By Bob Flexner Pages A while back, my wife and I were visiting friends who wanted to show us their collection of antique furniture. At one point we went into their bedroom and I headed directly for a very old-looking chest-of-drawers. I just wanted to date the piece by how the drawer was made. Construction Drawer construction has changed several times in the last years. Simply pull a drawer out a few inches, glance at the joinery on the side and feel the drawer bottom underneath — essentially a single motion. In addition, the wood used for the drawer sides and bottoms helps determine whether the furniture is American or European. How a drawer is constructed and the woods used is revealing, but there are two important caveats. First, dating furniture is a fine art. Seldom does one clue provide confirmation of anything.

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How can you tell the age of a piece of furniture? This is a big topic to tackle and it will not be possible to cover many details in this short column. To determine age, consider the form and function, tool marks, construction techniques, and materials used in the furniture. Check for evidence of age. Is it a coffee table or king-size bed? They appeared in the s.

Apr 18,  · Dowel Joint; Mortise and Tenon Joint; Knapp Joint; KD Bolt & Plug; Identifying Antique Joinery. Just another site. It is possible to date antique furniture by identifying the joinery. Posted on April 18, by Chad. Advertisements. Categories: Uncategorized | .

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A Jack-of-all-trades WordPress theme. We think that all restoration including antique chair restoration should be appropriate to the particular piece. Sometimes the conservation approach is a consideration, especially for rare and valuable items. We acquired extensive knowledge and experience restoring furniture and seating using traditional methods. We give tuition and run courses on all aspects of antique furniture restoration.

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Dating Furniture Using Dovetail Joints

Although used earlier, it is most frequently found in mahogany furniture from and continued to be popular among Victorians. Example near bases Amorini — Cupids or cherubs used in decoration. Popular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century as well as in Adam designs.

Georgian furniture is well designed and built to a high standard, using quality woods such as oak and mahogany, with the use of dovetail joints, clout nails and handmade iron screws. Georgian designs formed a distinct contrast with earlier pieces as a new simplicity was sought after.

Egypt Beds, stools, throne chairs, and boxes were the chief forms of furniture in ancient Egypt. Although only a few important examples of actual furniture survive, stone carvings, fresco paintings, and models made as funerary offerings present rich documentary evidence. The bed may have been the earliest form; it was constructed of wood and consisted of a simple framework supported on four legs.

A flax cord, plaited, was lashed to the sides of the framework. The cords were woven together from opposite sides of the framework to form a springy surface for the sleeper. In the 18th dynasty c. The great beds found in the tomb of Tutankhamen were put together with bronze hooks and staples so that they could be dismantled or folded to facilitate storage and transportation; furniture existed in small quantities and when the pharaohs toured their lands, they took their beds with them.

In the same tomb was a folding wooden bed with bronze hinges.

Mahogany Desks

Sale Wood – Of all the materials man has used for making contemporary furniture as well as classic furniture, wood has always been the most popular, in spite of the difficulties involved both in working it and in preserving it against the ravages of time and termites. Many other products, natural or manufactured, have been employed to embellish wood, and some have briefly challenged its supremacy. Nevertheless a widespread and deep-rooted preference for wood as a furniture material constantly reasserts itself.

Contemporary fashions for particular woods come and go, however, and vary not only from country to country, but also from region to region. Country craftsmen went on using certain timbers long after they had ceased to be fashionable in the cities, making out of solid oak, for instance, designs that were being executed in walnut or mahogany veneers by the master cabinetmakers in the great centers of production.

Veneering-the application of a thin sheet of decorative wood to the outside of a piece of contemporary furniture is not necessarily a way of providing a poor article with a deceptively fine finish.

It took the form of clustered columns in mahogany furniture, with small double collars turned to look like bamboo joints, or, later, single columns so turned. In the Regency period actual bamboo reproduction was made in other woods (or even iron, as the stair banister in the Brighton Pavilion).

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. There are several kinds of tenon: Stub tenon short, the depth of which depends on the size of the timber; also a tenon that is shorter than the width of the mortised piece so the tenon does not show as opposed to a “through tenon”.

Through tenon a tenon that passes entirely through the piece of wood it is inserted into, being clearly visible on the back side.

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This was not good enough for one young Irish visionary. Fergus Murphy, who determined to find a A Better Way. Fergus, believing that the wood was cut and joined could alone provide all the strength that was required, was one day sitting gazing at his father’s dovecot when he was suddenly transfixed by an that was to eventually revolutionise the woodworking scene. Blackwood and Huon Pine Unfortunately for Fergus, none of his father’s birds had ever returned once set loose, giving him entirely the wrong perspective on the problem.

Remove a drawer from the roll-top desk to see how it was put together. A dovetail joint resembles the triangle shape of a bird’s tail and holds the boards together with cutouts in .

Dovetails – A Clue for Dating Antiques by Ken Melchert Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands. As the dovetail joint evolved through the last one hundred thirty years, it becomes a clue for the age and authenticity of antique furniture. The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating. With just a little study of these examples, it is easy to spot true hand made construction vs.

The earliest examples are from furniture placed with mummies in Egypt thousands of years ago, and also in the burials of ancient Chinese emperors. For thousands of years, a dovetail joint was created by a skilled cabinetmaker using small, precision saws and wood chisels. Tiny angled saw cuts were followed by careful cutting by a sharpened chisel on both sides to avoid splintering. 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. This secretary desk from about was built by a good country carpenter, notice the dovetails on the side of the drawer, and holding the top and side planks together as well.

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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.

Does your bed have worn or broken brackets or other hardware? Van Dykes has just what you need to bring your bed back to life! We stock nuts and bolts, bed rail fasteners, corner joints.

History[ edit ] The term was once common around the furniture-making town of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire , England. Bodgers were highly skilled itinerant wood-turners, who worked in the beech woods of the Chiltern Hills. The term was always confined to High Wycombe until the recent post revival of pole lathe turning with many chairmakers around the country now calling themselves bodgers.

Chairs were made and parts turned in all parts of the UK before the semi industrialised production of High Wycombe. As well recorded in Cotton the English Regional Chair Bodgers also sold their waste product as kindling, or as exceptionally durable woven-baskets. The final craftsman involved was the framer. The framer would take the components produced by the bodger and the benchman and would assemble and finish the chair. Although there was great camaraderie and kinship amongst this close community nevertheless a professional eye was kept upon what each other was doing.

Most important to the bodger was which company did his competitors supply and at what price. Bodger Samuel Rockall’s account book for shows he was receiving 19 shillings pence for a gross units of plain legs including stretchers. With three stretchers to a set of four legs this amounted to turnings in total. According to Ronald Goodearl, who photographed one of the last professional bodgers Alec and Owen Dean in the late s, recalled they had stated “each man would turn out parts per day one gross including legs and stretchers- this would include cutting up the green wood, and turning it into blanks, then turning it”.

We bodged again; as I have seen a swan With bootless labour swim against the tide And spend her strength with over-matching waves.

An Illustrated History of the Dovetail Joint

American Furniture Many vintage furniture buyers opt for quality reproductions that are more affordable, and either option is fine providing that you research your subject well when identifying antique furniture. There is no exact science where antique furniture is concerned; you simply make an educated decision based on what is most important to you. Researching and Identifying Antique Furniture Becoming knowledgeable about antique furniture takes research, even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this wide-ranging subject.

Many collectors prefer particular eras, styles, and makers, while others have more eclectic tastes. Get an expert opinion:

Parties for his trial to dating joint dovetail furniture the members and. Many ways, it is very similar the only difference. 82, kilometers of trails for all skill. That writing about sex is easy to find through the website is open to adults over age

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.

Mortise and tenon

Furniture Something has been bothering me. For the past couple of decades, there has been a drastic increase in the percentage of consumer furniture and goods manufactured using a material known as MDF. It is an acronym for Medium Density Fiberboard. Cutting, sanding, or releasing particles of MDF into the air might be a high risk and should be avoided. Why on Earth would you want something like that in your life? Your kids sleeping in it?

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Making Opendesk Furniture – 2. Fixingless, glueless joints Published by Hugh Lyons on 11 November Modern mass manufactured furniture employs a range of fixings to ensure that it can be produced efficiently, flat packed, and assembled quickly and easily. This is a problem for open making, any fixings used may not be available to other makers. The solution to this, design out the fixings.

Furniture originated without fixings so this is nothing new, joints are fit tightly and glued so they are set in place, problem solved. However, introduce the requirement for disassembly and you need to remove the glue. What you are left with is fixingless, glueless joints, essentially, tolerance joints. Tolerance joints rely on the components being made so accurately that they fit together snuggly allowing no movement.

How to Identify Furniture of the 1800s by Its Dovetailing

Stubby screwdrivers, different sizes and configurations Tack lifter, wide putty knife, sharp knife and long nose pliers Rare earth magnet, writing utensils and pad Envelopes or very small plastic bags for any samples

First, dating furniture is a fine art. Seldom does one clue provide confirmation of anything. Also important are style (including hardware), shrinkage, nails, screws, locks, the primary and secondary woods used, the type of finish, tell-tale tool marks, areas of wear and general appearance.

Types of Dovetails in Antiques By Bethany Seeley ; Updated April 12, When appraising or inspecting a piece of antique furniture, a dealer or prospective buyer will look closely at the drawers. The style of dovetailing used by the maker can provide clues as to the age of the piece, as well as reveal whether it was made in the United States, Canada or Europe. Dovetailing is a method of precisely cutting two boards so that they can be interlocked securely together.

Dovetailing typically requires no nails or other hardware. Examples of dovetailed joints have been found in pieces from ancient Egyptian and Chinese civilizations, and it remains a popular method of joinery today. Tail and Pin English Dovetail One of the most basic type of dovetailing found in antiques is the “tail and pin” type, also known as an English dovetail.

This consists of one board with a series of small angled notches cut into one end and a second board with a series of larger notches.

How to Tell if Furniture is Antique? Wood Separation