Home > New Legacy School of Woodworking > Paul’s Sellers – Day 4 and 5

Paul’s Sellers – Day 4 and 5


Take a moment to look around and enjoy Your environment. Now, look at the picture to the left and some of the others I have written about this week. Certainly your woodworking skills would benefit from being in a class room such as the one I have spent the last five days. The timber framing is beautiful, the light from the windows illuminates the bench and the sounds of saws and hammers are very peaceful.

There are other classes held at the Maplewood Center for Common Craft in Greenwich, NY. One of them is timber framing and from the work in this building they know what they are doing. Reading through their website and brochure I also see other woodworking classes, raising sheep and several other interesting classes. As or more importantly everyone is extremely friendly, and people often stop in to speak briefly with Paul and watch the class.

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Day 4 and 5 work on the skills necessary to build book cases. The project that we have been working on and completed today includes stopped and stepped dados along with through mortises. We continued to refine skills learned on previous days and you can look around the shop and see some who had been timid previously, plane and chisel with confidence. Questions about sharpening faded and people work and sharpened without prodding. As always Paul spent a lot of time demonstrating at his bench, answering questions and helping. When he had a few moments to spare he carved a wooden spoon and I enjoyed watching. If you ever get the chance to come to one of Paul’s classes choose a bench next to his, there is much to learn. Learning is not only taking place from Paul, but your fellow students and each mistake is a chance to gain new knowledge.

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Although the shelf appears to be a simple project, and by the end of the first day I had completed the structure, there were many more lessons to learn. Adding curved cross rails that are mortised to the sides and a through mortise and tenon made this part of the shelf challenging and I had to slow down considerably. With some careful measurement and only a little minor blow out I completed the rails. Then came the decorative portion of the project.

The through mortises are carefully rounded over using a Stanley #4 plane. Then the ends are pared with a chisel and finally smoothed with a file. The rails are embellished with a curve that is made using a chisel and spoke shave. The result is much better than anything I have done on a bandsaw and quicker and more pleasant to accomplish. Again I am reminded of how quickly many of these tasks can be accomplished by hand!


More detail is added to the top and bottom of the shelves and then we prepare for glue-up. Looking at the piece as it is clamped together I realize that the use of the hand plane to prepare each piece has left me with little sanding. I literally use a quarter of a piece of sandpaper to rough up the sides.

Once glue up is completed I have a chance to look around the class and help others. I am amazed at the quality of work and the learning that has occurred. Coming into the class I had some experience but others had none and what the have accomplished is amazing.

Everyone is more comfortable with each other and although we are enjoying the woodworking we are also enjoying each others company. Lunch is taken outside at a picnic table and everyone joins in sharing what they have and enjoying the day.



  1. May 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Boy! It sure looks like you’re having fun!!

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