Every so often I see this kind of questions on the forums:
”Why is my fostner bit burning the wood”
”I am using cope and stick bits in my router and I get chip out/burning, why?”
So here is the best advice, small increments make for more precise and flawless results.
As wood workers most of us come to a junction where we desire a workbench that is, if not pretty, at least useful and makes our tasks easier to do. The thing is, workbenches are designed in most cases to be used with hand tools. Have you ever tried to route a dado on a stile the length of a door? I don’t care how good is your router table, it will most likely be a nerve wrecking experience. The same task with a tongue and groove plane is not only easier on a work bench, it will most like be more accurate and precise as well as pleasurable.
Which brings us back to the advice, the plane forces you to make many passes in small increments (it is hard to remove 1/4” of wood in a single pass :-) ). Yet with power tools we fall into the wrong belief (specially as beginners) that we can just “hog” the entire piece of wood in one pass. It was not until I realized that power tools are merely a more convenient, and in some cases less strenuous, way of doing the same thing a hand tools does, that my work improved exponentially.
Strangely enough, as you become more proficient with hand tools, power tools become more, and more superfluous. More often than not in the present I find myself reaching for the hand tools instead of the power tool. Will I ever give up my jointer/planer, not in this life time! But I will give up woodworking if I had to use a dovetail jig again as I did when I was starting, mine has been gathering dust for the last 3 years.
PS. This blog is not meant to be a hand tool vs power tool controversy, and it is why I posted it as a blog. It is my experience and my opinion, you are welcome to disagree but lets not turn this into a pissing match.
-- Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly stupid.