A Master At Work


Paul Sellers is a British woodworker who is a real master at his craft. Paul doesn’t waste time or material in his workflow yet he uses simple hand tools to accomplish the task at hand. A Mortise & tenon joint is one of the four basic joints in Western woodworking as well as being one of the strongest. In the video below Paul shows us how to cut a tight, nearly perfect mortise & tenon joint with a small saw, chisel and router plane. These are basic tools most woodworkers have in their arsenal of tools.

When I started putting together my hand tool collection the first tools I purchased included a set of Stanley 750 Sweetheart chisels, a Lie-Nielsen 102 low angle block plane, a Lie- Nielsen 271 small router plane and two Japanese Ryoba back saws, ideal for fine joinery. Combined with high quality marking and measuring tools I can produce any joint necessary for fine cabinetry. It’s time consuming using just hand tools yet with practice the gap in time lessens and the quality of the finished product increases.

I have yet to attempt the touted dovetail joint but it’s awaiting a decent vise and workbench which I am still constructing. This may sound funny to some but I love the process of hand tool joinery, making sawdust and fine wood curls until the task at hand is completed. I can be kept occupied and in bliss taking a single 2″x4″x8′, which costs about $3, and spend all day making that single piece of wood into a dozen items I can use or give away as gifts.

Forgive the lengthy video below but Paul Sellers is working at a beginner’s pace so that viewers can catch on to the principles being taught. I hope you enjoy this lesson as much as I did. I’ve watched this particular video at least 3 times over the past 6 months.

One thought on “A Master At Work

  1. Ron did the simple dovetail joints and said it is better than nails/screws as you know also. He and I like the looks of this kind of woodworking.

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