Paul Sellers -Finish


The final project in Paul Sellers’ Foundations class is a side table. It constructed of oak with mortise and tenon joints. As always Paul gathers the group around his bench to talk about the properties of oak , introducing us to hand and cabinet scrapers and giving us the knowledge to work with the wood.

Looking through my photographs of the stages in this project I notice they are lacking. By this point in the week of class I was comfortable and confident in my work and the steady rhythm of chopping the mortises drove me forward.




The table, like all of Paul’s projects, teaches at each step and provides insight into further lessons. After completing the mortises in the legs and cutting tenons (using 3 different methods) we proceeded to shape the legs. After watching a demonstration and working through the method I overcame me fears, and using a chisel began to shape. (picture of leg end I took after the fact when I returned home. What appeared to be a daunting task proved very relaxing and using a chisel, plane and spokeshave I was able to complete all four legs in a little more than an hour. Looking back at the legs I realize that it was a critical moment in the class when I suddenly felt the confidence to put chisel to wood and know that the result would be good. With the legs complete the top was glued up and smoothed with the plane.

Not missing a chance to teach, Paul showed us a great method to make turn buttons which I will share in a later blog. The next picture is the finished product. I used shellac with a couple of coats of poly on the top for protection and wax. It now sits by my daughters bed.


  1. Greg
    June 22, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Dear Richard

    Great table ! Great article ! I should have gotten your autograph because you are not only talented with taking NOTES you projects are great also . Also your articles are really super as to describing your challenges and fears brought back some fond memories of our workshop classes. Keep them coming , looking forward for more!


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