Working Wood (The Artisan Series with Paul Sellers)

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Review by jjw5858 posted 02-26-2012 09:59 PM 8578 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Working Wood (The Artisan Series with Paul Sellers) No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Hi friends, if you were thinking on dusting off that old rusty brace and bit this would be a fine way to start if your thinking on pulling some of the plugs during your shop time.

This course reviewed in its Book and 2 (of 7) DVD’S is a wonderful introduction into the zen of working wood, from the first lesson making a Spatula all the way to learning the big 3 woodworking joints…Dado, Mortise and tenon, and the wood worlds loved and Dovetail.

Most important before you read any further: This is an all handtools affair…so if this is not your thing and you do not like handtools…you may not enjoy this…lol

Regarding the 2 Dvds:

Sellers is a terrific teacher…in my opinion he adds a sense of confidence..and peace to the lessons. The shots are close and detailed and the computer animations are very in depth and worthy.

The menus and moments in between each portion of his presentation are something to get used
Production here is very George Lucas…lol….very Star Wars ultra high tech with the music to back it up in volume and evoking the drama and intensity of your apprenticeship…...THE FORCE LUKE….USE THE FORCE…..AND A…......... Stanley #4…LOL

Basically … prepared to be woke up….if your too relaxed viewing….haaa….it comes blazing in every 8-15 minutes between segments.

That aside…honestly…I got used to it…..and found the value of learning and information simply outweighing any annoying interuptions in the overall flow of things and as I said…now I am used to it.

Sellers I believe will sway a non believer into the world of hand crafting, his resume is a Master of Woodrighting which you also get some background on in this portion of the series. The skills and approaches taught are effective as well as interesting.

Now….there are 5 more DVD’S to purchase if your really looking to get your handtool artisanship on….I have them but have yet to watch…but so far I am very very enthusiastic and have learned many things from the first 2 Dvd’s and the book.

Regarding the Book:

Colorful, nice graphics….a reference to (All 7 DVD’S….ahhh the marketing of it all…lol) nicely packaged and many extra hints and tips that the DVD’s might have not included.

I have really appreciated the reading, viewing and learning of this collection so far….and trust me…if your interested in moving your work in this direction…..Paul will get you up to speed as long as you are able to tap into the relaxed and slower pace of this kind of work.

For a just a little glimpse of what I had the enjoyment of learning please see my NEW PROJECT later this evening of my (Spatula Alla Sellers)…very nice shaping lesson…...basic and yet nice to see some great demonstrations on the various ways to go about making this piece…all included on the 1st DVD and in the book.

So….give his website a looking over….by the way….his workshop is in a castle…haaaa its really very cool.

For additional info I hope this link may be helpful

Thanks friends, I hope this was helpful on your road to learning new things.

Best wishes


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

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13 comments so far

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10880 posts in 3889 days

#1 posted 02-27-2012 01:14 PM

thanks for the reweiw Joe

I gess we have to watch the Starwars serie so we are ready to click with Poul … :-)

from what we have seen on L J Poul is a great man to learn from
enjoy the rest of the DVD´s


View Don Niermann  's profile

Don Niermann

219 posts in 4746 days

#2 posted 02-27-2012 08:29 PM

Excellent set of DVDs and Book. I have gone through them several times and pick up something each time.

-- WOOD/DON ( has the right to ones opinion but not the right to ones own facts...)

View mafe's profile


12592 posts in 3863 days

#3 posted 02-28-2012 09:34 AM

Thank you for the review, sound interesting.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 02-28-2012 12:29 PM

Joe, thanks for the info. I enjoyed looking at the web sites and I sure enjoyed the web site about the blacksmith. Thanks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 3194 days

#5 posted 02-28-2012 03:40 PM

Very good review. I’d have to agree with everything you said including the interruptions with the music and the things, but you get used to it like you said. These videos and dvd’s are what has inspired me to move towards hand tools. I was always afraid to do anything by hand mostly because I had no clue on technique. After watching Paul Sellers at the Baltimore woodworking show, I purchased the set because I was amazed at how efficient and accurate he was with hand tools. I wanted to learn! I would love to go to a week long class up in New York sometime. I think it would be highly beneficial! Since watching these videos, I’m not sure I’ve really touched my table saw for anything other than dimensioning lumber (partly because I don’t have a good rip saw, saw benches, a workbench (almost complete), or shooting boards made yet). Paul makes it very enjoyable to watch him go through the process and understand why he enjoys “working wood” instead of machining it. I think I could do much better woodworking if I worked at a castle in the middle of the mountains instead of my 2 car garage in the suburbs. haha!

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 4504 days

#6 posted 03-02-2012 03:10 PM

Hey Joe,

I’ve enjoyed the free videos that Paul has posted on here as well.
Enough that I ordered his book and the full 7 DVD’s from Lee Valley.
Just sitting down to start looking through the book this morning. Looks like pretty high quality stuff to me.

aka bagtown

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View mafe's profile


12592 posts in 3863 days

#7 posted 03-04-2012 01:10 PM

Thank you for a fine review.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View toolnutz's profile


3 posts in 3035 days

#8 posted 03-17-2012 02:22 AM

I have had this program for a couple of months and have thoroughly enjoyed the DVD’s and the book. As other posters have stated, the dramatic music can catch you off guard. I am a beginning woodworker and the level of instruction was excellent for my skill set and I would also believe the instruction would benefit a more experienced woodworker who might learn new techniques. The book is a good reference to the material covered in the DVD’s and contains in depth info not covered in the videos.

View Tearout's profile


2 posts in 2925 days

#9 posted 07-05-2012 11:21 PM

The content is great but the special effects take up so much time and are hard to avoid. I gave up, sadly as I really liked the actual instruction. The effects drove me crazy!

View Jon_Banquer's profile


69 posts in 3582 days

#10 posted 08-09-2012 02:07 AM

I don’t know of anyone I’ve ever seen on video or TV that can teach woodworking as well as Paul Sellers can. He puts the emphasis on what I feel is really important and what has been missing for so long. What he’s all about is building real skills and confidence rather than selling tools.

The special effects seem to be designed to appeal to a younger audience and hold their attention. They also serve as a break so your mind can absorb what you have been shown. No doubt they are a little repetitive but it’s a small price to pay for such high quality content and excellent filming. I can easily put up with them.

-- Jon Banquer San Diego, CA CAD / CAM programmer, CNC Machinist

View Tearout's profile


2 posts in 2925 days

#11 posted 08-09-2012 02:44 AM

There must be 10 minutes of content per 30 minutes! I didn’t time but really…..this should have been designed for adults

View Jon_Banquer's profile


69 posts in 3582 days

#12 posted 08-09-2012 09:09 PM

It should also be noted that Paul Sellers is very much on a mission. His mission is put the emphasis back on building true artisan woodworking skills and to change the focus from what woodworking has become. I fully support his mission and his goals. It’s long overdue.

-- Jon Banquer San Diego, CA CAD / CAM programmer, CNC Machinist

View ddh's profile


7 posts in 3554 days

#13 posted 03-29-2013 09:49 PM

For those that have the video or the book, I was thinking about picking them up but was curious what hand tools would be required to get started on the first two videos? I’d hate to get the book and videos only to find that I don’t have the tools to work along…

From what I’ve read and seen, the first video works through making a spatula…. so I know I’ve already got to get a spokeshave!

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