Hand or machine was the subject in a meeting with Sandro Lucchini of Armitalia. He was showing me a set of five Holland style sidelocks he had just finished for an American client.

"Hand built?" I asked looking at the lockwork.

"No, when I want quality and perfectly squared parts I use the milling machine" he replied. That was years before the advent of CNC that is way more precise than the old milling machines.

Hands I think are probably best at fitting and getting the feel just right. Machines do some things better, faster and more easily.

Insisting that rough work like dimensioning a forging, should be done by hand so the object can have the title "hand built" is a bit sadistic to the worker, while making no difference to the finished part. Those who go for that sort of thing should be made to file a steel forging for eight hours. See how they like it.