my work and this is how I plan to keep it.

With the book and stock returning to the fold, my immediate goal is to rework, revise and update everything to make it ready for a revised edition to be published later this year. Though as far as content goes there is nothing wrong with the first edition I want the quality of this 2nd edition to parallel our Essential Woodworking Hand Tools in every way. U̶n̶t̶i̶l̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶n̶,̶ ̶w̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶5̶0̶0̶ ̶c̶o̶p̶i̶e̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶W̶o̶r̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶W̶o̶o̶d̶ ̶1̶&̶2̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶d̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶s̶h̶i̶p̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶r̶s̶t̶ ̶5̶0̶0̶ ̶c̶u̶s̶t̶o̶m̶e̶r̶s̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶£̶2̶0̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶e̶s̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶s̶e̶c̶u̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶c̶o̶p̶y̶ ̶p̶l̶e̶a̶s̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶o̶x̶ ̶b̶e̶l̶o̶w̶.̶ (Note, we have now sold the small stock we received). There is also an option to tell us you want to hear about the revised edition once we have that ready. Thank you once again for supporting our work.

Paul

54 thoughts on “The Future of Working Wood 1&2”

  1. I’ve bought this book way back when your YT channel had less than a 1000 subscribers. It was very instrumental back then because it was probably the only book that made me think “I probably can do it too”. When I didn’t get a result I was aiming for, the book usually had an answer. I’ve got the DVDs too, they’re quite good if you can get past that sci-fi TV show kind of production. I still wonder who decided it was an appropriate soundtrack and who has approved it. It was so annoying that I just edited those things out and it so much more enjoyable to watch now.

    1. I too bought your first book/dvd set in 2011 and that was my intro into hand tool woodworking – can’t tell you how many times I watched the DVD’s while riding my exercise bike at my apt weeknights (while I was traveling 600 miles round trip from home in Kerrville, TX to my job in Midland, TX each week) – kept me sane and took me way down the rode to basic competency in hand tool world. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for so many of us !!!

    2. I got the book and DVDs when the Publisher was the only place I could find to get them. Probably just before they became unavailable. I don’t know if there was a YouTube channel then or not. I love the book and the teaching content of the DVDs. Hated the sci-fi effects that wasted time. Seemed out of character; glad you didn’t like it either Paul.
      I think the publisher may not have done any favors for some other craftsmen as well.
      Thank you for all the knowledge you have dispensed for free on YouTube.

  2. Lance Wallace

    Back in 2019, I was trying to figure out how to do mortise and tenon joints for a bench that I designed. I had done woodworking but never that kind of joinery. I started looking how I could do this with a power router. I came across a video of Paul chopping a mortise in something like 10 minutes. I was hooked. I found your book on Amazon in May of 2019. My wife and I traveled from the Central Coast of California to San Diego to meet some new relatives. I saved your book for that 8 hour train ride. I read as much as I could that day and have made many of the projects in that book. I have no plans except moving forward with hand tools. Interesting, the first piece of furniture I ever made was a table for my future wife, and I made it all with hand tools, in 1978.
    Thank you so much for all you have given to me and everyone else who follows you.

  3. Glad your work is back under your control, must be very strange seeing your knowledge and name in a book that you don’t fully own.
    I’ve just bought your essential woodworking hand tools book which I love, can I just say when it arrived, I don’t recall ever having a book so well wrapped in years, the simple act of using paper for additional protection makes the book feel that bit more special if you get what I mean.
    Looking forward to reading and learning from woodworking 1&2.

    1. Thank you, Brian. It is hard to fully express all of the mixed feelings of the last few weeks but I am glad to have taken this step. Joseph and I are very much looking forward to making the revised edition the truest companion to Essential Woodworking Hand Tools in that we want it to reflect an equal quality from the cover to the core of information we always strive for. Owning what you worked so hard to create is one of the single most freeing experiences I have known!

  4. RONALD R KOWALEWSKI

    I’ve purchased 3 copies of Woodworking volume 1-2. My first copy was well loved and developed legs at my school:(. I bought 2 more one for the class room and 1 for home. A constant reference for myself and my students. I can’t wait for your second edition.

    Ron

  5. I’m glad to read that there will be a new edition of ‘The Future of Woodworking’. I did enjoy perusing the first edition and made over half of the projets it contains. Having the opportunity to refer to printed materials rather than videos can be convenient on occasion, and the two approaches are complementary.

  6. Interesting as I’m planning a book myself. I’ll do all I can to ensure all world rights are retained by me and that I retain all control. This a comment on modern business methods in a way. I am sure we all fear being robbed by unexpected business moves, tricky legalities or the fine print.

  7. I was wondering what had happened to them. I just purchased Essential Woodworking Hand Tools (book only) just to further develop an intimate understanding of the tools we use.

    Anyway, I am glad that the books arw back in your control and I look forward to reading them and using that knowledge at the bench.

  8. Byron Wiseman

    Dear Paul and Joseph,

    I built your bench design using Woodworking 1 & 2 as well as the candle box, wall shelf and occasional table. They are all treasured.
    Regrettably I lost this book in a move and will be very happy to have an original copy as well as the revised version.

    My copy of Essential Woodworking Hand Tools is always by my side and I’m now reading the entire book through cover to cover. I have used it over the years almost daily and just repaired it due to wear.

    Thank you for all of your help and kindness for many years (since I was in Michigan and you were in Texas!).

    Cheers,
    Stephen

  9. Hi Paul and Joseph,

    I just wanted to thank you for your inspiration on woodworking.

    Your team of people have given me the spark to woodwork again.
    I have woodworking 1&2 and essential handtools.

    I have built a clock in high school and I was using mostly machinery. I didn’t enjoy it so much as it was noisy and limited time.

    I enjoy your teaching much better, you are patient and explain things well.

    I Amin the process of building the workbench project. I have used the pandemic to increase my construction of this. I have worked on it for the last two years with time permitting in my basement. I have the legs, aprons and bench top completely assembled and put together. I have the tool well too glue up and the vise to put in.

    I am waiting for better weather in Canada to apply the varnish on everything.

    The pandemic has allowed me to spend more time working on the bench and it’s closer to completion. I am probably going to have the vaccine available in the summer. Until then I keep gaining skills to do this.

    I wish I could spend every moment soaking up your knowledge, but thanks to YouTube I have access all the time.

    I am very thankful for your time and dedication to seeing this knowledge being passed on

    I look forward to seeing the revised edition. I may buy that also.

    Keep yourself safe and healthy.

  10. Peter Marshall

    Paul ,
    Congratulations on getting the rights to your work back where they belong . Your infectious joy shines through in the Blog . My copy of Woodworking 1&2 sits on the shelf by my Bench and has been a constant reference in my woodworking journey . I look forward to the revised version .

  11. Control of your work, how wonderful!
    You did what you had to at the time and now you’re able to get it all back where you can take it in the direction to which you have evolved.
    There are many artist who lost control of their work and have no recourse because others are making a lot of money on their investment.
    Not that these are bad people, more like you don’t need them anymore.

  12. Hand tool working – wood, metals, glass, pottery, etc. is such a positive release from the day to day of the technology and machinery of industry and commerce. Hand tool wood working has an elegance and simplicity that is hard to describe, but it adds to our personal traits that we forget about – patience, quietness of thought, thinking for ourselves, seeing something clearly. Then doing.

    I’m a technology professional but I have always remembered the days of working wood and metals in high school (yes, we used some power tools). In preparing for retirement and a simpler unrushed lifestyle – the ability to work wood with hand tools has giving me the vision of my “second career”.

    Paul, I have you to thank for that.

  13. I discovered your Book and DVDs shopping at Woodcraft years ago. They are quite good and I am looking forward to your revised edition. I have watched every version of how to build a bench. I built a bench not to your design, 30 years ago with simple mortise and tenon, but yours doesn’t rack like mine does. I was roughly built bit it has served me well. I enjoy your YouTube videos and have made many of your jigs (shooting board, tin for oiling planes, etc.) Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  14. Jim Petersson

    Glad to hear! In 2014 this was the book that got me started in woodworking with hand tools. It’s a great book and I can truly recommend it! I very much enjoyed the content of the dvd’s as well. Even though the production seemed a bit off (as been pointed out by others)

  15. Robert Lenart

    Good for you Paul, congratulations. I purchased the first book and find it very helpful and well written. I look forward to the updated version and many more. Have a great day. SmokinBobLenart
    Brunswick, Ohio in the USA.

  16. Like others have written, I can also confirm how wonderful an introduction to hand tool woodworking this book is. I’ve built most of the projects, including the workbench, side tables, boxes, wall shelf, stool etc, and my copy is now well worn, with notes scribbled in the margins. It really is a great set of projects to methodically build confidence and skills.

    I’m currently building a larger kitchen cabinet – 24 mortice and tenon joints, lots of edge jointing, turnbutton mortises. I’m still using the same approach and techniques I learnt from this book.

    Thanks Paul and team.

  17. Just a friendly suggestion Paul if you don’t mind. Perhaps you could make a bundle of 1&2 of the revised edition, Essential Woodworking Hand tools, and a Stanley marking knife (we can’t seem to get those this side of the pond)

  18. couple of minor suggestions (if helpful only?) for the woodworking 1 and 2 update, from a beginner using the book for first time.
    – would be helpful to have very thorough index. (often i know there is info in the book somewhere, but sometimes not easy to locate due to superficial index).
    – couple of basic pages on shellac would be helpful. (eg just the mixing ratios for flakes, ok to use coloured metho, using the steel wool etc). as a beginner, if you only mix it and use it every few months, you forget the details and it would be nice to have a quick and easy reference via the book?
    – i havent looked at the videos, but to follow up on a prior poster, if they are being re-edited, i’d wonder if could just remove any music or special effects? i suspect most of us quite like the simple intro music and the dulcet tones of paul’s voice and dont need anything else…

    1. Paul if you give proportions and quantities for shellac, please use International System units. If you nevertheless also uses gallons, please specify whether imperial (4,546 09 L) or US customary (3,785 411 784 L) .

  19. ps – paul, if you ever want a a couple of ideas for a future blog, i would humbly very much love to see a blog about:
    1) your thoughts on introducing kids to tools and carpentry. i suspect you have insights here that would fascinate many. what tools to introduce in what order? what is the youngest age you think someone can handle various tools typically? what are good wood types etc. [as an example, it would never have crossed my mind to let my 6yo play with a spokeshave until i read your article about your kids. but 6yo spends hours with it]
    2) i would also love to see a blog (or buy a book?!) of projects that could be made by a (grand)parent with their child. suspect there would be real skill at trying to pick a project that would hold a kids attention. i was thinking things like making a sword and shield (the cross piece of the sword could join the swordblade with a dovetail so (Grand)father and son could learn this; the brace of the shield could be joined via a mortice joint etc); an aeroplane (rounded body could be used to teach spokeshaving; wings to teach sawing straight; tail plane to teach mortice etc etc)
    probably some silly thoughts, but just floating ideas in case they spark something…

    1. Doug Karleskint

      I would like to add enthusiastic support for this blog request. I have a grand niece and nephew, ages 10 and 8 moving back to the area. Their dad has asked if I would get them in the shop.

      Doug K

  20. Hi Paul My wife bought this book for me at Christmas. I can say that it is a superb, it is informative easy to read and complements Essential Woodworking Hand Tools. I am not sure how it can be improved but I will certainly purchase the updated version, one copy for the workshop and one for lounge!!
    Keep up the great work and thank you for you inspiring someone at the age of 62 to pick up some of the skills I learned at school 40 years ago, ny dovetails are still not brilliant but are getting there!

  21. I’ve had my copy for a few years and will happily order the update when you have it ready. Your two books are my first stop for information and I don’t recall ever needing to go beyond that except perhaps for a non-essential tool.

  22. I’ve been telling myself for a good while now that I need to learn more on how to sue these tools I’ve collected. I have a few older hand planes that I really would like to get a handle on using properly. Sharpening I have down pat but actually using, not so much and yet you make it look easy to do and flawless. If I get nothing more than good at using the hand planes I’d feel like I accomplished something very good and can start to use my Farther-in-Law’s old planes as he once did. He passed just 6 months shy of 100 back in 2002. We miss them dearly.

  23. Erick Llerena

    Hello Mr. Sellers: I would like to know if you plan to write a woodworking 3& 4 ? I remember that that was the original plan. I know the did publish volume 3, but will you publish your own. Thank you, Erick.

    1. I eagerly await the book. I do have a set of DVD’s but there is no volume. I have downloaded Dolby but still no sound. Thank you Paul for all you are doing for people like me who had little or no experience. The “YouTube” series and tips and your personal Blogs have made this journey a joy plus having your
      Book Essential Woodworking Hand Tools is excellent tool
      Again: Thank you
      Dave in Lakeville New Brunswick, Canada

  24. Michael O'Donnell

    I would love one of the 500 if I can get on that list!
    I have wanted this more than any other woodworking book but up to now have been unable to find an affordable copy.
    Thanks you Paul for the teaching and inspiration you share so generously

    1. I found it at Amazon today, 4 used starting at $230, At Lee Valley $47.50. Amazon vs a respectable source. Even though I have the original, I can’t wait for the revised edition.

  25. Doug Karleskint

    Yes, I understand Paul. I mentioned it only because I was appalled. As you said..that is Amazon.

    Doug K

    1. Just adding that these are all secondhand books, too! Someone trying to ‘cash in’ apparently.

  26. Hey Paul,
    That book changed my wood working life. I have the dvd’s also but as was previously stated, the sci fi parts took away from the actual learning experience. I did get to take training with you in New York at the school you started and that was a blast. Since I retired a year ago I’ve been making the furniture I used to dream of making while working crazy hours on the job. The best part is it’s selling. I’m not trying to get rich but it’s keeping in the shop. You are a life changer. Thank you!
    Scott from NJ

      1. Yes I did. I retired the end of January a year ago. Started out making some boxes for my wife and for mothers day. Then onto a chimney cabinet and a chest. I posted everything on Facebook and got some interest. I’ve been busy ever since. Even had some return customers. Custom furniture isn’t for everyone but there are people out there looking for quality instead of disposable furniture. Really enjoying myself. You’ve come a long way Paul. I remember talking with you in the planning stages and you’ve surpassed your expectations. Really happy for you.

  27. I purchased that book/dvd set shortly before the WWMC site was launched. It was a godsend for me – a beginning woodworker needing guidance in a world of woodworking machinists. I was convinced that I needed a costly collection of machines and safety devices before I could become a real woodworker. I did not really want to cut my joinery with a table saw and powered router, but that is how most project articles were teaching. Thanks to WW1&2, finding out that I only really needed a workbench, a couple of saw horses, and a modest amount of hand tool kit was a huge relief. Paul’s inimitable down to earth teaching style is both encouraging and inspiring. When WWMC launched, my mind was truly transformed. Many thanks, and much luck with the revised edition!

    -Scott (longtime WWMC member)

  28. I hope this will be available in the US without having to pay overseas shipping.

  29. John Glendening

    Paul,

    Congratulations on regaining control of your work. I wish you the best, regardless of whether I make the cut, or not. I am in the U.S. also, and I’m quite alright with paying shipping.

  30. Hello Paul,
    I bought ‘Essential Woodworking Hand Tools’ a couple of years back and don’t regret one penny of the cost. But (there’s always a but!), from childhood to my current 67 years I’ve never had the ability to book learn, but give me hands on experience and I can usually grasp the basics of most things but I don’t have the knack of remembering what I’ve read and carrying it with me to actually do it. So, last year when I was trying to learn saw sharpening I found it awkward having the whole encyclopedia on the bench and trying to flick from one page to another, I needed a recipe card like you might use in the kitchen. So my solution was to cut the saw sharpening pages out of the book, slide into individual plastic covers and then mount in a small ring binder folder. Not ideal but it worked for me and my saw sharpening ability is now good, on the scale of adequate, good, expert and P Sellers.
    As you are now updating and revising your original books I wondered if you had considered presenting them in ring folder fashion or even offering them as e-books for self printing to make them more user friendly to people like myself.
    Thank you.

  31. Noel Rodrigue

    Paul, I bought Working Wood 1 & 2 around 2016-17 from Lee Valley in Ottawa, ON, Canada. I’d asked the guy at the chisel counter if he could point me to a book about sharpening chisels and he took me to this book stating that there was a whole lot more than that in it but had good coverage of sharpening tools. I’m so happy as I started following you from there. The chisels have been sharpened, I’ve also sorted two planes with two smaller ones to go as well as about four wooden ones that need a bit of TLC.

    I also bought “Esssential Woodworking Tools” from the same location. In the process of reading and assimilating the knowledge. And enjoying every minute.

    Thank you for taking all of us on as students of your trade.

  32. This is wonderful news! Congratulations!

    I am sure the revised edition will be as good as the Essential Woodworking Hand Tools! It will be a great gift to all of us!

  33. Yeah, got my email to say that the books are available to buy today.
    Set purchased, can’t wait to start reading these.
    Now, can you tell me where I can buy “five days of peace and quiet” from so that I can get a chance to read them.

  34. Looking forward to getting my hands on “1&2” – there’s a waiting list for the one copy in Essex Libraries. You can’t be criticised for signing a publishing deal, most writers have to “deal with the devil” just to get their work out. As you’re a craftsman as well, you have even less time to publish and sell after the day is done. Second hand booksellers are entitled to make a living too, but unfortunately the author never gets anything out of it unless they have a box full of first editions under the bed. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  35. Ordered the book set from Lee Valley (Verita) yesterday, should be here in a couple. Not sure what will be in new edition, did someone invent a new wood or hand woodworking tool?
    Paul you haven’t said what will be in the new edition that would make the old one obsolete? I imagine it will be a fair bit more expensive than what I just paid…
    May buy the new DVD’s if they are compatible with original books… new, is always more expensive.
    Pax,
    Jeff

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