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Testimonials

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Working Wood 3
Very accessible guide to cabinet making using the old, manual tools; a craftsman's approach. Recommended. 17 Feb. 2015
I have had this book for around a week now and have been thoroughly enjoying going through it. How to describe it though ... I suppose it's a bit like getting an old-fashioned apprenticeship in woodworking, but in a well illustrated book format. Everything is presented in a very clear and orderly fashion. I guess I was mostly intrigued with the details of the old tools, but there is much more supporting information in addition. Summing it up, the value of it for woodworkers of different experience levels would be:

>Beginner - this book will demystify many of the strange manual tools you may have seen in a cabinetmakers hands. It will likely introduce a number that you have never even heard of. The book also brings together the "how to" knowledge that you need to get started e.g. making the right workshop accessories (sawhorses etc.) that you might need, or reconditioning an old plane (since you probably would have a hard time buying some of these new, or may have old ones passed on to you ...), sharpening blades without ruining them (beware the grinder), reminders of how important it is to work with the grain (and what happens when you don't) and so on.

>Intermediate - the book will likely fill holes that you may have in your knowledge. Most woodworkers these days haven't served an apprenticeship, so will probably have learned project by project (a bit more piecemeal). This book has a feast of pictures and advice on tools that you may not have used, or tips that you may not have heard; it's a great way to fill in gaps in your knowledge. You can skim the pictures to get a general sense of how to tackle certain jobs, or return to dive into the detail when it's time to finally do the job.

>Advanced - the step-by-step approach to some areas may be overkill in some areas (for advanced practitioners), but I'd think that most would still find nuggets of information or perhaps slightly different approaches they hadn't considered in here if they are open minded. I can see that not all advanced practitioners like books that demystify their art, but others (maybe most) will appreciate this book as a way to pass on the knowledge of the art. Not everyone has served an apprenticeship (in some form) or had a kindly old figure to pass along the knowledge! In my opinion, it's much better to see these old techniques in use by people having a go than to relegate these old tools to the museum.

So - in summary - I love the book. It's going to take me years to slowly accumulate the various tools described, but I now feel like I have a handy guide that I can use to figure them out as I go along. I don't anticipate ever being a cabinet-maker for a living, but I am looking forward to trying my hand at making some items completely by hand, with the old tools, using the old ways. Happy times ahead.

Overview of the sections of the book:

Section 1 - Your workshop: Layout, dust control etc.
Section 2 - Setting out tools, edge tools, planes for cabinet making
Section 3 - Rebate planes, grooving / plow planes, moulding planes (including details on restoring old planes)
Section 4 - Sharpening curved plane irons
Section 5 - Work holding devices, bench work holding devices, other devices (shooting sticks etc), tapered sliding dovetail joints, shooting boards
Section 6 - Glues, finishes, solvents and fillers 5stars.png R. Millar Amazon.com

 

 

“Paul Sellers is a great character. He is not only a supremely talented wood worker, but also an inspiring teacher, and a prophet for modern hand working skills in wood. In this book he gives us both detailed and practical instruction, and a taste of his passion for the pleasures and dignity of developing hand skills. It is both ancient and modern, and valuable beyond price” 5stars.png - M. Ael y Bryn Amazon UK

 

“I went on one of the author's courses at the New Legacy School of Woodworking at Penrhyn Castle, and was very impressed with his teaching skills as well as his mastery of woodworking. The book was bought as a reminder, and fully lives up to my expectations. So much so, that I bought the DVD set to go with it”  5stars.pngK James Amazon UK

 

Excellent for anyone new to woodwork or looking to improve   

I was impressed with the quality of the teaching demonstrated by Paul, his effortless technique put the viewer at ease and encouraged me to try things for myself, I have a little experience in woodworking but I've already picked up some good tips and knowledge (especially around dove tails and tenon joints). 

Some of the computer graphic segments between actual teaching pieces can get a little annoying but don't let that distract you from the quality of the teaching, last year I paid 5 x the cost of these DVD's to go on a 10 day training course in cabinet making and quite frankly, I could have picked up 95% of what I learned from these DVD's for 1/5 of the price, plus you can always refer back to them, try doing that with a training course! 

And it was nice to see someone using relatively inexpensive tools that have been set up rather than the boutique Veritas and Lie Nielsen tools, taught me that even a relatively cheap plane can be fettled to give good performance ( I have since watching Paul bought a Stanley 4 1/2 and set it up as he describes it now works like a charm and is my "goto" plane in the workshop) 5stars.png - Paul W  Artisan Webshop

 

Most excellent guide   

First of all I had never worked with wood until I met Paul Sellers. I bought this excellent guide to learn how to do REAL woodworking without using electrical machinery. I have found it to be an invaluable reference to getting the right tools, restoring them, and then the best part using the tools to create wonderful pieces of woodworking. I've made the box, the table and a smaller shelf than the one on the cover. Mr. Sellers is an amazing Master woodworker, but even better is his writing and the superb work done to explain each step clearly and the photographer does a great job at capturing each step. This book is for men, women, and youth that would like to learn or expand their wood working skills. 5stars.pngCaleb P Artisan Webshop

 

“An excellent and well illustrated book. Absolutely essential reading for anyone taking up woodworking or wanting to improve his skills.” 5stars.png S E MCCABE Amazon UK

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Paul's videos have been really helpful to me as a beginning woodworker. Thanks again! – K Williams email

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I just received your artisan course, and have to say its a joy, also congratulations to the film crew, these high tech effects go well with hundred year old tools and concepts. An aesthetic feast. Thanks, Norbert email

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After having successfully received the woodworking DVD`s and the book, I will give you some comments about your pleasant products: 

 All DVD`s are made in an excellent graphic design, the camera picks up every relevant detail of interest, the sound is perfect.  Maybe the intro to the chapters are a bit long-lasting. But: all information needed from Paul Sellers is on track for interested woodworkers. in companion with the book, all profound information concerning wood grain and cellular aspects are covered,in contrast to the videos (I`d like to hear Pauls opinion e.g. for gluing up differing heart wood etc.)

 I’m aware that packing handcrafting issues in DVD`s is an art and always a compromise, but what is lacking to my mind is a chapter on wood finishing. Maybe there is an upcoming project or, I missed it on your website...anyway,

It`s a joy to look at Paul`s craftsmanship, avoiding machinery as much as possible and to bring back a forgotten art in our minds (b.t.w. all professional woodworkers and educational institutions should keep an eye on this series..)

so, keep on producing a modern platform for forgotten artistry - Yours Andreas  (by email)

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This Would Be A Great Place to Start Learning

these dvds are really easy to follow and learn from and paul is very good at explaining how to do things. At first I thought the price was a little high but it was money well spent. I have not looked at the book that much because the dvds are really easy to follow and learn from. If you want to learn how to do wood work with hand tools this is a good place to start and he is going to make more dvds, 30 in total. I can't wait till the next set comes out. 5stars.png David Amazon.com

 

“A very useful and well thought out set of instructions and videos and I am looking forward to getting stuck in to some of the exercises” 5stars.png - Mr B D Milne. Amazon UK

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Excellent Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking

I received this as a Christmas present from my wife (Well, I bought it and she wrapped it). I made the purchase on faith as the price was high, and the course was new with few reviews online. I have watched all the videos and feel familiar enough to give an informed review.

First, the production values are superb, better than any other woodworking videos I own. (Including those by Taunton and Lie-Nielsen, and I find those to be of high quality.) Lighting and sound are both excellent. That said, the non-instructional parts of the DVDs are over-produced. The transitions are something out of reality TV quiz show, and the intros are melodramatic for a woodworking course. I got used to them after a while, but they still occasionally produce a sense of bemusement at how over-the-top they are.

As a side note, these videos work on the computer or DVD player, but I wanted to put them on the iPhone so I could watch them in the shop and elsewhere. No problem ripping these, thank goodness, if that's what you'd like to do.

Second, Paul Sellers personality really comes through as you watch. His love of the craft is evident. He is comfortable as a teacher, and has honed his woodworking curriculum over many years of teaching. It shows in the logical progression on the lessons and in the confident way he demonstrates each step. After watching him make the first project, a wooden spatula (I would call it a "batter stirrer"), he made it look so fun I couldn't wait to get down to the workshop. However, he also made it look so easy I thought about skipping the project as something beneath my skill level. After making the spatula, and having it look like my dog gnawed it out of a stick, I re-watched the videos, think I better understand some of the finer points of technique now, and can't wait to get to the workshop to try it again.

At first, I thought it was strange to carve a spatula as an introduction to working wood. Most books talk about truing and squaring boards as a first step. But now it seems like genius. Boards need to be perfect; a shaped spatula just needs to be smooth. It is a much more forgiving way to begin, because the angles aren't all that important. I assume this a method from Sellers' apprenticeship, and represents a nearly lost way of teaching the craft.

Third, this is the first of a larger set of of instructional videos, and can be thought of as a video apprenticeship or mentorship. It is not a one-off technique video to be incorporated into your existing routine. Of course, you can always pick and choose what you do. (For example, Frank Klausz has a quicker and less fussy dovetailing system.) As a hand-tool woodworker learning on his own, I really enjoy having a complete woodworking system and philosophy you can learning by watching and doing. The other woodworking videos I own suddenly seem like fun frolics, while this seems like a foundation for a lifetime of woodworking with hand tools.

If you're a Normite, this may not be your cup of tea. Devotees of Christopher Schwarz will probably love it. I can't wait for the next sets in the series to come out, but in the meantime I'll probably keep plenty busy trying to perfect these techniques in the shop. 5stars.png  M Koncar Amazon.com

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“This book is beautifully produced and gives you sound and practical advice. I found the introductory sections particularly interesting. I look forward to trying to make some of the projects.” 5stars.png  Diane. Amazon UK

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Absolutely First Rate

The Working Wood project brings one man's creed thrillingly to life. Paul Seller's love of wood, and his desire to enthuse others with that same passion, is evident on every page of his book and in every minute of the seven DVDs that accompany and complement it. The photography, whether still or moving, is of the highest quality; step-by-step instructions were never so clear or so comprehensive. The words, both written and spoken, deliver information that's laden with experience and tinged with the honesty of someone who has made every cut and shaped every curve himself. It's a remarkable package of information that is more than just a feast for the senses; it's a clarion call to everyone who has ever wanted to work wood but who didn't know where to start. Follow Paul's course, and you too will become a new genre artisan. - Mike Lawrence. Editor. The Woodworker Magazine


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