Thursday, October 22, 2009

FWW: Hand vs. Power Tool Showdown

Mark your calendars for November 12 at 1:30 p.m. EST, when two Fine Woodworking staff members go sander to handplane to see who can prepare a finish-ready surface the fastest.

Asa Christiana vs. Michael Pekovich
Sand vs. Steel
Innovation vs. Tradition
Electricity vs. Wheaties

Watch it live on Fine Woodworking's site! Check Facebook and Twitter for my up-to-the-minute coverage! Cheer on your favorite technique!
Be there or be a 4-sided, equilateral, geometric shape!

Click here for more info on this historic event.

17 comments:

Bill Stankus said...

Reminds me of the silliness of sitting on and racing 4x24 belt sanders. Best enjoyed after a few beers.

Adrian Baird Ba Than said...

Would that be the same as a tessellating obdurate quadrate?

raney said...

I have a hard time picturing this as much of a contest... Is there anyone who thinks you can sand to finish-ready faster than plane?

The Village Carpenter said...

Bill, is there a youtube video of you sitting on a belt sander and racing it? I must see this!!

Adrian, um, lemme google that before I answer...

Raney, I'm not exactly sure what all they are going to be sanding/planing. Sounds like it might be an entire piece of furniture rather than just a board. So I imagine they are anticipating a photo finish.

Dyami said...

Let the races begin!

To be fair, will the race include the time it takes Asa to put on the sanding pad and the time it take Michael to sharpen and set the plane blade?

The Village Carpenter said...

Dyami, that's a good question. I'll check to see if I can get some answers.

Woodbloke said...

Kari - sounds fun, but what timber will the guys be using? If it's a nice piece of Black Walnut or Cherry the plane will hands down, but suppose it's a nasty lump of interlocked and rowed sapele...the sander will probably have it.
Horses for courses... - Rob

Ken M said...

A rhombus?

Chuck said...

The whole contest buys into the FWW/powertool mindset: faster wins.

Chuck

Michael said...

Not to be unkind, but this whole adventure seems silly. The sander and plane work the wood differently and you'd expect to get a different finish using each tool.

The Village Carpenter said...

Rob, that's a good question, too. They plan to have more details posted on their website leading up to the event, and hopefully they'll have an answer for us.

Ken, I suppose it's better to be a diamond than a square. :o)

Chuck, it will be interesting to see how they calculate which is the better finish. Personally, I believe a handplane provides a better finish, but whether or not it's faster depends on the type of wood, the person doing the finishing, the sharpness of the planes, etc.

Michael, thanks for your comment. I probably gave the impression that this is a silly event by the way I wrote it up....and I'm a silly person. I imagine that this will be taken seriously, but in good fun, at the event.

I've heard people say that sanders provide a better finish and other say a plane does. I'm in the plane camp, but have no proof. I've thought about doing my own experiment with the two on the same piece of wood with the same finish, just to see for myself.

I don't know yet how FWW will define "finish-ready". I suppose, in part, that's a subjective opinion.

Michael said...

I'm going to keep out of trouble and say sanders and planes provide different finishes.

I have recently read a book on the science of wood and it had many pictures of wood at various levels of magnification during processing. One tools cuts, the other grinds and you can see the effect on the wood.

But anyway, have fun with the event, though it's going to be hard to beat the saw vs axe event.

The Village Carpenter said...

Michael, that's probably wise. I'm sensing that this may be a pins vs. tails-type can o' worms. haha

Michael said...

You could toss a little gas on the fire by asking whether to cut them by hand or router.

Actually that might make for an interesting event. Hand cut dovetails vs. router and jig dovetails.

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