Dating furniture dovetail joints


When the joint is expertly executed, it is a thing of beauty, and a secure joining of two boards that can last for centuries.A little glue cements the connection, and a good dovetail joint has great strength and durability.The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating.



Dovetail drawback As useful as the dovetail joint started out to be, it did have a serious drawback—it was hard to make by hand, and of course, everything of that period was made by hand.The use of hand tools and hand-cut dovetails is now the province of hobbyists and a few small shops creating authentic replicas of antique furniture.This overview of the dovetailing techniques should easily help identification and dating of most furniture from the last 200 years.The earliest examples are from furniture placed with mummies in Egypt thousands of years ago, and also in the burials of ancient Chinese emperors.


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