The type of wood is the final clue. A dowel joint is made by fitting a butt joint and then drilling corresponding holes in the two pieces of wood to be joined and inserting the dowel pin or pins before joining the pieces. It's easy to spot an antique by the drawers, because joints weren't machine-cut until about 1860. Lincoln was summing up a case in which he thought a witness was less than truthful. Although there are exceptions, the most commonly used joints in furniture construction are the mortise and tenon, dovetail and the dowel. When you look at the exterior surface of a joint, you may only see a line where the two pieces of wood meet. How To Cut A Lock Joint Image info : Resolution:1280x960 Size:45kB 3.
To reduce these costs, search in local antique dealers and check other sellers who will provide a complete wrap and ship service. Lap Joint Lap joints are created when two pieces of wood overlap one another at a right angle. If the piece of furniture is dirty or encrusted with wax, clean it first with a mixture of denatured alcohol, white vinegar, and kerosene, in equal parts. That's because different woods were used for different purposes. Here is an early example of machine-cut dovetails on a 1920's sideboard from a dining set: Other drawer joints include sliding keyhole or French dovetails that were have been used since the 1890's. Using a sharp gouge with a sweep that matches the curve of the dowel circumference, pare the excess dowel away from the sides of the hole. As a final check, look for the proper signs of wear to the wood itself.
Glue blocks, for example, and back sides of boards and other hidden surfaces were generally not smoothed as much as the surfaces which would be painted, stained or varnished. There is no relationship between the number of woods and the date of production. This kind of lap joint is called a full-lap joint. The solution to reducing problematic seasonal expansion and contraction was simply to minimise the amount of exposed end-grain at the ends of the drawer fronts, thereby restricting their ability to absorb moisture figs. It traditionally rests on , often with castors to make it portable from room to room.
Dado joints are commonly used to join wood at right angles, as in bookcase shelves. Around the 1670s they came to recognise the better properties of the walnut, which dense grain allowed for lighter and finer shapes of the furniture, and quickly turned into a most fashionable material. You will find additional information on this joint and. And The Knapp Joint by Arnold Silverman of the Colorado Period Furniture Makers Guild. The earliest form of antique chest was a box with lid, known as the coffer. It has at some point in its lifetime been restored and re-polished and is a medium dark oak with a striking grain, good patina, is in very good condition and has been beautifully cleaned using a traditional form of wax finishing.
Place a drop of hot water on the glue and wait several minutes. If you can pull some of the joint out then it abruptly stops, it probably is fox wedged. Without the label however we are unable to say for definite. If we find a handmade dovetail joint with only one or two dovetails does it mean we found an early 18th century piece? The walnuts quickly became almost entirely superseded by the exotic newcomer, which remained the favourite choice for the next century, especially in England and America. This gorgeous oak chest is a piece for the real antiques enthusiast, being almost 300 years old it oozes charm and character from years of use adding to its authenticity.
A lacquer or varnish finish is a sure sign of later manufacture. Drilling small holes down the outermost points of the male portion of the joint and injecting alcohol or hot water will usually coax the joint apart. A dowel joint is made by fitting a butt joint and then drilling corresponding holes in the two pieces of wood to be joined and inserting the dowel pin or pins before joining the pieces. Other interior or home decorators tend not to take things so seriously but are still interested in items, history and authenticity. What you may find is a genuine reproduction, and these can be extremely valuable. A real antique is very rarely perfectly cut; a reproduction with the same components will be because a machine will have cut it. At one point we went into their bedroom and I headed directly for a very old-looking chest-of-drawers.
Table Construction are traditionally constructed with a fixed top, which is supported on a frame with a frieze and legs. Let's look at the differences between basic English and American furniture styles in the next section. Also a hand cut dovetail usually points towards an older piece. On a really good day, the machine could turn out 200 or more and work more than one shift, if necessary. Sliding dovetails - The biggest problem with these are when they are used on legs joined to turned pedestals. Antique Furniture Joints — Determine the quality of your antique furniture. A stencil-like device called a jig was used to create these dovetails.
Test the piece in an inconspicuous spot with denatured alcohol; if finish dissolves, it's shellac. The joint is then nailed either through the front or through the side. That sentiment was the beginning of the Colonial Revival — the resurrection of things in style during the era of the founding of our country. The finish on the wood can also date the piece. 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? Straight saw marks also indicate an old piece. There could be several reasons why the drawers you look at don't follow the general guidelines above.
Hand made screws and nails were relatively expensive and could rust and expand, sometimes cracking the wood they secured. Surfaces in old drawers generally show different degrees of finishing logically based on the purpose and visibility of the surface. Exact symmetry is another sign that the piece was machine-made. The History of Antique Chest of Drawers The antique chest of drawers has changed dramatically over the centuries due to better tools, better cabinet makers and wealthier people leading to larger demand. This secretary desk from about 1780 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.