Its 2008, and the innovation of power tools and jigs to do almost anything are very prevalant and widely available at sometimes very reasonable prices.
If someone begans woodworking today, at a nice young age, and becomes an expert in the use of power tools and accessories and turns out incredible work, no matter what the project, is that person still going to be considered a true craftsman of his trade?
I dont know if in 50 years from now, cutting dovetail joints and M and T joints by hand will be nothing more than an old art that everyone just wants to try once or twice to see how well they can do it.(ofcourse, those that do it for the hobby aspect of it, will always cut by hand, for the sole reason of enjoyment)
I know Ill get alot of flak for this, but if someone can master perfect joints with a jig, a router, a dado blade, a drill press, etc....does it make him/her less of a true craftsman than someone who spends 10 times as much time hand cutting it all for the same exact result?
(I understand that cutting by hand will always be a practiced art, but like every profession on earth, things are constantly invented to make life easier, more efficient and sometimes actually more accurate)
We all use indoor plumbing, all use (well most of us) oil or gas , solar, to heat our homes, have air conditioning, drive autos, and anything else that makes our lives more convenient or comfortable.
Practicing an art will alway be around, but when it comes to woodworking, Im not sure if a person who masters his craft using the most modern and up to date equipment should be considered any less of an craftsman then a person who still does things the way it was done 200 years ago.(please dont misread me, I dont want to get banned here, Id never knock the skill of an artist, something Ill never obtain, but I dont see an advantage to hand cutting "everything" and considering it more craftsmanshiip than using modern technology to achieve the same result, sometimes modern technology achieving more accurate results)