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Sand, scrape, or plane? Which do you prefer?
Fine Woodworking editors are split on the best method to prepare a wood surface for finish. Over the years we’ve demonstrated dozens of ways to get your parts smooth and blemish free with hand tools and power tools. Afterall, no matter your preference, surface preparation is one of the most important steps in any woodworking project.
We’ve assembled a list of our best articles and videos on these topics. Feel free to post a link in the comments section if you have another link to recommend. And let us know what technique you prefer.
Prepare a surface with hand toolsIf you prefer to use hand planes and scrapers to prepare a wood surface for finish, use these time tested techniques to acheive a clean, smooth surface. Browse All Surface Preparation articles and videos.
Keep your hand tools sharpSharpening is another topic critical to successful hand tool surface preparation. Sharpen your tools before you start and keep them honed throughout the process. Browse All Sharpening Articles and Videos
Applying a finishSo you’re ready to apply a finish, eh? Here are some of our top finishing techniques used in the projects featured in Fine Woodworking. Browse All Finishing Articles and Videos
Prepare a surface with power sandersIf you prefer to use power sanders to prepare a wood surface for finish there are best practices for good results. Browse All Surface Preparation articles and videos.
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I really enjoyed the shoot out but would have like to see more closeups of the actual work in progress. Also clarity was lacking on the close ups that were tried.
I did pickup helpful tips and would like to master planing. I need to purchase a decent plane first. Keep up the good work. We'd like to see more.
Really enjoyed the demo. I have to admit I thought it was a little over the top when I first read about it, but picked up some nice pointers on using my treasured hand planes. The video was a little bumpy, but all in all very enjoyable.
Congratulations RandyW for having won our hand plane. Also, congratulations to crisp3, who won our DVD.
Cool challenge! Got to get me some planes!
great video, when is the next one?
im up for that prize
Anatole needs another career as a stand-up comedian.
Hand tools all the way, also registering for the prize.
this has been great. do more. I used the name of Lampworker.
nice event, entering drawing
This is Great...nice break from office work- shut the doors, and turned up the sound...could even work on that invigorating spreadsheet while watching Asa sanding away.
More, please do more!!
Post for the win!
Great comparison. Fun to watch, but closer camera shots would help. I don't know how anyone can restrict themselves to one or the other finishing method. A mix of both are usually what works best for me.
I am enjoying this very much. only one comment, the camera needs a better zoom capability. Keep up the good work Andy
Nice live event! Good work FWW!
Cool live event. I would definitely be interested in watching more of this sort of thing. Good work.
Interesting show. I hope they are able to improve the live feed quality soon. This type of event could be very popular.
Super event, very informative. More, please.
This is interesting... I use hand tools mainly, but for reasons other than speed.
Interesting show. Learned a few things. Camera work improved as the show progressed.
Great feature guy's. I hope you do another event soon.
I have never done this before but think its great
I've enjoyed the live event. Pretty neat thing to do.
I would like a prize too :)
Since both of these fellows have experience with each others' approaches, it'd be interesting to hear them factor in all the ancillary costs (initially learning techniques, trips to the store to buy sandpaper, tool maintenance and longevity, shop clean-up) in their comparison. Also, I bet a hybrid approach (some hand planing & some machine sanding) may offer the most speed & versatility. For example, I prefer hand planing, but when cleaning up an exterior porch floor prior to repainting, I don't risk damaging a hand plane! Machine sanding with coarse grit gives me a paintable surface with no worries about hitting nail heads or bits of grit embedded in the old paint.
This is very interesting, I'm sure they'll get better camera work in the future.
How do we enter for the drawings?
Consider this my entry.
my experience teaches me that there are advantages to both sanding & planing, and a time for each.
WHY NOT DO A WEEKLY SHOW ? ? ? ? ?
How much time would it take if they weren't being interviewed throughout?
Enjoying the live presentation.
Hope this becomes a regular event.
registering for prize
Enjoyed the contest very much, and anxious to find out the winner. Would also like to be a winner of either prize. Thanks for doing this.
Well done on this event FWW. I am enjoying it live.
I liked the live video but the only reason I can watch is that I am home sick today. Need to have these in the evenings or weekends. Good job otherwise.
My thanks to FWW - enjoyed the entire live feed! Ohh-I hope I win one of the drawings...
The hand tools will take the day!!!!
Please enter me into the drawing. Thanks
watching: very informative
In for the drawing, interesting subject
I wonder if my new avatar will show up with this comment?
registering for prize.
My drawing entry
I want the prize please!
Nice-would like to see more live events.
Registering. Thanks FWW!
This is my first time on. Really like the streaming video.
nice job... love the format -
is it the right place for the drawing?
Comment...This is awesome...Thanks FW
good job on this
Instructional live events would be great
how to enter
Cut nails and a clever lid clinch a traditional Japanese toolbox
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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