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There’s something challenging about simplifying complexities that pulls something out of me. Years ago, a young apprentice I worked with was jumping through many hoops to make faceted stars for inlaying. Fingers and sticks inches from the chop saw blade gave me the willies. Of course you can set up machines to do this safely, but a simple and quick alternative seemed in order. Long story short: I made a star for him very quickly using the method showed in this video and, as far as I know, this dyed-in-the-wool Texan is still making stars using my method. Still seems funny that a Brit could teach a Texan how to make the Lone-Star star.

Christmas StarThis short video is as much about developing skills, discovering methods and mastering techniques as it is about star making. My hope is that you will experiment, stack them up, use different woods and even reverse the star points to make geometric patterns into fans and shapes to discover your own patterns for appliquéd decoration and inlaying. At first you might question the accuracy of creating these facets, but as you make your star you will see that all inaccuracies will be resolved with a simple plane technique I developed. (Ideally, you already know how to get your plane iron’s cutting edge sharp and adjust the plane.)

I’m always inspired by passing on skills and techniques and though this one helps you decorate your home and Christmas tree for Christmas, the skills you garner will last for a lifetime in decorating your furniture and projects.

— Paul Sellers

p.s. For more from Paul and more on making stars, see the resources below:
• There is a longer version of the star-making video available on Paul’s site at (free registration required).
• Read: Shooting Boards — The Essential Aids to Hand-cut Miters
• Video: How to Sharpen your bench plane
• Read: A longer post on Paul’s blog about making the star
• Video: How to Make a Shooting Board

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  • rockyferraro

    Thank you for posting this.

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