I have followed Paul Sellers’ blog for quite some time now. When he announced his online woodworking instruction course, Woodworking Masterclasses, I eagerly joined and have been a member since the first project. As a result, my skills as a woodworker have and continue to improve. Along the way Mr Sellers’ graciously agreed to use my drawings to illustrate the projects for his Woodworking Masterclasses.
Mr. Sellers’ methods and philosophy can, on occasion, be controversial and he, at times, directly challenges the mainstream convention, but his results are undeniable. Often times making a seemingly impossible woodworking task well within the reach of the beginner. So when he first announced that he was writing a new book, I eagerly awaited its arrival and now it is here.
I’ll cut to the chase…if you plan to be or already are a hand tool woodworker or even a machine woodworker who uses hand tools here and there…buy this book by Paul Sellers. Period.
OK, now the long story version.
Mr. Sellers’ new book is the culmination of over fifty years of experience in the implementation and teaching of hand tool woodworking captured in the written word, with photos and, my personal favorite, hand drawings by Mr. Sellers. All of that information is brought together into an almost five hundred page tome that could and should become a woodworkers reference manual on the use and care of, well, the essential woodworking hand tools.
Using his straight forward, down to earth approach, Mr. Sellers introduces each tool that he considers to be essential to the hand tool woodworker. He then explains and illustrates their use and care. If a tool has a cutting edge, he explains and illustrates how to sharpen it. All of this information is enhanced with detailed color photographs and the aforementioned hand drawings. The information is so comprehensive that I believe this book could easily be used as a textbook on the subject of woodworking hand tools.
The book is so comprehensive that I’m not even going to attempt to list what all is covered. Did I mention the book is almost five hundred pages long? What I will add is that the book is organised into clear, concise chapters as well as having an exhaustive index. This makes finding a specific tool or technique quick and easy. Did I mention the book is almost five hundred pages long? 😉
In addition to covering the conventionally produced hand tools, Mr. Sellers also provides alternatives to many of the tools. These shop-made alternatives can act to supplement and/or bridge the gaps in a persons’ current tool collection and can be quite helpful in mitigating up-front tool costs for those just getting started.
To reinforce and further illustrate the information presented in the book, there is a set of three DVDs in which Mr. Sellers demonstrates the techniques presented in the book. These DVDs can be purchased as a set or you can purchase the book and DVDs in combination at a reduced cost.
While I have yet to purchase the DVDs, I am confident that they are of top quality both in content and presentation. Mr. Sellers and crew are quite adept at this type of filming and are able to capture processes in great detail and I am sure that these DVDs will reflect that.
So now I will simply refer you back to my opening statement:
If you plan to be or already are a hand tool woodworker or even a machine woodworker who uses hand tools here and there…buy this book by Paul Sellers.
Am a little biased? Possibly.
Did Mr. Sellers ask me to write this or any review? No, he did not. I only mention this due to my previously stated peripheral capacity with Woodworking Masterclasses.