Birthday Thank You!

Some say that birthdays come around more quickly the older you get. I don’t know that that is altogether true. I haven’t noticed any difference. What is different is not celebrating it the same way. I find myself being more grateful that so many celebrate it with me and feel humbled that you took the time to type out messages to encourage me to “keep on keepin’ on!

I am content to continue making and for any of a dozen reasons. In times past I reached 20 people in a week who wanted hand tools and skills in their hands. Many were content with their earning capacity in realms non-manual but wanted real skill and ability that could translate into making beautiful things from wood. They liked their work but felt that making would enhance their lives. Today we reach hundreds of thousands in any given month. They’ve bought tools new and secondhand and read my two books on real woodworking AND they too have become what they only at one time dreamed of.

It kind of crept up on me without my really realising it. My work to make new woodworkers on every continent and in every country in the world became real through the internet. My shying away from the idea of making videos to teach didn’t start with me. I never wanted an internet presence because I didn’t believe I could teach that way. I was wrong. Others encouraged me and made it happen and not the least was my son Joseph as a key player and then others that climbed on board on the way. So this is to say thank you to those who work alongside me, my family and friends and then too those who went on to work elsewhere. And then equally important in adding meaning to my work there is you too! You out there who read my overly-long blog posts, my poetry, my social output via social media, etc. Here’s a great big Thank you!


  1. Happy birthday Paul. you are an inspiration to us wood workers. At 76 I still go into my shop every day. It is what keeps me moving. I read all your post and watch all your videos. Keep on keeping on.

  2. Happy birthday, Paul!!
    Your birthday was yesterday and mine is today. I’m one year ahead of you! I’m 74 today.
    Thank you for all you have done for teaching us the Quiet way to work wood.

  3. Happy Birthday, Paul. My recent heart attack has limited my time in the shop lately, but, I’m on the mend. Doubt I will ever be able to return to my career, so, now may be as good a time as any to begin anew, with more sawdust and shavings and less stress and hours spent in a car. God bless you, Paul!

  4. A belated Very Happy Birthday to you Sir.
    Thank you very much for your kindness in sharing your experience, skill and wisdom.
    Stay safe,

  5. It is a pleasure to wish you a happy birthday, as it is a pleasure learning from you.

    In my particular case, I broke two bones of my left wrist in may. After almost three months of inmobilization my bone fractures are consolidated, but I have developed a Sudeck distrophic syndrome in my hand and I still have to recover from it completely. I’m on it now. It’s painful, limitating and very frustrating, and it will be with me many months, but I’m decided to win this battle. Hand tool woodworking is one of the activities that is helping in my recovering and one of the main reasons for recovering, not only going back to job. You’ve given me a (another) target. Thank you.

  6. Happy birthday to you Paul, it truly is amazing the knowledge that you are passing on, not only to older joiners but also encouraging new ones to take up a fantastic and rewarding trade.
    Thank you and hope you had a great day.
    Happy new year to you.

  7. Through the year we get a little older but thanks to you we have been able to learn how to do wood work and I want to thank you very much for teaching us. THANK YOU< PAUL

  8. Paul reminds me of wood working rock star in this picture. I am 9 months younger than Paul and health is good for age except for getting glaucoma in left eye that has left depth perception and vision impairment. Hopefully the operation has arrested that. It has become a challenge to saw to one side of the line and find the knife wall for chisel, think grail there, but that is one of the things I learned from Paul. Never the less i haven’t stopped wood work, it may not be perfect but my wife and I like it so that’s what matters. Just got to find a way folks.

  9. seriously, that picture of you almost holding the Stanley Cup is priceless! keep up the good mood and that smile!!

  10. Happy 73rd Birthday Paul! I’ll be celebrating my 73rd this upcoming Saturday. Roy Underhill is the youngster by celebrating in December. While you and Roy created a lasting career and a legacy in wood products, I’ve coded my way through several companies. I’ve always enjoyed Roy’s wit and humor with his PBS shows during my career. Now that I’m retired, I’ve returned to my first hobby, woodworking, and am enjoying your wit and humor in your internet offerings. BTW, I bought your router-plane kit, after a fruitless search for parts in West Virginia. I built my router-plane from firewood black walnut and it is a beautiful worker in my shop. I wish you all the best and long life to you and yours.

  11. Belated birthday wishes Paul!

    I am pleased to say that my new grandson shares the date with you.

  12. Happy birthday Paul, you are definitely an inspiration. I really appreciate and enjoy watching you and learning from you! My friend who is 84 years old told me to watch you. He is a woodworker and a longtime fan of yours! May god bless you with many more years of happiness and making sawdust!

  13. Happy birthday, Paul!
    The feeling, that the following birthday seems to come quicker than the previous is very simple: A year in the life of my grandson will be a fourth in this October. Mine will be a 67 (also in October, 4 days earlier). So a year in the “advanced” beings is depending on the livetime, we were granted to live.
    Like Gimli in Lord of the Rings said: Breath on, thats the secret… so…

  14. A little late to the party (pun intended), but happy birthday, Paul! You have been inspirational during my journey in hand tool woodworking. Many thanks!

  15. Hello Paul

    At time birthdays is a time to say thank you, so though it is late and we have never met, I hope that “thank you”, and “keep doing that magic you do ” will serve:

    For years now I’ve been following your teaching on you-tube. Because of the series you made on workbench, I built my own, largely based on your design with my own changes and tweaks, since finishing it, moved with me to my new house, and is sturdy and useful as ever and when ever my girls come over.. there is fight who uses it for any creative work.

    I have come to enjoy hand-tool tremendously, mostly because you showed it and so I tried.

    Adopted a balanced fun with wood, power tools for rough cutting, and than switching to hand tools.

    When my daughter finish a nice painting she made and wanted a nice frame: hand plane, pencil, handsaw, shooting board and plough plane, made a quick & quiet evening work of the leftover walnut, is my garage. A quick finish with “French-polish”, and a twinkle in the eyes when my daughter said: “now the painting is perfect”.

    So happy birthday Paul, and Thanks !

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