Lately I’ve been surprised at how much I don’t know about stuff I thought I knew a lot about. And I mean some pretty simple stupid stuff—at least, I thought it was simple. That’s one reason you’ll be seeing some new “Tool Tips” articles on TiC, and they’ll be in our Tips department. This is the first article in the series.
Some of the articles will be written by carpenters, but some will be written by manufacturer’s reps and trainers—after all, who knows more about a product than the people that make it and sell it.
A Note from the Publisher:
WARNING: POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST!
If you are sensitive about articles that seem to favor a particular manufacturer, then DON’T read this one! It’s written about techniques demonstrated by a Festool sales rep! After years of experience, I’ve found that some manufacturers know more about their products than anyone else; if a carpenter wants to learn the best way to install a product, sometimes the best source of information is the manufacturer. In the future, look for more carefully-screened articles from manufacturers.
For more than four years, while demonstrating finish carpentry techniques at Katz Roadshow events all over America, I’ve learned (and continue to learn) a lot, too. One of the people I’ve learned the most from at Roadshows is Larry Smith—undoubtedly the best manufacturer’s tool representative I’ve ever met.
One demonstration that Larry repeats at every Roadshow is how to use a powered hand sander properly. Right. You wouldn’t think anyone would need training on sanding. In fact, we always pass that chore off to the lowest guy on the totem pole. And what a mistake.
Sanding requires a lot more attention and know-how than most of us realize. After putting countless hours into a nice piece of casework or furniture, in addition to the cost of the materials, it’s pretty silly to hand that investment to the lowest paid and least experienced worker on the crew.
If you’ve never made it to a Roadshow, watch this video and you’ll see the same presentation Larry demonstrates at lumberyards. And if you’ve been to a show and seen Larry’s presentation, I bet you’ll learn something new from watching it again. I know I did! The video is a little lengthy—just over 13 minutes. And I shot it on the fly, so please excuse odd cuts and transitions. But trust me, it’s worth every second (if you don’t see the video below, click on this link!).