Dating furniture by joints

As a general rule, in the United States, prior to the Civil War, all dovetail joints were constructed by hand using chisels and saws.

After , we begin to see the use of machinery to construct these joints. When viewed side by side, it is simple to distinguish the difference between a drawer that was built using hand tools and a drawer that was built using machinery.

How to Identify Furniture of the 1800s by Its Dovetailing

Due to the increase in demand, a more efficient method of creating furniture was needed in North America. After , machine cut dovetails dominated furniture making.

Loosening Furniture Joints with a Heat Gun - Thomas Johnson Antique Furniture Restoration

By this period, the demand for furniture had grown as the country had grown. Mass production in factories had replaced the furniture shops where an entire piece was constructed by a single carpenter. You are commenting using your WordPress.

Dovetail Joints: What they can tell us about our Antique Furniture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Wooden pegs that jut out just a bit from the surface of a chair leg or cabinet side are also indicators of age-related shrinkage. The way furniture is put together is an important indicator of age.

Early craftsmen used hand-cut mortise-and-tenon joints, dovetail joints and wooden pegs. Hand cut dovetails are wider and cruder than dovetails made with machines starting in the midth century.

Dating Furniture using Dovetail Joints | Moonee Ponds Antiques

Rose Head nails were forged individually by blacksmiths in the s. After shaping the nail, the blacksmith placed it in a heading tool and delivered several hammer blows to form the distinctive head. Cut nails were prominent from to Sharp-ended wire nails with flat, round heads began to be machine produced around Staples are hallmarks of 20 th -century manufacture.

Different cutting and sanding tools leave distinctive marks on wood and give clues to the era during which a piece of furniture was made. Look for saw marks on unfinished backs and undersides.


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  • Determining the Age of an Antique - Age of an Antique | HowStuffWorks!
  • How to Identify Furniture of the s by Its Dovetailing | Home Guides | SF Gate.

Straight, irregular marks indicate pre hand cut wood. Around , sawmills cut wood, leaving straight, even marks.


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