Paul Sellers’ disclaimer

With the aim of delivering sound teaching to a broad range of people pursuing woodworking Paul Sellers writes and presents via as many channels as he can. Sometimes readers and viewers mistakenly think that Paul must be receiving money for products he recommends.

That is why we have created this page; to make clear who Paul works for and why.

Paul is the founder and owner of New Legacy School of Woodworking. He is a director and shareholder of his company, Paul Sellers & Company Ltd. Paul also works in association with Rokesmith Ltd which trades as Woodworking Masterclasses. Paul writes, teaches and presents for these businesses and this is how he earns a living. This includes income from advertising on YouTube. However, this does not involve Paul being sponsored by the advertisers to recommend or comment on anything in particular.

Paul has many friends in woodworking and business. However, beyond those mentioned above, he has no obligations or interests either contractual or implied which would make him recommend or endorse any tool or service over another.

Paul is paid a small royalty on products that he has presented or written.

Page updated: February 2017

124 thoughts on “Paul Sellers’ disclaimer”

  1. John Montgomery

    i am totally in awe in what you do. You reminded of something I read about Picasso, apparently he could draw a perfect circle free hand. I got lot from one of your comments about using all your five senses when working with wood.

    1. I just watched my first dvd on MASTER Mortise and Tenons and was truly impressed, NO power tools and am inspired to give it a try a true artist and the video is very well done!
      Michael Price

  2. What an incredible experience it is to watch your videos. I just got done watching you cut tenons, and was really impressed with your “poor man’s router”.
    I wish you could show how you prepared that.

  3. Hello Mr Sellers,
    Thank you for your youtube videos. You have been a great inspiration.for me.
    I have just finished watching the videos (for the second time) on how to build a workbench without first having one . I have resolved to try and build a 6 footer using ash. Is this a good choice of wood? Not counting your choice of spruce in the video, it seems all the benches I have seen use hard maple.

    Rick Brown
    Durham, NC

    1. Any wood makes a bench. Ash is fine, nothing particularly special or really different. A spruce one or a pine one will last as long as any hardwood and thats my point in the video. I find they are more absorbing and I have used them for 50 years. I have also worked on “premium quality” hardwood ones and been fine with them too.

  4. Mr. Sellers,
    I simply want to thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the artistry that is wood working with hand tools. I applaud you for educating others in working wood simply and traditionally. You are truely an inspiration!

  5. Todd M. Richardello

    Mr.Sellers, first of all, thank you for providing the incredible videos, they are truly an inspiration and to mimic James above, and so are you!!. Any idea when you will be back in the good ole USA for some teaching time? Good health to you

    1. I think this coming year i will be there some, hopefully, but we will see soon as we finish my schedule for 2015.

      1. Greetings Mr. Sellers from Indian Trail, NC, USA,

        Enjoyed watching your use of clamps in the vise. Now that I’ve retired and have more time than space in my garage I’m planing to set up a workbench and practice making things of wood. Thank you for teaching and sharing your knowledge and making it all look so easy. It reassures me that it can be done without power tools.

        1. I always see what people call power tools as unpower tools as they mean people are disempowered to trust themselves to create good work using hand methods. I know many professional woodworkers that cannot cut dovetails by hand or make a mortise and tenon joint in a reasonable time and certainly not too well either. None of the ones I know can sharpen a saw without power equipment and guides either. On the other hand I know thousands of amateurs that can and that’s what matters.

          1. Mr. Sellers, with your help and guidance I intend to be one of those amateurs. Thanks for all you do!

  6. Robert Haldeman

    Mr. Sellers. . I am in awe of what you can do with hands tools. I am also very frustrated with how some of my projects turn out at times. I have watched your video’s on You Tube and I would like purchase them along with your book. to help improve my skills. Is there a website or Mailing address??

    1. I think it’s better to follow the blog and indeed go back through items you might be interested in. There the information is more current and there’s about a hundred times more info there too. The best videos are via woodworking masterclasses where for a modest monthly subscription you can access dozens of hours of past videos and keep up to date with new projects designed to teach the skills you need through ever advancing projects ranging from spoons to tool chests and tables to bookcases.

      1. Jonathan Spencer

        Greetings; I am wondering about the masterclasses you mentioned in the above comment. Where can I find those classes and/or sign up for them?
        Thank you for sharing your lifetimes worth of knowledge with all of us. I am now retired and have decided to use woodworking as a way to spend as much time with my son and grandson as I can. Thank you for helping me make that dream a reality.
        Cheers mate

  7. Dear Mr. Sellers, We are always in school whilst we are alive. Finding you on site was overwhelming for me. In just a few hours with you I climed high. Thanks, Tommy.

  8. Dear Mr Sellers. I’m 67 years old and have had the intention of doing some woodword the right way.
    But when I tought of buying table saws, routers and the such, these tools being too much expensive in Brazil, I have always postponed my wish.

    Now I found your videos in the Internet and that opened to me a new vision on how to do woodworking.

    I have access to a group that does some voluntary work teaching the less favored guys in the area and I just started helping them by sharping their chisels, using your method with sandpapers of various grits. And IT WORKS!!!

    Thanks very much for your patience and good teaching.
    André Silva

  9. Christopher Webster

    Mr. Sellers,

    As an amateur woodworker, I have found your lessons to be invaluable. When I started woodworking I found many resources in magazine and video form, and they all pointed me toward power tools. I became frustrated as these tools are both expensive and have a large footprint. My woodworking budget and ‘shop’ is limited; I began to despair that I couldn’t work with wood and considered just giving up.I spent several years in this sad state.

    I stumbled across your video and in them you showed me that I can pursue my hobby without taking out a second mortgage on my home. Thank you! Also, and I really want to make a point of saying this, I have found no other resource that showed me how to foursquare the wood. Everyone else simply said “we have our stock prepared…”

    After several frustrating projects where I didn’t square and flatten my wood, I began to wonder what was wrong with me or what was I doing wrong. Thank you, thank you, thank you for opening my eyes to this elemental concept, and showing me how to do it. I now have several hand planes and I love using them and learning to be more proficient with them.

    Indebted to you,

    Christopher Webster

    1. Thanks for taking the time. Punching keys is not going to be our preferred thing when wood and tools and bench stand waiting. I appreciate it.

    1. Planing the four sides of a piece of wood flat, straight and parallel to one another. Usually ready for subsequent work such as joinery, panel work and so on.

  10. Stumbled onto you while doing a google search about sharpenning wood chisels. Needless to say, I am hooked. Thank you sir!!

  11. Mr Sellers your videos and written instructions are excellent. It had been my desire for many years, I’m 78, to true up(four square) a board and been unable to do it. After watching your video,several times, I decided to attack it again starting with a short length of twisted 2 x 6. Out came the 40-year-old Sears 14″ jack plane, checked the adjustments, made sure the iron was razor sharp, and went at it. Success!! So easy and what a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. I decided to try again, this time with a short length of 1 x 6, and again success. Now it was time for the acid test.

    My daughter needed a 12 x16 cutting board and I had some 5/4, rough sawn(and I mean ROUGH sawn) hard maple that was aching to become a cutting board. I got a Stanley scrub plane on Ebay for great price, sharpened the blade to get the nicks out and attached the twist in the maple. First using the scrub plane and then the jack plane I got two 7-1/2 x 16 pieces squared up. Now comes the problem.

    The only No. 4 plane I had was a Groz(should be renamed Gross) purchased several years ago before I knew better. They are rubbish; could not get it tuned and adjusted. As one reviewer wrote, they make good paperweights. Following your advice, I got a refurbished one on Ebay; Stanley No. 4, Type 16. It needed some work, e.g. flatten and polish the iron, square it up, sharpen it, square up and hone the chip breaker to get good contact with the iron. Not a problem. Reassemble, and test it on the edge of a pine board. Perfect!. Then go to smooth the maple: TEAROUT! I’ve checked everything, i.e. bevel on the iron is 24 degrees, chip breaker is 1mm from the end of the iron, iron is square, chip breaker is square and no light between it and the iron, iron is parallel to the sole. Aaagggghhh. Can you help me? I’m trying to ween myself off the machines and don’t want to have to resort to the Delta planer. Thanks.

    Best regards, and Merry Christmas. JT

    1. Read the grain of the wood. Try to plane away from the grain, (down hill) to minimize tear out. If the wood is quilted or figured maple, they are very particular about very sharp tools.

      Have you tried a card scraper yet? If you haven’t yet, do so. This is my favorite finishing tool, you can get truly amazing finishes with one of these. Mr. Sellers has a video or two posted on youtube about scrapers. They are very good with grain that is wild.

    2. You might want to watch the following Paul Sellers videos on You Tube:
      1) How to make square stock straight, smooth and square (stock preparation part 1) – with Paul Sellers:

      2) How to make flat boards straight, smooth and square (stock preparation part 2) – with Paul Sellers:

      3) How to build a workbench – Series of 11 videos – with Paul Sellers:

      I hope this information helps you to find a solution to your problem.

    3. James, tear out in maple is often because of reversing grain. If there is evidence of tiger striping or bird’s eye pattern the grain reverses repeatedly in those areas. There are several things you can try. One is to close the mouth down as much as possible. You need to loosen the frog and move it forward closing the gap between the iron’s edge and the forward edge of the mouth. Then taking a minimal cut – ca. 1-2/1000ths – you can flatten almost anything with enough effort. You can also look for a bevel-up “low angle” jack plane. With a fine set that can work well. Of course the secret to low angle planes is that the actual angle of attack is steeper than a normal bench plane. Scrapers should work too, though they are not ideal for flattenting surfaces. But, it is a cutting board. So how much of a problem IS tear out on it?

    4. I am fairly new to using bench planes myself and am having a similar problem with some yellow birch . I wonder if a back bevel on the plane iron would work . I’ve read somewhere that this could help because on a bevel down plane it increases the angle .

  12. Paul,

    I watched your video about sharpening a chisel. Would the chisel be sharp enough after the 2500 grit abrasive wet/dry paper? I’m asking because in the video you also used diamond plates.

    1. Sharpness is all relative Tony, as I am sure you know. Because of our present day obsessive behaviour surrounding sharpness and the accessibility to abrasives we can indeed readily sharpen beyond the real need for most work so the answer is generally, yes, 2,500 cuts would cleanly and relatively effortlessly. It takes very little effort to buff out 2,500 to 15,000 or more and so that’s the reason we often go the extra mile.

  13. Mr. Sellers,
    Thanks for sharing your skills and love of woodworking. Passing on your skill and knowledge to the next generation of woodworkers is fantastic.
    All the best,

  14. Thank you for sharing your skills and taking the mystery out of woodworking. I have spent hours watching your videos on Woodworking Masterclass. Now I have a set of diamond plates, and old Stanley No. 4 from ebay, a sliding bevel, a combination square, and a set of Narex chisels. A small vise on an old Ikea bench acts as my woodworking table for now. I can’t wait to begin the process of making with my own hands.

    I do hope you host a class or two in the US in 2015. I would love to attend.

    -AM, Lakeland, FL

  15. Thanks to John F for braving the question about the pencil sharpener. (“There are no stupid questions . . . . “). My efforts with a knife and then a hand sharpener couldn’t come close to matching the length and sharpness that show so clearly in your Small Dovetail Box video (my third project under your guidance). So I have joined probably a hundred others to rush for a Swordfish Pointi. Swordfish must be wondering what’s the point of the sudden rush. And, yes, I’ll smile while I sharpen.

  16. Chris Mulvihill

    Hi Paul,

    I want to also chime in with my thanks for your efforts. Your knack of making woodworking relevant and accessible in a world of automation has touched a chord in me previously unsung. There is no episode which didn’t register an “aha” moment about a previous failure (or barrier which I hadn’t lept in planning).

    While I have access to power tools (which I sheepishly admit to using frequently), I revel in the feeling of accomplishment when after first attempting to sharpen chisels I was able to shoot directly through a test piece as if I had a steel laser; or when after sharpening my first hand plane iron, I four squared a small block of wood (I didn’t want to ruin a larger piece with my sophomoric efforts). Marvelous.

    You have touched lives and inspired me in such a way that my family feels the loss, though they only have to search the garage to regain me.

    Your patient student,

    Albuquerque, NM

  17. Hello Mr. Sellers Thank you for your videos. You present them in a friendly, positive fashion. I am especially interested when you talk about the philosophy and history of woodworking and the various hand tools that you use. Your videos have enticed me to try things in woodworking that I never thought I would/could ever do. You have an incredible series of videos.

    Many thanks

    D Harley
    Edmonton, Alberta

  18. Mr. Paul, I have to say I have been making decisions on DVD woodworking courses to order and pursue at my own pace around work. After watching your youtube videos and reading your blog, I am going to order the Master Series you have produced. I am have been hooked on woodworking for a few years now and very interested in learning how to do great hand tool woodwork without having to buy tons of the many specialty tools out there. I truly want to get better at marking, using hand planes, using chisels, and hand saws and maybe a couple other tools as needed, and to strive toward making great projects with only the needed basics. When I saw your course, I really felt like that was the direction to go. Thanks for sharing your passion for working wood.

  19. The best tutorial I have ever seen, always wating for your next video. Your bench is on my list, but next I want to build the saw sharpening clamp. Would love to have the dimensions as it is hard to estimate the size from the video.

  20. Best teacher ever…You got me loving woodworking even more. I dropped a few of my power tools lately and that’s all because of you.

    1. Thank you, Success comes slowly to the patient. It’s been a 25 year work, but now it’s maturing. What others take for granted today was an uphill pull for some of us countering the industrialisation of a simple craft three decades ago, but it is so rewarding to see people soaring to new highs.

  21. Hi Paul. Last year I moved house and decided to do a bit of DIY. Going to the local B&Q I decided that Shelving and basic things like that were overpriced. money being tight as it is I decided to Make a go of it myself, only relying on what I was tought many years ago at school.. needless to say I was standing in my utility room with some wood, saw, square and pencil thinking, Hmmm.
    I decided to look on Youtube, I watched many videos on shelving and it got me inspired again about woodworking. So I Went looking on youtube for teaching and ‘how to’ videos and came across yours.
    Needless to say I lapped up Every episode gaining hunger every time! Your a Master teacher.
    Over the Winter months I have aquired a few hand tools, a set of chisels, saw’s and even a stanley plane (still boxed). Now that the Sun is coming out I want to start doing more stuff for the house.
    I’m watching your videos for reference all the time, I just want you to know that you changed my life at 45. (my wife and four kids thank you too).

    One thing i’m having a problem with is sharpening my chisels, I used the stone that came with the set.(draper). I fear that I have damaged one because i cant seem to get it sharp again. (i left the others after that failure) I’m thinking its due to the stock stone provided with the set.
    I tried to follow your way but with one stone…
    Living in Aberystwyth There isnt a dealer for quality stones around the corner. I wonder if you would consider e-mailing or posting here where in the UK you bought your stones and the grades for easy reference? or even if you make and sell the three stone ‘woodenblock’ you use in the video..

    Thanks again for your Inspirational videos. If only I was young again to start a career as you have… anyway, Thanks!

    1. It’s all written up on my blog here is a starter. Tons of stuff there and a new book and DVDs out soon too.

    2. Dave Littlewood


      Check out Axminster Tools (I don’t work for them!)
      I have one of their two sided diamond plates (400/1000 grit) and one of their strops and I can almost shave with the plane iron!
      I use a Stanley honing guide as I can’t keep the plane iron at a constant angle but other than that I followed Paul’s video.

      You might need a more coarse grit to shape the plane bevel but once it’s at the correct angle and square to the iron then a 400/1000 combination plate should be enough.

      1. Paul Sellers

        Though I don’t doubt you are getting good results initially, our experience with these diamond pattern plate surfaces is the nickel plating separates from the steel plates after a short time so they cannot be recommended. Our testing policy is to use tools on a daily basis for six months before we pass judgement. This happened within a few weeks, perhaps within 5 hours of use.

        1. Hello,

          I’ve found your videos very educational: thanks.

          You say that the diamond-patterned diamond stone from Axminster deteriorates very rapidly. Is there one that you would recommend at a similar price?

          Best wishes and many thanks,

          Ben Grant

          1. Ben, for simple rejuvenation of a bevel, a cheap Norton synthetic, two-sided India stone work just fine. Mr. Sellers demonstrated using a glass substrate with sand paper and that work very well too. The important part is getting the chisel edge square and not rounding the edge from the back (it make cutting square corners difficult).

          2. You must consider the longterm benefits in any case. Diamonds cut fast and last well and the only reason I do recommend EZE-Lap diamond plates is because they do last well and for most woodworkers working part time sharpening a normal set of hand tools; that’s a chisel set and half a dozen different planes, they should last for a couple of decades I’m sure. The other advantage also is flatness or near flatness at least. Abrasive papers and film on glass is not a long term solution and therefore ultimately becomes one of the most expensive sharpening methods. Two-sided stones like Norton India stones are fine and I used them for years too. They will not stay flat but then stones do not technically need to remain flat.

  22. Hi Paul,
    As a metal worker I had always dreaded the thought of using wood for any project. In hindsight I was using cheap unsharpened tools with zero passion. I was probably scared of the wood as well.
    YouTube was stuck on your uploads for about 3 hours the first night. I couldn’t wait for the next hint and all of those aha moments where I thought, that makes so much sense.
    Preparing granddads plane on sandpaper and using it and feeling the wood then going for one of the chisels that he would have used as a young man. As a 43 year old who never met my grandfathers I have a link that I never thought possible.
    Thank you.

    My first mortice and tenon.
    Sharpening planes and chisels.
    Making a wooden workbench.
    Losing a car spot in the garage.
    Teaching my 8 year old.
    small tear in the eye.

    Thank you again

    Splitty Miller
    Windsor NSW Australia

  23. Joseph Sarver

    Mr. Sellers,
    Thank you for all the teaching. I have really enjoyed it and taken much away. The knife wall has really made my work faster and more accurate.
    If you are looking for a new project to teach, the tool cabinet in your shop would be great.
    Thanks again for sharing your skills,
    Joe sarver
    Sedalia Missouri, USA

    1. Paul Sellers

      I didn’t invent the knifewall but I did coin naming it “knifewall”. I wasn’t the first to create a knife wall to butt the saw and the chisel up against it by making the angled horizontal cut to more deeply define and refine it for cutting to but no one ever showed me this method so for me I did develop it and refine the striking knife which was simply a steel blade that marked the wood similarly to say a pencil line; on the surface and not cutting necessarily.
      Mostly I just made accuracy a reality for others who might never have had the experience I developed and even invented over the years by passing it on.

  24. I know this is heresy, but the knifewall also works very well to eliminate/reduce tearout on the table saw, band saw and even router cuts.

  25. Dave Littlewood

    Your videos and enthusiasm for working wood by hand has re-kindled my childhood love of making things
    As a Professional Engineer I have designed power generation equipment that has been installed throughout the world but seeing those super fine shavings coming from a plane that I have restored with a blade that I have sharpened by hand produces so much more satisfaction.

    What is disappointing is the price of new and second hand tools!
    My dad had a raft of old woodworking tools that fell into disrepair (I remember him using chisels as screw drivers! but then he was a brick layer, not a carpenter! 😉 ), now I’m looking for good shoulder plane and a good dovetail saw and I wish i’d realised the treasure in my dad’s shed!

  26. Paul,

    As a retired dentist in Holland I picked up the idea of making a chestorgan. After a lifetime of singing in a choir and a brother who PlayStation the organ the sound of wood is so soft and gentile, Thatcher was the reason i picked up that idea. Als a dentist I had the idea that we work precise. Seeing you work with love for your craftmanship, I now know that I can continue to do so in woodworking.After a lot of trying and retrying. And all of that without powertools. Thank you for your inspiring video’s.

    Art Boogaard

  27. Lake Mellott

    Can you please show us how you make ALL of the “poor mans” tools? Maybe you already have? I have seen router, shoulder plane, beading tool. Are there more?

  28. Hi Paul!

    I just want to start by saying thank you for all your videos, teachings and insight. I can’t get enough of your you tube videos. You really are a master.

    I just wanted to ask what sort of oil do you use in your ‘rag-in-a-can’ plane lubrication system? Is it something like 3-in1? Or will cooking oil work as effectively?

    Thanks in advance


    1. It’s just Three-in-1 light machine oil squirted in every three months or so. Any light machine oil will work though. I would avoid an natural oil because they go rancid or worse they can spontaneously combust. Boiled linseed oil especially.

  29. Garth Schafer

    Hi Paul,
    I found you via several mentions on the “English Woodworker” site and spent most of an evening enthralled with the videos and the simplicity you bring to woodworking tasks. It got me back into the shop after several months off from frustration. Thanks!

    I too use a combination of sandpaper and diamond stones for sharpening, but you have converted me ( in one test run!) to your cambered bevel technique. I now enjoy sharpening!

    To the question. I lap the back of a chisel/plane blade on 220 grit paper glued to a certified granite block and get good contact on the sides and cutting edge. I move to a diamond plate to continue lapping (220 or 320) and now I have contact on two spots on the side and no contact on the cutting edge, indicating that it has not been flattened. I have experienced this many times. Its like I am getting dubbing from the paper, yet I saw you lapping on loose sandpaper.
    Is this just a question about how flat is flat? If I stick with the sandpaper through the whole lapping process will it work out at the end? When I get to 2500 grit sandpaper and then test on a diamond plate I will find the blade flat?

    Garth Schafer
    Vernon, BC

    1. Garth Schafer

      Paul, I would delete this if I could, I realized it was the wrong spot to post it. Apologizes

    2. It’s hard to say without accessing the granite. Is this dead flat and proven or just a piece of granite that looks close? If the latter, perhaps that’s where the problem is. Personally I find that a dead flat chisel is not essential for 98% of my work. The occasion I might want such a thing then doesn’t bother me, I can make it work.I suggest you follow through with the slight disparity and try the chisel to see if it works for you. I think we have a small group pf woodworkers who will spend much effort on dead flatness but not necessarily to work the wood.

  30. Garth Schafer

    The granite is certified, but you have answered my question from your perspective. If it is flat enough to work, that’s what counts. I have been approaching this as a machinist instead of as a woodworker. Thanks again for once more simplifying things.

  31. Michael Wheeler

    James I went through the same process as you recently. I explained my problem to a carpenter friend & he suggested I back the cap iron / chip breaker off a bit more – say 2-3mm. That worked perfectly for me, might be worth a try for you. Regards, Michael.

  32. Hi Mr Sellers, just a big thank you for your videos, your voice is nice and steady and relaxing to listen and you don’t waffle on which makes watching the video easier, Most people ramble on and talk a load of nonsense fast and you get fed up of listening to them so the video becomes un watch-able. Is there any chance of you doing a scarf joint ?
    Regards Frank Cutler

  33. Mr. Sellers, I want to start off thanking you for your time and effort to put out your videos and blog for everyone’s benefit. i just want to let you know I watched your sharpening videos, bought myself a quality fine/extra fine combination diamond stone, with only that, and a buffing with 1500 grit sandpaper, I now have razor sharp chisels and plane blade! Another youtuber wants people to buy a $125 diamond stone and a $160 water stone, I invested $68 total for a quality combination diamond stone and a pack of sandpaper and get excellent results following your ideas.

  34. After sharpening and honing on the plates, what grade would the leather strop + oxide sharpen to? Is it in the tens of thousands?

    1. Hard to say as the makers don’t usually control the grit size too tightly. Usually around 10,000.

  35. Was looking at a Stanley 12-978 rabbit plane on Ebay. Then I noticed that Home Depot and Walmart carried the same plane. What? Then I found out that it is made in, well I’ll leave the country of manufacture out I’ll just say I live in West Virginia USA and where you lived in the US is much closer to the country of manufacture than where I live. I’m sure the workers are capable of learning and applying craftsmanship that could make just as good a tools as Stanley and Record but the company they work for won’t let them. The company is interested in money not quality.

    That said, when making the Assembly Table what Stanley, Record or whatever rebate/rabbet plane was you using? What “Old Timer” rebate/rabbet plane or planes do you recommend folks like me to “invest” our money in?

    Thank you, for this answer and all the know how and tricks of the trade you have taught me over the past few years.

    P.S. That new book is due out this month, November. Has it been released yet? Do you have a release date? Is there a delay?

    Again, thanks Paul…

  36. Richard James Kinch

    Both of my Grandfathers were master builders and woodworkers and I have luckily inherited their treasured tools. As both were born in the 1880’s, they have long since departed this mortal realm and are unable to teach me the sharpening and finer details in the use of these tools. Then you came along Paul. With your patient and intrinsic method of teaching, you are a Godsend to me and to my son who will inherit these treasure.
    Thank you for all you have taught me and will teach me and my son.

    Regards Richard Kinch N.S.W Australia

  37. I watch your videos mostly for relaxing entertainment. (I am not saying you couldn’t teach me anything of course.) Occasionally I might find things we do in a slightly different way, but brother you get folk woodworking ans that matters most! Cheers.

  38. Hi Paul,

    I took the essential joinery course from you twice when you were teaching in Texas and enjoyed both experiences. Your demos at the Thanksgiving Craft Fair were equally awe inspiring. Techniques that you taught me over ten years ago still crop up every time I pick up a chisel. Thanks for your patience in sharing your craftsmanship with me and the thousands of others who continue to benefit from your skills both as a craftsman and a teacher.

  39. Your teaching has inspired me to reopen my workshop after many years. I chose a plane over a sander to finish some presents last week and recognized your teaching. The hiss of the plane was much easier on my nerves than the screaming sander. Thank you for all you do.

  40. Merry Christmas Paul.
    I took your nine day course back in November, it was a great experience.
    Thank you for all you do.
    Peace and Kindness


  41. Hello Paul,
    My name is Derrick and I want to be a wood craftsman. I’ve read your wood working 1 & 2, watched the movies and am in complete awe with what you do, not to mention how easy you make wood working look haha. However I’m noticing that planing isn’t as easy as it looks. The plane hops both with and against the grain. It also doesn’t help that my bench is sliding on me everytime I try to plane. I guess I feel kind of lost and I just started. Wood working by hand at least. I love wood working and I don’t want to quit. I guess I’m just looking for a tip or two and a few words of encouragement. Thanks Paul and Happy New Year.


    1. It sounds as though the plane is not adjusted correctly as you don’t say you are getting any decent shavings at all. Possibly you have not followed the steps fully for adjusting the plane. We have a new video showing this that will be available on YouTube soon.

  42. The iron in my plane starts to work like a mirror. And it planes better!
    Thank you very much indeed.

  43. Paul, I’m not ashamed to say that after each one of your videos that I watch on Youtube I simply say “Paul, you are amazing”. lol

  44. William D. Fouts

    Mr. Sellars:

    I echo all the great comments above. Your philosophy and methods are a marvel and very much needed in today’s world. You Sir; remind me of my father ( 80 and still motorvating), he is excellent with his hands and head (Master Diesel Mechanic, as is my brother) and could work multiple ways. He also was very good with woodwork when he was younger (but better with mechanics). Your blog, video’s and commentary are invaluable. Perhaps I can one day attend one of your classes, but in the meantime, I will have to suffice with the internet. I hope to retire in several years and want to attend the ‘Krenov’ school (College of Redwoods Fine Furnishings program. The school is only 3 hours away.
    However, before then I’ll keep working with some old castoff’s I’ve refurbished, make my mistakes and teach myself, look again and try again.
    Thank you, for myself and for others, for all that you have done.

  45. Joseph Bonnici

    Dear Mr Sellers,

    To say that I too am your ardent follower would perhaps be superfluous after the above comments. I follow you channels from Malta and am writing about a difficulty which I’m lately experiencing. I want to cross two sections – 25 x 25mm in the form of a T with the upper corners largely chamfered off – locally used in windows (sometimes at very acute angles!) to hold glass panes. A simple task one might say, but an elusive one and try as I may I cannot obtain a perfect joint, without any light showing through the joint. So since I’ve never watched you doing anything similar in your videos, I thought perhaps you might show me how it could be done.

  46. Jeroen from Twente

    Dear mr. Sellers,

    I would really thank you for sharing this much information on woodworking and the craftsmanship you show for free. It’s a tremendous source for me! I’ve bought some secondhand tools on your advice and nothing disappointed me. The way you turn disadvantages or disappointments to something positive and energetic is really a stimulus on doing things low cost and by yourself. Nice approach to life and assignments.

    I’ve done some searching but can’t find an extensive “how to use marking tools as marking gauge and square and how to mark accurate”. I’d love to see some 20 or 30 minutes in close up how your use and set up the marking gauge and accurately marking with the beveled sliding square for example.

    Best regards, keep healthy, Jeroen from Twente, The Netherlands

  47. Erik Lindskog

    Mr Sellers,

    I have been looking at may of your videos on YouTube and I am really impressed by your craftmanchip, ingenuity and pedagogic ability but I have one question.

    You do both woodworking and metal work at the same bench, in the same vise. I learned never to mix the two because the metal chips may marr and stain the wood but you do not seem concerned at all about this. Is this not an issue at all?

    1. Generally no, but I do have a metal working vise I use for some work too. I will always sharpen my saws and scrapers at my bench as did the men I worked with. The reason I might prefer a metal vise at a metal working bench is that the vise is generally higher than a woodworking workbench and so then the work is higher and better suited for say hacksawing and filing work. I am often criticised by metal workers for being a clutz using metal working files but they have more designated vises and workbenches and they are not concerned about always showing the back of the hand for making a film.
      No, I am not worried about contamination. I cannot recall a time when anything went wrong.

  48. Dear Mr Sellers,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge in the use and sharpening of planes and chisels. Having now acquired this knowledge, it has transformed my woodworking experience. It is now a pleasure to plane wood which was previously a very onerous and overly energetic task. Now I have wispy shavings and light exercise as opposed to torn wood and a full on cardio workout.

    Thanks again, and here’s wishing you may continue for as long as you wish.

  49. Hi Paul,

    How to do woodwork.

    Go into your 500 sq ft workshop and turn on your jointer, planer, table saw, band saw, router, spindle moulder, drum sander, etc, etc. Add in some glue and a few clamps and out pops a fitted kitchen!
    Thank you so much for your YouTube videos; real woodworking with real tools and real skill.

  50. Hello Mr Sellers,I have been a fan since first I discovered you on Youtube. You recently? showed how to make a frame saw that I was very taken withand would like to try to make. I did not gather what was the length of the blade you used,the TPI and where one might be got. Could you fill me in ,please. Thank you for hours of enjoyment, I must watch a little less and try to execute some of the skills you show. Thank you, Eddie

    1. Frame saws have limited usage but if you are set on making one try using an old industrial band saw blade, once it is stretched on the frame it will suffice. the dimensions are not important but what you feel is right for you is. Using what you have may be a better option than building a monster that will cover half a wall when not in use. TIP, use the saws you have, work from both sides of the cut, make a scurf cut to guide the blade.

      1. I’m not sure if most ofEurope would agree with your statement that frame saws have limited use without your saying in what way, Sidney. Most if not the whole of mainland Europe tamed all of their wood with frame saws and of course England’s beginnings of sawing relied on frame saws too. Frank Klause and Tage Frid, two famous makers of the highest calibre, relied on frame saws from what I recall too.

  51. Dear Mr. Paul Sellers, You have inspired our entire family. Your techniques are incredible and at 49 years of age I feel like I’m just learning the true methods of being a craftsman. You will be happy to know your videos have inspired our 10 year old son. We consider you family, my son calls you “Mr. Paul”. Thank you for the techniques but most of all thank you for teaching us all to be more self reliant.

  52. Mr. Sellers, thanks for clearly stating AND showing your focus on working wood not just making perfect shavings. Your comments about obsession in sharpening has inspired me to dive in. I was working to correctly remount my vise on my old bench and having a hard time squaring a glued-up block with my little #3 plane. On the wall, a rusty #7 jointer I bought on impulse for $15 at a garage sale but never started the restoration of it. In desperation I gave got it down and gave it 10 minutes using your manual sharpening method but only up to 600 grit sandpaper. I slapped the iron back in the plane and darned if that old #7 didn’t flatten up the block, rusty sole groaning back at me on every stroke. But I now have a front vise on the left side of the bench with the jaws level to the surface and I’m on my way to making actual things. Thank you.

  53. Paul, I would like to thank you for re-introducing me to the art of woodworking. Recently I discovered your YouTube videos and enjoyed watching them very much. Unfortunately, like many novice woodworkers, I started my woodworking experience as a power tool guy. If I could not do the work on my table saw or band saw then it probably would not get done. I looked at hand tools as almost a romantic, less effective way of woodworking that was used in the past. After watching master craftsman, like yourself and others, I have come to realize that hand tools are an essential part of effectively working with wood. They introduce an element of accuracy to my woodworking skills that I could not have had using power tools alone. You also introduced the notion of accurate layout of your work. Using my measuring tools a knife and my hand planes make my work has become so much more accurate and enjoyable to do. Watching a joint come together seamlessly is so much more gratifying for me now that I know I have more to do with its precision than a well tuned machine does. Thank you for your passionate work and inspiring lessons.

  54. Paul’s books and videos have been a revelation for me. I realize that I have often fallen into the “buy more gear” pattern of thinking. This has afflicted me in another pastime – playing guitar. Instead of practising with the equipment I have, I always imagine that buying new stuff will magically improve my playing. Golfers fall into this too – that new set of clubs thing.

    Also, I realize that, as a retired software developer, I had the wrong idea that only high tech power tools would allow me to cut straight and square. But actually I cut lots of crooked stuff with power tools, and make a hell of a racket and mountains of dust in the process.

    I am also conquering my fear of making woodworking mistakes by making lots of stuff out of lumber yard spruce. Fun!

  55. After twenty five years in the same house where I constructed most of my furniture in a frugal 100 sqr feet workshop (and using the garage as mounting place) using a mix of manual and power tools, I am to move to another country, another house and I am considering how to update to a new workshop to be more productive and to get more reward to use it.

    Thank you very much for your published videos including your interviews. I like your point of view and ideas and certainly they will help to create my own path for that new phase of my woodworking.

    God bless you.

  56. Paul, I am very appreciative of what you give to us, the aspiring woodworkers. I thank you very much. You must get an inordinate number of requests which, I can’t believe you have time to accommodate them all. I have seen many of your drawings in your journals on the masterworks site. Would be willing to do a video on your design process; one that includes your methods for drawing? The first place I saw this was when you “sketched” your hanging tool cabinet/chest and was taken with your woodworking precision while drawing.

    Again, thank you for all you have given us.

  57. Andrew Bonnitcha

    Thank you Mr. Sellers for your insightful and informative videos. After blowing up my cheap tablesaw, I thought I would go back to basics and re-learn how to use handtools. You have shown me what can be done, and how efficient hand tools can be.
    Cheers from OZ.

  58. Mr. Paul Sellers,

    I have been a woodworker for 20 plus years and started with hand tools ,but production shops seldom like the use of hand tools when there machinery in place . I would like to thank you for reminding my why I got into wood work in the first place. I really much prefer and enjoy the sound of a plane gliding over the wood, or my chisels slicing the checks of a tenon or the effortless slice of end grain, over the overpowering scream of machinery, lengthy setup times, or the fine cloud of dust that never really settles. I have almost totally stop using machinery in my home shop. Thank you for re-inspiring me and I look forward to viewing and reading more you have to share.

    Thank you again

  59. Hi Paul,
    Thank you for your video s, techniques and inspiration. I’ve been an amateur woodworker most of my life and watching your videos have taught me a lot of things I thought I knew but didn’t.

    About 10 years ago, I lost my detail vision ans was left with peripheral vision in one eye and are learning new ways to do things. One technique is to use a feeler gage to check for gaps instead of catching the light shining under the straight edge. I’m sure that there are other vision impaired woodworkers in your audience. I would be privileged to be part of discussions that might help others that find themselves with a similar problem.

    Ole last thing, for the life of me, I have not been able to make a vertical cut with a hand saw. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards,

  60. I wouldn’t care if you made a million off of your endorsements. Your teaching is sound and your techniques are proven. I venture out to look at the Cowboy woodworkers on occasion… but I always anchor back to Paul. My Christian faith is logical because of the Apostle Paul… and my woodworking is sound and logical because of the Craftsman Paul. You are in very good company!!!

    The first Paul Sellars woodworking project that I ever made was the dovetail marking tool (black walnut). I’ve since seen many fancy jigs and marking tools… and my wife even bought me one of them. Luckily it fits neatly in the drawer (that is rarely opened). My “Paul Sellars”, which is how I refer to the tool, is dark grey on all sides from pencil lead… as any true marking tool should be.

    I cannot possibly thank you enough Mr. Sellars. Your instruction… but more importantly your inspiration, is what has caused my bandsaw and table saw (and mortising machine) to go largely unused these days. In fact, thanks entirely to you, I now own a Stanley-Bailey #3 through #7… with a recent purchase of a Stanley shoulder plane. All worth their weight in gold as far as I am concerned.

    In short… thank you for giving me a love for the smell of wood again!!!

    Your unmet friend,

  61. I’ve been a keen DIYer for more years than I care to remember, and have been interested in woodworking ever since my father bought me my first (childrens) toolkit when I was still a single-figure age. Most of the items in it was frankly rubbish, but it thankfully included a bowsaw which saw me through many years. Now, after going through many YouTube vids about woodworking (mostly American, and usually of the “you can make this if you have a huge workshop and $30,000 worth of equipment”), it’s a real breath of fresh air to see someone who uses ‘real’ tools to do the same thing. I have since made another bowsaw pretty much to your design, and a ‘poor mans rebate plane’ out of an old but still functional chisel (it needed a lot of refurbishment before I could even start to think about sharpening it). Even though I have many electric tools (routers, planers, sanders & etc), I now find myself buying more handtools to do the same work, and frankly I get more pleasure now out of making things with those than I ever did with the powertools. Thank you for reigniting the pleasure of woodworking as a hobby rather than something a home DIYer has to do sometimes. A question though…. On my latest project I have to make some drawers, and was planning to use 3 or 4mm plywood for the bottom. How would you cut a slot in the wood to take the ply?

    Many thanks, John

    1. Mike Bronosky

      I’m not Paul but I would imagine he would use a plough plane or a router plane. I don’t have a plough plane but the router plane I have has a fence that attaches to the bottom so it can be used as an electric router to cut the dado. If you have a hand router with a ¼ or smaller blade and no fence a board could be clamped to the bottom to act as a fence. If the blade is too small to cut a dado that is wide enough, after the dado is cut to depth the fence could be moved over a bit to make the dado the width needed.

      1. I could easily use the electric router, but was wondering if there’s a manual way of doing it. Will look at the router plane and plough plane though, thanks for the heads-up 🙂

  62. Richard Norton

    Mr. Sellers
    I have been watching your videos and following your methods for several years. I am retired and enjoy going back to the old ways.
    Do you sharpen all your flat bladed plane irons using the same method such as on bullnose and rebate planes. Your expertise would
    be much appreciated.
    Truly yours,

    1. The only difference is we don’t round the corners o these other planes, only on the bench planes

  63. Stephen Renwick

    Can woodworkers be knighted? I think you should be!
    Thank you for your down to earth videos. They really really a great. I now do youtube searches using your name.
    You have clearly done a great deal of work on these. I know there is a LOT more to making all these presentations than turning on a video – a LOT more!! So thank you!
    I have watched a lot of your videos and will no doubt watch all of them in the end – most likely more than once.

    p.s. Your tuning fork for the plane is terrible! I’ve tried it loads of times on my Veritas low profile and it always comes out…. flat.

  64. Roger Dickinson

    Dear Paul,
    I have spoken to you before to thank you for making the transition to being a real woodworker (though imperfect) so easy and so enjoyable. I have two things to suggest.
    Firstly, please be aware that some of us can show you a few years of seniority, which have inevitable consequences. For example the idea of the effort necessary to resawing a very long board can have a serious dampening effect on the woodworking resolve!
    I very much like your fairly recent introduction of the use of good quality plywood into your woodworking examples, and in particular in the case of your workbench. I intend to use plywood into the making of the front and back boards of the bench I am making, because I think they will ease up the required cutting of joints. Similarly I think, as you have occasionally suggested, there is no need for a woodworker to feel shame at using power tools in a limited way to ease the way on effort-eating projects. I would hate to give up my drill driver for repetitive assembly and am considering getting a skilsaw for heavy sawing duties.
    Secondly, the reflections above, on sharpening and other acquired skills, resonated with me very powerfully. I can sincerely say that at my time of life, after a lifetime of on and off amateur wood working, I have only since chancing upon and following your teaching really become confident and happy with sharpening, and other processes, that used to fill me with total horror and fear of failure, and the answer, as also suggested above is losing the fear and gaining the confidence. This I have gained from your lessons and guidance and I thank you for it.

  65. Dear Paul,
    I have been watching your videos for several years and have begun working wood with hand tools. I’ve always felt I needed a better bench with which to make my projects. After watching your series on building a work bench (all three of them — your back yard, the new studio, & the plywood) I decided it was time to make my own. I purchased the materials in early June, watched and rewatched the videos over and over until I felt confident of each part, and as of today, July 21, 2019, I have completed MY Paul Sellers work bench. I look forward to many years of using it to create various items from wood. I also expect to practice many of the skills you share in your videos and posts and get better at working with wood using hand tools. To be sure, my bench is nowhere near perfect, but I made it, with all its flaws. It is a solid, sturdy bench. I have you the thank for the training and encouragement.

    Thank you for what you do sharing your skills and passing them on to the next generation.

    Gene Evans

  66. I currently live with my young family in a flat and lack the space and equipment to experience the pleasures of working with wood. Despite this, I still watch your technical videos for inspiration. I write computer software for a living and I now view this as a craft which is completely analogous to fine carpentry. My day to day work now has purpose as I strive to improve for the sake of improvement. Thank you for sharing your passion with the world!

  67. Diana Ferreira

    Dear Mr Sellers, I happened on a video of you and your teaching on YouTube after a long day in my pottery studio.

    Regretfully our headmaster in school refused me entrance to the woodwork class as he felt that I should concentrate on being equipped for my future as a good housewife and sent me back to the home economics class. (I never married …)

    We have an awesome fleamarket here in Cape Town and I have seen a lot of the tools you use. I will definitely start buying them, restore it and finally do proper woodwork (I have strong hands).

    Thank your for your practical and sound teachings. Much appreciated.

  68. I would like to send pictures of my saw sharpening holding jig but can’t find an email to send them. Would you like to see them? It’s quite good I think.

  69. Hi Paul,
    Thank you for your videos, they are very useful to a “once in a while” woodworker, like myself.
    My question concerns the sharpening angle you use on your chisels. When I was a sallow youth, (many years ago!), in our school woodwork lessons, it was drummed into us that chisels and plane irons were ground at an angle, (I can’t remember the actual figures), and then were sharpened at another, steeper angle. For instance if the grinding angle was about 22 deg then the sharpening angle would have been about 35 – 40 degrees.
    I notice that, today, the grinding and sharpening angles are the same. Is there a reason for this change of practice? and when did it come about?
    PS my schooldays were back in the 1060s.
    Thank you.

    1. Actually that guide is still given out as an industry guide whereas at the bench the loading and unloading of the iron into a guide interrupted the work flow markedly and became unnecessary as you developed muscle memory. It’s better to use the guide temporarily and then introduce yourself to freehand sharpening as It speeds the process up rather than postponing what you should learn and master anyway. Generally we avoid using grinding wheels as they are so unnecessary and so we use the coarse stones at around 25 degrees but end up raising the tools by 5 degrees to thicken and strengthen the edge that would otherwise fracture irregularly along the edge..

      1. christopher rodriguez

        Mr.Sellers, if only I could truly express my gratitude to you, for your time and effort to teach me how to be great as you really are a master. I know I will be a force to be recognized as one of your students. I wrote something down earlier today about how the tree’s life and energy are truly ours to enjoy and experience in this life and how healthy it is to work with such a great medium. Thanks to you and yours. I am gaining speed daily as I practice what I see from your work and dedication and from others alike. Thanks again for which I am grateful.

  70. Nathan Booher

    Mr. Sellers,
    Thank you for all the information you have made available through the internet. I am a wood shop teacher in Pennsylvania and because our school is closed due to the Corona virus, we have are beginning to have to use the internet to supplement our classes. Your joinery videos have been a huge asset to me in being able to get this information to my students since we are not allow to be in school currently. Thank you again and God bless.

  71. Jonathan Kevern


    First time leaving a comment on any such forum so here goes.
    I’ve subscribed to your channel, thank you very much, fantastic resource and inspiring content.
    I’m a hobby woodworker working in my shed amongst all the clutter that that builds up from family life and created a haven in the corner for my on use.

    I would appreciate some feedback around sharpening.

    I’ve got a 130 grit diamond plate to grind primary bevels on old plane blades and chisels but find it takes an age, so I’m going to purchase a grinding system to speed this up.
    I have two systems in mind, a whet stone wheel honing machine (record power etc) or a bench grinder machine with additional 180 grit CBN wheel.
    Both systems would do exactly what I need but not sure which way to go.
    Once the 25 degree angle is down I have no problem honing the final edge, really pleased with my scary sharp system.

    There is such a vast amount of information around nowadays that it gets quiet difficult to make a final decision.

    Any help please.



    1. Aaargh! Stop. Do not buy anything until you have seen something I now do. Suoer-coarse diamond plates stop working. The diamonds are extra costly and the coarse ones stop working because they create a series of plateaus atop each one. That is why I say start with 250 or 350 max. I am going to make a blog for you to follow so hang in there. My method is faster than the indeed machines or system you choose to buy. Just wait a day or three.

  72. Thomas Locatell

    I have recently discovered your wonderful content via YouTube. My work as a lifelong carpenter/joiner has led me on many paths and now I am exploring all the possibilities of hand work. I was so fortunate to have come across your presence on line now that I am retired and have plenty of time. My question for you is, how would you advise someone like me, who is older but extremely enthusiastic, on the best ways to work without aggravating the arthritis that comes from a lifetime of physical labor. You seemed to have weathered quite well. Thank you for being an inspiration.

  73. George Roland

    Dear Mr. Sellers,

    You have provided a wonderful service to us amateur wood workers, and I write to thank you for it. I recently had a need to use a Stanley hand router plane and found your lovely video on how to sharpen, set up and use one. This proved invaluable to me and I had great success using this plane as a result.

    I am building a cabinet with dados and I need to widen them slightly. I purchased a set of side rabbit planes for this purpose. I was able to accomplish my goal, but felt completely ignorant about sharpening, setting up and using this tool. If you ever have occasion to create a video on this subject, I, for one, would find it extremely useful.

    All the best,

    George Roland

  74. Dear Paul Sellers
    I’ve just come across your blog piece on woodblock printing.
    As I’m sure you know, before the adoption of photographic printing processes in the late C19th, for an illustration to be printed in a book or newspaper it first had to be engraved on a block of endgrain wood (normally boxwood), The making of engraving blocks was therefore an important trade. As box trees don’t make big timber, most blocks had to be made up from small pieces glued or bolted together.
    For a block to print properly, not only did the surface have to be smooth but it’s thickness had to be precisely the same as that of the metal type into which it was set (known as type high—-the diameter of an old shilling).
    I often think this is why block planes are so called, although the term doesn’t seem to have been used before Stanley and others used it for their small iron planes in the 1870’s or 80’s, by which time commercial wood engraving was becoming obsolete. It did continue for specialized uses like tool catalogues, where if it was wanted to show particular features of a tool or machine it could still be done more clearly by an engraving than by a photograph.
    Today it is usual to distinguish between a woodcut, done on the side grain of a board, and wood engraving, done on the end grain, which can be more precise. I suspect the example shown in your article may technically be called letterpress, where the actual letters are carved from wood, but I don’t know anything about that.
    I make my own engraving blocks in an amateur way and I use a block plane (Veritas—very good), although the initial thicknessing can be done with an electric router. Boxwood is of course scarce. An alternative is a tropical wood they call lemonwood. Pear is not bad.
    Best wishes.

  75. Steve Lankard

    Mr Sellers, it is a joy to watch your videos. I am a truck driver and usually measure in miles and hours . I have always had an interest in woodworking and have made a few projects with some degree of success. Your videos have shown me what is possible and how to accomplish much finer work than previous attempts.
    I too have had several Georges in my working life and value each of them.
    I do have one question that you might help me with. I acquired a plane that looks very similar to the #4Stanley but it was made by a relatively unknown company called Trustworthy. I have seen a couple of posts on other sites asking about the company but no one seems to know anything about them and I haven’t been able to find any history about the company. It is a good plane machined nicely sides are square to the sole. The frog is adjustable . It was made in the U.S. I thought that maybe with your many years in the craft you might have some insight.
    Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge it inspires me to do the same in my trade

  76. Pingback: It's a Small Thing - Paul Sellers' Blog

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