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It’s just a hissy snake, but there is so much to learn in the making of it, and it is indeed lots of fun. The main skills are sawing and shaping, but then there are accuracy levels to perfect too. As for children, with supervision from responsible oversight, they will do fine. The obvious areas for adults can be seen, but we should never underestimate our children. The skills they will use are the same for a guitar or a violin neck, so who knows where the making of this can lead to.

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  1. Yoav Liberman on 21 May 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you again Paul for another wonderful project. This is a great project for a parent or a grandparent and a child working together.

  2. Sully55 on 21 May 2020 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks Paul 🙂

  3. Donald Kreher on 21 May 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Nicely done Paul. Do you also apply diamond scratches when simply joining two boards?

    • Jean-Christophe Groussin on 21 May 2020 at 9:04 pm

      A piece of cloth is sandwiched between the 2 pieces of wood here. The scratches help the glue to bond with the cloth.
      When joining 2 boards, a thiner joint is usually required and you want the wood fibres to bond directly.

  4. Dave Ashman on 21 May 2020 at 1:50 pm

    Brilliant – great home schooling project, or something to have on the sideboard when we socialise again. Thanks Paul, nicely put together video

  5. Stephen Maniscalco on 21 May 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Excellent beginners project that can really be upgraded with some artistry for those looking to make it fancier. Great video Paul!

  6. Jem on 21 May 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Paul
    Great project, and video especially when we know you are working in your own at present in the workshop. You have a great team pulling these together. I can think of a few people who would like one of these. Must admit though , my favourite part was when you said “sssssnake” 🙂
    Your granddaughter will love this.

  7. cembalo8 on 21 May 2020 at 4:19 pm

    Hi, Paul — another great project! What exactly is the paper tape that you are using? You say it is abrasive; is it a very fine, cloth backed emery paper? Thank you.

    • Izzy Berger on 27 May 2020 at 3:23 pm


      Paul says:
      It is cloth backed, but it’s not fine. The one I use was the type used on a belt sander.

      Kind Regards,

  8. TimB on 21 May 2020 at 6:34 pm

    “….to make sure there’s no foozy bits.” When I think of Paul’s sage advice, I hear “knife wall”, and “fuzzy bits” in my head.

  9. rpsarnacki on 21 May 2020 at 9:08 pm

    What is the tape you are using?

  10. SharpPencil on 21 May 2020 at 11:10 pm

    Mr Paul you are a one off……thank you………will make some of these. Please look after yourself
    Regards John2v

  11. Scott Carro on 21 May 2020 at 11:36 pm

    New episode idea: Paul does everything left handed so we can see how he deals with the mistakes we all make!

    Interesting technique with the saw for roughing up the wood, the scratch pattern could be the snakes scales!

  12. Tommy Puleo on 22 May 2020 at 2:21 am

    Very fun project! Thanks Paul.

  13. Conrad Aquino on 22 May 2020 at 5:49 am

    What a great project… it quickly took me back to my childhood.

    I grew up in San Francisco, CA and wood toys like that were common in S.F.’s Chinatown shops, along with things like bamboo “finger puzzles” and wood puzzle boxes.

    I hadn’t thought of those snake for many decades, this is going to be a fun and nostalgic project… thank you Paul!!

  14. Wolf Vogt on 22 May 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Great project. My uncle had one of these snakes when I was a child and I was afraid of it each time I saw it moving.

  15. beach512 on 23 May 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nice project. I did not hear Paul mention a length, but my guess is 18″ long/46 cm? I estimated it when the piece was in the vise assuming the vise jaws are 12″/30 cm. I just mention this because Paul cautioned later on to not make the snake too long.
    Correct me if I am off on that measurement.

  16. David Masterman on 23 May 2020 at 2:35 am

    Tape? I also want to know!

  17. Lisa Burt on 24 May 2020 at 4:15 am

    This is a great project! I immediately rummaged through my scrap wood and spent the day making two of these, one in walnut, and one in Douglas fir. They turned out amazing — my grandson and niece will love them!

  18. Tore Storm Halvorsen on 25 May 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Very nice, thanks! I have thought about making an animal using this technique but have never though the details through, such as what material to use for the middle. I do have some abrasive cloth so that is a great idea! I may make mine into a dinosaur and not a snake. For myself, not for any kids. 😀

  19. Marie Bouchard on 26 May 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Thank you! Fun project! And realy nice!

  20. david o'sullivan on 29 May 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Brilliant, well done
    Thank you

  21. Francois Lafaix on 29 May 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Nice projet! I think it’s the first time I hear Paul speak French! Well done Monsieur!

  22. François-Yves Prévost on 30 May 2020 at 2:45 pm

    I just watched the video with my three kids. It’s really well done. Thank you Paul.
    My kids want to make one now!

  23. Jason Schock on 1 June 2020 at 8:03 am

    Fun project. We used a piece of old belt sander belt for the “spine” and glued it with 3M 77 spray adhesive, dry ~ 30 minutes. Holding very well so far and got it done in an evening. Kids really dig it and now want to make some for their friends.

  24. Paulo Teo on 5 July 2020 at 11:33 am

    A neat project achieving “wobblyness” I not usually expect in joinery 😛 (not even sat my amateur level)

    Indeed once flexibility was blown into the snake by its creator, I got thinking about a ‘hidden skill’ I haven’t found in the site til now: roller (tambour) doors.

    Is this something worthy of a video, Paul?

    Thank you for everything you share.

    • Paul Rowell on 5 July 2020 at 6:31 pm

      Check out Paul’s video of the shoe tidy project, there’s a tambour in it.

      • Paulo Teo on 6 July 2020 at 10:46 pm

        Thanks Paul, will do.

        I’ve watched hundreds of videos on how to make tambour doors, not ONE of them makes the tracks without a power router :/ (cheaters!)

  25. jdbolcer on 2 January 2021 at 9:01 pm

    I have trouble with the segments easily popping off the cloth spine once they are cut. Lacking a belt sander belt I made my first attempt with some landscape fabric, which seemed to work fine until the segments were cut and they easily came off. Thinking the plastic in the fabric might resist gluing, I tried an experiment using light cotton denim instead but again the segments easily released. Using cherry wood and Titebond III glue, and allowing a day for the glue to cure. Is the fabric choice more critical than I thought? Any advice for getting a stronger bond between the wood and fabric? Thanks!

    • Izzy Berger on 15 January 2021 at 12:16 pm


      Paul says:
      It is possible if not likely that the fabric has some coating on it. Also, consider using a fabric PVA and not the more rigid wood PVA.


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