Dating american furniture

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Dovetail joints are excellent joints but they take a long time to make by hand.From the mid 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century a series of experimental, machine made drawer joints appeared, including the Knapp joint and the finger joint but the winner was the machine made dovetail joint.A drawer is a fairly difficult thing to build when you get right down to it.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.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.

Check out the condition of the finish on the exterior as well as the drawers.The joint is then nailed either through the front or through the side.In many cases the nails are installed in cut outs in the drawer side so they do not protrude above the surface and impede the travel of the drawer.By examining the shape and condition of the furniture nails and screws as well as the wood and finish, you can get a fairly good idea of when the furniture was built, and possibly by whom.The video above provides a great introduction to dating antique furniture and what areas should be examined.

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