Paul Sellers describes himself as a lifelong amateur woodworker, his insistence on amateur status comes from the fact that whether he got paid or not, he always worked wood. Paul has worked with wood nearly every day for over 50 years, his first day’s work began in a small joiner’s workshop in Stockport, England in 1965. No masterpieces ever emerged from that workshop, but it was there that his lifelong work with wood began. It was in this workshop that he learned woodworking techniques that he still uses to this day. In the beginning, no one knew of him, but now his work and designs furnish the homes of President Bush and Senator Gramm. Two of his pieces grace the Cabinet Room of the White House as part of the White House Permanent Collection there.
Aside from big cabinet-making projects, he has made and designed many smaller projects. He has even taken on more unusual woodworking projects such as building a cello with his son. Many of his designs are replicated by other woodworkers who admire his work and need to make a living.
Paul is now considered one of the best known woodworking teachers in the world, his Youtube channel is the most subscribed to UK woodworking channel.
Paul spent large part of his working life in the USA where he began teaching woodworking, the craft he learned through a traditional apprenticeship, to others through short courses. He taught his first ever course for the Texas Arts and Crafts Foundation. This led him to create a structured training program for others to master hand tool skills. By incorporating these traditional methods into their everyday woodworking, thousands of people now work safely and productively in their home workshops.
Paul started apprenticing others to make wood work for them. He came into contact with a whole world of woodworkers, hundreds of thousands of them, who had never regularly used hand tools. They wanted to gain the skills he had, soon they began asking him to train them at weekends in his shop. He wanted to share his love of woodworking, so in the evenings he taught children by the dozen for twenty years. Out of those children came the next generation of craftsmen who progressed into apprenticeships, became journeymen and finally ended up as craftsmen in their own workshops.
Since then he has been dedicated to educating and training fellow woodworkers. Paul continues to create new designs as part of his regular work. He loves to lecture and demonstrate his craft work. This is where he connects with real people working wood.
Return to UK
In 2008 he moved back to the UK and founded the New Legacy School of Woodworking at Penrhyn Castle in North Wales. It was here, in 2011, where he began creating simple YouTube tutorials helping more people than ever to access basic woodworking information from all over the world. Following the success of his online tutorials, in 2012 he launched Woodworking Masterclasses where he released project episodes on a weekly basis.
In 2016 he moved a workshop to Oxfordshire, in the small village of Long Wittenham where he worked amongst many other talented makers at Sylva Wood Centre. In Spring 2016 he released his latest book, Essential Woodworking Hand Tools. In 2017 Paul hit a milestone of 250,000 subscribers to his Youtube channel. Paul wants to encourage people who had a passion for woodworking, but had no experience, to give it a go. He started Common Woodworking, a site for beginner woodworkers, to provide basic tool guides and courses which would help beginners to start their woodworking journey. In early 2018 Paul moved to his current studio in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
Paul has become recognised on an international level through his online presence, teaching the masses and sharing his love of the craft.
You can find his past articles in Woodwork, Woodworker West, Popular Woodworking, The Woodworker, Traditional Woodworker, Good Woodworking and others.