I was at first unwilling to accept what I was being told but the narrator seemed so sincere. Some things we need take on faith. It seems woodworkers for centuries have been joining wood at right angles by removing portions of both boards interlocking and keying the two boards permanently together. They say these joints were used to build both carcasses and drawers. And other things we not speak of here. Only the most virtuous and skilled woodworkers mastered the dovetail. Others were left to use rabbet and butt joints, acceptable joints but without the strength and prestige of the dovetail.
Drawer construction has changed several times in the last years. Antique Furniture , vintage furniture ; determining the age of the antique and vintage. How can you tell the age of a piece of furniture?
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Methods[ edit ] The dovetail joint is very strong because of the way the ‘tails’ and ‘pins’ are shaped. This makes it difficult to pull the joint apart and virtually impossible when glue is added. This type of joint is used in box constructions such as drawers, jewellery boxes, cabinets and other pieces of furniture where strength is required. It is a difficult joint to make manually, requiring skilled workmanship.
There are different types of dovetail joints. The joint is strong especially when used with glue. The angle of slope varies according to the wood used, purpose of joint and type of work.
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A beginning woodworker might fixate on making perfect dovetails. The photographs above show a sampling of drawers from four different antique cabinets and chests in our house. The dovetails on each were clearly hand cut based on their irregular spacing and variations in the tail slopes. But they show another similarity — none were cut perfectly. On a few I can clearly see a little filler was even used to fill the gaps.
May 07, · Sitting in a bar in Pittsboro, NC, I first heard about a mythical joint called the “dovetail”. I was at first unwilling to accept what I was being told but the narrator seemed so sincere. Earnest. It’s an incredible story but the world is full of incredible stories. Some things we need take on faith..
A new joint One of the first things to be looked at when trying to determine the age of a piece of antique furniture is the type of joinery used in the construction of the piece. Knowing the history of the technology of various periods goes a long way toward explaining clues about the age of furniture and none is more important or accessible than the type of joint used to secure a drawer. Mostly what we see are dovetails of a sort.
The interlocking dovetail joint came into general use in the William and Mary period in the late s and very early s, and for the first time allowed the construction of reliable drawers, a device with extremely limited use or convenience until then. Before this innovation most furniture consisted of simple boxes called coffers or some type of open shelving arrangement, and cabinets with shelves behind doors such as the old court cupboard.
By the end of the 18th century some progress had been made in furniture technology. Rotary saws were on the horizon and all nails were no longer made one at a time by a blacksmith. While the joint had been refined and perfected it was still too difficult to be made by a machine. Some progress had been made by the use of jigs to help guide the hand powered saws in their cutting but essentially the dovetail was the last hold out of hand work in a machine era. Several inventors were hard at work on the problem in the s and most concentrated on trying to duplicate the handmade dovetail using a machine, that is until Mr.
Knapp of Waterloo, Wisconsin applied himself to the task. He did some creative thinking and solved the problem not by duplicating the dovetail joint but by inventing another type of joint entirely that was at least as good as the dovetail and could be made by machinery.
Styles of Antique Furnishings Antique furniture dealers are a great place to find furnishings or a great accent piece for your home. Antique furnishings can fit into any type of home or style aesthetic. Some may choose antique furnishings to match an older home or they may be used to accent a contemporary style structure.
Antiques can often draw a deep historical connection for people when they realize the age of the pieces that they find at antique furniture dealers. Antique Wooden Furniture Everyone wants their home to be comfortable and inviting.
The dovetail joint probably pre-dates written history. Some of the earliest known examples of the dovetail joint are in furniture entombed with mummies dating from the First Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, as well as the tombs of Chinese emporers.
Types[ edit ] A mortise is a cavity cut into a timber to receive a tenon. There are several kinds of mortise: Stub mortise a shallow mortise, the depth of which depends on the size of the timber; also a mortise that does not go through the workpiece as opposed to a “through mortise”. Through mortise Wedged half- dovetail a mortise in which the back is wider, or taller, than the front, or opening.
The space for the wedge initially leaves room to insert the tenon. The wedge, after the tenon is engaged, prevents its withdrawal. Through-wedged half-dovetail a wedged half-dovetail mortise that passes entirely through the piece. A tenon is a projection on the end of a timber for insertion into a mortise. Usually the tenon is taller than it is wide.
Furniture, Homeware and Gifts: New Interior Brand, Dovetail Living is One to Watch
Recycled Metal Square Roots takes great pride in understanding oak in all its complexity. By selecting the best quality and most environmentally responsible suppliers they produce an exceptional quality product. The upland Burgundy region of France has cool climatic conditions with forests that produce harder, heavier timbers. This French oak has distinctive grain patterns and a beautiful pale colour.
Antique furniture dealers are a great place to find furnishings or a great accent piece for your home. Antique furnishings can fit into any type of home or style aesthetic. Some may choose antique furnishings to match an older home or they may be used to accent a contemporary style structure.
How to tell the age of antique furniture Shelly McRae Updated February 21, Determining the age of antique furniture is not an exact science, but there are certain indicators of age evident in furniture. How a piece is constructed is a common measure of age. You should look at the screws, nails, wood, joining and hardware. The condition and quality of materials are used to gauge the age of a piece. The wear and tear of a piece of furniture also helps to tell its age.
A legitimate antique is one hundred years old or older. It should have a bit of scarring to show for its time. Here are a few tips on how to determine the age of a piece of furniture. Measure the tabletop for round tables. Wood shrinks over time, and only in one direction. Round tabletops should be out of round, meaning they should be slightly oval.
You’ll also be signed up to receive e-newsletters from Antique Trader and partners. Fred Taylor May 26, In an effort to determine the range of the age of a piece of furniture, we have the beginnings of a built-in time line if the piece has drawers. The concept of the modern chest of drawers as we know it, a case containing a series of more or less matching drawers, became a reality in the latter part of the 17th century. Of course single drawers and combinations of drawers were made earlier but appeared usually as an adjunct to the lift top or dower chest which was the most common chest type in the that century.
The most common storage facility of the era was the cupboard or court cupboard consisting of open shelves below doors which concealed more shelves. It is a five sided box that must fit perfectly within a case a six-sided box and be removable on demand without binding or breaking either the drawer or the case.
Robinson’s Antiques carries original antique hardware dating from to Mowery Antiques specializes in restored antique hardware for furniture and houses. Eugenia’s Antique Hardware and Accessories is located in Chamblee, Georgia.
Home Blog A very old drawer, in a very old chest of drawers October 11, By Al Navas A very old drawer, in a very old chest of drawers We are finally home, after 3, miles on the road in two weeks. Following the conference we drove into the Western part of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, a region commonly referred to as New England, for all readers not in the United States.
And now the job of cataloging photos of our trip begins, to make some order of the conference, the miles, the gorgeous views, and the wonderful people along the way. As I started the job of cataloging the photos, I came across this photo of a drawer in an old cabinet from the s. It is one of 8 drawers in an old cabinet at the Old Woodshed, in Intercourse, PA — I avoided flash, and used only very dim available light: And searching the Internet has netted exactly zero results.
I love the look of this joinery, but I am having trouble deciding whether this is just a variation of a rabetted side on the drawer front. Are the pegs likely to be glued in place? And how is this joint made? I can see myself today making the half-rounds using a Forstner bit on the edge of the drawer front, but how would you make the perfectly-matching contour on the sides? Was this all made by hand? I look forward to some enlightenment from readers who might know the answers to my questions.
You will find additional information on this joint here and here.
Furniture – Tables ; Dining, Console, Centre, etc
Antique Chest of Drawers Posted by: An Antique Chest of Drawers or any Georgian furniture are well designed pieces and are built to a very high standard. They are made using good quality woods such as mahogany and oak and the screws were made by hand.
a wedged half-dovetail mortise that passes entirely through the piece. a kind of mortise and tenon joint that uses a wedge-shaped key to hold the joint together. Teasel (or teazle) tenon This is an ancient joint dating back 7, years. The first examples.
Furniture Wood If you have a worn old dresser or rickety heirloom chair on your hands, you may be thinking of refinishing it yourself. Older mass-produced pieces whose origins fall somewhere between and are ideal candidates for refinishing. However, if you have questions about how old your piece is, consult an expert first, says Teri Masaschi , author of Foolproof Wood Finishing: Here are some general guidelines to assessing the age and quality of your piece.
But keep in mind that there are lots of exceptions to these rules, so err on the side of caution. Hand-cut dovetails can date an older American piece to before , although hobbyists and specialty makers still use them. Hand dovetails are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered. Wider, uniform machine-cut dovetails were common in factory-made pieces from until the modern era. Hand dovetails pictured below, top piece are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered.
Wider, uniform machine-cut dovetails pictured below, bottom piece were common in factory-made pieces from until the modern era.
Reference: The Ultimate Wood Joint Visual Reference Guide
Noted for its resistance to being pulled apart tensile strength , the dovetail joint is commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front. A series of ‘pins’ cut to extend from the end of one board interlock with a series of ‘tails’ cut into the end of another board. The pins and tails have a trapezoidal shape. Once glued, a wooden dovetail joint requires no mechanical fasteners. The Dovetail joint technique probably pre-dates written history.
Some of the earliest known examples of the dovetail joint are in ancient Egyptian furniture entombed with mummies dating from First Dynasty, as well as the tombs of Chinese emperors.
Dovetail joints are strong and require skill to produce, so they’re generally a sign of a well-made piece. Hand-cut dovetails can date an older American piece to before , although hobbyists and specialty makers still use them.
QR Code A finished dovetail joint. A dovetail joint or simply dovetail is a joinery technique most commonly used in woodworking joinery carpentry including furniture, cabinets, , log buildings and traditional timber framing. Noted for its resistance to being pulled apart tensile strength , the dovetail joint is commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front.
A series of pins cut to extend from the end of one board interlock with a series of tails cut into the end of another board. The pins and tails have a trapezoidal shape. Once glued, a wooden dovetail joint requires no mechanical fasteners. The dovetail joint probably pre-dates written history. Some of the earliest known examples of the dovetail joint are in furniture entombed with mummies dating from First Dynasty of ancient Egypt , as well the tombs of Chinese emperors. The dovetail design is an important method of distinguishing various periods of furniture.
In Europe the dovetail joint is also called a swallow-tail joint or a fantail joint. This makes it difficult to pull the joint apart and virtually impossible when glue is added.
Dating Furniture Using Dovetail Joints
Dovetails are interlocking carved wood joints used in cabinetry to connect two pieces of wood — drawer fronts and sides, cabinet or cupboard corners. The technique produces a sturdy, long-lasting connection. Examining these joints helps determine the age of old furniture. It’s called a “dovetail” joint because the flat-bottomed triangular shape of the wood insert looks like a dove’s tail.
Whether that tail is fat, skinny, symmetrical or used sparingly reveals a clue to the origins of the piece. The Pharaoh’s Footstool Egyptian pharaohs were buried with fine furnishings and chests of valuables and rare spices to accompany them to the afterlife.
eastern shore > furniture – by owner These pieces are truly antique, dating back to the early ‘s. They feature the original hardware in the original finish (antique bronze). Nightstands are made of solid wood and drawers are made with dovetail construction. .
Antique Furniture These situations are common occurrences for antique collectors, restorers and store owners. It is important for those interested in antique furniture to be aware of the types and styles of hardware used on a specific piece including the material and design. It is also helpful to know where to find original and high quality reproduction hardware for antique furniture.
Original Hardware for Antique Furniture There are several types of businesses that carry, and often specialize in, original hardware for antique furniture. These include architectural artifact companies, antique hardware shops and some antique stores. The following are several of these suppliers that have a brick and mortar location as well as an online presence.
Toledo Architectural Artifacts carries approximately 20, pieces of vintage and antique hardware. Located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Bob Roth’s Antique Hardware has a large inventory of antique hardware for furniture, doors, windows and cabinets.