Bench Stool: Episode 5

Bench Stool 5

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In this episode, Paul shows us the various methods that can be used for carving the seat. He brings in the bandsaw to show how it can be used to remove the bulk of the material, and goes on to do the whole process by hand with a gouge, a purpose made small compass plane and a curved scraper.

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  1. Ken on 25 December 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Great job Guys. Thanks for this one. 😉

  2. Greg Merritt on 25 December 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Good episode. Thanks for the multiple methods.

  3. md11toolman on 25 December 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Paul, that was a very interesting approach to sculpting the seat using the bandsaw. Still waiting on my gouge (backordered) so I will most likely use my bandsaw in the same manner. That bandsaw blade appeared to be about a ¼” width. Is that correct or would you recommend a wider or narrower blade? Excellent video to watch on this cold Christmas Day.
    Thanks and Happy Holidays to all members out there!

    • Paul Sellers on 2 January 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Go for 3/8 to 1/2″. That gives you a little extra on the wels and still enough flex in the blade as needed.

  4. STEVE MASSIE on 25 December 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks Paul and crew, thanks for another very informative and interesting video. Can’t wait to start a couple for me.

    Merry Christmas all !


  5. Matt Hess on 25 December 2013 at 6:17 pm

    What a great Christmas present! Merry Christmas Paul and crew!

  6. Anonymous on 25 December 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks for the Christmas present! Happy Holidays.

  7. STEVE MASSIE on 25 December 2013 at 8:19 pm

    After watching this video for the second time ( Grandkids are napping ) I may start with ( 2 ) I do own a Bandsaw and #7 sweep gouge so I could do one of each. This will be great practice.

    Thanks again I really am enjoying this !


  8. Eddy Flynn on 25 December 2013 at 9:44 pm

    first job tomorrow get the wrapping off my new gouge and get to work on a seat thanks for your efforts, you and the team have pulled out all the stops this year , i hope your sound person has recovered from that screaming bandsaw.

  9. PrairieBluenoser (Mark) on 26 December 2013 at 3:02 am

    Wonderful to sit back and watch now that everyone else has hit the sack! One of the best gifts received today -Merry Christmas!!

  10. Andy Evans on 26 December 2013 at 8:44 am

    Many thanks for my weekly ‘real woodworking’ fix. It keeps me going in the world of CNC routers and chipboard…

  11. Florian on 26 December 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you and merry christmas! Do you ever bore depth holes prior to carving the seat?

    • Greg Merritt on 27 December 2013 at 12:47 am

      That’s a good question Florian. I was wondering about gauging the depth as well. I don’t think that it will be that critical, but I would like to be consistent over several stools.

      • Paul Sellers on 2 January 2014 at 12:21 pm

        It is surprising how you can train your eye to see contrast. Also remember that because f grain pattern variation, sometimes the depth can look off even though it measures perfectly. That’s because the eye is deceived. I would still trust my eye right from the get-go and train myself to work more intuitively. We live in a world of constant governance because of the computer language and life. It’s nice to enter realms of creative freedom whenever we can I think.

        • Greg Merritt on 2 January 2014 at 2:01 pm

          Thanks for the reply Paul. My gut feeling was to just do it. It is surprising how accurate the eye, and touch for that matter, can be. It is very liberating to throw off the constraints of the machined world and work in the world of the artisan.

    • Paul Sellers on 2 January 2014 at 12:17 pm

      No I don’t, although we did do this when we made the cello, to get the rough depth. But that was scary because thongs can go wrong with that. I remember one time the wood was pulled up the but because there was no way we could set a depth stop on so variable a depth. The be=it went all the way through on that occasion.

  12. Filter on 28 December 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Hi Paul, can you please tell me more about the gouge, is it a #7 (straight) 35mm (or what size)? In Italy I can get Stubai tools (up to 40 mm) or a Two Cerries (but with a #7 cut not more than 20 mm, and seems to small). Thank you.

    • Paul Sellers on 2 January 2014 at 12:29 pm

      I think it is much easier to work with a wider gouge than a narrower one though of course a narrower one will work. Going too wide means more effort per cut so up to 40mm would be max for this work i think. Don’t forget it doesn’t have to be a #7 either, you could to as low as a #3. The problem though is the limited functionality in that a #3 is not much good for spoons and such. Just trying to economise a bit and make the tool work for other things when I say use a #7.
      You can also use a bent gouge for this only the mallet blows will feel a little less positive.

  13. Ed on 29 December 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Around 49′ 45″, Paul says, “Watch now, this is technique,” but I’m not sure what he was pointing out. Was it establishing a first pass and then broadening it with further passes? Was it popping in from the edge like you do for a housing dado and then leveling and working across? Just seeing the rhythm of work is the key thing, but I was wondering what others pulled out of that section.

  14. adrian on 30 December 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Best yet,I have never had the courage until today to attempt carving a chair set. Your technique and demonstration has opening a new door, and another chapter into woodworking for me.
    So grateful for this opportunity to learn from the Real woodworker.
    Thanks so much

  15. friscomike on 31 December 2013 at 3:39 am


    I’ve seen a lot videos about woodworking, but Paul’s are the best. He not only depicts every detail and step, but gives the viewer the confidence to try the same techniques. I am having more fun woodworking than ever! Thanks for the terrific series.

    Mike Corley

  16. Mathbone on 17 January 2014 at 5:52 am

    You mention leaving the gouge marks in as one option for a finish, for “character” or “authenticity” or whatever people feel it brings. Could you go a little more into what the vernacular is in this area? It seems like changing the direction of the gouging motion too much would clash, as would having the final gouge marks too unevenly spaced. What kinds of things go into making this style look just right?

    • Paul Sellers on 14 February 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Its a slewing technique where you twist the chisel into and out of the cut but still in a scalloping action. Just practice on a scrap.

  17. Jnirmaier on 13 February 2014 at 11:42 am

    What are the 2 model numbers of the spokeshaves that you were using on this project? I am looking on Ebay and there are a number of different models available.
    Thanks much for the quality of the video that’s being shot and and more importantly the content that you are providing is absolutely amazing.

  18. Paul Sellers on 14 February 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I use two spokeshaves but they are both basically the #151 Stanley model. Record make them too. Old or new work fine.

  19. dovetails on 8 March 2016 at 12:01 am

    I just tried my first time using the bandsaw to carve this seat… Wow, that was a total cluster… Gonna try to salvage it, but will most likely have to start over and use a gouge.

  20. Edouard Poitras on 13 June 2018 at 5:53 am

    Paul- First of all, thank you for the wonderful and informative videos. Your expertise is obvious and you are human enough to even show your mistakes. These are also a lesson well taught.
    You had mentioned giving use a video on how to make the compass plane. It would be very helpful if this was done so we who want to learn more on tool making and do not have the money to go out and buy the very expensive optional tools to get the result can make the tool for this and other future projects.
    Thanks Paul and the group.

  21. Matthew Moody on 4 July 2019 at 2:26 am

    I was hoping that you would demonstrate the adz.

  22. Donald Young on 5 October 2019 at 8:16 pm

    I have been looking for the video on how to make the hand plane with the curved bottom. Can some one point me to that video? I found where Paul cuts out the blanks but it stopped there. Thanks for all the great videos Paul and team!

  23. Joe Fitzgibbon on 31 December 2020 at 11:14 pm

    I have an “uncategorized” Premium membership. I would love to watch this, and I thought that my membership qualified me to watch it. But when I try to watch it I get a message that this is an episode in a paid series and that I need to “upgrade” my membership in order to watch it.

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