***CORRECTION*** There are only 8 parts and not 9 to the Paul Sellers wall clock project video. As I said, I watched the videos in succession overnight, so I easily made the mistake. Sorry if this caused any confusion***
Saturday night into Sunday morning I wasn’t feeling all that hot (yeah, even Captain America isn’t always on top of his game). It’s not so fun feeling not so hot on a nice morning late in spring, but I think I made the most of my time.
We have a “smart TV”, which I suppose is pretty much commonplace in today’s day and age. Whenever I get a free moment, I will watch a YouTube woodworking video from the comfort of my living room sofa. Late Saturday evening, just around midnight, I had a lot of free moments. I felt a bit like I had a hangover, but not the hangover you normally get from a fun-filled night of Jell-O shots, just the awful feeling of a pounding head coupled with the desire of not wanting to move or even blink. So I watched an episode of Band of Brothers, and then decided to check out some Paul Sellers videos. Most woodworkers know who Paul Sellers is, so I won’t get into any biography here. Most woodworker who follow the forums are also aware of the “controversy” surrounding Sellers a few years ago, which I also won’t get in to because it was ridiculous in the only way a “woodworking controversy” can be. More importantly, most woodworkers know that Sellers is a highly talented.
Saturday night was hardly the first time I’ve watched a Paul Sellers video, but it was the first time I watched him make a furniture project from start to finish. I noticed there was a 8-part series on making a wall clock, which seemed as good a way to kill the time as any. My plan was to put the videos on and hopefully drift off to sleep. I watched all 8 parts, and I can say without a doubt that it was by far the best woodworking project video I’ve ever watched. To put it in context, I started watching just after midnight; the videos ended just before 5 am. The sun had already risen, but I didn’t even notice, because the time went by that quickly. I’ve watched woodworking videos before that literally put me to sleep, these videos kept me awake and wanting to watch more even though the very reason I put them on was to have some background noise as I tried to relax. They were that good.
Watching a talented craftsman work is always enjoyable, at least to me, but the part of the series that really and truly sold me was the 8th and final episode, in which Sellers finishes the clock with shellac and wax. In fifteen minutes I learned more about finishing than I had in years of reading woodworking books and magazine articles on the subject. For instance, Sellers applied the wax with steel wool, which is fairly common, but he buffed it out with a soft-bristled shoe brush. While this may sound like common sense, I would never have thought of doing it that way. I was so impressed that yesterday morning I ran out and purchased a new shoe brush for that very purpose (like most people I have a shoe brush, but I purchased it when I was stationed in Oklahoma more than 20 years ago and it is infused with the grime of thousands of shoe polishings).
Of course there were dozens of little moments similar to the finishing techniques throughout the entire project that all stand out, from Sellers beading the frame to his making the bull nose profile with a #4 plane. Sellers works nearly exclusively with hand tools in his videos, but even if you don’t use hand tools, most of his methods will still apply to just about any shop. I work almost exclusively with hand tools for reasons that I’ve explained before. After watching this project series I am honestly considering going full hand tool! Why? Because I want to woodwork just like Paul Sellers. Like a cult leader, he just makes it sound so perfect. All kidding aside, I thought these videos were simply outstanding. And if you enjoy woodworking, and you are looking to improve, and you’ve never checked out a Paul Sellers video before, do yourself a favor and give it a look. You will be happy that you did.