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Hand v. Power Tool Showdown: Watch it Live Online Nov. 12

comments (66) October 22nd, 2009 in blogs

GEide GEide, Contributor
thumbs up 29 users recommend

Visit the Live Video page Thurs., Nov. 12 at 1:30 p.m. Watch two FW staffers duke it out to find the fastest method for getting a finish-ready surface. now. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Visit the Live Video page Thurs., Nov. 12 at 1:30 p.m. Watch two FW staffers duke it out to find the fastest method for getting a finish-ready surface. now.

UPDATE: Visit the Live Video page now. Streaming begins at 1:30 p.m. EST. Can't make it live? Don't worry, we'll record the event for on-demand playback.

Fine Woodworking is launching a first-of-its kind live streaming video event on Thurs., Nov. 12 at 1:30 p.m. EST. Watch two FW staffers duke it out to see which method is faster for getting a finish-ready surface: magazine editor Asa Christiana with power sanders v. art director Michael Pekovich with hand planes.

Click here to tune in for the live event and you’ll get: 

  • a peek into the FW shop
  • a chance to ask FW staff questions via live chat
  • tips on surface preparation
  • to find out which method reigns supreme

Kari Hultman of the Village Carpenter blog will cover the event via Twitter.

There will also be a live studio audience of woodworkers like you, and you can chat live with our editors through the live video interace.

What are you waiting for, watch it live!

posted in: blogs, news

Comments (66)

docbane docbane writes: Great video. Tips and tricks very usefull
Posted: 8:19 pm on November 18th

kpetten kpetten writes: Great Idea guys...... I hope its just the start!

What is the best way to handle maple(hard), hand or power? I have tried hand plane.... cheap planes, seem to be sharp, with just a hair of the blade sticking out the bottom...... the thing stops solid.
Posted: 6:16 pm on November 18th

drllucas drllucas writes: I was surprised that the plane outperformed the sander on this small project. Gives me a reason to tune-up the seven old users on my shelf.
Posted: 3:15 pm on November 18th

pabull pabull writes: Change of spice...great job.
I put my money on the plane, but personally I will sand when it comes to finishing my honey-do-list.
Posted: 4:21 pm on November 16th

homeagaincda homeagaincda writes: glad you saved the event so we could see later. sound quality was a little challenging - but otherwise interesting.
Posted: 12:50 pm on November 15th

DaveBrix DaveBrix writes: Very cool Smackdown...

I am not sure if I am watching it live though, given that it was supposedly happening this afternoon.

It was great to hear all of the great tips on working with hand tools. I am really just learning how to work with planes, keep them sharp, etc., so this was a great way to get some tips.

I am not sure if the drawing is over but I would like to be entered if possible... I guess you have my email address as I am a subscriber to both online and mag.

Thanks for all the great content!

David Brix
Posted: 3:31 am on November 13th

seanfromsc seanfromsc writes: Great live feed. I don't have much exposure to the hand tools. But I have found that when I reach for them there is really no other reasonable solution to the job at hand. My first use of a plane was to level my workbench. The chisels are never far from reach either.
Posted: 11:42 pm on November 12th

dalbergian dalbergian writes: Fantastic idea,even although my money was on the plane it was interesting to see how both techniques fared against each other.
Not really a contest in my mind,more a comparison.
Posted: 7:16 pm on November 12th

Florida Andy Florida Andy writes: Now that the shootout is over, my comments. 1. Good show. 2.As to the winner, we can't really see the finished product. Based upon time, I consider it a tie. Asa probably did way more sanding than necessary, as many of us do. We keep sanding long after that grit is done. I am not a professional and have no interst in being one. I use both planes and sandpaper depending on the need. But, in my opinion 90% of the non-professionals could do what Asa did and 90% of the non-professional could not do what Mike did. I know those that do the planing say it is easy because for them it is easy, but that does not mean everybody.
Posted: 3:49 pm on November 12th

greenvillager greenvillager writes: nobody is talking about how the work will take a finish. I can't imagine that cherry sanded to 220 grit will look anything like the hand planed surfaces.
Posted: 2:58 pm on November 12th

jacarney jacarney writes: A great idea. Thanks for the demonstrations. Several good tips presented.
Posted: 2:53 pm on November 12th

peteracham peteracham writes: How interviewing time is taken in to account ?. Time taken each station are may not be same!
Posted: 2:50 pm on November 12th

LAllenP LAllenP writes: 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!
Posted: 2:46 pm on November 12th

tshiker1 tshiker1 writes: Just the amount of noise is enough to make me use hand planes!

Posted: 2:44 pm on November 12th

kfvbindy kfvbindy writes: The live show is interesting and with some refinements in the presentation will be a good mode for special demo situations. Also, one quick question regarding plane sharpening technique. I sharpen with waterstones and am wondering about the jig used to set the 25 degree angle in the honing guide. I have trouble with repeatability on that. Is Mike's jig set for blade projection or angle? Are there any other tricks to getting the sharpening angle flat on the sharpening stone for maximum sharpening effect? Thanks for all your efforts and a job well done to all involved!
Posted: 2:41 pm on November 12th

ffog43 ffog43 writes: lets go hand planes!!!
Posted: 2:40 pm on November 12th

theframemaster theframemaster writes: I agree, this is a good intro to hand tools. After all of these years I still don't know enough about planes.
Posted: 2:39 pm on November 12th

Kaytrim Kaytrim writes: Is this going to be available to watch at a later time?
Posted: 2:39 pm on November 12th

fmk fmk writes: thanks for the show
Posted: 2:38 pm on November 12th

Monark540 Monark540 writes: Better than watching paint dry! My first time watching such an event and I'm all for it!
Posted: 2:36 pm on November 12th

Kaytrim Kaytrim writes: This it a good intro for anyone looking at handplanes and hand tools in general. Thanks for the show.
Posted: 2:34 pm on November 12th

greenvillager greenvillager writes: pretty cool event. I am home with "swine flu" and this is helping pass the time. I am curious about removing swirl marks left by the random orbit sander.
Posted: 2:33 pm on November 12th

Chrislac Chrislac writes: Really enjoying this. I missed the first 20 minutes. Are there any plans to do other topics?
Posted: 2:33 pm on November 12th

naterajj naterajj writes: Hand planes will win of course!
Posted: 2:32 pm on November 12th

customwoodwork customwoodwork writes: Are you going to do another event like this?
Posted: 2:28 pm on November 12th

It_is_I It_is_I writes: Enter me in your contest - Thanks
Posted: 2:24 pm on November 12th

Jrobertkirby Jrobertkirby writes: I finally feel like I could like sports.
Posted: 2:23 pm on November 12th

Baumholder Baumholder writes: Everything isn't perfect, but I admire their efforts and creativity. Asa and Mike are great!
Posted: 2:20 pm on November 12th

WScherr WScherr writes: This is a good idea - hope we see more of the live feeds in the future.
Posted: 2:19 pm on November 12th

Broker593 Broker593 writes: This where we register to win?
Posted: 2:17 pm on November 12th

JBourgeois JBourgeois writes: Unfortunately, the event is a mess. I understand that the peoples involved are not professional audio-visual technicians, and that the production equipement is minimal. But a simple rehearsal would have enabled you to spot all the main problems and correct them easily.

- The commentator is not careful with his mike. He puts it too close to its own mouth, and too far from the others mouth.

- The commentator moves too much, it is hard for the cameraman to follow him.

- We do not see what is happening. The camera is too far most of the time and too close when peoples are moving around.

- It seems as if part of the sound is piked up by the cameras built in mikes, since the ambiant sound changes when you switch cameras. This is useless when the commentator has a mike. It just add extra noise.

And the format is not good for that type of demonstrations. There are a lot of people around Mike that distract him while it is not the case for Asa. And the commentator spends a lot more time with Mike than with Asa. That tips the balance a lot.

Mike and Asa are great. All in all, this would have been great if it had been done in you regular video format.

Posted: 2:14 pm on November 12th

root root writes: This show is interesting, but a little better camera work would show more detail of what each woodworker is doing in better detail. The long shots just don't show much.
Posted: 2:14 pm on November 12th

ippokambus ippokambus writes: No video playing at all now.Bad conection from twiter i think.
Posted: 2:14 pm on November 12th

Sawyer007 Sawyer007 writes: Good time - informative!
Posted: 2:12 pm on November 12th

redheadedwoodpecker redheadedwoodpecker writes: Excellent Coverage !
Posted: 2:12 pm on November 12th

Pohnpei Pohnpei writes: I have always cherished the sound and feel of using a hand plane. Fun contest!
Posted: 2:11 pm on November 12th

customwoodwork customwoodwork writes: I am enjoying this ...thanks
Posted: 2:10 pm on November 12th

BCJason BCJason writes: Lie Nielson vs Dewalt hmmmm.
Posted: 2:09 pm on November 12th

Aargh Aargh writes: This is pretty cool. It's interesting to see the contrast between the two techniques.
Posted: 2:09 pm on November 12th

bcbutler36 bcbutler36 writes: Great casting!! GO HAND TOOLS!!
Posted: 2:08 pm on November 12th

ippokambus ippokambus writes: I wish i could see the show without breaks
Posted: 2:08 pm on November 12th

BruceWLove BruceWLove writes: Pretty fun. More interesting than I thought! Go hand tools! And enter me in the drawing!
Posted: 2:08 pm on November 12th

Ras Ras writes: Would be nice to see more of these. Its cool
Posted: 2:07 pm on November 12th

charlton charlton writes: Hand plane is going to win.
Posted: 2:06 pm on November 12th

mmaeml mmaeml writes: Enjoyed video. I generally use both, ending with the planer
Posted: 2:06 pm on November 12th

ippokambus ippokambus writes: Amazing contest.
Posted: 2:06 pm on November 12th

brownwood1536 brownwood1536 writes: I am rooting for Michael and the hand tools. Enter me into the drawing. Besides notice how Michael can talk to someone and Asa is all alone.
Posted: 2:05 pm on November 12th

rwyoung rwyoung writes: Comment to enter drawing...
Posted: 2:04 pm on November 12th

Riffler Riffler writes: I don't think a hand sander is the proper comparison to a handplane. A power jointer would be the correct power tool. I agree with other commenters that speed is not the issue in Fine Woodworking. It is using the proper tool for the job at hand.
Posted: 12:55 pm on November 12th

GEide GEide writes: Hi folks, there will be replays once the live event ends today. -Gina,
Posted: 12:02 pm on November 12th

Stanley55 Stanley55 writes: I'm sorry, but this magazine seems to have declined in quality of presentation. This "competition" feels like it's going to be about a comparison of two distinctly different processes. One is not better than the other and speed is not to be considered in the words "Fine Woodworking".

Blair Glenn
Posted: 10:24 am on November 12th

monomoy monomoy writes: This is an accident waiting to happen. I am really surprised you are showing this. The leverage of a sheet of plywood will tear this off very easily.
Posted: 8:10 am on November 12th

CGN CGN writes: There are many tome zones if you go around the world!
How will you distribute this to international customers/members?

Posted: 6:11 am on November 12th

wilburpan wilburpan writes: Whichever one turns out to be faster, I already know which method will leave my lungs in better shape.
Posted: 10:00 am on November 10th

GEide GEide writes: routerrat: Tune in on Tuesday and see how they compare and regardless--this IS the first effort of this kind for FW.
Posted: 9:07 am on November 9th

jhonbaker jhonbaker writes: I think that most regular plane users keep their planes sharp and fairly ready to go out of the handmade tool box. That being said, outside of sharpening the blade I'd bet that more regular plane users can set it up pretty darn quick. If you would want to include sharpening of the blade than I suppose that you would have to include making the sandpaper.
I think that FWW will set up the contest as fairly as possible - don't you?
Can't wait for the 12th!
Posted: 1:50 pm on November 8th

His_apprentice His_apprentice writes: After spending the last 17 years in the Army and never living anywhere for more than three years, I have come to appreciate having a small collection of well-maintained (thanks to my WorkSharp), quality hand tools. My current project is a greenland style kayak paddle. Nearly all of the work has been done in my present transient quarters (apologies to housekeeping). Working in reverse from a classical apprenticeship, I started out with almost nothing but power tools and graduated to hand tools as I often have very limited work space.
For me its not as much about large scale production as it is about taking pleasure in working with my hands to transform lumber into useful, attractive items.
BTW, I really liked the recent article on shaping wood with hand tools. SDG
MAJ Charles Fisher, ILE class 09-003, Ft. Belvoir, VA
Posted: 6:03 pm on November 7th

Aroonstock Aroonstock writes: Will the competition include the time to hook the sander up to a vacuum and install sandpaper and the time to sharpen a plane blade and set up a plane? If not, isn't it an unfair competition? Sanders set up in seconds and planes in minutes. That should be factored into the contest.
Posted: 6:01 pm on November 6th

routerrat routerrat writes: You posted:
"Fine Woodworking is launching a first-of-its kind live streaming video event"

Technically "first-of-its kind" is not true. Shopsmith aired, on line, what they called "Sawdust Sessions" with Nick Engler via streaming video for a couple of years ending just last year. They can still be accessed on the Shopsmith web site and some on Youtube. Just FYI.
Posted: 1:54 am on November 6th

GEide GEide writes: oldewood: You can get the highlights in an article in an upcoming issue of the magazine. We'll also put together a video highlight reel. We may rebroadcast the whole thing later as well. Stay tuned and kudos for your work ethic! -Gina
Posted: 5:11 pm on November 5th

Jacknet52 Jacknet52 writes: I think we all know who wins this one. Even a mediocre plane operator can put a decent finish on a board. Course it might take a little card scraping to finish it off. Go hand tools.
Posted: 9:43 am on October 27th

tkarlmann tkarlmann writes: I hope it's a better show than the one you did some time ago about hand-cut vs machine-cut dovetails! The guy you had doing the hand-cut dovetails was not very proficient -- you could have asked Frank Klausz to that part -- now THAT would have been a show to see!

Maybe you can provide the showgivers' qualifications specific to the task at hand before I can get too interested.
Posted: 4:09 am on October 27th

oldewood oldewood writes: Sounds like great fun! Too bad it's during the workday, you know, when most people work and can't watch 'live streaming video'. Well, maybe I could, but then I'll get fired. You are going to post it later, right?
Posted: 5:10 pm on October 23rd

GEide GEide writes: Good point Randy Klein... Yes Eastern Standard Time. Thanks.
Posted: 6:41 pm on October 22nd

randyklein randyklein writes: Is that 1:30 EST?
Posted: 4:49 pm on October 22nd

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: FWW Smackdown!
Posted: 2:31 pm on October 22nd

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