This is something I have been thinking of adding to my web site. This is a summary, but I plan to expand and add lots of pictures to.
How is it crafted.
What does hand crafted mean? Crafted by use of the hands? Finger nails? Tearing apart? Using tools of any sort is then a departure of hand crafted. The first crafters used pieces of obsidian (sharp stone) to carve wood. Carving with a pocket knife, is only hand crafted by nature of the knife is held in the hand and manipulated to cut into the wood, thereby the hands were in control of the cutter. The hand plane gets a little further away from hand crafted as does the egg beater drill. Controlled by the hands, yes? But there is mechanical advantage and the cutter is no longer hand in the hand, rather it is in the assembly of a “tool”. To go a bit further away from hand crafted, the sable saw is a powered mechanical machine that moves pretty far away from the notion of hand crafted. It is a machine. Still the operator in holding the material and controlling the machine, to some degree. There are some cases whereas the material is clamped onto a drill press table and a drill bit is machine moved into the material, via power feed. Same with a drum sander, or planer. The hands are not even touching the material as in is being machined. Pretty far removed from hand crafted. Even so, the operator is in control by virtue of setting up the machine to perform a given task. The machine cannot perform its own operation without the interaction of the operator who has the ability to think, plan, and execute the operation. The latest craze in the home shop is the use of CNC routers. Again the machine has no brains and cannot execute an operation any better that a drill press can, or any better than a hand plane, drill press, pocket knife or piece of obsidian. The CNC machine, like a pocket knife, drill press, bench chisel, or table saw needs the interaction of the operator to execute the operation.
In essence hand crafted is a misnomer. In actuality there is very little that is hand crafted, save maybe pottery. A better term would be maybe human crafted, or manmade, or crafted by virtue of human ingenuity. This is true of everything beyond the real essence of “hand crafted”, which is to say, nothing but the hands.