There was a time when I planed all my wood from rough to finished, and on smaller works I sometimes still do, but when there is a whole slab measuring 20 inches x 8 feet I like to get some of the rougher work done on a machine. So, after marking out the different panels I needed from the slab of wood I had it milled at a nearby furniture maker that I am friendly with. This got the wood dimensionally set.
After that it was time to work my panels to a finer state using my planes. I still have my grandfather’s planes and they are a pleasure to use. The thing that hand planes do better than any machine is cutting the wood fibres cleanly. This has a visual effect that is unmistakable, but it also will protect the wood better from any wood boring insects.
The part that I most enjoy about working with hand planes is that it allows the time needed to really get to know a piece of lumber. This time, I feel, lets me use each piece of wood in the right way.