Without huge, industrial machines, I've found hand tools, when properly set up, to be the most effective way of preparing my timber for joinery.
I use a couple of simple machines to take the wood from a rough sawn state, to a square dimension.
From there, I will either use my hand plane or cabinet scraper to remove the marks left by the machine and create a smooth surface, ready for joinery.
Not only is the process enjoyable, but it is also fast, keeps me fit and reduces my carbon emissions.
Check out this quick video I put together showing some of the tools in action: