One of the things I like best about wood is it’s lack of pretense. It must be inherited from the tree. Trees never pretend to be something else. They don’t try to be better than other trees. This may have something to do with being rooted. They can’t run away, even if you come at them with a chain saw. As I’ve said before, trees are patient. They accept what life gives them. They adapt and those adaptations give them strength and character.
People, on the other hand, can be unnervingly pretentious. I don’t like pretentious people. I’ve watched YouTube woodworkers for months. As a rule I go back to the first video they posted and watch them in order, until the affectations begin to overpower the original person and purpose. They go from nobody to somebody to super star status with sponsors, stores, brands, commercials, etc. One that I used to watch started out doing wood projects and sharing tips and ideas and personal experiences that were informative, natural and often funny. Then he got “famous”. What is more nonsensical than fame? People inherit a lot of money and become “famous” over night. Or perhaps they do something well and become “famous”. Then, instead of being who they are they develop affectations that become trade marks for them. They turn into tool salesmen, pitchmen. I put up with it for a while out of a sense of hope and loyalty, but sooner or later I unsubscribe and look for a real person doing real woodworking.
Paul Sellers is one of the most down to earth woodworkers on YouTube. He has over fifty years experience, loves woodworking and loves sharing with people. He’s not sponsored by any company and I believe he keeps it that way so he can stay honest and say what he has to say. I admire and respect him, as a woodworker and as a human being. The big feature that keeps me coming back is that he loves to teach. He doesn’t charge people to watch his videos where he shows you how to make tools or do joinery techniques. Many others begin hounding you for money right out of the gate. That rubs me the wrong way. Giving is something I want to do on my own, without being strong armed. I like Paul Sellers because he appears free of pretense and affectations. He’s a real human being, not a YouTube star.
His first love is woodworking, not success. He loves it so much he would do it for nothing. He does it so well he gets paid for it. He shares his ideas freely while others are constantly looking for a new way to make a buck.