Link Roundup: Surface Prep with Hand Tools vs. Power Tools

comments (57) November 12th, 2009 in blogs

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Sand, scrape, or plane? Which do you prefer? - CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 tools
If 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 sharp
Sharpening 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 finish
So 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 sanders
If 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.



posted in: blogs, finishing, sanding, hand planing, surface preparation, scraping


Comments (57)

pdale pdale writes: 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.
73's Paul
Posted: 3:29 pm on November 12th

Redcanoeguy Redcanoeguy writes: 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.
Posted: 3:08 pm on November 12th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: Congratulations RandyW for having won our hand plane. Also, congratulations to crisp3, who won our DVD.

Cheers all!

-Ed
Posted: 2:56 pm on November 12th

woodworkerfella woodworkerfella writes: Cool challenge! Got to get me some planes!
Posted: 2:53 pm on November 12th

gillugo gillugo writes: great video, when is the next one?

Gil
Posted: 2:52 pm on November 12th

Larrythewoodguy Larrythewoodguy writes: im up for that prize

Posted: 2:52 pm on November 12th

RandyW RandyW writes: Anatole needs another career as a stand-up comedian.
Posted: 2:50 pm on November 12th

roliaz roliaz writes: Hand tools all the way, also registering for the prize.

Thank you.
Posted: 2:48 pm on November 12th

55chevpu 55chevpu writes: this has been great. do more. I used the name of Lampworker.
Posted: 2:44 pm on November 12th

tigergibb tigergibb writes: nice event, entering drawing
Posted: 2:43 pm on November 12th

iflytbm iflytbm writes: 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!!
Posted: 2:43 pm on November 12th

charlton charlton writes: Post for the win!
Posted: 2:42 pm on November 12th

BassFinger BassFinger writes: 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.
Posted: 2:40 pm on November 12th

Florida Andy Florida Andy writes: I am enjoying this very much. only one comment, the camera needs a better zoom capability. Keep up the good work Andy
Posted: 2:37 pm on November 12th

gwyrlim gwyrlim writes: Nice live event! Good work FWW!
Posted: 2:36 pm on November 12th

robmit robmit writes: Cool live event. I would definitely be interested in watching more of this sort of thing. Good work.
Posted: 2:35 pm on November 12th

RandyW RandyW writes: Interesting show. I hope they are able to improve the live feed quality soon. This type of event could be very popular.
Posted: 2:34 pm on November 12th

Abbort Abbort writes: Super event, very informative. More, please.
Posted: 2:33 pm on November 12th

Hovis Hovis writes: This is interesting... I use hand tools mainly, but for reasons other than speed.
Posted: 2:31 pm on November 12th

wannabewoodworker wannabewoodworker writes: Interesting show. Learned a few things. Camera work improved as the show progressed.
Posted: 2:29 pm on November 12th

fullnelson fullnelson writes: Great feature guy's. I hope you do another event soon.
Posted: 2:27 pm on November 12th

cob631 cob631 writes: I have never done this before but think its great

Posted: 2:27 pm on November 12th

CaseQuarter CaseQuarter writes: I've enjoyed the live event. Pretty neat thing to do.
Posted: 2:26 pm on November 12th

chetkloss chetkloss writes: I would like a prize too :)
Posted: 2:26 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: 2:22 pm on November 12th

CPBG CPBG writes: 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.
thanks
Posted: 2:21 pm on November 12th

ronaloha ronaloha writes: my experience teaches me that there are advantages to both sanding & planing, and a time for each.
Posted: 2:18 pm on November 12th

5smiles 5smiles writes: WHY NOT DO A WEEKLY SHOW ? ? ? ? ?
Posted: 2:17 pm on November 12th

spwiz5578 spwiz5578 writes: How much time would it take if they weren't being interviewed throughout?
Posted: 2:16 pm on November 12th

fastdog fastdog writes: Enjoying the live presentation.
Hope this becomes a regular event.
Good work
David
Posted: 2:15 pm on November 12th

fbs fbs writes: registering for prize
Posted: 2:15 pm on November 12th

wxford wxford writes: 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.
Posted: 2:13 pm on November 12th

EricSchenck EricSchenck writes: Well done on this event FWW. I am enjoying it live.
Posted: 2:12 pm on November 12th

Hill_Top_Rez Hill_Top_Rez writes: 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.
Posted: 2:11 pm on November 12th

AlNavas AlNavas writes: My thanks to FWW - enjoyed the entire live feed! Ohh-I hope I win one of the drawings...


Al
Posted: 2:10 pm on November 12th

askanes askanes writes: The hand tools will take the day!!!!
Posted: 2:10 pm on November 12th

brownwood1536 brownwood1536 writes: Please enter me into the drawing. Thanks
Posted: 2:10 pm on November 12th

rob92025 rob92025 writes: registering for prize
Posted: 2:09 pm on November 12th

rob92025 rob92025 writes: watching: very informative
Posted: 2:08 pm on November 12th

almostaranch almostaranch writes: In for the drawing, interesting subject
Posted: 2:07 pm on November 12th

jay_kreger jay_kreger writes: I wonder if my new avatar will show up with this comment?
Posted: 2:07 pm on November 12th

DeanEg DeanEg writes: registering for prize.
Posted: 2:07 pm on November 12th

KazDog KazDog writes: Drawing entry
Posted: 2:07 pm on November 12th

DDDean DDDean writes: Watching
Posted: 2:06 pm on November 12th

lakeswim lakeswim writes: My drawing entry
Posted: 2:06 pm on November 12th

MetroGnome MetroGnome writes: I want the prize please!
Posted: 2:05 pm on November 12th

Greg Jones Greg Jones writes: Nice-would like to see more live events.
Posted: 2:05 pm on November 12th

Broker593 Broker593 writes: Registering. Thanks FWW!
Posted: 2:04 pm on November 12th

crisp3 crisp3 writes: This is my first time on. Really like the streaming video.
Posted: 2:04 pm on November 12th

Mark_Robin Mark_Robin writes:
Posted: 2:04 pm on November 12th

RobD RobD writes: nice job... love the format -
Posted: 2:04 pm on November 12th

vetterh1 vetterh1 writes: is it the right place for the drawing?
Posted: 2:03 pm on November 12th

Holry7778 Holry7778 writes: Comment...This is awesome...Thanks FW
Posted: 2:03 pm on November 12th

K9Fendy K9Fendy writes: good job on this
Posted: 2:03 pm on November 12th

GT64 GT64 writes: Instructional live events would be great

Gary Thatcher
Posted: 2:03 pm on November 12th

It_is_I It_is_I writes: how to enter

Posted: 2:03 pm on November 12th

agent511 agent511 writes: registering for prize
Posted: 2:02 pm on November 12th

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