Home > New Legacy School of Woodworking, Techniques, Tools and Schools > Paul Sellers Foundations Class – Review

Paul Sellers Foundations Class – Review

It’s been almost a month since I spent over a week in Paul Seller’s Foundations Class. More then enough time to reflect upon the lessons learned and the impact of the class on both my woodworking and general well being.

After completing a desk for my daughter over a year ago I began looking at my method of work and satisfaction and noticed something was lacking. The project turned out nicely and I am well satisfied with the outcome; however I did not feel that I was truly connected with the wood, my children only visited me when machinery was off and I felt that the results were disconnected from the method.

20130521-060547.jpgI turned to Shannon Rogers Hand Tool School and began his on line courses (they are excellent). After several projects and 6 months my hand skills were progressing nicely. If you have doubts that woodworking can be taught over the internet fear not. It is possible. I then built Chris Schwarz’s Tool Chest and my skills increased even more. My children now spent time with me in the garage trying planes and talking about their day. The wood grains and patterns danced before my eyes and I felt comfortable with my hobby. (and yes I still use the power tools when it makes sense).

This past winter I began looking for new ways to increase my skills and stumbled upon Paul Seller’s videos and masterclass. I immediately signed up for the masterclass series and felt a rush of adrenaline as I began projects with the help of Paul Seller’s videos. These projects are shown on this blog. After a couple of projects I began contemplating the Foundations class. Questions began dancing through my head; How good are my skills? Will I be able to keep up in a class, 9 days? After more than a little angst I signed up…and wow what a great world I have let myself into!

Paul’s teaching style is patient, exciting and an extraordinary gift. People with no prior experience to serious power tool users all watched in fascination as we learned and laughed. The projects were carefully planned to maximize the skills learned. No one was left behind or held back as all of our skills were catered to and enhanced. Paul is a gift to the woodworking community.

There were 18 other students in the classroom (as a I type my friend Greg from the class sent me an email). They all were a large part of the experience. We all work in a craft that at times can be very solitary, it is probably in our nature. The chance to spend 9 days with people sharing a passion for woodworking, watching, learning and listening was moving. Yes I have been to shows and stood in the local store, but these guys were special. Greg, Steve, John, Eric and everyone else chisel on!

In this post I struggle to put words on the screen that truly describe what I learned. I learned a tremendous amount about hand tools, I learned joinery, I learned finishing. I watched a true master teach his craft with passion. I felt a sense of calm and well being that is rare. Go to the class and you will understand and if you can’t sign up for Paul Seller’s Master classes.

The question that a few of you will ask .. so where does this stand against the week long kayaking trip?

I continue to be a Masterclass member and my next project starting today is a coffee table. I am confident that the project will challenge my skills, provide me with numerous lessons, and keep the stars aligned. For my woodworking friends I’ll be there when you meed help with the clamps and in another class for another week. And for that other group of friends, I’ll meet you in the eddy, behind the boulder, river right.


  1. June 22, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I have to say that the more I watch Paul Sellers videos, the more I believe that he is the best woodworking teacher in the world as far as that media is concerned. Nobody even comes close as a matter of fact. I mean, he actually makes watching somebody handplane or sharpen enjoyable! Most woodworking videos are so stiff and bland they are difficult to watch and enjoy, even if the knowledge is sound. Whether or not you liked Norm Abram, I did though I use handtools much more than he did on his show, Norm was gifted in the ability to make a woodworking show enjoyable. Paul Sellers has that same gift.
    I’m finally signing up for the Hand Tool School, and because of your blog posts, I think I’m going to give the Sellers course a try as well. From what I’ve seen and read it is a no brainer. Thanks for the great info.

    • June 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      The nine day course is fantastic. I was also quite nervous about being able to keep up with the pace of nine full days. I was quite tired by the end, but I learned so much and it’s inspired me to just do more. A major advantage over the online video’s (which are great) is being immersed in an environment where everyone is working hard and learning so much. And while it’s not a race, it’s a great feeling to look back and see what you’ve accomplished in nine days. I now work a lot faster and with more confidence than I used to, which has improved the quality of my work.

      I’m actually going to cut my working hours on office job so I can spend more time doing woodworking. And this course gave me the confidence boost to make that decision.

  1. February 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm

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