My Thoughts on Woodworking
There are many different woodworkers out there and each of them has their own way of doing things. One way is not better or more correct that another, they are just different. We seem to spent a lot of time on the Internet these days debating one technique over another, or which way to sharpen a tool is best. The truth is, we should be spending more time trying out different techniques rather than dumping on them while under the blanket of anonymity. There is no 'right' answer. If it works for the individual then that is the 'right' answer.
So let's try to learn from one another. We all have something to offer with our unique techniques and ideas. We need to spend more time listening to people and less time talking at people. You never know, you may learn something. Above all else, the only sure way to be successful at the bench is to actually be at the bench. In order to understand, you must do.
In my shop, machines are like apprentices, without the hassle of an HR department. They know what to do and they do it well. Sharp blades and some maintenance here and there is the only sustenance these apprentices need.
You certainly don't need to use machines to woodwork - I didn't before I had the space. But now that I have a dedicated 500 sqft shop, I can afford the space for a few apprentices. They do the grunt work like resawing lumber or thicknessing boards. They also excel at repetitive work that doesn’t require a lot of skill or finesse.
In the end, I can take or leave these apprentices. If I moved to an apartment tomorrow, my woodworking would continue.
There is nothing quite as exquisite as a freshly hand planed surface. The grain dances right before your eyes and the smoothness of the wood is unmatched by any other technique. They are the yin to my machines yang. They keep me mindful of each surface and allow me to view each component with a critical eye.
My hand tools are sharp, well maintained and always at the ready to create joinery, shape components and creates lustrous surfaces. My true love for woodworking is centred around these tools and I make no apologies for that.