HaHa I have been watching a DVD by Chris Schwarz, man he is like a jackrabbit on steroids. He is all over the place, not good to watch.
Paul’s DVD, he is cool relaxed and just glides through the work, a pleasure to watch. I must add I have nothing against C S just his style is not for me. I enjoy watching Rob Cosman, but I cant stand the faff of David Charlesworth. Just personal choice
Chris Schwarz might be a couple of days younger than Paul or maybe it’s just the haircut…
It’s a luxury of our time enabling us to follow as many masters as we like.
“please still avoid controversial non-woodworking topics” 😉
My personal choice would be the Sellers ‘n Underhill School of Woodworking. All you need in one place 🙂
I enjoy working wood in Germany.
Hands behind the cutting edge is not his most important mantra 😉
He once learnt to be an actor that’s why he seems to be keyed-up all the time and also time is often an issue if he tries to show something very complexe in a matter of one episode. The woodwright is on purpose a mixture between the woodworking instructor Roy Underhill and the storyteller and historian temporarily playing the roles of the people he is talking about.
Roy would lead the people through Penrhyn Castle telling stories of times long ago and when it comes to how to accomplish the joinery he would say “I’m sure you can figure it out” and Paul would say: “No way, Roy – they can’t. Keep telling your stories while I teach them the accuracy they need!”
Two great personalities. In my imagination they have to be friends. I hope they are 😉
I enjoy working wood in Germany.
Tommy McDonald (aka Tommy Mac) says, “Look at what I can do, let me show you how I did it”.
Paul Sellers says, “Look at what you can do, let me show you how to do it”.
By the way, I do enjoy watching Tommy’s program, Rough Cut, I am just noting the differences as I see them.
Good points everyone… Spot on.
Easy or hard to watch is a function of entertainment value in my humble opinion which I would rather get from a “very” good movie. I watch them for educational value and the only value I get from that is when I actually do what is being presented to see if I can learn anything. Otherwise, I am just watching a movie instead of being at the bench actually working wood. 🙂
And yes, I have watched Roy, David, Rob, Shannon, David Savage, Jeremy Broun and all of the favorite writers and video producers at Popular Woodworking, Fine Woodworking, Furniture & Cabinetmaker and all of the other magazines… See I am not being high and mighty or snobbish LOL 🙂 I just find that much of what is published is useless for me. I don’t use the 80/20 Rule. I call it the 95/5 Rule instead and I’d rather spend that 95% of the time developing my skills as sorry as they may be. 🙂
Paul, on the otherhand, as you regulars are all aware ( and that is why I am in this class too) presents simply and makes it practical so that you can use the knowledge immediately and over and over again.
Food for thought.
The title of this one had me a little worried. However, you guys are really good at sober discussion.
One quick point. This site is currently pretty much dedicated to featuring videos by Paul. So, the replies are likely to be biased in his favour. Just as the same discussion would be if it were held on Chris Schwarz’ site or Popular Woodworking.
Just so we don’t get too biased…Anonymous8 March 2013 at 4:49 pm #9026
I’ve read Chris Schwarz’s book and really enjoyed it. He’s got a great sense of humor and has a lot of great info in “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest”. For example, he’s got a pair of beautiful winding stocks he takes with him on the road. He lets people measure them, photograph them, ask him what they’re made of. When he gets back to his shop he puts them away and grabs two pieces of extruded aluminum angle he bought from the local store for $15. Why does he carry the pretty ones? They’re short enough to fit in his luggage. Why the aluminum? “They’re super accurate and butt-ugly.”
I like Paul’s teaching style over anyone else I’ve seen so far. I do wish he’d let out that sense of humor I know is lurking just beneath the surface. I did see just a bit at the beginning of one video where he said something along the lines of “You American’s shouldn’t have dumped the tea in the harbor.”, while taking a sip of tea. So I know it’s there, and he has a great delivery.
I like ’em both. Underhill scares the crap out of me watching him sometimes, and gets almost as blabby as I do. Biased, no. I’m too old and too Texan to be politically correct.
The title of this one had me a little worried. However, you guys are really good at sober discussion. One quick point. This site is currently pretty much dedicated to featuring videos by Paul. So, the replies are likely to be biased in his favour. Just as the same discussion would be if it were held on Chris Schwarz’ site or Popular Woodworking. Just so we don’t get too biased…
Well, from what I read, Paul is pretty strongly defended on the other forums as well.
I don’t think it ‘s really necessary to hold back our favorable biases here, after all, we’re among friends 🙂 And besides, I haven’t found anything here that I thought was very controvercial (sp) anyway.
If you ever get a chance, you should check out the videos of Jim Kingshott, very similar approach to Paul’s. I have heard it said before, and I fully agree, watching either of them on video is like pulling up a stool and being right there in the shop with them.
So, Joseph, is there a connection between Jim and Paul? I know Jim passed away a few years ago, but it would have been great seeing the two of them working together, or maybe a shoot-out of some sort.
Roy Underhill and Frank Klausz did a bit of a shoot-out on dovetails a few years back at one of the Wood Working Shows, I heard it was quite entertaining.
Ok, I think I was not clear.
I am not bothered that it is biased I just want anyone reading it to be aware of the situation. Remember, these kind of threads do appear in google and the connection of this thread to Paul may not, out of context, be immediately clear.
Don’t worry @jwinship I would not dream of asking that these discussions take place in a controlled unbiased manner 🙂
A good player is not necessarily a good coach. Many very good players don’t understand that as a coach it’s all about the team and not about their person like they were used to when being on the field.
If a good player is smart, he can be an excellent coach.
I’m happy that at the moment there is quite a number of teachers willing to preserve handtool skills by handing over their knowledge in whatever manner they are capable of.
Unfortunately most of them use cast iron bodied planes* 😉
*no, rounds ‘n hollows don’t count 😉
I enjoy working wood in Germany.
Being in the Army, I’ve never had a real opportunity to take a good, structured woodworking class. Time and money (and the wife) would never allow it…. That is why I’m very thankful for Paul’s push to teach these classes via his book and DVD course (which I very recently received) and via being a paid subscriber to this site.
And while I can’t take classes, I feel like I’ve bought every woodworking DVD produced in the last 20 years – Sellers, Charlesworth, Cosman, Schwartz, Tom Law, Kingshott, Klausz, etc.
I’ve been woodworking for nearly 15 years. Though most of that time has been with heavy machinery of some sort; and as Paul said in his book, I wasn’t much of a woodworker – just a machine operator. Some years ago (perhaps 7 or 8), I had read that sanding couldn’t beat the finish of a smoothing plane. So I went out and bought a Lie-Nielsen #4 (notice I didn’t say I bought any sharpening materials….) – the best you can buy! I brought it out of the box, wiggled some knobs and levers, and started pushing it across the board. That “premium” plane skittered, dug in, chattered, skipped – and gouged its way all across the board. Point is – I had no clue what I was doing.
All that to say, I realized something was amiss. I got back on the LN website, and saw that David Charlesworth had some planing videos. So, I ordered the set…. Those videos forever changed the way I did woodworking. Yes, they may not be everybody’s cup of tea – and his process may seem tedious to others; but to me, I was able to take each small, repeatable, infinitely detailed, tedious step – and recreate it. And end the end, I had extremely sharp tools and can confidently four square a board perfectly…. So, yes – I have to give a nod to David Charlesworth.
In the same manner, Cosman is a very good dovetail teacher via DVD as he is very, very detailed about how a new student can reproduce each step of the process.
On the other had, and trying to tread lightly here, Schwartz has done much for the woodworking community – but I think his DVDs are a bit of a rehash of commonly known techniques…. whereas Charlesworth’s methods seem to be uniquely his. CW I think even quotes DC during his video on the same topic. Dunno – bit of a ripoff….
Frank Klausz – again, I’ve met him in person, have a signed dovetail – and he’s a great teacher. But he’s not a great DVD teacher…. If you were in the shop with him, it would be 1000x better. But he doesn’t really teach – he shows…. “Cut here like this, now here, now here….” Not enough detail of the minute movements that a beginner needs via a DVD format.
Special mention to Jim Kingshott (as mentioned above) – this man was a one of a kind – I probably enjoy watching his videos above all others…. Not necessarily that I’m learned great woodworking secrets, but to see this man work – and his manner – is a true joy…..
This brings us to Paul’s approach…. I’ve just gotten started on the book and DVD materials, so I can’t comment too much on that. However, I think it will be interesting to see which set of classes will be the main effort. That is, in the book – he talks not just of Level 3 (and bandsaw techniques I think?), there is also some mention of Level 4… And on the internet subscription, he mentioned projects that we’d be doing 2, 3, 4 years down the road. I wonder if the DVD course will fade with the internet class, and if not, how they will overlap of complement each other… but, that’s beyond the point.
As far as a video course, there is something that is (“was” prior to Paul) SORELY missing in all the DVDs, books, magazines, classes, etc, etc. Firstly, there was no structure – many times I never knew how little I knew – or where to even begin. There was no need for me to buy dovetailing videos when I couldn’t even flatten a board or sharpen a plane. But dovetails were “Cool” so that’s what I bought… You must start with the boring, non-sexy basics and progress.
Secondly, and most importantly – with no structure, you could never apply your skill to a project. Yes, you can cut dovetails in practice pine boards all day (and I did!), but I couldn’t do anything else…. I couldn’t apply that skill to a real project today, and a larger – more complex project tomorrow. The DVDs taught me some woodworking skills, not how to be a woodworker.
And so this is the huge void that Paul’s courses fill…. He’s teaching structured woodworking. Not just isolated skills that will sit unused in the vacuum of my ignorance.
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