Do You Really Want Your Plane to be That Plain?

A smoothing plane

A smoothing plane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Human beings. As a race, we are practically overflowing with diversity. Not the type of diversity constantly reported by our news media (I’ll leave that to our brain-dead elected officials in our nation’s capital), but the type that goes along with the old adage: “Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, etc.”

From the time of Adam and Eve, man has come up with as many things to keep himself occupied as there are people in existence. The thing I cannot seem to wrap my brain around is that the farther we progress, the more we seem to resist that progression.

Now as I have mentioned in previous blogs, I used to be a carpenter by trade. From the time man started to work in wood, he has devised new tools. And as these tools were used within the trade, new innovations made them more practical and productive. If you look back, we’ve come from sharpening arrows with pieces of flint to sliding an unfinished piece of wood into a machine and having a finished product emerging from the other end.

Now I’ll admit, as a wood worker, when I’m crafting something as small as a cabinet or something as large as a house, I want that feeling of satisfaction that would not be possible if I were to use a machine to do all the work.

However, I do want to take advantage of the technological advances that have been made with tools over the years. For instance, I prefer ripping a piece of plywood with a handsaw as opposed to a circular saw,or planing a ten-foot piece of oak with a hand-plane instead of a floor-mounted motorized plane.

Now here is what I find to be a little quirky: Why do people who have access to modern tools insist on crafting projects using tools which may be centuries old? Now by no means am I trying to attach a negative connotation to this practice. I try to embrace a live-and-let-live philosophy. Truth be told I’ve adopted several “no progress” policies myself, … but that’s another post.

Another example: We have developed the clearest and most distortion-free sound by way of the compact disc, and yet I know some people who still listen to vinyl, cassettes and get this: eight-track tapes. Again, I’m just sayin’…

Even as I write this post, with as many corrections and changes as I’ve made, I cannot imagine having to pen this with anything other than a computer.

Once again, I find myself nearing the end of another post…or do I?

Stop by next week, I’m feeling a “To be continued” in the making.

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